Banff Restaurants Last updated: July 5, 2023
Banff National Park 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, just to name a few.
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 restaurants in Banff that you can enjoy on your next trip to Canada’s famous mountain town.
Speaking of amazing restaurants, don’t miss our guide to the best restaurants in Calgary!
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Where to Eat 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 revisiting 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
Location: 5 Banff Ave #201
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 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
Location: 205 Bear St
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.
Location: 138 Banff Ave
As of December 2022, Brazen is one of the newest Banff restaurants. Located inside the historic Mount Royal Hotel, Brazen brings a bold dining concept to town, honouring the spirit of Banff’s most famous mountaineers and explorers. In fact, one of the things we loved while dining at Brazen is the write-ups on the various explorers, which can be found on the menus. As interesting as it was to learn about these adventurers, however, it’s the delicious food that made us name Brazen one of the best restaurants in Banff. There are lots of tasty delights to be found, including the Beet Carpaccio (pears, black garlic cashew cream, beet greens, walnuts, fermented honey) and the Pork Belly (carrot ginger purée, pickled mustard, sour maple). However, the real show-stopper was the Ginger Beef (certified Angus beef hanger steak, blistered shishito pepper, onion, and ginger syrup), which is literally set on fire at the table. The guys sitting next to us were already on their third plate as they couldn’t get enough. We also tried the Mushrooms Gnocchi (sherry cream mushrooms, tarragon) and finished it off with a mouth-watering Creme Brulee (Banff Roasting Company Coffee, Bailey’s, hazelnut powder).
For those into cocktails, Brazen is also sure to delight. We tried a few different cocktails during our visit but the winner was Whiskey Creek, a whiskey-sour-style drink with Rupert’s Whisky, cherry, walnut bitters, lime, and egg white, ignited at the table with a little flame to add to the experience. All in all, it’s a great place for food and drinks, served with a slice of history in the heart of downtown Banff.
Bluebird Wood-fired Steakhouse & Patio
Location: 218 Lynx St
As if there weren’t already enough amazing Banff restaurants, Bluebird Wood-fired Steakhouse & Patio proved there’s still room for more. Located in a beautiful almost 100-year-old building, this is definitely the restaurant you want to visit if you’re looking for mouth-watering steak and fine dining. From the dramatic 15-metre fireplace to the rich wooden walls, It has the perfect atmosphere for the menu it offers. Although prime rib seems to be the centrepiece of the menu, we opted for one of their many steaks, including their decadent 8oz Wagyu tenderloin and their 18oz bone-in ribeye. Both the steaks and the add-on sides come on separate plates, which makes it easy to turn into a sharing atmosphere. We opted for the cheesy mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and grilled shrimp with chimichurri sauce. We also couldn’t resist starting with a plate of their fire-roasted beets, which come with tarragon dressing, aged goat feta, and shallots. Having been disappointed by some steakhouses in Calgary, it was a pleasure to bite into the Wagyu tenderloin, which finally lived up to its expectations. Grilled to perfection, it finally made me realize what Wagyu is all about. If steak isn’t your thing, they have many other mains as well, such as fire-roasted chicken, BC halibut, vegan burgers, and lobster bucatini, just to name a few.
We also indulged in some of their tasty cocktails, with my absolute favourite being the Johnnie Locke, which consists of scotch, amaro, lemon, beetroot, and egg white. It’s like a smoky twist on a scotch sour. Super good. Last but not least, the waitress told us we couldn’t leave without trying their famous key lime pie. I’ve never been much of a citrus dessert fan, but I’m glad we listened to her because it’s definitely one of my top 5 desserts of all time now. So, yes, if you do make it to Bluebird, don’t leave without having a bite of their key lime pie.
Location: 100 Mountain Ave
If you’re looking for a very unique and special Banff restaurant experience, it’s hard to beat Sky Bistro, which is located on the top of Sulphur Mountain. If you’re coming to Banff, you’ve probably heard of the Banff Gondola, which is one of the top attractions in Banff. The gondola takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain where you’ll get incredible views throughout the year. Well, Sky Bistro is located at the top as well, so you can enjoy those views while enjoying fine dining. We recently went up for a sunset dinner and with floor-to-ceiling windows, it was truly breathtaking. My favourite dish on their menu is actually the Duck Wing appetizer, which features crispy wings doused in Honey and Fresno Chili Glaze and Haskap Berry Compote. They also have some unique and tasty cocktails as well.
Location: 304 Caribou St
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
Location: 229 Bear St
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
Location: 206 Caribou St
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 on 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.
Location: 208 Wolf St #101
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 to the town of Banff. Without drinks, you can expect to spend around $120 for two people.
The Maple Leaf
Location: 137 Banff Ave
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 & Oarsman Restaurant & Bar
Location: 119 Banff Ave
When it comes to pub food, Elk & Oarsman is often our first choice. They make a great pizza but we often go for one of their burgers, such as the Oarsman, which comes with an Elk Patty, Pepperjack Cheese, and 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)
Location: 211 Bear St #110
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 list. 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.
Location: 137 Banff Ave #6
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 specialty 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!
Indian Curry House Banff
Location: 225 Banff Ave #202
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.
Location: 215 Banff Ave, Sundance Mall 213
We can’t get enough ramen and Raman Arashi happens to have some of the best ramen we’ve ever had. At less than $20, Ramen Arashi is a great low-budget option when it comes to restaurants in Banff and the quality of the meats stands above the competition. We haven’t tried everything on their menu but their super popular Arashi Ramen is truly delicious. This Tonkotsu Soup (Pork Bone Broth) is flavoured with Arashi Original Sesame Base and has Pork Belly, Egg, Spinach, Seaweed, Bamboo shoots, Green Onion, Crashed Peanuts, and Chili Oil. If you’re looking for an appetizer, we can definitely recommend their Premium Edamame, which packs a kick with garlic, chili oil, and chili powder. They also happen to be one of the best restaurants in Canmore as well!
The Prow at Sleeping Buffalo
Location: 700 Tunnel Mountain Rd
Located in the Buffalo Mountain Lodge on Tunnel Mountain Road, the Prow 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 Seared Duck Breast.
Park Distillery Banff
Location: 219 Banff Ave
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 Grizzly House
Location: 207 Banff Ave
The Grizzly House is a restaurant that is sure to satisfy your appetite and tickle your taste buds. The cozy and rustic atmosphere of the restaurant, complete with wooden walls, antique decor, and a fireplace, will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a cozy cabin in the woods. But what really sets The Grizzly House apart is its menu. The restaurant is known for its famous fondue, which includes a selection of meats, seafood, and vegetables cooked in hot oil or broth, as well as a variety of melted cheeses and chocolate for dipping. The fondue experience is made even more fun and interactive with the tableside cooking, where diners can cook their own meats and seafood on a hot stone or grill. However, even if you’re not in the mood for fondue, The Grizzly House also offers other delicious dishes like steaks, schnitzel, and seafood, all cooked to perfection. To top it all off, the restaurant has an impressive drink menu, featuring a wide selection of cocktails, wines, and beers, including their famous Flaming Greek Cheese, which is set on fire and served with bread. With its unique menu and cozy ambiance, this is one of the best restaurants in Banff.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Location: Cascade Shops, F2, 317 Banff Ave
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
Location: Fairmont Banff Springs
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 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. We’ve also enjoyed their very special dome experience and although the price tag is very high, we must say that the food was truly delicious and inventive.
Restaurants 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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