Banff and Lake Louise [Moved from Canada board]
Mrs. TravelPath and I are heading for a last minute trip(5 days) to Banff and Lake Louise...With the exception of a reservation at the Post Hotel for one evening, we are clueless where to go...a search on Chowhound came up with very little...Any suggestions for this SoCal chowhound will be greatly appreciated...especially for a great steak! Formal or casual, it does not matter...just good food!!
You can't go wrong with one night at the Post Hotel. It is an amazing place to stay. If this is your first trip to Banff make sure you visit the Banff Springs Hotel. It is truly a castle in the mountains. As to dining, as Anthony Bourdain says, 'get away from the hotel'. There are some wonderful dining experiences in Banff. For a good steak try Saltlik. They borrowed the name from the Saltlik in the US. Good steaks nevertheless. If you are looking for something more unique in steak, try Fuze Finer Dining http://www.fuzedining.com/ . They have a great indian spice NY strip.
Work up an appetite by doing some nice fall hiking.
Just as an FYI, Saltlik is a chain - they do decent steaks for sure, and great skinny fries, but if you are more interested in locally sourced restaurants, Saltlik isnt one of them.
Anyway, some criteria around price, and some details around your preferences would be helpful. In that area, you are basically faced with 4 (even that's a stretch) towns for eating:
Just off the top, not knowing your preferences, my favorites, i would suggest include:
Crazyweed - Canmore : you can find a lot on crazyweed on the boards, but it's pretty much the best value one can find in canmore (15 minutes outside of Banff). Cheap for lunch, awesome food.
Quarry - finer dining, it's a great space, with some great attentive service. Good solid food too.
Bears Paw Pub - i know, it's a pub. But you can't fine dining it all the time. Their appetizers and burgers are good.. im not a huge fan of the rest. But they do their own brewing... and the beer is quite good.
If you're craving Japanese, the best in town is Chef Studio Japan, but you'll find 100's betterin SoCal...well, LA specifically.
For Banff, consider Buffalo Mountain Lodge for local game. I like Fuze as well... i found it quite tasty there. The Grizzly House is an interesting experience as well - fondue. It isnt cheap, but when it's cold, a nice bottle of wine, some cheese fondue, and some intimate moments make for a memorable meal. I've had a really nice meal at Beaujolais, but it's on the very high end. Miles always recommends Eden at the Rimrock, but i've never been.
I like the brunch at the Banff Springs on Sunday's. Yes, it's a fairmont, and yes, it's like every other fairmont hotel brunch, and yes, it's expensive. But it's a nice treat once in a while. And the quality is never lacking.
Lastly, Golden (about an hour west of Lake Louise) has a bistro that i havent been to for 18 months, but is quite popular with people on the board. It's called Truffle Pigs... and pretty good if you decide to head west on highway 1.
Anyway, hope that helps. If you can detail more info about your preferences, price range, and how many days you are spending where, people will definitely be able to get you some more specific recommendations.
It has been over ten years since I have been in the area...and the food scene has certainly changed!...Truffle Pigs sounds very interesting and I have been to a Saltlik(maybe Calgary?)...I remember it being quite good...and the restaurants at the Fairmonts are, well, consistant...I would go for the location and not the food(I did have a good brunch at the Chateau Frontenac)...maybe Lake Louise will surprise us! BTW, we will be staying two nights in Lake Louise and two nights in Banff.
Thanks for all of the recs...if anyone has a recommendation for an excellent Swiss/fondue restaurant and local game, my wife would be very interested...I know there is one at Lake Louise...any reviews??
Go to the bar in the Rimrock in Banff if you are a fan of single malt whisky. The dining room also had a very good tasting menu when I was there last but that's a couple of year's ago.