Shopping local is something that I love to do whenever I can, especially around the holiday season. There’s just something special about strolling the aisles and checking out all the stalls at a local food market when everyone is in the holiday spirit that fills me with winter warmth.
I recently discovered Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market in Calgary and I wish I’d known about this place sooner. My first time there, I was immediately obsessed. I couldn’t get over the local produce and baked goods and ready made foods, the gift items, textiles, and so much more.
Finding unique and personalized gifts is something that I always look for, too. I love to be able to put together gift baskets, find hostess gifts and also a pile of yummy and unique things to serve at my own table.
What I Picked Up!
Venturing into Avenida Food Hall for the first time, I wanted to pick up a variety of items: a few things for me (some of which I ate on the way home), hostess gifts to have on hand for holiday parties and a few great gift items that I knew would be perfect for some of the foodies on my list.
Here are a few of the items that I happened to pick up:
- Mex-Can Gourmet artisan sauces, dips and spices.
- Latin Food Specialties Christmas baskets with assorted Latin products.
- Casa Corazon Guatemalan Christmas tree ornaments, coin pouches and shawls.
- High Country Soap Company baskets of soaps and bath bombs.
- Eden’s Essentials soap and bath salts gift packs
- Devils Head Coffee in different sizes for stockings or parties
- Cian’s Mustard for parties or hostess gifts
- Jordan’s General Store dipping sauces for parties
- Sipilicious Christmas Tea blends, Mulled Tea Blends
- Solstice Berry Farms Jam/Jelly packs
- Those Chocolates chocolates for gifts, stocking stuffers
Things From Near & Far
Although there is a strong local contingent to most of what is available at Avenida Food Hall, you’ll also find some international flare in both food and products that are available. I love when locals who have come from afar share their food and culture with us at these markets. Some of these vendors are local distributors of items from far away that make for unique gifts. These specialty items are often not available anywhere else.
Things I Didn’t Know
About Avenida Food Hall
There were quite a few things I didn’t know about Avenida Food Hall before I visited for the first time. One was just how big it is inside! I couldn’t get over the number of vendors, food stalls and fresh food markets that fit into this space. There is so much to see and taste at this market!
Something else you might not know about Avenida Food Hall (I say this because one of the vendors mentioned it to me) is that they have an amazing lunch selection! There are some fantastic chefs who come in each day, stroll through the stalls asking vendors what new and fresh ingredients they have and then create amazing dishes from those ingredients for lunch!
There are also really Instagram-worthy spaces! There are a number of table heights, great bistro sets in different colours and lovely walls to pose in front of.
One of the best things I think is how late the market is open as well. Some evenings they are open until 8pm which makes it a perfect spot to pop in for dinner or dessert. I find that so often local markets close early making them logistically difficult, but not this one!