Giuseppe's Italian Market, CalgaryI needed a few seconds to get my bearings when I walked into Giuseppe’s Italian Deli and Market. Because it’s a deli, market, cafe and pizzeria, it’s one of those places where you have to order at one counter and pay at another.

Giuseppe’s does dinner and jazz nights but I visited for lunch. It’s a versatile place to grab a quick bite, have a business meeting or linger through the afternoon. There’s seating on the main floor by the bright windows, and lots more tables on the second floor which is more like a dining room.

While the dozen cold and hot paninis were tempting, I was instantly drawn to the glowing pizza oven. Not wanting to choose just one flavour, I got the Four Seasons ($10.99), with was quartered with different toppings.

The plain mozzarella corner showed off sweet tomato sauce and the simple thin crust. Deliciously salty anchovies and capers, savoury home-cured mushrooms and pepperoni rounded out the hot pizza.

Giuseppe's Italian Market, CalgaryChristina had the De Mama vegetarian panini ($7.99) which was filled with grilled artichokes, red pepper and zucchini.

I lined up to pay by the dessert counter. That’s totally a calculated move. As if I can stand there and not order a tiramisu ($4.99). I’m no expert but it was creamy and rich. That’s good right?

There are lots of thoughtful touches for customers like a bookshelf of reading materials, fun knick-knacks, and toys for kids.

The Italian ladies at Giuseppe’s were very sweet, especially to H. They brought him a high chair and toy stacking cups to play with. (H on the other hand almost gave me a heart attack when he precisely timed his roving right hand onto the just-arriving plate of hot pizza — resulting in a baby hand full of cheese and some temporary wailing.)

Giuseppe’s Italian Deli & Market, 1207-1 St. SW, Calgary, (403) 232-6230. Open weekdays 7 a.m.-close, weekends 9:30 a.m.-close.

Giuseppe's Italian Deli and Market on Urbanspoon

Baby notes
Room for strollers: Yes
High chairs: Yes
Kids menu: No
Ambiance: Casual cafe for lunch. Friendly, helpful baby-loving staff.