It’s no secret that Calgary has become home to a wide variety of great Canadian food and beverage purveyors, but one aspect of Calgary’s culinary culture that often goes overlooked is its strong selection of unique convenience stores. Whether you’re seeking a specific throwback snack food, making a last-minute pit stop to complete your ingredient list, or searching for a specialty food item from across the pond, there’s a good chance you can find what you’re looking for at one of these cool neighbourhood shops.
From ice cream, coffee and vintage records at Lukes Drug Mart or 90s-era snacks and instant slushies at Trust Convenience, to Korean fried chicken and made-to-order sushi at The Blue Store in Inglewood, here are seven convenience stores across Calgary that are anything but run of the mill.
The Blue Store
The Blue Store is a neighbourhood corner store in the truest sense, but offers much more than meets the eye. In addition to all the essential grocery goods you’d expect at a neighbourhood corner store, this Inglewood institution sells a variety of imported Asian snacks, ice cream, Korean fried chicken, and made-to-order sushi by way of Yakuza Sushi.
Even though it has been around for years, the store only recently dubbed itself "The Blue Store" Why? Well, that's what most folks called it anyway!
Lukes Drug Mart
As the oldest independently-owned pharmacy in the city with locations in Bridgeland and Killarney, Lukes Drug Mart has become as intertwined with Calgary culture as it gets.
From its wall-to-wall coffee bar and its legendary vinyl record collection to its seriously creative homemade soft serve ice cream and wide array of locally-made specialty items, Lukes is a must for anyone looking to experience a true Calgary community hub.
Authentic Desi Store
This northwest convenience store has been around since 2014 and aims to take customers on an authentic journey to India through an assortment of Indian spices, halal meats, imported beverages, frozen fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more. Authentic Desi Store is also Calgary’s only Indian grocery store that offers free delivery, so you can travel to India without leaving the comfort of your own home.
True World Foods
With over 40 years of experience and multiple locations across North America, the True World Foods chain has developed a reputation as a go-to destination for Japanese food products such as wagyu beef, wasabi, fresh sashimi-quality seafood, housemade sushi and ongiri, and much more.
Along with plenty of nostalgia-inducing 90s-era snacks and a strong selection of rare and limited-edition food and drink products from around the world, Trust Convenience is also home to one of the city’s only instant slush machines. The machine turns a bottle of pop into a slush in mere seconds through a series of chilled vibrations (more or less).
The northeast convenience store also provides a curated mystery box filled with familiar treats to ensure each visit is different from the last.
The newest corner store on 17th Avenue offers a fresh take on the classic convenience store model with a huge collection of locally-made products ranging from Heritage Roasting Co’s cold brew nitro floats to sustainably-sourced honey from Drizzle, to the Land of Daughters line of candles. Via also offers vegan soft serve ice cream, artisanal snacks, and much more.