Last updated: March 10, 2022
Banff is known for a lot of things. Dramatic mountain peaks, adventure, turquoise lakes and rivers, world-class skiing and one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the world. This is what attracts upwards of four million people to visit each and every year. With so much adventure, you’re also going to need food and luckily, Banff is also home to some incredible restaurants. In this guide, we’ll fill you in on some of the best Banff Restaurants that you can enjoy on your next trip to Canada’s famous mountain town.
16 of the Best Restaurants in Banff
As one of the most popular tourist towns in all of Canada, there’s no shortage of incredible restaurants. From cheap eats to high-end and from steaks to sushi, there really is something for everyone.
Living in Calgary and being avid skiers, we’ve been to Banff dozens of times. Maybe hundreds. We haven’t eaten at every single restaurant in town but we’ve tried many of them, often re-visiting our favourite ones and enjoying a new one each time we visit. Below, we’ll share with you our favourite Banff restaurants and we’ll continue to add more as we go.
Block Restaurant + Bar
As of now, Block Restaurant + Bar is our favourite restaurant in Banff. It’s small and cozy and leans towards an Asian infusion type of cuisine. It’s not cheap but it’s also not that expensive, and the food is delicious. In addition to the awesome food, they also have an incredible selection of mixed drinks, including some that have won awards during SnowDays. As we mentioned though, this place is quite small and fills up fast. They don’t take reservations so there’s often a waiting list during the busy hours. If you can make it in though, it’s worth it. We haven’t tried every dish on the menu (though we’ve tried more here than at any other restaurant in town) but some of our favourites are the Tako Yaki, Korea BBQ Saikoro Steak, Tokyo Fries, and the Ahi Tuna Tataki. We also loved their Duck Wings and Red Curry Mussels, but we’re not sure those are on the menu anymore.
Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant
Complete with a stargazing retractable roof, beer garden & 25-foot pine tree, this relatively new addition to the vibrant Banff restaurant scene does not disappoint. While we didn’t get to experience the retractable roof this time around (you know, winter), we did get to indulge in their delicious crispy chicharrones with spicy lime ranch, the perfect appetizer to snack on while also indulging in one of their many great craft beers. We really loved their rotating tap feature during our visit, which was a cross between a dark stout and a lager, something I’d really like to see more often. Always on tap, however, is their Pinery Pilsner, Wishing Tree IPA, Happy Trails Pale Ale, Summit Milk Stout, and “The Boss” Brown Ale. What’s great about this restaurant, besides the fact that it’s also a brewery, is that it has such a varied menu. Whether you’re looking for a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich with sour pickles, a delicious pizza with reverse ice-water fermented dough, or something fancier like their Benchmark Steakhouse Striploin served with their famous Million-dollar onion, they have something for everyone. I’m a sucker for a good steak so I went with the striploin, but my wife opted for the Tuna Poke Bowl, which comes with jasmine rice, fresh herbs, avocado, radish, cabbage, edamame beans, roasted corn, tortilla, Fresno citrus vinaigrette, and spicy mayo, something she always enjoys. Conveniently located on beautiful Bear Street, Three Bears is the perfect place for a night out with the boys or a romantic date. They’ve cleverly designed it to suit everyone while making you feel like you’re dining outdoors all year round.
Considering how much we love Block Restaurant + Bar, you can imagine our excitement when they opened up Shoku Izakaya just across the street. Shoku Izakaya is their latest creation and while it certainly brings over some of its top dishes from Block, they’ve really added a stronger Japanese influence this time. It’s also a much bigger place, so if you can’t find a spot at Block, this is the next obvious step. During our visit, we tried their incredible Sashimi Board, which included mouthwatering cuts of Albacore Tuna, Ahi Tuna, Salmon, Ikura (Salmon Roe), Hokkaido Scallop and Hamachi (Yellowtail). After relishing in the taste of the Sashimi Board, we continued to delight our tastebuds with their house-made Pork-Kimchi Gyozas, Steamed Bao Buns, and their Berreta Hangar Steak, which infuses Chimichurri with Wasabi. We figured it was a good time to try something new for dessert as well, opting for their Matcha Blondie Brownie with Black Sesame Ice Cream. We ended up spending three hours here, eating slowly while also enjoying some of the best cocktails in town, such as their Mango Togarashi Mojito, Majin Buu Sour, and Saigon 75. If you’re ever looking to splurge on unique and delicious cocktails, both Block and Shoku Izakaya make great choices.
Masala Authentic Indian Cuisine
Masala is our favourite Indian restaurant in Banff. From the Naan Bread to the Butter Chicken to the Mango Lassis, everything is just packed full of flavour. Although we never miss an opportunity to try Butter Chicken, we did make an effort last time to try some other dishes such as their Beef Samosas, Shrimp Pakora, Lamb Biryani, and Chicken Dahi Wala. Also, I never miss an opportunity for a mouth-watering Gulab Jamun, a sweet dessert always offered in Indian restaurants. Even the crispy papadums with Tamarind chutney is something I look forward to every time we visit. If you love Indian food, do not miss an opportunity to eat at Masala!
Coyotes Southwestern Grill
Tortilla and chicken soup are just some of the meals people rave about at Coyotes Southwestern Grill. We actually met the owner during SnowDays, a popular Banff festival, and tried some of their delicious appetizers and hand-crafted cocktails. Coyotes Southwestern Grill is actually a great place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our first visit was for breakfast and it was the best we’ve had in Banff. We sat down for some mouth-watering Buttermilk Pancakes and West Coast Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, as well as a hot mocha on the side. We returned months later and went for dinner, taking advantage of the recommendations of our friendly waitress. She started us off with Orange Chipotle Prawns, followed by their famous Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas and their new Pulled Pork Enchilada with chocolate mole sauce. These meals were not only huge (in fact, we had leftovers for dinner the next day as well) but also delicious and beautifully plated. People actually commented about the presentation when we shared them on Instagram. Next time we’re in Banff, we’re going back for breakfast as well, because we’ve always wanted to try their Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast. Yum. Whether you make it there for breakfast, lunch, or supper, it’s one of the highest-ranked restaurants in Banff for a reason.
This is one of the newest restaurants in Banff, serving as a sort-of hybrid izakaya with sushi, Japanese BBQ, and other Japanese-style food in a fancy high-end atmosphere. Open daily for dinner until late, the shareable small plates make it a great place to visit with friends or with a date, giving you the opportunity to try a variety of mouth-watering dishes.
The main dining room is truly gorgeous with communal fire tables, lots of wood decor, a long sushi bar and two retro-chic private karaoke rooms for those wanting to sing the night away. During our visit, we managed to try lots of popular items including Crispy Chili Shrimp, Hokkaido Scallop + Pork Belly, and their very popular tempura Kabocha Squash. We also managed to squeeze in some of their delicious sushi rolls including the Spicy Miso King Salmon Press and their Rainbow Press with Mango Mayo before ending it with an interesting Buttermilk Miso Mile-High Pie for dessert. Combined with some tasty cocktails, we had a great evening here and after listening to all the remarks from nearby patrons, we weren’t the only ones who loved this new restaurant. From the presentation to the drinks, this is a great addition for the town of Banff. Without drinks, you can expect to spend around $120 for two people.
The Maple Leaf
It doesn’t get more Canadian than The Maple Leaf Restaurant. Located right in the heart of Banff with mountain views from the second floor, The Maple Leaf features Canadian-inspired cuisine such as Alberta beef & game, fresh seafood from the west coast, and a very extensive Canadian wine list. The Maple Leaf was actually one of the first restaurants Karla and I dined at, way back in 2010. For 10 years, I talked about the mouth-watering salmon I had that night and we finally made it back to try it once again. Although they’ve changed up the flavours a bit, the B.C. Maple Salmon & Prawns is one of the longest-running menu features and it did not disappoint. With a maple dijon glaze, sautéed prawns, chive mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and citrus cream sauce, it’s really hard to make myself try anything else on the menu. The fish is cooked to perfection. However, they’re also known for their steaks, and so we were pretty tempted to try their famous Alberta Cowboy Steak, which features a massive 18oz bone-in ribeye and crisply pork belly, but trying to even share this dish with a full plate of salmon seemed a bit much this time around. Instead, we opted for the Prime Alberta Striploin, which came with sweet creamed corn, chimichurri, chive mash, and shallot jus 55. We ordered ours medium and it was cooked perfectly, making me wish I had two stomachs so I could try more things on the menu. Thankfully, we did get an appetizer before the main meals, and the Cast Iron Crab & Artichoke Dip was a great choice. Creamy and rich, it was one of the best dips we’ve ever had. We washed everything down with two deliciously crafted cocktails and couldn’t end the night without trying their Sticky Toffee Pudding, which is now one of my favourite desserts of all time. All in all, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is cozy and intimate, making it the perfect place for a date night, celebrating a special occasion, or just enjoying one of the best meals in Banff.
Elk & Oarsmen Restaurant & Bar
When it comes to pub food, Elk & Oarsmen is often our first choice. They make a great pizza but we often go for one of their burgers, such as the Oarsmen, which comes with an Elk Patty, Pepperjack Cheese, and a Herb Mayo. Another great main is the Baby Back Ribs. One of the reasons we love eating here is that each main comes with TWO choices of sides, which makes for a very filling meal. In fact, sometimes we share one. We especially love their Sweet Potato Fries.
Nourish Bistro Banff (Vegan)
Although we’re not vegan, we’ve been making an effort to eat less meat and try new things, so Nourish Bistro Banff was high on our lists. This vegan restaurant is simply incredible. In fact, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had was here. It’s called the Kimchi Burger and consists of a house-made fermented kimchi burger patty with vegan cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomato, and red pepper aioli served on a gourmet brioche bun with ranch dressing and sweet chilli sauce. Seriously, it’s super good. Had we had room left in our bellies, I would have loved to try their world-famous nachos as well. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and supper, as well as an extensive drink menu.
If you’re simply craving a thick juicy burger, this is the place to go. It’s not a fancy restaurant but it’s also not your typical fast-food joint either. Eddie Burger is a speciality burger bar that serves some interesting combinations. In fact, I’m pretty sure this was the first place that Karla and I tried a burger with peanut butter and jam. It was awesome! I do love burgers though and simply looking at their menu makes my mouth water. Fried Buttermilk Chichen Burger? Yes, please!
El Toro Banff
Located inside Irwin’s Mountain Inn Hotel, El Toro serves up food with a Mexican and Spanish influence. In addition to mains, they also serve tapas, which are smaller plates that enable you to try a variety of foods. Tapas are quite popular in Spain and two options we tried during our visit was the Sauza Cream Prawns, which are sauteed in a tequila cream sauce, as well as the Seafood Ceviche, which includes Salmon, Prawns, and Scallops marinated in lime juice, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and onions. Surprisingly, we still managed to squeeze down two mains, including the Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli and the Chicken & Chorizo Penne. All of it was good and our only regret was not leaving room for their Banana Flambé Dessert.
Indian Curry House Banff
Another great option for Indian food, especially if you love a range of curries, is the Indian Curry House, which is located on the upper floor beside Boston Pizza. We tried a variety of curries during our visit, including Mango Chicken, Goat Curry, and Chicken Korma. As always, we washed it down with a thick Mango Lassi.
Sleeping Buffalo Dining Room
Located in the Buffalo Mountain Lodge on Tunnel Mountain Road, Sleeping Buffalo Dining Room offers a fairly upscale menu in a nice atmosphere. In fact, the lounge is quite beautiful and is a great place to relax for an evening cocktail. During our visit, we enjoyed their Charcuterie Plate, Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Smoked Potato Puree, and their Seared Duck Breast.
Park Distillery Banff
Park Distillery is not only known for its drink and food menu but also for its awesome summer patio. They make some really good vodka, which can be bought by the bottle at local liquor stores or served in many of the cocktails they serve. They’re also venturing into whiskey. The decor of the place is beautiful and they have a great location with a really cool patio during the warmer months. We visited on a busy night and enjoyed their Benchmark Striploin, St. Louise Ribs, and their Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Some of it was a bit salty for our tastes, but seeing their immense popularity, I think it may have been a one-off. We’d certainly go back.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
We normally don’t mention chain restaurants but for the Old Spaghetti Factory, we’ll make an exception. Although we always make an effort to try something new each time we’re in Banff, we’ve probably been to the Old Spaghetti Factory more than any. They provide such good value. The food is quite good, although it certainly wouldn’t compare to a higher-end Italian restaurant. However, for $20 or less, you’ll get a main, warm bread with garlic butter, soup or salad, coffee or tea, and a scoop of ice cream. They also have a great location and the decor is quite nice and unique. It’s also quite big so it’s usually easy to get a seat. My go-to meal almost every time we visit is the Tortellini Pomodoro, which consists of rainbow tortellini stuffed with cheese in a rich rosé basil cream sauce.
Banff Springs Hotel Restaurants
If you’re looking for a fancier dining option, there are a number of places in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, which is also known as the Banff Castle. Without a doubt, you’ll be paying a premium just for the fact that you’re inside the hotel, but if that’s cool with you, it certainly won’t disappoint. There are quite a few restaurants to choose from inside the Banff Springs, including 1888 Chop House, STOCK Food and Drink, Castello Italiano, and the Vermillion Room. We went to the Vermillion Room during our visit and sat down for one of their Artisan Cheese & Charcuterie Boards, which was very good, especially when paired with a margarita.
Where to Eat in Banff
As you can see, Banff has an incredible array of restaurants and this list above is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also a variety of Japanese, Chinese, Greek, and Mexican restaurants, as well as many pubs and fast food joints. Needless to say, your tastebuds will certainly be satisfied during your visit to Banff, no matter what your preferences are.
We’ll continue to update this list as we experience more Banff Restaurants first-hand. Please check back each and every time you’re about to visit Banff.
Looking for things to do in Banff and beyond? Check out these articles below…
- Things to Do in Banff
- Where to Stay in Banff
- Banff to Jasper (Driving the Icefields Parkway)
- Things to Do in Lake Louise
- Calgary to Banff
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