Dining options in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper
Would love to hear about any recommendations for both casual and fine dining experiences in the national parks area. I've downloaded some info, but this board is so informative, thought I'd like to hear what those "in the know" might have to suggest! Thanks in advance for your help.
If you are headed through Canmore or feel like stopping in...
I would suggest the Quarry; casual Italian with an upscale twist. The Quarry Bistro is also right on main street so it is in a great location for wandering afterward. O bistro is great (Braised lamb shank is a must!).
But if I had to choose I would head to Tapas in Canmore. It is based on the traditional tapas fare of Spain, you pick and choose a cople small plates each and share. Tapas is a lot of fun and very tasty (have the Patatas Bravas!)
Hope this helps,
GRIZZLY HOUSE - this place is hedonistic and plain old FUN. It is all about fondue and hot rocks. It is the MOST fun you will have dining out - guaranteed. And the food is deliscious. It is a crazy atmosphere inside - it is the kind of place you would see featured on a TV show about wierd and wonderful places to eat. We go to Banff just to dine here at least once a year. Try using the house phone system to call other diners (strangers) and ask them silly questions... a total blast!
EDEN - at the Rimrock. The name says it all. This place is as EXPENSIVE as restaurants get anywhere in the world - the prices rival La Pergola a three Michelin Star restaurant in ROME, Italy. But if you are a foodie, it is worth it. If you are a foodie that LOVES wine pairings you must save and go. We recently had the 6 course tasting for 2 people with pairings. The Somollier brought us EACH 2-3 different wines to try with EACH course (yes that is like 15 1-2 oz pours of wine EACH over the couse of dinner)! My tastebuds were dazzled. I must have tried 30 different wines before we left. My feet were wobbly, I was full and it was AMAZING (all 4.5 hours of dinner). They have Dom Perignon by the glass and many more interesting choices than that on the Champagne cart. For a wine lover - just go becasue you will try things that you may never otherwise get. And, to top it off, when you leave they give you a gift bag with some home made chocolate dipped banana bread for morning and a beautifully typed listing of everything you ate. (and for the price you pay you deserve this...) The service is amoung the best I have had anywhere and I haven't even mentioned the view. This is bar none the MOST beautiful view you will ever find anywhere in the Rocky Mountains. Stay the night in a GRAND VIEW room. This is a Honeymooner's paradise or a beautiful place for a weddin anniversary. As special as it gets!
SAGE BISTRO - moderate prices, great local food. Love the gren curry mussels.
CRAZY WEED - this place is chic, trendy, artsy and great! The food is a tiny bit CRAZY too. They have stuff like Bison Pizza and Pumpkin Soup. Very foodie, very good.
LAKE LOUISE -
I can't say I speak from Experience but I think I would try the Post Hotel... has anyone dined there that could comment?
I think Fuze is the best in Banff - one of my favorite restaurants anywhere - followed very closely by Bison. Not much great food in Jasper. La Fiesta is good spanish/mexican influenced food. Soft Rock is good for breakfast, L&W for casual mediterranean/greek inspired dinners.
Gotta say that I'm always baffled when people are asking about Banff/Lake Louise and the locals send them to Canmore. It's 20 minute drive from Banff...
Bison Restaurant for a great casual foodie experience...best brunch in the rockies.
Le Beaujolais at Bannf Ave/Buffalo st for some great fine dining.
The Banffshire Club at the Banff Springs is fantastic.
I have also heard the Rimrock Resort Eden dining room is great but I haven't eaten there yet.
There are already a few informative posts on Jasper on this board. They may be from several months ago but the pace is a little slower there and the restaurants don't change all that fast. Do a search and you'll find the posts, which actually covers at least 60% of all the dining options in town.
Speaking of change, I was reading one of my old travel journals, and found this entry for Banff: 'lunch in town - Joshua's - very nice, slightly formal. One of the best restaurants we've been to.'
This was in the middle of a 3mth trip, mostly camping, to Alaska, so we weren't exactly searching out the upscales places. Unfortunately I didn't include any notes as to what we ate there. On the web I found a 1983 travel article that mentioned Joshua's Restaurant on Cariboo (in Banff), and the name of the chef. Doesn't look like there is anything by that name in Banff now.
We also had sukiyaki in Banff. For that I wrote more about the meal, but did not note the restaurant name.
Some of my faves:
Once again, we recently had some amazing sushi at Chef's Studio Japan in Canmore. I think it's probably the best place for sushi in the Calgary/Banff area. They make their own tofu and the tempura shrimp -- the best tempura shrimp I've had here or in Asia. They only do dinner.
Another place for a great dinner in Canmore is The Trough. It's quite small so phone ahead for reservations; probably a week ahead for Fri., Sat., or Sun. For Lake Louise, the Post Hotel is always our favorite -- the formal dining room and the pub -- the pub is great for casual dining as the food comes out of the same kitchen as the fine dining. It's comfort food at a good price point. The hotel has won numerous Wine Spectator awards. Our favorite romantic Sunday brunch is at the Chateau Lake Louise - it's a set menu and innovative, plus you dine overlooking the lake.
For a buffet brunch, The Banff Springs Hotel is worth the price. We have a large family and have done many brunches -- we think this one is the best. The hotel now has brunch on Saturdays and Sundays; not sure how long this is for.
We really like The Wild Orchid Bistro here in Canmore, its not in a great location (ie out of the way off the beaten track), but the sushi is mighty fine & the service is great! It has a lovely patio with a fire pit but as of today we still haven't really had any of those warm evenings you need for comfortable al-fresco dining.
Wild Orchid Asian Bistro and Lounge
1818 Mountain Avenue, Canmore T1W 3M3