The Best Coffee Shops in Banff National Park – LOCAL’S GUIDE

Mar 23, 2023 | 0 comments

Banff is full of good coffee shops, because there’s nothing better than a good old cup o’ joe before an early hike or before you hit the slopes.

As someone that works from home/remotely and has lived in Banff for over a decade, I have spent many, many hours in all the various coffee shops in Banff. I am terribly addicted to (good) coffee, so I feel reasonably qualified to give my thoughts on the best coffee shops in Banff.

While there are no true specialty coffee shops in Banff, where you can choose your single origin roast, there are more than a dozen great spots to grab a good cup.

I’d rather not do a ranking of the coffee shops, because there are many unique shops that each offer something different, but I definitely have a few favourite Banff coffee shops, depending on my mood.

Here is a list of all the coffee shops in Banff National Park (as of March 2023), and what each one is worth visiting for:

Best Coffee Shops in the Town of Banff

Banff National Park encompasses the Banff townsite as well as Lake Louise, so this first group of coffee shops are in the actual Town of Banff:

1. Wild Flour Bakery

Wild Flour is probably the most popular coffee shop in Banff. It has a great selection of coffees and drinks, including the occasional interesting drink like mushroom tea (not the magic kind).

In terms of coffee, their espresso and americanos are good and don’t taste burnt at all. They also do pour over coffees and you can buy decent coffee beans here too (they have their own branded beans but they’re not roasted in Banff).

I particularly like the mocha at Wild Flour, as they use a darker kind of chocolate. So the mocha isn’t too sweet, but sweet enough!

Wild Flour is also a bakery, and they do a fantastic selection of breads, cakes, sandwiches and other baked goods. I quite like their focaccia pizza bread snacks, and their brownies are absolutely deadly!

The bread at Wild Flour is also great. During COVID we probably ate about two loaves per week of their cranberry walnut sourdough bread. You can order this in advance and pick it up fresh!

Obviously no coffee shop wants you to sit there and work all day, but on the occasions I’ve posted up there, it’s a shame there aren’t really any outlets for charging.

Other than that, there’s really not much to complain about! It’s not cheap coffee, and there are often long lines in the morning, but any good coffee shop worth visiting tends to be guilty of the same!

2. Little Wild: Coffee By Wild Flour

Little Wild Coffee Banff

This is a mini version of the Wild Flour bakery located on Banff Avenue. Little Wild offers the same selection of drinks (coffees, teas etc) as Wild Flour. It also has a small selection of pastries and snacks, but doesn’t have the full baked goods selection that Wild Flour does.

This is a good place to sit in the window and watch the hustle and bustle of Banff Avenue and escape the chaos.

3. The Uprising Bake Shop + Espresso Bar

The Uprising Bakery is a rapidly expanding chain of bakeries in Banff and Canmore. They have a few locations in Canmore and now one coffee shop in downtown Banff with an espresso coffee bar. You can also buy their bread in the IGA supermarket as well now, which is awesome because their bread is fantastic.

The Uprising is mostly famous for their bread, specifically various types of sourdough, and let me tell you, it is fantastic.

In terms of grabbing a good cup of coffee and a delicious baked snack, I think the Uprising is my favourite place to go. Their pastries and sandwiches are easily the best in town (in my humble opinion), and I could quite happily eat something here for breakfast every day. Pizza swirls, chocolate custard pastries, rainbow sandwiches, spinach and feta pastries. It’s all amazing.

i would also say that the espresso here is some of the best in town. I would be quite happy to order a black americano here, and not need to add anything at all.

My only hope is that it doesn’t get any busier because I hate waiting in lines for my coffee.

The Uprising is a small bakery, so it’s not a great place to sit down. There is a bar to sit at and two high top tables with about 4 chairs. This is a good place to grab some bread or a quick snack and continue on with your day.

4. Whitebark Cafe at The Banff Aspen Lodge

  • Address: 401 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1A9
  • Phone number: (403) 760-7298
  • Website: https://whitebarkcafe.com/
  • Hours: Every day 6.30am-6pm

The Whitebark Cafe in the Banff Aspen Lodge is probably the third coffee shop in Banff that I regularly patronise more than any other. Again, the espresso and americanos here are high quality, and I can comfortably drink the coffee black here. They’re not specialty coffees but I’d happily start my day with a flat white here.

Whitebark is also famous for small pastries and home made breakfast items. I make no secret of the fact that I’m British and have a weakness for all things British; especially things that you can’t usually find in Canada. Let me tell you, the day I discovered the sausage rolls with tomato chutney at Whitebark, my life was forever changed for the better.

I can’t tell you how much I love their sausage rolls, and how great it is to have something like this in Banff. Please don’t take them all before I get there!

I should also mention that this is one of the, if not the only, coffee shops in Banff that is licensed to sell alcohol as well.

Whitebark Cafe is also convenient because it’s a little bit out of the downtown area, so you can generally park nearby and always generally find somewhere to sit inside or on their large patio when it’s warm enough.

Whitebark Cafe is part of the Banff Aspen Lodge, so it’s located in the lobby of the hotel and can get quite busy at times.

5. Evelyns Coffee Shop

  • Address: 215 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1A4
  • Phone number: (403) 762-2000
  • Website: evelynscoffeebar.com
  • Hours: Every day 7am-7pm

Evelyns used to have 3 or 4 branches in Banff, but now there’s only one left and you’ll find it on Banff Avenue. It has a decent range of your typical drinks and coffees, as well as a wide selection of cakes and snacks.

They sell decent coffee, but they also sell some more unique menu items like hot apple cider and italian sodas with various syrups. I can definitely recommend trying the italian sodas.

6. Stock at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Stock is another hidden gem on Banff’s coffee shop scene. It probably isn’t somewhere you’d stumble across unless you’re staying at the Banff Springs Hotel, but it does great coffee (as you might expect from a cafe that’s attached to a Fairmont Hotel).

Again, not a specialty coffee shop (we honestly don’t really have those in Banff), but if you like a black coffee, it’s hard to find a better cup in Banff.

Prices are probably a bit on the high side, but if you’re a gym member (if you’re local), you get 20% off if you show your membership card. This is my go to spot if I’m looking for an espresso caffeine boost right before I hit the gym.

As this place is attached to the Fairmont, it goes without saying that the food here is excellent as well. They do great breakfast options and sandwiches, with most items locally sourced.

My favourite is the avocado toast, but they have plenty of great options. This is also a great place to hang out when the weather is terrible. I love sitting here and working or even coming here with a few friends and playing the giant Scrabble game they have on the wall.

7. Banff National Perk

  • Address: 220 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1A1
  • Phone number: (403) 762-8642
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday – 7am- 9pm, Friday-Saturday – 7am-10pm

Banff National Perk is a small coffee shop located inside the Bear Street Mall on Bear street. It has limited coffee and food offerings, like sausage rolls and pies.

It’s not usually a place I come very often, as I prefer some of the other shops, but the vibe is relaxed and it’s a great place to come if you’re trying to escape the crowded shops elsewhere. Or if you’re in a rush and don’t want to stand in line, it’s a good option.

8. Bare Bistro by Fedoras cakes and bakes

Bare Bistro is a hidden gem in Banff, and you’ll find it in the Industrial compound as you leave town. Not generally on the way to most places, but if you’re heading out to the mountains, it can easily be added to the route.

Bare Bistro makes easily the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had, so I will regularly detour out of the way for that.

The Best Chai in Banff

The coffee is supplied by Banff Coffee Roasters, so it’s a great place to try locally roasted coffee. BUT more importantly, Bare Bistro makes a fresh, homemade chai if that’s your cup of tea (excuse the pun). The owners are originally from India and are absolutely fantastic chefs, so this is about as authentic as you can possibly find in Banff. It is absolutely delicious.

9. Maclab Bistro

Maclab is one of my favourite places to come for coffee in Banff, especially when it’s peak busy season here. With so much of Banff being absolutely packed with tourists, Maclab Bistro at the Banff Centre is often the last bastion of hope for a quiet coffee.

It’s also a fantastic place to set up with your laptop or work. They have plenty of outlets, and it’s quiet enough that you can work undisturbed for hours without issue.

In terms of the coffee, it’s fairly generic stuff, but they have a selection of fancy coffees on offer (lattes, cappuccino etc). I don’t come here for the coffee, I come here to work in peace.

I’m obviously risking this by disclosing my best kept secret, but it absolutely deserves a mention on this list!

10. Happy Camper Cafe

  • Address: 545 Banff Ave #1B5, Banff, AB T1L 1B5
  • Phone number: (403) 762-2112
  • Website: https://canaltalodge.com/
  • Hours: Every day 7am-10pm

I’ve been here a number of times but had no idea it was called Happy Camper Cafe until I googled it! This mini cafe is located in the lobby of the Canalta Lodge Hotel and is generally operated by the hotel front desk staff when they have a spare second.

The coffee is good and the offerings are varied enough to keep it interesting. Still no specialty blends or roasts, but it’s decent coffee if you’re at the North end of town.

They also double as a hotel bar, so you can definitely irish that coffee if you’re feeling like you need it.

11. Buffalo Mountain Cafe

If you’re staying up on Tunnel Mountain, there is actually at least one coffee shop up there. But don’t say it too loudly because I love how quiet it is!

Buffalo Mountain Cafe (formerly Cilantro) is located at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, in a small Cabin along the main Tunnel Mountain Road.

They do quick drinks to go, but the real beauty of this place is the food they offer to go. Currently (as of March 2023), there’s a pizza and flatbread popup in there with plenty of great varieties, as well as chili bowls and soups.

In the past they did one of the best truffle grilled cheeses I’ve ever had, so the food is pretty ridiculously good.

On the plus side, this is way out of the way of downtown, so you can really avoid the crowds by coming here.

12. Castle Mountain Coffee

This is a bit of a strange one to include on the list, because unless you’re planning to travel up the Banff Gondola or hike up Sulphur Mountain, you won’t find this coffee shop.

Castle Mountain Coffee is located in the interpretive Centre on the top of Sulphur Mountain. It’s a tiny little booth that offers a few different kinds of coffee, roasted beans and a few different pastries and baked goods.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I usually stop in here after I’ve just hiked up a mountain, but the coffee and snacks here are always amazing. Last time we hiked Sulphur mountain, we had an amazing croissant with goat cheese, and a pizza pretzel. The coffee comes from the local roasters, Banff Roasting Company.

I love this coffee shop, not because the coffee is out of this world (it’s not half bad though), but because it’s one of the few places in Banff that you can hike and have a warm drink waiting for you at the top!

Coffee Chains in Banff

I don’t really want to dig too much into the various chains we have in Banff, because they’re pretty much the same anywhere you go, but nevertheless, here are the chains we have:

  • Good Earth Coffee Shop
  • Starbucks
  • Tim Hortons
  • Second Cup
  • McDonalds

Best Coffee Shops in Lake Louise

Lake Louise is a tiny area, so there aren’t a great deal of coffee shops to choose from. Obviously most restaurants serve coffee, and you can grab a cup of coffee at the ski hill, but I’ll try and focus on cafes and somewhat dedicated “coffee shops” in Lake Louise

1. Trailhead Cafe

  • Address: 101 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0
  • Phone number: (403) 522-2006
  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/lakelouiseAB/
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday – 7am- 5pm, Friday-Sunday – 7am-6pm

The Trailhead Cafe in Lake Louise is my absolute favourite place to go in Lake Louise for a coffee and a snack, and is definitely one of the best coffee shops in Banff National Park.

I used to do daily tours of Banff, and we would stop for lunch here every single day. The sandwiches are out of this world, and the coffee is decent as well. They do all sorts of interesting specialty coffees here (think different kinds of chocolate and syrups). There are no specialty roasts but this is a great place to get a good snack/meal and a drink on the go.

As far as food goes, the Reuben is by far my favourite sandwich in Banff. My arteries are probably lined with sauerkraut.

2. Laggan’s Mountain Bakery and Delicatessen

  • Address: 101 Village Rd Building B, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0
  • Phone number:(403) 522-2017
  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/lllaggans/
  • Hours: Monday-Friday – 7am- 5pm, Saturday-Sunday – 7am-6pm

Laggan’s is another deli/coffee shop in Lake Louise Village that offers less complicated food and drink. Think pizza by the slice, basic cold cuts sandwiches, pies as well as a wide variety of cookies and treats (the nanaimo bar is always great). The coffees are fairly basic, but the line moves faster and I generally go here if Trailhead Cafe is too busy or if I just want to grab a very quick snack and walk out the door.

3. The Guide’s Pantry

The Guide’s Pantry is the latest iteration of the coffee shop in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. It used to have seating but since it was redesigned it is more of a grab and go cafe. They have a wide selection of coffees and pastries, and although it’s all very pricey, the quality speaks for itself. Again, no specialty coffee blends but every kind of coffee you can imagine.

As far as snacks go, some of the options in the fridge are ludicrously priced, but the pastries are amazing. The ham and cheese croissant, and the chocolate pretzel are both fantastic. The cookies are also unbelievably good.

It’s also a licensed cafe, where you can even buy mini bottles of champagne if you’re celebrating a special occasion!

The Best Restaurants in Banff

Looking for something a bit more filling than coffee? We’ve written a massive guide to all the best restaurants in Banff here. Make sure you check it out!

Final thoughts

There are so many great places to grab a coffee and a snack in Banff, so hopefully this helps you find the best one to suit your tastes! If I was really pushed to name the best coffee shop in Banff, I’d have to say Whitebark or Wild Flour, but I visit others often as well if I’m in the right mood!

The Best Coffee Shops in Banff National Park - LOCAL\'S GUIDE

Written byRobin

About us

About us

Hi, we’re Rob and Louise! We’re obsessed with travel and love to share our adventures! We’re a UK/Canadian couple that currently lives Banff, Canada.

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