The Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurants in Banff – The Local’s Guide

Written byRobin

Before we begin, you should know that this isn’t just any old travel blogger’s guide to the best restaurants in Banff; it’s a local’s guide based on almost 40 years of (combined!) experience in Banff.

40 years is a long time, and seeing as we’re both terrible in the kitchen and refuse to cook, that’s a hell of a lot of eating out at restaurants. So trust us, we’ve had time to consider these recommendations very, very carefully.

40 years, 40 recommendations!

Please note, this list is full of our absolute favourite places to eat in Banff, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the only options out there. If we didn’t mention a certain restaurant, it doesn’t mean we hate it; you’ll know if we hate it. Let’s dive in!

Note: This is a really, really long post (almost 6,000 words), so I recommend using the contents to narrow down your search.

Just to preface, this post is not sponsored and all of our recommendations are based on our own experience. We love food, eat everything and will try any restaurant at least once (good or bad), usually twice.

Contents

Best Asian Food in Banff

This list starts with our favourite broad genre of cuisine; Asian Food!

There are dozens of great asian restaurants in Banff, but some are definitely better than others.. and (tooting our own horns a little here) we think we’re pretty good judges.

If eating noodles were like record sales, Louise would have gone multi, multi platinum by now.

Anyway, we all know that Asian food isn’t really a category, so let’s carve it up (no pun intended) and get started!


Best Chinese Restaurant in Banff

Silver Dragon Restaurant

Banff’s best Chinese restaurant (in our opinion) is the Silver Dragon Restaurant at the South end of town (by the Fairmont Banff Springs).

The menu is huge and they have a great selection of Chinese food. My favourites are the Beef Ho Fan, Wor Wonton Soup, and crispy fried noodles, but I’m pretty basic. It’s generally not cheap though, and you can expect to spend $15-20 per dish.

For less adventurous diners, you can also find the typical anglicized Chinese dishes like Crispy duck pancakes, Ginger Beef (a Canadian classic invented in Calgary), sweet and sour chicken etc.

I’d recommend making a reservation because they generally host large Chinese bus tours that all arrive at the same time. If you time it badly, you might not get a seat.

Note: this isn’t Hong Kong style, don’t expect milk tea or typical HK style dishes.

Other good Chinese Restaurants in Banff:

Bamboo Garden on Banff Ave – Lovely family owned Chinese and Thai Fusion restaurant in Banff. Great if you want to get a mix of cuisines, and easily walkable (read Best Thai restaurants for more info)


Best Korean Restaurant in Banff

Seoul Country Korean Restaurant

Seoul Country Korean Restaurant is actually the only Korean Restaurant in Banff, so no need to look any further. The food is great and extremely popular with tourists; especially Korean tourists (which is always a good sign!).

Seoul Country has a nice selection of Korean dishes; my favourite being the Jap-chae. It’s a relatively small restaurant so it can get quite busy. Either book in advance or walk in and don’t be surprised if you have to wait.

Seoul Country is very centrally located in the Banff Town Centre Mall, so it’s very easy to find on foot.

Insider tip: Park behind the building at the Bear St. parking lot and walk in the back of the building.

  • Address: 215 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B1
  • Website: None
  • Phone no: (403) 762-4941
Seoul Korean BBQ Banff
Seoul Korean BBQ Banff / Photo credit: Let’s Om Nom

The Best Japanese Restaurant in Banff

This is a tough one, because Japanese restaurants are something that Banff actually does very well, and we’re spoilt for choice.

I’m also kind of reluctant to say anything at all, because the one thing they all seem to have in common is that they’re tiny and always super busy. If they get any busier I might actually cry.

But I’ll soldier on. Here are our favourites:

Chaya

Chaya is a small, Japanese restaurant owned by good family friends of ours. Since it appeared in Banff next to McDonalds a few years back, it’s been almost constantly full.

The restaurant does certain things so incredibly well that we virtually always order the same thing. The Thai Tofu is absolutely fantastic (a totally unique dish with a peanut dipping sauce), and we order the Tan Tan Noodles every time.

They also do small batches of takeout sushi that usually run out within a couple of hours of opening. The Onigiri (rice balls) are exceptional and a great snack to have on the go (if you can get one in time). These are all pre-made, so you can walk in and grab one without having to wait or sit down.

Chaya is undoubtedly one of our favourite restaurants in Banff

Note: The restaurant is absolutely tiny, so don’t even bother trying to get a reservation with a big group unless you’re visiting in the off season. Also, trying to get in here with a stroller is a nightmare and we frequently see people struggling in the tiny space.

Also, this isn’t a good place to have a leisurely lunch. You might get hurried along if it’s particularly busy and you’re taking too long.

  • Address: 118 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
  • Website: None
  • Phone no: (403) 760-0882
Chaya Banff – Teriyaki Chicken Don

Ramen Arashi

I didn’t mention the ramen at Chaya, because if you’re looking for the best ramen in Banff you have to go to Ramen Arashi. They have a small selection of delicious ramen bowls to choose from; bowls range from garlic to Shoyo to Tan Tan to Devil’s spicy.

If you’re a spice lover, you can get the spicy ramen bowl and choose from levels 1-3, and even push it up to a level 5 if you’re feeling particularly brave.

Ramen Arashi Tan Tan Men
Ramen Arashi Tan Tan Men – THE BEST RAMEN IN BANFF

Last time we were there, one of our crew asked about the level 5 spice and the waitress seemed genuinely concerned for our safety. Do at your own risk!

Ramen Arashi also has a small takeout store downstairs (by the fudgery), if you want to grab something quick to go!

  • Address: 3rd floor #213 Sundance Mall, 215 Banff Ave Box 4153, Banff, AB T1L 1E6
  • Website: None
  • Phone no: (403) 760-0908)
  • View the Menu

Sushi Bistro Banff

For the best sushi in Banff, your best option is probably the Sushi Bistro Banff. The sushi is decent and tasty, but I wouldn’t honestly go out of my way for it. Seeing as we’re so far from the sea, I generally feel that sushi here can’t compete with what you might find in Vancouver or anywhere coastal.

It’s also pretty expensive for what you get. As a result, we rarely go out for sushi in Banff unless specifically requested by visiting friends. You can also try Sushi House Banff if you want something gimmicky for the kids (the sushi comes around on a little steam train).

Unfortunately, now that our old favourite all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant has closed down, there’s nowhere in Banff that really offers good value sushi any more.

Similarly, Banff’s best sushi restaurant in the Fairmont Banff Springs is now closed permanently too, meaning there are few decent options left.

  • Address: 208 Caribou St, Banff, AB T1L 1A6
  • Website: None
  • Phone no: (403) 762-4000
Sushi Bistro Banff
Sushi Bistro Banff

Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Banff

Banff only has one option for Vietnamese food (Pho House), and honestly we’re not too impressed. We’ve eaten a lot of pho in our time, and generally eat it whenever and wherever we can, so we’re reasonably qualified to be good judges.

Normally a Vietnamese menu is full of interesting soup variations and exciting words that I’d embarrass myself trying to say correctly. At Pho House, you can basically order… *insert meat* pho.

Maybe this is pandering to the type of tourists we get in Banff, but only selling generic Pho was a huge red flag for us, as self proclaimed Vietnamese food connoisseurs. Our Vietnamese friends rolled their eyes when they saw the menu. There’s no No Bun bo hue, Pho dau bo, Pho dac biet etc. Pretty disappointing, honestly.

There are mixed reviews online, but I personally found the broth to be a little bland. If you want good Pho and have the time, head to Calgary’s Pho Hoai (downtown) or Pho 26 (Forest Lawn) instead.

Anyway, all of that to say that there is an option if you’re really craving pho in Banff, but at this point, we can’t personally recommend it. At some point, we’ll go back and give it another chance.

  • Address: 211 Banff Ave 3rd Floor, Banff, AB T1L 1H1
  • Website: None
  • Phone no: (403) 762-0334

Best Thai Restaurant in Banff

For Thai food, Banff has two options. Pad Thai restaurant at the South end of town (located in the Clock Tower Mall), and Bamboo Garden located more centrally along Banff Avenue.

Personally, we like to eat at Bamboo Garden because you can order a mixture of Thai and Chinese food at the same time, however Pad Thai is probably the more traditional option that only serves Thai food.

I particularly like the Thai curries at Bamboo Garden and the Thai Iced Tea. Pad Thai serves fantastic bubble tea.

Bamboo Garden

Pad Thai Restaurant


Best Indian Restaurant in Banff

There are two indian restaurants in Banff; Indian Curry House and Masala Authentic Indian Cuisine. Both serve decent indian cuisine but are completely different, depending on your preference.

While I’ve generally been quite disappointed by Indian food in Canada (relative to my experiences in the UK), I’ve eaten at both of these spots on occasion and have rarely been disappointed. Although I can’t speak to their authenticity, I’ve generally found the dishes to be tasty and full of flavour.

Indian Curry House

With an incredibly generic name like Indian Curry House, you might be forgiven for thinking that they’d have a bland, utlra-westernized menu suitable for first time dabblers, however that’s far from true.

In fact, I actually find the menu far more interesting than most I’ve come across in Canada; Indian Curry House seems to have more of a Southern Indian influence (which is more unusual in my experience), and you’ll find less common dishes like Dosas and Idli on the menu. Of course, they also have the more common curry dishes like butter chicken or tandoori chicken. They also have a good selection of beers, like Kingfisher, that one might typically order with Indian food.

Masala Authentic Indian Cuisine

Masala is a great option if you’re feeling really hungry as it offers a lunch buffet. The buffet doesn’t offer a huge selection of dishes, but the ones they offer are generally crowd pleasers. If you opt for the a la carte option, there’s more variety (including even bison curry!).

Side note: If you do go for the buffet, please note that if you see an item that kind of looks like donut holes floating in syrup (called gulab jamun), it is a dessert. Might sound obvious, but we’ve watched way too many tourists ladle them all over their curries.

  • Address: 229 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1B1
  • Website: http://www.masalabanff.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 760-6612

Best Greek Food in Banff

The Balkan Restaurant

There used to be two amazing options for Greek food in Banff, but now there’s only really one (RIP Barpa Bill’s Burgers).

The Balkan restaurant on Banff Avenue serves absolutely delicious greek food and is perfect for big appetites. Moussaka, Spanikopita, lamb chops, hummus, vine leaves; everything you could ever need from a Greek meal.

Balkan Greek Restaurant Banff – one of the pricier menus in Banff, but great atmosphere and food! Photo credit: Balkan Restaurant

If you’re feeling really hungry, the Ultimate Greek Feast is a worthy challenge. Last time we ate there, we shared a 2 person Ultimate Greek Feast between four and still had leftovers. Perfect after a long day of hiking in Banff!


The Best Steak Restaurants in Banff

Alberta is world famous for it’s steak (they don’t name Calgary “Cow-Town” for nothing!), so any discerning foodie needs to stop in at a steak restaurant while they’re staying in Banff.

In my mind, there are 4 places you can visit for a decent steak in Banff;

Chuck’s Steakhouse

Chuck’s is the newest steakhouse on the block in Banff, and is the place to get your highest quality beef. All of their beef is locally sourced and in-house dried, including their Alberta Wagyu beef. Steaks range from around $40 to $100 (CAD).

The steaks are great and the views from the restaurant are even better!

  • Address: 101 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B3
  • Website: https://www.chuckssteakhouse.ca
  • Phone no: (403) 762-4825

Saltlik Rare Steakhouse

When it comes to steaks, it’s a toss up for me between Saltlik and Chucks, but when it comes to sides and accompaniments, I think Saltlik takes first place; truffle mushroom mac and cheese and lobster mac and cheese, to name but a couple!

The steak at Saltlik is still fairly expensive, but won’t cost you as much as Chuck’s.

Personally, I think I prefer eating at Saltlik’s steakhouse in Banff unless I’m feeling particularly flush with cash… In which case, I’d probably head back to Chucks. Having said that, Saltlik is a chain restaurant whereas Chuck’s is unique to Banff.

Ultimately, either could quite comfortably take the coveted title of the best steak in Banff.

  • Address: 221 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1B3
  • Website: http://www.saltlik.com/banff/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2467

1888 Chop House

If it’s in the Fairmont, you can probably bet that it’s going to be good. 1888 Chop House is a hidden gem on the Banff Culinary Scene, as even when you’re inside the Banff Springs Hotel you could walk right past it without even realizing it!

1888 is a sneaky, award winning steakhouse that serves only the finest locally sourced Beef and seafood. It also follows the Fairmont tradition of serving incredible cocktails, although not surprisingly, they’re quite expensive.

  • Address: 405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4 (Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel)
  • Website: https://www.1888chophouse.com
  • Phone no: (403) 762-6860

Melissa’s MissSteak

Melissa’s MissSteak or Mel’s to locals, is also known for it’s excellent surf and turf menu. It’s far more casual than the other two steak restaurants and offers a much simpler menu. We like to go there once or twice a year for the reasonably priced lobster!

Mel’s is also one of the best breakfasts in Banff, offering a variety of eggs, pancakes and crepes. Breakfast is served until 4pm!

2020 update: Melissa’s is currently closed for renovations, and may close permanently depending on how their lease dispute pans out.

  • Address: 218 Lynx St, Banff, AB T1L 1A9
  • Website: https://www.melissasmissteak.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-5511

Other Decent Steak Options in Banff

For other more reasonably priced and not quite as gourmet steak options in Banff, The Keg is always a crowd pleaser (my mum likes to eat here every time she visits).

The Keg is a Canadian chain that serves consistently excellent steaks. They also have an annual Dungeness crab week which is usually circled in our calendars in heavy red pen.

There are two Keg restaurants in Banff, one opposite McDonald’s and the other in the North end of town inside the Banff Caribou Lodge.

You can also find decent steaks in virtually every pub in town, and several places do Steak Tuesdays where you can find a super cheap steak sandwich on special (Tommy’s Bar and Elk & Oarsmen, for example)


Best Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Banff

Nourish Bistro

After a massive list of steak restaurants in Banff, I think we need to balance it out with something for the veggies and vegans.

While you can find vegetarian and vegan food on most menus in Banff, there is absolutely no doubt that Nourish Bistro is the undisputed best you’ll find in Banff.

Nourish Bistro – incredible food and one of our favorites, even though we aren’t vegan!

Even for non-vegetarians, the restaurant seriously holds up. We regularly visit Nourish for the incredible cashew Mac and Squeeze and the tofu curry, and don’t even get me started on the world famous nachos with 27 ingredients (including strawberries?!).

Just check out their website if you don’t believe me. Nourish is not only the best vegetarian or vegan restaurant in Banff, it’s just straight up incredible food. Period.

Expect long lines in the summer or to have to reserve a table in advance

Eddie Burger + Bar

It might sound ridiculous that a burger restaurant is one of the best options for vegetarians and vegans, but at Eddie Burger Bar, literally any burger on the menu can be ordered with a BEYOND (plant based) meat burger instead of a beef burger. Vegan heaven!

(I can’t vouch that they cook the burgers on different cookers, but I assume they’ve thought of that. Worth asking if you’re unsure)

  • Address: 137 Banff Ave #6, Banff, AB T1L 1B7
  • Website: www.eddieburgerbar.ca/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2230

Cheap eats in Banff

If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful to eat in Banff, then there are still options for you.

The Old Spaghetti Factory

Our absolute favourite place to eat is the Old Spaghetti Factory above Cascade Plaza. It’s a Canadian Italian restaurant chain with serious bang for it’s buck.

Seriously.

Every single item on the menu comes with a soup or salad, ice cream, unlimited sourdough bread and a tea or coffee. All of the mains are between roughly $15-$25.

Louise had her first job here when she was 14, and is still absolutely obsessed with the place. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating when I say that we’re probably here once or twice a month.

  • Address: F2 Cascade Shops, 317 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1C1
  • Website: http://www.oldspaghettifactory.ca
  • Phone no: (403) 760-2779

The Food Court in Cascade Plaza

Head to the basement in the Cascade Plaza in Banff and you’ll find a tiny food court with a few cheap takeout options. It’s not fancy, but it’s better value for money than most places in Banff. There’s a flatbread company, a Subway, a Chinese restaurant, a shawarma spot, a Dairy Queen, Edo and more.

It’s a fantastic place to go if you’re on a budget.


Fine Dining in Banff

With Banff’s history as a swanky mountain town for rich Victorians, it has an illustrious history of decadent restaurants. Fortunately, you can still find plenty of great options today in Banff and Lake Louise. Here are a few of our favourites:

The Eden Restaurant

The Eden is arguably Banff’s best restaurant. In Canada, there are literally ONLY 3 five diamond restaurants, and the Eden is one of them.

The service is beyond comparison in Banff, and the maître d’ will make you feel like you’re the only people in the restaurant.

the eden restaurant banff

Every meal is a different sensory experience and each course is interspersed with bonus treats and amuse bouches. There’s even an 8 course taster menu with wine pairings. Even the bread comes paired with unusual butters and oils.

  • Address: 300 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J2
  • Website: http://www.banffeden.com/
  • Phone no: 1 (403) 762-1865

The Waldhaus and Walliser Stube Restaurants

The Waldhaus and Walliser Stube restaurants both deserve mentions as some of Banff and Lake Louise’s best fine dining experiences. However, as they’re both fondue restaurants I’m going to leave their description until the fondue section.

The Bison Restaurant

Not quite as fancy as the other’s we’ve mentioned, but equally as delicious. The Bison offers a seasonal menu of gourmet dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Try the signature Braised Bison shortribs or one of their tasty desserts (like the funky banana split). They also have a wide selection of beautiful and tasty cocktails.

The Bison also serves a popular brunch on Sundays which, if the sun is out, you can enjoy on their spacious balcony. You might think that the bison is only for meatheads, but they actually serve a range of vegan options, including vegan huevos rancheros for brunch!

Three Ravens Restaurant

One of Banff’s hidden gems. If you didn’t know the Banff Centre existed, you would never ever find the Three Ravens Restaurant. Which is surprising, because it’s voted as one of Open Table’s top 100 restaurants in Canada!

Their exciting menu features dishes like Octopus Carpaccio and Organic Alberta Red Fife Saffron Pappardelle, along with a wide selection of locally sourced meats.

Aside from the food, you’ll have one of the most breathtaking and highest views of the Bow Valley (second only to the SkyBistro up Sulphur Mountain).

The Sky Bistro

The Sky Bistro burst onto the scene recently as the place to go for a spectacular meal with a view. The restaurant sits atop Sulphur Mountain, with panoramic views of the Bow Valley. To reach the restaurant, you’ll have to take the Sulphur Mountain Gondola.

The cheapest way to eat here and experience the gondola is to purchase the Sky Experience Package, which costs $108 and includes a gondola ticket, an appetizer and an entree of your choice. It also includes gratuities. click here to book!


Best Poutine Restaurant* in Banff

Banff Poutine

If you just want straight up, no nonsense, authentic Quebecois poutine in Banff, then Banff Poutine is the most obvious choice. But Banff Poutine isn’t a sit down spot.

You can choose from various options including smoked meat, Galvaude (chicken and peas), ground beef and onions, bacon and onions and more. You can also buy Montreal smoked meat sandwiches too!

For years, the best Quebec style poutine has actually been found in Canmore, at 514 Poutine. However as this post is just about Banff, we won’t mention that 😉

Of course, many, many Canadian restaurants serve their own fancy poutines. Take The Bison, for example; they serve Elk Poutine with braised elk ragu, truffle, gnocchi, ricotta, cheese curds and crispy onions. Yum!

  • Address: 223 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1E7
  • Website: http://www.banff-poutine.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 985-3333

Best Casual Pubs in Banff

Banff has a reputation for being a party town, so it’s pretty flush with pubs. They’re a great place to grab a hearty meal after a day on the slopes or after hours of hiking.

The first thing to know is that for the most part, pubs in Canada are generally casual sports bars, not old timey pubs where you can sit down for a roast dinner. That means that the menus tend to be full of things like burgers, wings, steak sandwiches, pizza, onion rings etc., not roasts, with sports playing on big screens on every wall.

We actually have a few favourite pubs in Banff, depending on our mood.

St. Jame’s Gate

St. Jame’s Gate is an Irish pub that actually does serve food close to British pub food. It’s probably the only place in Banff that you can find bangers and mash, steak and ale pie and other British classics.

It was also the first place I ever tried pulled pork or sweet potato fries, so they serve Canadian food too!

Plenty of great beers on tap too.

  • Address: 207 Wolf St, Banff, AB T1L 1C2
  • Website: stjamesgatebanff.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-9355

The Elk & Oarsman

I wouldn’t exactly write home about the food here, but they do do a great deal on steak sandwiches on certain days! It’s a small, cozy bar that serves all the usual beers, and it won’t break the bank. Very casual.

  • Address: 119 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B6
  • Website: www.elkandoarsman.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-4616

Banff Ave Brewing Co.

This is probably my favourite pub in Banff. The food is great (my favourite is the fried chicken sandwich), and they actually brew their own beer, so technically it’s a brewery.

Banff Brew Co Patio / Photo credit: SkiBig3

It’s also one of the few places in Banff that serves food later in the evening (until 11pm), so we often come here if we’re getting back late from the mountains.

It goes without saying that the beer here is awesome, and it’s perfectly located on Banff Ave so you can stumble home afterwards!

  • Address: 110 Banff Ave #2, Banff, AB T1L 1A9
  • Website: banffavebrewingco.ca/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-1003

Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub

Tommy’s is a small pub located centrally on Banff Avenue, underneath The Balkan Restaurant. They can be proud of their homemade soups and and sauces, but the real jewel in Tommy’s crown is it’s daily steak sandwich deal for $10.95….say no more.

  • Address: 120 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1A4
  • Website: None
  • Phone no: (403) 762-8888

Best Gastropubs in Banff

Earl’s Kitchen + Bar

If you’re looking for something more akin to a gastopub, Banff has limited options. I’d say Earls is probably your best bet, but it’s a chain you can find virtually everywhere in Canada. Great food and drinks, but not something unique to Banff!

  • Address: 299 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T0L 0C0
  • Website: earls.ca
  • Phone no: (403) 762-4414

The Waldhaus Pub

This is possibly Banff’s best kept secret. If you like large steins of German beer, schnitzel and strudel, this is the place for you. That’s without even mentioning the fondue (because we’ll get to that later!)

Definitely on the expensive end (as it’s part of the Fairmont), but a great place to come to escape the crowds and enjoy some of the best views in Banff.

  • Address: 405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4
  • Website: fairmont.com/banff-springs/dining/waldhaus-restaurant/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2211

Best Canadian Cuisine Restaurants

Whenever people come to Canada and tell me they want to try Canadian cuisine, I generally can’t give very good recommendations. Typically “Canadian food” constitutes burgers, wings and poutine.

In Banff, you can find that style of cuisine at virtually every pub, especially the ones mentioned above.

Park Distillery

On the other hand, if you want something a little different, you could try Park Distillery, which serves a campfire inspired menu. BBQ and campfire food is very Canadian, so this is probably your best option.

Our favourites include the “Mess Hall Standard”, which is basically a giant plate of BBQ meat and sides, and the cornbread with maple butter.

Of course, Park Distillery is also famous for its cocktails and spirits, but this post is all about the best food in Banff!

  • Address: 219 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1A7
  • Website: www.parkdistillery.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-5114

Native American or Indigenous Food

It obviously goes without saying that campfire food isn’t actually real Canadian food. Real Canadian food is, of course, Native American cuisine, but unfortunately, it’s considerably harder to come by.

The only places that I’m aware of, where you can consistently try native foods like Bannock (traditional fried bread), Pemmican (Ground dried meat, fat, and berries) or other native inspired dishes are the Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary and Head-smashed-in-Buffalo-jump (South of Calgary).

You can also find the odd item on restaurant menus ( at the Fireside Lounge at the Marmot Lodge in Jasper, for example).


Best Fondue in Banff

Fondue has become increasingly popular in Banff over the years, and although you might find it on a few menus, there are really only three places worth mentioning:

The Walliser Stube

The Walliser Stube is an Austrian restaurant located in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Their fondue is out of this world, and the most indulgent option of all is the Chateau experience ($98 + GST).

You’ll start with a delicious cheese, truffle and mushroom fondue, which even by itself is incredibly filling. Next, you’ll be served a staggeringly large chateaubriand steak course, and then finally, an enormous Toblerone dessert fondue.

Walliser Stube Restaurant in Lake Louise – the BEST fondue we’ve ever had!

It’s absurdly filling. We each had our own, but in hindsight, one between two would have been more than enough.

The Waldhaus Restaurant

We’ve already mentioned the Waldhaus already a couple of times, but the main thing we love the Waldhaus for is its fondue. Similar to the Walliser Stube, you can gorge yourself on their delicious “Alpine Cheese Fondue” ($88); a concoction of emmental, gruyere, kirsch, white wine and more. Served with vegetables and potatoes with the option of adding charcuterie for an additional charge ($21).

It’s heaven.

They also serve Toblerone fondue for dessert, much like the Walliser Stube.

  • Address: 405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4
  • Website: fairmont.com/banff-springs/dining/waldhaus-restaurant/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2211
Waldhaus Restaurant in Banff located at the Fairmont Banff Springs

The Grizzly House

The Grizzly House is one of the most infamous restaurants in Banff. It’s as delicious as it is bizarre, and you’re sure to have a unique experience if you visit.

If you opt for the fondue experience, you’ll start with a delicious cheese fondue, followed by a meat course, where you can opt for standard beef, a variety of canadian meats (like elk and bison), or exotic meats like shark, crocodile and ostrich. Finally, a toblerone fondue for dessert.

For the meat course, you cook your own meats on a hot plate in front of you. A word of caution though; you and all of your clothes will leave stinking of oil, so don’t wear your favourite clothes.

The Grizzly House has a somewhat sordid past as a (rumour has it) swingers’ club. As a result, each table has a telephone, allowing you to make and receive (mostly incredibly awkward) calls to/from the other diners. Be warned, it can get a little wearisome if people are repeatedly calling you… but it can also be very entertaining.

  • Address: 207 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
  • Website: banffgrizzlyhouse.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-4055
Grizzly House Fondue Banff – make friends with all the other tables!

Best Pizza in Banff

Bear Street Tavern

As far as pizzas go in Banff, most options are decidedly ‘meh’. There is one spot, however that is worth mentioning; The Bear Street Tavern.

Their menu is small, but their pizzas are absolutely top notch, not to mention creative. My absolute favourite is the Godfather, but you can’t really go wrong. This summer they had a $10 pizza special if you dined in after 5pm!

Bear Street also pairs each pizza with a bottle of honey and a bottle of chili oil. At first putting honey on a pizza seems baffling… until you try it. Surprisingly it works really, really well.

Finally, I can’t write about Bear St. Tavern without mentioning their fish tacos, which are the best I’ve found in Banff, and their excellent selection of beers and cocktails. Definitely one of the best and most popular restaurants in Banff (expect long waits in summer).

Bear St. Tavern Pizza
The delicious Wheeler Hut pizza

Other pizza options

In a pinch, we usually order Dominos (which you can find anywhere in the world), Boston Pizza (which you can find almost anywhere across Canada) or Aardvarks (our local late night takeout spot). There are others too, but these are the only ones I’d order from if I felt like pizza.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to come across a pizza restaurant in Banff that serves Neapolitan style pizza, although if you’re in Calgary or Cochrane I’d highly recommend PZA Parlour. If you’re in Jasper, head to Famoso.


Late night food options in Banff

It may sound surprising, but aside from a few bars and restaurants, Banff isn’t a very late night town. If you’re looking for food after 10pm, it can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there are a few really good options.

Eddies Burger Bar

Eddie’s is one of the few places that actually serves decent food until late. In fact, their late menu runs from 11.30pm until 1.30pm daily. They serve a delicious range of burgers, which you can pair with truffle fries, poutine or even deep fried pickles.

Eddie Burger has often been our late night saviour after a long day in the mountains.

  • Address: 137 Banff Ave #6, Banff, AB T1L 1B7
  • Website: www.eddieburgerbar.ca/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2230

Banff Ave Brewing Co.

We’ve already mentioned these guys earlier in the post, but if you’re coming in late, you can still order from the regular food menu here until 11pm. After 11pm you’ll still be able to order nachos, poutine and cheese toast.

Aardvark Pizza & Sub

This is where you go after a big night out in Banff. It’s a takeout spot that serves pizza by the slice (or you can order an entire pizza obviously), soft shell tacos, chicken salads and more.

I’ve lost count of how many drunken nights have ended up here, because usually when the clubs close, the party heads to Aardvarks! They also deliver if you’re feeling particularly lazy.


Best Breakfast in Banff

Tooloulous

Everyone always asks us for our recommendations for the best breakfast in Banff, and the answer is always the same; Tooloulous.

Tooloulous is a cajun style seafood and burger restaurant, but what it’s really known for is it’s incredible breakfast. I seriously would rate this as one of the best restaurants in Banff. Whether you’re a fan of savoury or sweet, there’s something for everyone on their enormous menu.

My personal favourite is the sizzling rivalry; eggs benedict with a mixture of crab and shrimp instead of salmon or ham. Louise absolutely loves their peach and pecan waffles with a mountain of whipped cream.

Tooloulous also has an impressive collection of melt-your-mouth hot sauces, so there’s no end to the ways you can spice up your meal.

  • Address: 204 Caribou St, Banff, AB T1L 1A6
  • Website: www.tooloulous.ca/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2633

Best Brunch in Banff

Banff loves brunch! There are a number of hotels and restaurants that offer a brunch special on the weekends, with some only offering sunday brunch.

The Vermillion Room

The Vermillion Room at the Fairmont Banff Springs used to be a staple for us, and we’d often head there for a family Sunday Brunch. Unfortunately they renovated and removed much of the variety that we used to enjoy, and as a result, Tooloulous has pipped them for our top breakfast spot.

Having said that, there is still something for everyone, with a nice variety of breakfast and lunch foods, food for kids, an omelette bar and plenty of tasty desserts. It’s one of the best places to go for a boujee lunch, as you can opt to pair your brunch with mimosas (Buck’s Fizz for my English friends)

  • Address: 405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4
  • Website: www.vermillionroom.com/
  • Phone no: (403) 762-2211

The Bison Restaurant

We’ve already touched on the Bison and it’s Sunday brunch. It’s all a la carte, with spectacular options like sweet potato hash skillet, steak and eggs or even a bison benny!

The Sunday brunch comes with a live band, and on a sunny day, you’ll have the option of sitting out in the sun on their upstairs balcony. Reservations are a good idea!


Overall

Well, if you’ve actually read this from start to finish you deserve a medal. And you’re probably absolutely starving too. Sorry about that.

Hopefully you find our recommendations helpful, but it’s always worth just wandering the streets looking for somewhere spontaneous. That’s generally the reality in summer, and after all this planning, you’ll probably just end up picking anywhere with a free table.

I also want to reiterate that everyone has different tastes, and just because we’ve given a glowing or negative review, you may see things differently. In our eyes, no restaurant is written off for good, and we hope that you can appreciate our honesty about our experiences.

It’s also worth noting that we haven’t delved too far into Banff’s best drinking spots, as we feel that they deserve their very own blog post. Watch this space!

Finally, we’ll keep updating this post periodically as we come up with new genres or change our minds about various places. It’s impossible to be completely objective about these things, and just one good or bad experience can drastically change our opinions.

Best of luck and we’d love to hear your feedback on your restaurant experiences!

Pin This!

the local's guide to the best restaurants in Banff

You May Also Like…

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

36 Shares
Tweet
Pin36
Share