Across the Bow River from downtown lies the trendy suburb of Kensington and Higher Ground (1126 Kensington Rd. NW, 403/270-3780, Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.–midnight, Sun. 8 a.m.–11 p.m.), a specialty coffee shop with a few window-front tables and wireless Internet.
The casual, two-story Pulcinella (1147 Kensington Crescent NW, 403/283-1166, Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–11 p.m., Sun. 4–10 p.m., $12–24) has the most traditional pizza you will find in Canada, right down to an oven constructed of stone imported from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Pizzas have perfectly formed crusts and chunky ingredients, many of which have been imported from the mother country.
Sultan’s Tent (4 14th St., 403/244-2333, Mon.–Sat. 5–11 p.m., $18–28.50) features swinging lanterns, richly colored tapestries hanging from the walls, piped-in Arabic music, and, most important, delicious Moroccan delicacies. If you’re hungry, try the Sultan’s Feast ($51), a five-course dinner.
A few blocks toward the city, Kensington’s busiest intersection offers a bunch of eateries, including another Italian restaurant, Osteria de Medici (201 10th St. NW, 403/283-5553, Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 4–10 p.m., $17–31). Although still traditional, the atmosphere is more refined and the menu more adventurous than Pulcinella, but service is friendly and prices not as high as they could be.