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Dec 11, 2008 01:30 PM

Dining in Banff

I am going to stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs for a week over New Years. My boyfriend and I are currently trying to figure out restaurants and I was hoping for some advice in narrowing down our options.

We are looking for two different types of dining; fine dining and casual hole in the walls sort of thing- pub like. I am more focused on figuring out which fine dining spots we should check out. My boyfriend really likes game food and so we definitely want restaurants with that on the menu. Here are the restaurants we are considering: Banffshire Club, Fuze Dining, Post Hotel, Bison Mountain Bistro, Sleeping Buffalo and Maple Leaf. These are the ones I have come across thus far, but am definitely open to any suggestions!

Any other secrets about the area would be great as well!


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  1. If you want game you'll probably want to check out The Grizzly House for game plus fondue:

    1. Best bet for game: Maple Leaf.
      Best bet for really great 'comfort' food: Bison.
      Best fine dining experience: Fuze

      I was in Banff for about 10 days in the fall, and ate at each of these places twice. I think Bison wins out as the best, but Fuze is very good too. Haven't been to Post Hotel or Sleeping Buffalo. Banffshire...i don't think that most Fairmont restaurants are worth the price.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dan G

        I second the above Maple Leaf recco.

        One trip only (so far) out of many Banff trips...

        But Maple Leaf was very good.

        1. re: seemac70

          What's the price range for Maple Leaf?

          1. re: seemac70

            OT but I just went to Maple Leaf's site, I didn't know til now they were part of the same group as Mercato. Interesting.

        2. We've always had excellent meals at the Post Hotel; the pub food comes from the same kitchen and we love the food there as well (highly recommended the Beef Goulash with Spaetzle). The pub is a good choice if you don't feel like spending the money in the main dining room.

          Fuze I would rate as excellent as well; out of all those choices I would put the Maple Leaf near the bottom, we've tried it a few times and there's just something missing to their food. We had a disappointing brunch at the Bison Mountain Bistro this past weekend, but I would be willing to try it again. Mr. S had a very dry Bison burger and I had Eggs benny that had too much vinegar in the poaching water that I sent back.

          Ticino has reopened and their fondue is sublime. Highly recommended is their chicken breast with goat cheese and hazelnut crust.

          6 Replies
          1. re: sweeterpea

            I agree with sweeterpea. Recently had dinner at Maple Leaf. The composition of the plate seemed out of sorts. One dish had a risotto "puck" that the server commented that was not too popular with many diners. He was right.

            I would recommend Fuze. Boyfriend will love their Elk soup with truffle oil and covered in a puff pastry crust. Yum. Hopefully it is still on the menu.

            1. re: sirdinealot

              Unfortunately I just called Fuze the other day to make a reso and they are closing their doors. Very unfortunate - I aslo understand that Cafe Soliel is closed .... Let's hope this economic downturn comes to a halt soon...

              Fuze Finer Dining
              2nd Floor, 110 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB T1L 1C9, CA

              1. re: armicho

                F@%&. That's all I have to say about that. Huge loss. Can't say I'm surprised, because I always marvelled at how empty it was but I hoped there was something keeping them going.

                I see on their website they might end up in Calgary; I really hope so.

                1. re: Dan G

                  I agree with your comments Dan G,...maybe chef will come back to Edmonton...not everyone loved it as much as I did, but I thought the NY Steak with the Indian spicing rather than strictly green or black peppercorns was outstanding

                  1. re: Bob Mac

                    Yes, steak was great, so where the indian spice lamb chops, and also had great black cod there. but highlight, oddly for someone who generally doesn't care about desserts, was one time (out of the 10 times I was there - maybe have eaten there more than any other 'fine dining' establishment except Blue Pear) they had a pineapple raviolli - mascarpone cheese between 2 micro-thin slices of pineapple, with a mango cardomom sauce...a dish I will never forget and never have anything like it again.

                    1. re: Bob Mac

                      I agree with you, the NY steak with Indian spices was outstanding. It's a sad news. If they end up in Calgary, I'll make a stop to their place next time I'm in the city.

            2. Thank you for the help so far!! In regards to Banffshire Club in the Fairmont-- does anyone know anything about the restaurant? Is it overpriced but good, or maybe just overpriced? I like dining in the hotel I am staying at, however, don't want to waste a night on an overpriced and not good meal.

              For our day at Lake Louise- should we have lunch at the Post Hotel or at the Fairmont for the view? Or do both places have a view of the lake.

              Thanks!! Sara

              2 Replies
              1. re: sarabara1983

                Sara, the Banffshire is just reopening after being closed for I believe, a few months. I too would be interested in hearing if anyone has been there post-reopening. It's previously life it was in my opinion way overpriced and so-so food. Ah, the price to pay to eat in a castle.

                No lake view at the Post Hotel. If the day is nice, my choice would be the Chateau. A nice walk along the lake path on a nice winter day is priceless.

                1. re: sirdinealot

                  If view is important to you, then for sure the Chateau. Afternoon Tea at the Chateau is wonderful. Bring your skates as you can skate on the lake.

                  The Post also has afternoon tea with a nice mountain view as well in their lobby/lounge. It's not formal english tea, but desserts and coffee/tea, I believe from 2-5 pm. Perfect if you want to do lunch at the Chateau, then burn some calories by walking around the lake, skating and doing some shopping, then a snack at the Post before you head back to Banff.

              2. Banff Springs for a week hey, very nice. Cafe Soleil is a tapas place that has excellent food. I beleive they also have regular size plates as well (if you are not into tapas) the tenderloin with gorgonzola sauce is so good.