Banff is well-known for its unique natural attractions, but did you know its food scene is just as spectacular? Even though this town has a small population, under 10,000 residents, they have a great selection of top-notch restaurants and will keep you full and very satisfied after a long day in the wilderness. So, while you may come to Banff for the scenery, you’ll get to enjoy mouth-watering dishes throughout your stay in this charming mountain town!
Let’s have a look at some of the best restaurants in and around Banff:
Banff's Best Eateries
Best Restaurant for Special Occasions
We’d be remiss if we didn’t start this list with the only five-diamond restaurant west of Ottawa, the Eden at the Rimrock Resort Hotel. Five diamonds indicate luxurious and consistently world-class food with highly acclaimed chefs, artistic and imaginative menus, and possibly the best service staff. Renowned in Banff and internationally, the Eden restaurant offers French cuisine blended with local ingredients. If you are looking for the perfect meal to go along with your perfect vacation in Banff, it doesn’t get any better.
Photo Credit: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson
Best Restaurant for Swiss Fondue
With Banff’s history as a skiing and mountaineering town, the influence of Swiss culture can be widely felt in the area. If you are in the mood for slathering your food in melted cheese, you can’t do much better than the Waldhaus at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. With excellent alpine cuisine options from their specialty of fondue to other options like schnitzel, this high-end Bavarian-themed restaurant is a can’t miss when in Banff, whether you are staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs or not.
Honourable mention: the Grizzly House for its fun and quirky atmosphere to go along with their superb fondue; this is the relaxed dining option for those with a cheese craving.
Best Restaurant for the View
When you are in Banff you should take every opportunity to soak up the spectacular views, and none offers better views than the Sky Bistro. Located at the top of Sulphur Mountain, taking the gondola up to your dining spot is half the experience. Once at the top, enjoy some great, local-inspired food while gazing over the town of Banff and the surrounding mountains!
Honorable mention: La Terrazza. If you don’t want to make the trip up Sulphur Mountain, you can enjoy La Terrazza’s Italian cuisine as you enjoy views of that same mountain as well as Mount Norquay through their panoramic windows that curve up into the ceiling.
Alberta is internationally known for its superb steaks, and when you are here, you should definitely indulge yourself with the best steaks this town offers. There are numerous steakhouses in Banff to satisfy your inner carnivore, and it is hard to pick the best! But be sure to check out our favourites like Saltlik, Chucks Steakhouse, The Bison, the Maple Leaf Grill and 1888 Chophouse. You won’t be disappointed with your choice!
Photo Credit: 1888 Chop House
Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant
If meat-eating isn’t your thing, fear not with the mouth-watering specials available at Nourish Bistro. Enjoy their stunning nachos, loaded with everything from dill pickles, quinoa and strawberries or step up to the Kimchi burger or boss bear burger with a secret house patty.
Best restaurants for breakfast or brunch
Those of you who like to enjoy a big, delicious breakfast to start their day have no shortage of options in this mountain town. For Sunday brunch, you can’t beat The Bison restaurant with its array of classic breakfast options. Those looking for a special breakfast during their trip should visit the Vermillion Room at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, offering elegant options, from avocado lox and Brioche French toast to Croque Madame and strawberries and cream buttermilk pancakes.
Photo Credit: Nourish Bistro
Best Cheap Eats
Craving some cheap eats or just want a quick meal before getting back out to explore the stunning wilderness around Banff? Luckily, Banff has some great spots for fast, easy, and delicious eats. If you are craving Japanese food, look no further than Ramen Arashi and Sushi house for Japanese staples. For a more west coast vibe, hit up The Eddie Burger Bar or High Rollers, where you can combine a fun night of bowling and billiards with your pizza and beer!
Honorable mention: Magpie and Stump for operating in Banff for over 30 years! Over that time, they’ve managed to pretty much perfect the great Mexican food they serve, and the spectacular mountain views from their rooftop patio are the icing on the cake….er, we mean the guacamole on your nachos!
Best Restaurants for a Hard Drink
There are several options to satisfy your thirst in Banff, and we will try to narrow it down for wine lovers, beer drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts. For wine, be sure to visit the Three Ravens restaurant and wine bar, which has won the wine spectator award of excellence from 2011 to 2018! For those who love to quench their thirst with ale, the local favourite is the Banff Ave Brewing Co, whose brewmaster loves to combine their passion for great beer and the great outdoors. Finally, there is the glacier water-distilled spirits from the Park Distillery, which has won numerous awards for their gins.
That just about wraps up our list of best restaurant options in Banff. Next time you are in Banff, be sure to check out one or two, or all, of the restaurants on our list; your taste buds will thank you. After indulging in the restaurants, be sure to get out into the wilderness to work off all that food and drink! Any tips on our list of best restaurants in Banff? Do you think we missed any that should be added here? Tell us in the comments below!