As we have probably mentioned in previous blog posts, we like to think we know Banff and the Bow Valley extremely well. It’s our home turf, and when it comes to Lake Louise our knowledge runs deep. Louise was literally named after the place!
We are also big foodies. While we’re definitely not qualified food critics, we do love to eat and we eat out far more than we should. At this point, we have eaten at virtually every restaurant in Lake Louise (many of them, dozens of times), so we feel like we’re in a good position to make solid food recommendations.
The restaurants in Lake Louise are relatively few, but there is definitely a lot of variety within those restaurants. They range from fairly expensive and fancy dining experiences, to basic grab and go snacks, with everything in between.
I like to think that this guide will have something for everyone, and rather than rank restaurants, I’ll list my favourites in no particular order. With that being said, I will highlight different reasons why you might want to pick each place on any given day.
So, in no particular order; the local’s guide to the best restaurants in Lake Louise!
Best High End Restaurants in the Lake Louise Area
1. The Walliser Stube
Walliser Stube is my top pick for a hearty, fancy dinner in Lake Louise
The Walliser Stube is probably my favourite restaurant in Lake Louise. It’s hearty Austrian cuisine, so we’re talking Schnitzel and fondue, as well as massive entrees like the Chateaubriand.
The Chateaubriand is a steak dinner for two that’s shared. It includes a cheese fondue starter and a chocolate fondue for dessert. It’s the perfect dinner for when you come off the ski hill absolutely ravenous. It’s not cheap, but you will definitely not be leaving hungry.
The last time we ate there, the server convinced us that we could handle one each. That is absolutely not true (at least for most mere mortals). I was absolutely stuffed with fondue before the main course even arrived, and we all left with enormous boxes of leftovers.
The schnitzel is another awesome dish that I can absolutely recommend. And don’t forget to grab yourself a stein of beer while you’re at it!
Walliser Stube is definitely on the fancy end of the dinners you can find in Lake Louise, and it’s very similar to the Waldhaus at the Banff Fairmont. I would say the vibe here is definitely dress up a bit; don’t come in your ski gear, that’s for sure.
Reservations are a good idea!
2. Deer Lodge – Mount Fairview Dining Room
Deer Lodge is where I would recommend to anyone looking to try something very Canadian, and also a little elevated.
Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts owns several hotels, but Deer Lodge is probably our favourite, thanks to their incredible rooftop hot tub. But the other reason I absolutely love any hotel by CRMR, and particularly Deer Lodge, is the food. CRMR has its own ranch in the Prairies, where they raise their own caribou, bison, elk and beef.
That means if you’re looking for something very Canadian (i.e. you want to try some North American game meats), then this is the perfect place to come. The menu does change often, so if this is something you’re after, make sure you check their most up to date menu to double check it’s currently on the menu.
The dishes are also absolutely delicious, and one of their most famous dishes is the charcuterie board, which comes with all sorts of interesting meats, pickles, pâtés and cheeses. They also do a good variety of pastas
If you have more of a sweet tooth, then I’d definitely recommend sticking around for dessert, because their desserts are unbelievable. Last time we visited, they served us an incredible chocolate malt and fries gelato (a nod to a Wendy’s tradition where you dip your fries in a chocolate frosty).
Top pick for elevated cuisine and Canadian meats
3. The Post Hotel Restaurant
While the Post Hotel’s food options are generally reserved for guests, it’s worth mentioning because they will seat you if there’s space. I can tell you, it’s absolutely worth the effort because the food and drink is out of this world at the Post Hotel.
Typically we visit the Post once a year for the Mother’s day brunch; a ridiculously good all you can eat buffet with things like lobster, sashimi and roast beef on offer. Actually on second thoughts, don’t go please, I still need to be able to get a table!
Where the Post Hotel really shines is its fine dining and wine selection. If you are a wine enthusiast, then you absolutely need to make a reservation or book a stay at the Post. They have one of the most comprehensive wine collections in the country, if not the world, with over 25,000 bottles of wine in their cellar and over 2,300 different bottles to choose from.
The Post has won numerous awards for their food and wine selection, including the “Best food in the Americas” award by Conde Nast, and the Wine Spectator Grand award for 21 consecutive years (only one of 4 restaurants in Canada to achieve this!).
The Post is one of the more expensive hotel and food options in Lake Louise, but if it’s within your budget, I would highly recommend giving it a try!
Visit the Post Hotel if you are a food and wine, fine dining connoisseur
4. The Station Restaurant and Heritage Railway Station
You could visit Lake Louise a hundred times and miss this every time if you didn’t know it was there. The Station Restaurant is a vintage restaurant located at Lake Louise’s old passenger train station. While the station is no longer in operation, there’s still an awesome restaurant hidden away behind Lake Louise Village.
The restaurant serves hearty meals with enormous plates of food. Last time we visited, we were treated to the biggest plate of butternut squash ravioli I’ve ever seen. Good portions and yes, expensive, but just Banff expensive, not ridiculous prices.
The vibe is quiet, as I think a lot of people don’t really know about it, and quite almost ‘Victorian’. If you’re from England, it’s reminds me of old National Trust stately homes or tea rooms. I don’t think much has changed since the early days of Banff travel. But this only adds to the appeal for me. It’s dark and cozy, and the food is hearty. Perfect for a quiet winter evening.
Visit the Station Restaurant if you are a looking for a quaint, quiet and cozy restaurant away from the crowds
5. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – Lakeview Lounge
The Fairmont Chateau has many restaurants of course, each expertly designed to fill a niche that their clientele might be craving after a day of hiking or skiing. So which niche does the Lakeview Lounge fill?
The Lakeview Lounge is a great casual restaurant in the Fairmont with spectacular views of Lake Louise. In the summer, the covered patio is also opened up to allow diners an open air option.
The Lakeview Lounge serves elevated cuisine that typically doesn’t fall under any particular cuisine. It’s just good food that tastes delicious!
Last time we visited, I had a delicious salmon fillet with blue potatoes! Currently, the Lakeview Lounge has several pasta dishes and salads, as well as a few heartier dishes like the braised short rib on rice.
The Fairmont is, not surprisingly, quite expensive, but the setting is fantastic and if you can get a table, it’s a great way to eat without having to leave the Lake.
Again, the Fairmont tends to prioritise its guests when it gets busy, so make sure you try to book ahead if possible, and don’t bank on getting a table during peak season if you’re not staying at the Fairmont.
6. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – Fairview Restaurant
To be honest, the Fairview restaurant wears a couple of different hats, depending on when you visit.
Regular dining and drinks
Under normal circumstances, the Fairview Restaurant operates as a typical restaurant and bar. They have a wide selection of menu items and beautiful cocktails to go with them. Make sure you try one of their signature cocktails, which you can actually buy, bottled to go!
The Fairview Restaurant is actually quite high end, and has many premium menu items like Wagyu steak and lobster tail. Dress code is generally smart casual.
Afternoon Tea at the Fairview Restaurant
The Fairview Restaurant also does afternoon tea daily from 12-2.30pm, which we have honestly done far too many times to count.
The afternoon tea is great for a quiet or romantic afternoon away from the crowds. They serve a small selection of delicious sandwiches, jam and scones and some extremely tasty desserts. You’ll also be treated to a huge tea menu, where you can pick your favourite, or go with an expert’s recommendation.
Afternoon tea starts at $75 pp (as of March 2023), but you can add things like mimosas if you’re looking to splurge!
Top pick if you’re looking for a classy meal with a view, or a good steak!
Best Asian Food in Lake Louise
7. Kuma Yama – Lake Louise Ski Resort
If you’re looking for Asian food in Lake Louise, you have three options (two mentioned here – the third is Lake Louise Village Grill and Bar), and they are all vastly different!
Kuma Yama is without doubt the best Japanese food in the Lake Louise area, and you’ll find it at the top floor of the main lodge at the ski hill.
There’s honestly nothing better than a hot bowl of ramen when it’s cold out, so it really goes hand in hand with skiing. Try the Devil’s Thumb Tan Tan ramen for less than $20!
There is also a wide variety of sushi and sashimi on offer. It’s something that’s wholly unexpected from an Alberta ski hill, but absolutely welcome!
Top pick if you’re looking for a hot bowl of delicious ramen in Lake Louise!
8. O2 Bubble Tea Obento
Obento is a quick stop cafe in Lake Louise Village that sells quick bowls of ramen and rice bowls. If you’re a huge ramen fan, I would probably wait until you’re back in Banff and can go to Ramen Arashi (voted in the top 100 restaurants in Canada), but if you just can’t wait to get your noodle fix, this works.
The real reason I stop in here is for the bubble tea, because I’m obsessed and sometimes there’s nothing better than a cold milk tea on a hot day!
They also have a variety of imported snacks and drinks, like Hi-Chew and Pocky, which score big points with kids. I believe this year they are now also selling ice cream cones, which is going to be a big hit in the summer!
Best Coffee Shops/Cafes in Lake Louise
There are 3 great cafes I would put on this list, so here goes:
9. Trailhead Cafe
I used to do tours in Lake Louise and would come here for lunch every day. The number of times I’ve eaten here must be in the hundreds. Want to know why I keep coming back?
The sandwiches at Trailhead Cafe just hit the spot. The reuben (montreal smoked meat, cheese and sauerkraut) is probably my all time favourite sandwich, and I have eaten far more of these than could ever be considered healthy. They are unreal.
I’ve tried virtually all the sandwiches at this point, and the Gobbler is another firm favourite of mine, as well as the salmon Slamwich. You can’t go wrong!
Also, the coffee is just great. They do a large variety of interesting speciality coffees, with things like maple syrup, white chocolate, peppermint etc. It’s all good stuff!
Lines here can be long, but it’s definitely worth the wait for one of their sandwiches.
Trailhead Cafe is my top pick for picking up some food to go!
10. Laggan’s Mountain Bakery and Delicatessen
Laggan’s is (honestly) where I generally head when the line at Trailhead Cafe is too long, but that’s not to say it’s worse. It’s just a different style of food there, and I’m usually more in the mood for what Trailhead Cafe sells. If I’m in a rush, or want something a bit lighter, Laggan’s always hits the spot.
They sell lots of pastries, cakes and cookies, cold cut sandwiches, pizza by the slice, and things like patties, sausage rolls and mac ‘n’ cheese. Sometimes I’m honestly more in the mood for a sausage roll than a full blown sandwich and Laggan’s provides!
They also do decent coffee and teas, as well as plenty of cold drinks.
11. The Guide’s Pantry
The Guide’s Pantry in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is another place I have visited hundreds of times. This is another spot I used to take guests for a breakfast snack every morning after sunrise, before we took off down the Icefields Parkway.
The main reason I loved it so much was because their banana bread was out of this world, and they make a mean mocha.
But they have renovated since those days, and they now have a lot more options for sale. The pastries and baked goods are unreal (try the cheese and ham croissant, or the chocolate pretzel). They also sell light meals in Tupperware, like bolognese or salads. You can also buy alcohol here, if you’re looking for a bottle of bubbly to take out to the lake, for example.
Again, as this is the Fairmont, expect to be refused access on the busier days, so don’t bank on getting your caffeine fix here year round.
Best Restaurant on the Ski Hill
12. The Whitehorn Bistro
In the Lake Louise area, you’re not spoiled for choice when it comes to food on the hill. There is basically one restaurant on the mountain, and that is the Whitehorn Bistro.
To be honest with you, their balcony has one of the most spectacular views in the entire Bow Valley, as you’re directly facing Lake Louise across the valley (as well as about 20 other mountain peaks).
If you visit the Whitehorn Bistro as part of a Gondola sightseeing package in summer, the deal is actually very reasonably priced and comes with a good amount of food. Prices haven’t been released yet for 2023, but in previous years you were looking at about $65 for the gondola, including a $25 food voucher.
In the Winter, this is a great spot to grab a beer and either sit indoors or out on the huge patio. There’s also a small wildlife museum downstairs, where you can see a giant stuffed cougar up close!
Best Pubs and Bars in Lake Louise
Lake Louise is a really small hamlet, so there really aren’t too many watering holes. But here are two!
13. Alpine Social at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Alpine Social is the place at Lake Louise itself that has a true bar feeling. The bar was conceived as a place to reconvene after a hard day of adventuring. Visit and celebrate the day’s achievements by ordering one of their signature cocktails or a delicious meal.
Alpine Social really does have a social feeling to it, as there’s often live music playing. You can even play a game of oversized scrabble on the wall.
Alpine Social has a menu that’s full of high calorie, no nonsense dishes. Dishes include poutine, AAA burger Royale and a Montreal smoked meat sandwich. You won’t leave hungry!
14. Explorers Lounge- Lake Louise Inn
The Explorers Lounge is about as close to a pub or sports bar that you’ll find in Lake Louise.
It’s located in the basement of the Lake Louise Inn, and has a very casual vibe. I’d be very happy to wear my ski gear in here and order a few pints with friends.
The kind of food you’ll find here is Canadian Pub food, so expect things like Buffalo wings, onion rings, burgers, Nachos or even a chicken and leek pot pie.
Plenty of calories at a decent price, and one of the least pretentious places you can find in Lake Louise if you’re not feeling like splurging or dressing up.
15. Banded Peak Base Camp
The Banded Peak Base Camp (bar) is located right at the base of the ski hill at Lake Louise, next to the Glacier Express Chair. It looks like a big wooden shack with a large deck full of picnic tables.
On a sunny ski day, expect the deck to be filled with skiers, chugging pints in between runs. Not much to explain here, but this is a glorious place to hang out if you’re in the mood to socialise with a beer or a few drinks.
Most interesting Place to eat in Lake Louise
Did you know there are two teahouses located high into the mountains surrounding Lake Louise? Both are hidden from view and require a fair bit of hiking to reach.
Each teahouse carries in and hand makes all the food on offer, and sells a variety of teas, sandwiches, soups, cakes and sweet treats. They are absolutely worth the effort if you have time!
Check out this full blog post about the two teahouses to learn how to reach them.
16. The Lake Agnes Teahouse
The Lake Agnes Teahouse is relatively well known and gets extremely busy throughout the summer months (it’s closed in winter). The hike takes about 1-2 hours to reach and the teahouse itself sits on the stunning shore of Lake Agnes (a hidden lake, high above Lake Louise).
17. The Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse
The Plain of Six Glaciers teahouse lies all the way back at the end of Lake Louise, hidden away around the corner. This teahouse boasts incredible views of Victoria Glacier, and a somewhat quieter teahouse experience.
However, this teahouse is a lot further, and will probably take 4-5 hours round trip.
These Teahouses are the best places to eat if you’re looking for an adventure or a snack with a view!
There are still a few more restaurants and cafes in Lake Louise that haven’t been included on this list, but these are all of the restaurants we think are worth knowing about on your trip here!
There really is something for everyone in Lake Louise, but if you’re not thrilled about the options, there is always Banff – only 45 minutes away by car.
Make sure you check out our complete local’s guide to restaurants in Banff as well if you’re heading that way!