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.
15 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.
As of now, this 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.
This is one of the newest restaurants in town and what sets them apart is that they’re also a distillery. Park Distillery makes 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.
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.
When it comes to pub food, this 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.
This 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.
Personally, we’ve yet to eat here, but we’ve heard great things and of course, they have a unique location on top of Sulphur Mountain! For those looking to go up the Banff Gondola for incredible 360-degree views of the Canadian Rockies, this is an added experience of dining while you’re up there. This is fine dining with a view and after looking at their menu, I know what we’d be trying during our first visit. Thyme & Citrus Confit Wings, Braised Certified Alberta Short Rib, a Dark Chocolate & Almond Pâté for dessert, and an Espresso Martini to wash it all down. Needless to say, we’d have to go on a hike the next day.
If you’re looking for fondue, this is the most popular place in town. It’s certainly one of the pricier options but is always quite full. Since we’re not huge fans of fondue (although maybe we just need to try it again), we’ve yet to make it in here, but many of our family members and friends have eaten here and enjoyed it. They don’t just serve fondue either. They also serve a variety of appetizers and steaks.
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. This 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!
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.
This is one of the fancier restaurants in town and it does not disappoint. It’s been years since we’ve made it back here but I still remember the maple-glazed salmon and the super creamy mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for an upscale restaurant in the heart of Banff, this is one of the top options.
Tortilla and chicken soup is just one of the meals people rave about at Coyotes Southwestern Grill. We actually met the owner during SnowDays and tried some of their delicious appetizers. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to make it there for supper yet but we did get in there for a delicious breakfast, including Buttermilk Pancakes and West Coast Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. If we get back, I’d love 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.
Located inside Irwin’s Mountain Inn Hotel, this restaurant 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.
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.
Located in the Buffalo Mountain Lodge on Tunnel Mountain Road, this restaurant 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.
Banff Springs 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, you’re 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.
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