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Banff - americanos, breakfasts and dinners

Hi all - returning to Banff later this summer for the first time in a few years. I'm staying downtown and looking for some recommendations for americanos, breakfasts and dinners. From my last trip, I remember Wild Flour Cafe had recently opened and was a pretty little spot with great sandwiches and other take-out picnic items and pastries. Still good? How about their espresso drinks?

Other than Melissa's, any other rec's for breakfast? Bruno's? Phil's?

I was sad to see that Fuze had closed, though it was so very empty when we were there. Where else for dins? The Bison? Buffalo Mountain Lodge? Is that sushi place on Banff Avenue still around? Everything but "game" is, ahem, fair game.

And if I stop in Canmore on my way back to Calgary, is Communitea the best bet for coffee? Anywhere to grab a good sandwich or light lunch? I can't remember where we stopped last time, it was on the same street as Crazyweed, had some gourmet food to buy, illy coffee maybe, some prepared foods - ring a bell?

Many thanks - looking forward to those bee-oo-tiful mountains already!!

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Communitea Cafe
Mistaya Place 6 Ave 10 St, Canmore T1W 3L8, CA

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  1. I like Beamers for coffee/espresso in Canmore on Bow Valley Trail.

    1. in canmore, railway deli is where you want to get lunch http://www.railwaydeli.com/

      as for coffee, IMO Coffee Mine is the best place http://maps.google.com/maps/place?oe=...

      as for Banff, I admit that I try to avoid the townsite at all costs so i'm not totally up to date on the culinary offerings :P however (and i'm probablly gonna get laughed at for this), there is a fondue place there called the Grizzly House that is AWESOME. sure, the concept is 30 years out of date, and it reeks like cooking oil inside (and you'll smell that way when you leave, too), but I still think it's really fun. they have hot rocks that you can 'fry' the food on if oil frying isn't your thing. also, they have private rooms that are really neat. if there are 2 of you, you can get the secret little room that no one can see in, and you raise a flag up when you want to waiter to come hahah. i would make reservations if you want to do that. http://banffgrizzlyhouse.com/

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      The Coffee Mine
      802 8 St #103, Canmore T1W 2B7, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: nonlinear

        We had lunch at Railway about a month ago and it was not good at all. The bread wasn't fresh, salad tasted like it was from a bag and soup like it was from a can. Maybe it was a bad day for them but I would have gone to Tim Hortons over what we ate there that day.

        1. re: beggsy

          really. i've been literally dozens and dozens of times, and it has always been great (except for one time when they really skimped on the meat on my sandwich). i would say with confidence that you went on a "bad day."

      2. Forget about Banff and get your Sushi in Canmore: Chef's Studio Japan. We were there last month and it's still completely awesome.

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        Chef's Studio Japan
        709 8 St #108, Canmore T1W 2B2, CA

        1. Nice to see you in our neck of the woods peppermint pate :)

          I still like Wild Flour - it's been awhile but I liked my americano last time I was there. Also a must are their breakfast panini. http://www.wildflourbakery.ca/ *ack* their site is under construction.... hopefully this doesn't mean too many menu changes.

          Bison for brunch or dinner (or both!) http://www.thebison.ca/pdfs/2010/brun... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/667627

          The place in Canmore you bought illy was probably Mountain Mercato: 817 Main St. Interesting assortment of goods albeit overpriced (but maybe that's the norm in Canmore?)

          and one of the more recent Banff threads should help: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/700405

          Enjoy your trip! (:

          I'm overdue for a trip there myself... time to start planning heh

          4 Replies
          1. re: maplesugar

            Go to Bison for Brunch...don't miss out!

            1. re: Major_9000

              Boy do I second that! Had what would be our best lunch ever at The Bison. Their food is fantastic. Not to be missed.

              1. re: beggsy

                I'm not there on a week-end - they don't have any breakfast during the week, do they? Is it a good spot for dinner?

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  Unfortunately they're only open for breakfast/brunch on the weekends. The Bison is a fantastic spot for dinner too though.

          2. I don't understand why people like Melissa's - been there a couple of times for breakfast and it was horrible. My breakfast choices would be Bison or Coyote, the former only on weekends, the latter for great fritattas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dan G

              For brekkie I would go back to Canmore & eat eggs benny at Chez Francois. I think Melissa's is really gross any time of day. Blech.

            2. Communitea is absolutely and undeniably the best coffeehouse in the Bow Valley. Intelligentsia beans made on a Synesso? Nothing else comes close. However I'd say the best coffee in Banff proper is Evelyn's, not Wild Flour.

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              Communitea Cafe
              Mistaya Place 6 Ave 10 St, Canmore T1W 3L8, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: John Manzo

                I would have to agree, Canmore/the Bow Valley is incredibly lucky to have coffee of the caliber Communitea serves. Hopefully it catches on!

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                Communitea Cafe
                Mistaya Place 6 Ave 10 St, Canmore T1W 3L8, CA

              2. Hey guys - thanks for all the feedback. This board is more active than I remember it from a few years back - awesome.

                As always, Canmore seems to get all the recs - too bad I'm only going to be there for a handful of hours. Ah well, at least I'll have lots of options for some coffee and a bite to eat. Maplesugar - hello!! - thanks, yes, Mercatto rings a bell. Getting ready for your trip out our way? If this past week's weather is any indication, you'll need to do a new post on iced coffees for your trip here - SUNNY AND HOT!!!

                Okay, Banff - I wasn't saying I liked Melissa's for breakfast (it was very mediocre), it's just that I knew about it already so was looking for other recommendations. Breakfast panini at Wild Flour sounds good, we're unfortunately not there over a week-end so Bison is out, I'll check out Coyote. Seems like Banff could use a killer breakfast spot!

                I've historically avoided Grizzly House as it's always been "that 'gator and rattler" place in my mind which, for me, holds zero temptation. I love the idea of a cozy fondue, though. And Bison sounds like a good choice. I guess there's not too much new on the dining scene since my last trip.

                John Manzo, thanks - is Evelyn's the one on Banff Avenue, with a few little bar stools facing out on to the street? If so, I'm pretty sure we tried it on our last trip and weren't wowed but I'll certainly give them a try again this year. We never tried the americanos at Wild Flour last time but it just looked like the kind of place that may do them some justice.

                Appreciate the recs - thanks again!

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                The Grizzly House
                207 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B4, CA

                10 Replies
                1. re: peppermint pate

                  mapesugar was talking about wanting to visit Banff... where it is anything but sunny and hot right now. It is SNOWING in Calgary right now.

                  Evelyn's isn't great; I just meant that it's the best among mediocre options in Banff proper.

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Hi John - actually, Maplesugar was over on the ontario board a little while back, looking for good americanos in my neck of the woods for her upcoming summer trip - that's how we "know" each other...

                  2. re: peppermint pate

                    if you have a car, keep in mind that canmore is only about 10 minutes from downtown banff. there are far better dining options in canmore, so it's worth the drive.

                    1. re: nonlinear

                      Is it really only 10 minutes? I remembered it (wrongly, obviously) as a half-hour.

                      1. re: peppermint pate

                        according to google maps, it's 22 minutes. however, that's according to the posted speed limit, which i think is like 70 km/h in the park. i don't drive nearly that slow, though, so it only takes me about 10 minutes :P

                        1. re: nonlinear

                          Believe me, I'd trust your time estimate (even without the googlemaps annotation) over my failing memory any day. Thanks.

                          1. re: peppermint pate

                            peppermint pate, I don't think you've misremembered. It always takes me 25-30 minutes to drive from Canmore to Banff!

                    2. re: peppermint pate

                      Ticino also serves fondue. http://www.ticinorestaurant.com/menus...

                      Ticino is pricier than The Grizzly House, but more quaint AFAIK. I've always avoided The Grizzly House, so I'm not sure how their fondues compare.

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                      Ticino Swiss-Italian Restaurant
                      415 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1H1, CA

                      1. re: peppermint pate

                        Hope you tried out Coyotes... best breky in Banff - portions are too large for me but not a bad complaint to have!

                      2. My favorite brekkie place in Canmore is The Summit (on the other side of the highway and up the hill). Great coffee, lots of breakfast options (including lots of Mexican influenced options) and always a couple of terrific muffins (pumpkin choc chip, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry cornmeal, raspberry lime, mango- usually one traditional and one creative).

                        1. Yu are thinking of Mercato on main street - excellent coffee, and panini -and they expanded they have actual seating now!

                          1. Was in Banff for the weekend and ate breakfast at Coyote's on both saturday and sunday... and both days we had completely opposite experiences.

                            I think it was so noticable because I had the same dish (breakfast burrito) on both days. Saturday morning is was EXCELLENT and I was raving about it throughout the day. Everything was utterly fresh, and there were large chunks of green chile in the burrito, which was one of the highlights for me (i love green chile). The breakfast potatoes were very fresh and moist (I generally avoid chunked breakfast potatoes because they are dry/hard/nasty about 80% of the time) and had an excellent fresh garlic flavour.

                            however, my breakfast on sunday morning was totally disappointing... and it almost seemed as if they had a different cook in the kitchen and were reusing all of the ingredients prepared saturday morning. the tortilla on my burrito was stale and hared, and they either ran out of green chile or forgot to add them as there wasn't any in my burrito (that was the sole reason I got that dish again 2 days in a row). the potatoes were also really dry with a chewy skin (clearly left over from the previous day). It was a pretty miserable experience especially considering that we had pretty high expectations after our breakfast on saturday.