Banff Travel Guide - Food
I think this is one of the posts I’ve been so excited to share! I consider myself to be a foodie and typically post photos of restaurants and food on my social media pages. I researched restaurants for weeks leading up to the trip and found a great deal of information about the best places to eat. I made notes about each restaurant I read about and put together a document with pros, best dishes, what they are known for, etc. I sent this list to my travel group and told them to look over everything and let me know which restaurants they were interested in and we could put together a list. I am going to share all of the restaurants we went to and all but one are located on the main road in Downtown Banff. They are all walkable from any of the downtown hotels! I hope you all are full because this may make you hungry!
The Grizzly House:
When I was researching the best places to eat in Banff, I kept coming across the Grizzly House. I finally did a search on them and came across the most amazing photos of food. It didn't take long for my group to agree this was a place we needed to eat. We made a reservation for the night we got into town and I'm not sure we knew what we were in for! We arrived a little before our 6 p.m. reservation and were seated immediately. The inside looks like an eclectic log cabin and you can smell all of the delicious food being cooked around you. We each ordered the four-course meal which included a soup or salad, cheese or veggie fondue, your choice of meats and the chocolate fondue dessert. We upgraded our first course to the French onion soup, which was $2 extra, but definitely worth it. The server then brought out our cheese fondue and a basket of bread. They give you a lot of cheese, so you can request additional baskets and they will bring you more (we had 3 baskets). They also bring out cloves of garlic for you to use on the bread or to put in the cheese. We didn't add the garlic to the cheese until we were almost done with the cheese, but it makes it taste like you are eating garlic cheesy bread, definitely give it a try. The third course is the meat you have selected, mine was steak and shrimp. They brought out two squares of granite which are heated to 600 degrees for you to cook the meats. The server will tell you how long you will need to cook each item and their advice is exact! When the stones cool down, don't worry, the server will bring you new hot stone. When you think you cannot eat anymore food, they bring you the final course which is chocolate fondue. The chocolate fondue is a melted Toblerone bar...how could chocolate fondue get any better? You get two bowls of goodies, one has strawberries and bananas and the other has melon, apples and wafers! If you run out of dippers, the server will bring you spoons so you can eat just the chocolate! I didn't realize we would be there for three hours, but it was definitely worth every minute we were there!
How amazing is the entrance!
The menu at Grizzly House
Our French Onion Soup
All of us getting some cheese!
Our main course
Cooking the meat
Closer view of the granite stone
I should have two pictures from the breakfasts I grabbed before our activities, but the second scone was eaten before I could take a photo. Whitebark Cafe is a cute coffee house that was located next door to our hotel. I had read great reviews and knew this would be an awesome place to grab breakfast before we went out on our daily adventures. I only had a coffee, with sugar free vanilla syrup and creamer, and a scone both days. The first scone was tomato, basil and feta (which was amazing)! The second day I had a cheddar and chive scone, which was even more amazing! On top of the scones, they also have muffins, specialty breads and breakfast cups. I would definitely recommend stopping by and grabbing some coffee and a snack!
Coffe and the tomato, basil and feta scone
Banff Ave. Brewing Company:
On our second day, while we were exploring downtown, we came across Banff Ave. Brewing Company. We decided to go here for lunch because the reviews were fantastic. They are a micro-brewery and all of their beer is made on site. When we sat down in our booth we were pleasantly surprised because there were six TV's facing us and they all had on a different NFL game. Two of us ordered a blonde ale and asked the server what was good on the menu. Mom an I decided we would share a couple of appetizers, so we share the warm buttered soft pretzels and the poutine. I've never had poutine, but the server said it was a staple in Canada, so why not give it a try. The pretzels were awesome, but the poutine was one of the most life changing dishes I've ever had. Whoever thought of mixing fries, cheese curds and brown gravy is a genius! Tami also had the poutine with a side of bison chili and Debbie had the wings. It was a delicious lunch and someplace we knew we would go back to!
How cool is this sign?
The blonde ale
Pretzels, Poutine and Bison Chili
Eddie Burger Bar:
Very rarely will you see a burger bar with 4.6 stars out of 5, so when I came across these kinds of reviews for Eddie Burger Bar, I knew this was someplace I needed to share with the group. It didn't take long for the group to agree that we needed to go. They have a small menu and to be perfectly honest, it was a little pricey. They have a poutine bar, select burger menu, salads and a separate menu to build your own burger. I would beware of the build your own burger because it could actually end up costing you more. I ordered the poutine, Mom ordered one of the burgers off of the menu, Debbie ordered a hot dog and Tami did a build your own burger. The burgers and the hot dog got rave reviews, but the poutine was not as good as the one I had earlier in the day. It needed more gravy and less cheese curds. Eddie Burger is very small restaurant and can't seat very many people. I think our wait was between 30-45 minutes, but you can walk around the town and they will text you when your table is ready.
Poutine with Bacon
Mom's Eddie Classic Burger
Debbie's Hot Dog
Tami's Build you own Burger
When I proposed this restaurant to the group I thought it would be a long shot, but after a day of glacier walking and lake gazing, this seemed like the perfect place to go. High Rollers is a restaurant and a bowling alley. They have 48 craft beers on draft and daily specials. We showed up during happy hour which has $5 drinks and pizza. The daily special was $5.25 pints and $5 bowling, so there were quite a few people there. The bar area was pretty empty to start out, but people eventually moved over when their bowling games were over. I ordered the hard cider, which was fantastic, and the $5 pepperoni pizza. Almost everyone ordered the pizza, but there were a few hot wing orders thrown in there also. Not only was the cider fantastic, but this was probably the cheesiest pizza I've ever eaten. If you are looking for something outside of the box in Banff, definitely check this place out!
Pizza and wings
I had never heard of Cows Ice Cream, prior to this trip, but one of our group member had been there before and kept telling us how amazing the ice cream was. I didn't try the ice cream until Sunday night because I was so full after the fondue dinner. I went with the Fluff N Udder ice cream because the name was cute and it sounded delicious. I was pleasantly surprised by the ice cream and wish I would've had more while I was there. They are only located in Canada, so check their locations before you head to Canada to see if there is one near you!
My ice cream
Good Earth Coffee House:
On Tuesday morning we decided to try a different coffee house, so we went to the hotel on the other side of ours and they had the Good Earth Coffee House. This coffee house is bigger than Whitebar and I was very excited when I saw they had a pumpkin spice latte. I wasn't thrilled about their food selection, but I did get a tomato, egg and cheese sandwich. It was a good place for a quick bite to eat and the fire pit outside was a great place to sit and warm up for a few!
We went over to the Lake Louise Gondola, after a day of looking at amazing lakes, because it is the best place for seeing bears. We took the summer gondola up to the top and decided to go to Whitehorn Bistro to get out of the cold. We took a quick look at the menu and decided to just get some drinks and save the food until we got back into Banff. Three of us decided to get hot chocolate and the fourth decided to get wine to help her get back down the gondola. The food being delivered around us looked delicious, but it is a little pricey. The best part about Whitehorn Bistro is the view from their patio. It is a panoramic view of the mountain ranges and it amazing! During the summer months you can eat on the patio and take in all of the views!
Back to Banff Ave. Brewing Company:
Welcome to the only repeat restaurant of our trip, minus Whitebark Cafe. After our super busy day we made is back into downtown and finished up our souvenir shopping. We decided to go back to Banff Ave. Brewing Company because their food was delicious and the service is quick. They were not super busy, which was great, so we were able to order and get our food pretty quickly. Mom and I shared the nachos, Tami and Debbie split the wings and they also had a bowl of soup and the warm buttered pretzels. It was kind of a somber dinner because we were all so tired and it was our last night in Banff.
The delicious pretzels
Outside of these restaurants, we only ate at one other place and I would not suggest you go there. It is up at the glacier and is the quick service restaurant. Everything is overpriced and they do not have enough seating to accommodate the visitors that come through there. There are a ton more restaurants in the downtown area, so definitely do some research before you go! I hope I haven't made you too hungry, I know I made myself hungry! The next travel guide will be on activities!
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