If you talk to a bunch of people you'll get a bunch of different answers as to the BEST restaurants in Banff. These are the restaurants in Banff where we go on repeat. We tend to eat out when we're out for a day of hiking, snowshoeing, picture taking or when we have guests visiting the mountains. They are my favourite places to eat in Banff based on the food, friendly service and atmosphere...bonus to the spaces with beautiful views for our guests to enjoy.
First up Coffee of course! Whitebark Cafe is a tiny cafe tucked inside the Banff Aspen Lodge at the beginning of Banff Avenue and offers up the best coffee in Banff, locally made teas and the best housemade baked goods. It's perfect for grabbing on the go for early morning hikes and a lovely spot to sit and enjoy the view when you have more time to linger over a latte. In the summer they have a great outdoor patio fitted with bike racks so if one of your goals is to bike ride the Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff you can park your bike at Whitebark and get fueled up for the ride home. They also have great options for a light lunch with their quiche & frittata daily options with quinoa salad.
Located just 20 minutes outside the Town of Banff halfway between Lake Louise & Banff you'll find the historical Storm Mountain Lodge. Their house made bread, pot pies and burgers are amazing! The perfect treat to stop in on your way to or from a hike or ski. In the winter they keep their restaurant hours limited to week-ends so plan ahead. It's one of our favourite places to eat and enjoy the cozy lodge with wood burning fireplaces and friendly staff.
Park Restaurant & Distillery located on Banff Avenue makes their own in house spirits with imaginative cocktails created from their product. The theme is mountain camp fire food with the focus on roasted meats and Canadian inspired food. Think roasted meat and their creative spin on s'mores for dessert. Park is one of our favourite places to visit with guests from out of town. They have a great view from their patio and their cozy booths make it a perfect spot for visiting. I love their platters for groups of friends where you try a little bit of everything. I also love that you can get brunch everyday from 11am-1pm. They fill up quickly so be sure to make a reservation if you are going on a popular night. A nice bonus is that they have a gift shop with their house made vodka, gin & rye that is beautifully packaged in various sizes making it an easy made in Banff gift to bring home as a souvenir.
High Rollers has in my opinion the best pizza in Banff. They offer 48 beers on tap with a focus on locally made beers perfect for the beer fans who want a tour of Canadian beers. Family friendly during the day it's perfect for rainy days to tuck inside and bowl or play pool while enjoying delicious bowling alley favourites like wings, pizza and waffle fries. Be sure to follow them on instagram because they have some amazing daily specials that are worth planning your meals around.
New to Banff in February 2018 is the delicious, friendly and authentic Ramen Arashi. Located on the second floor of the Sundance Mall in Banff is the tiny Ramen Arashi where you are made to feel welcome and can warm up with flavourful and fresh ramen. A favourite spot on a chilly day.
The Balkan in Banff is a family owned and operated Greek restaurant that offers hearty lunch options with housemade pitas and the decadent "Greek fries" that are sooooo good. Tuesday nights they have a fun rowdy Greek night with belly dancers, ouso and plate smashing. It's one of our favourite lunch spots for when we are ravishingly hungry. It's also a great option for when you have a big group to try to find a place to eat together.
Eddie Burger is a tiny casual spot with milkshakes, poutine and burgers of various themes on the menu. Perfect for when you get a craving for a good burger. Due to it's size it fills up quickly. There is one big booth at the very back that is perfect for a big group if you can snag it.
The Bison just revealed a beautiful new renovation. They have been our favourite spot for Sunday brunch for years and their dinner is well suited for when you want a dress up fancy dinner date with lots of candlelight. Their patio is beautiful in summer and a favourite for Sunday Caesars with locals
A lot of people name Magpie & Stump as one of their favourite restaurants in Banff. They just revealed a new beautiful rooftop patio this summer called El Patio that has a separate menu with delicious tacos, margaritas and flavourful house made paletas (popsicles). It's a fresh modern take on Mexican street food. I love the bold colours and the feeling of being transported to a sunny vacation spot as soon as you step on the patio. This spot was an instant favourite and packed from the moment it opened so it offers a lively spot to drink margaritas and order tacos with groups of friends while you take in a bit of sun.
If you are heading into Canmore check out my blog post on The BEST Places to Eat in Canmore here.