Café of the week: Vendome

Calgary’s European Café

Vendome in Kensington on Friday, March 18, 2016. (Photo by Deborah Mebude/SAIT Polytechnic)

Vendome’s recently renovated space in the heart of Kensington provides a charming atmosphere and caffeination for the average student. March 18, 2016. (Photo by Deborah Mebude/SAIT Polytechnic)

A quick stroll from the Sunnyside train station, Vendome is a welcoming space in the heart of Kensington.

Reminiscent of a European café, it fuses modern architecture with  upscale elegance.

“It’s a very welcoming environment,” said Kristi McLeod, the manager of Vendome.

“It’s pretty casual, pretty comfortable.”

The café, which re-opened in June 2015, after renovations, has been a long-time favourite for many in the city.

“There are tons of regulars that come in,” said McLeod.

Along with the sunny space, Vendome’s manager believes that the food is what really draws customers into the café, with a menu ripe with various pastries, breakfast poutine, eggs Benedict, weekly specials and plenty of vegetarian choices.

“We’re definitely most well-known for breakfast and lunch options, [which are] offered everyday until 3 p.m.,” said McLeod.

The shop contains a mix of seating options, with high, window-facing bar stools in one corner and more integrated seating in another.

The space features two main rooms, each adorned with classic metallic finishings and broad mirrors that create a spacious feel.

“It used to be quite rustic,” said McLeod, of the space prior to recent renovations.

In addition to the indoor seating, the café allows for plenty of fresh air and vitamin D.

“Our year-round patio is great for Calgary’s random chinooks,” said McLeod.

This feature makes it the perfect midday happy hour spot. Complete with a liquor licence, the café has a variety of drink options including wine, beer and mixed drinks.

If you’re looking to unwind in the evening, Vendome hosts local talent on a weekly basis.

“We have live music on Thursdays, which really makes for a mellow hangout,” said McLeod.

Creating a place for people to relax, study or simply pass the time away is something the Vendome staff  work towards.

“We have tons of students here frequently,” said McLeod.

“It’s definitely a great place for studying.”

Between its relaxed atmosphere and carefully crafted menu, Vendome is a spot enjoyed by many.

If you find yourself unsure what to order, McLeod has a few suggestions.

“I’d say our best breakfast option is the salmon Benny.”

“As for drinks, it’s got to be our rooibos espresso. It’s entirely caffeine-free, but pressed like an espresso would be, so it gives a real concentrated flavour.”

You  can find Vendome at 940 2nd Ave NW, open  Monday  to  Friday  from  7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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