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Oct 29, 2010 07:51 AM

Canmore - Aromas Mexican Restaurant

At the bottom end of Main Street opposite The Wood is a little Mexican restaurant called Aroma.

It is run by a local Mexican family & we had a good meal there last night, it was a quiet Thursday night in the shoulder season & the place was not so busy.

The food was good, interesting fresh flavours & pretty authentic, although in hindsight I should have taken up the option on the menu to have the heat increased to Mexican standards.

The guacamole was homemade & tasty with freshly fried tortilla crisps as an accompaniment. My Azteca soup was lovely, vibrant & generously portioned.

I had the Tampiquena for a main, it was a really carefully cooked piece of steak with a ton of flavour & perfect texture, my wife had the Flautas which again was well presented & bursting with flavour.

Having so often been disapointed with Mexican food in Canada & back in the UK - we are thrilled to have this little restaurant in our neighbourhood.

Service was friendly & informative. After the previously poor places that filled this unit, this is a great addition to the Canmore dining scene.

We paid around $80 with tip for starters, main & drinks - reasonably priced for the quality & amount of food.

Perhaps the only criticism is the decor is a bit bland, but this is a hangover from the Albanian(!) & British places that were here before.

We ended up at the new Sage Bistro wine bar, lovely spot for a post dinner drink & the menu there looks very inviting. Must go back soon to check this place out properly.

The Quarry has an international dinner series coming up which looks fun & with many restaurants offering deals to Canmore residents at the moment, the scene is - by Canmore standards - buzzing at the moment!

Sage Bistro
1712 HWY 1A, Canmore, AB T1W 2X3, CA

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  1. wow, the price is certainly not authentic.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nonlinear

      seems like a common trend for mexican in canada .prices are way to high .mexican food is made of low priced ingredients but it seems that once it crosses the border(up here )the mark up glad the op had a good meal tho.

      1. re: howlin

        We did consume rather a lot of alcohol, which pushed the price up considerably & did tip generously as the service was excellent! The food component was probably closer to $40.

        I agree compared to a taco stand in Mexico, very pricey - but for an expensive-as-hell mountain town - not too bad. You can easily pay $80+ for a very mediocre meal in Canmore & especially Banff.

        1. re: graemejw

          right on good to hear ,ill have to check that out on my way to van.

    2. I had breakfast in there over Thanksgiving, and it was also very good. They have about five types of Mexican egg dishes, a couple of breakfast burritos and also fruit etc. I had two fried eggs with two types of salsa (one tomato based, the other tomatillo) with hash browns, I think it was around $11. Coffee was included in the breakfast price, which was a nice touch. Ended up in there with my jetlagged friend because they open for breakfast at 8.00 at the weekend, unlike most other places in Canmore which open at 9.00!

      2 Replies
      1. re: irishgirl

        Looks like Canmore is getting a second Mexican restaurant, just off Main Stret opposite the town hall, where the coffee mine used to be located. I think it's a spin off from the increasingly popular Aroma mentioned above.

        Canmore is now well on it's way to becoming a Mexican/Japanese hotspot - you are never going to be too far from a taco or plate of sushi downtown :-)

        1. re: graemejw

          awesome - this will only improve the already excellent dining scene in canmore!

      2. I've been living in Canmroe for the past 6 months and I've been to Aromas several times. The food is excellent and the owners take great pride in what they do. I highly recommend it!

        On a side note, Canmore in general has awesome food, much better than Banff imo.

        1. Sounds good, but $80? Is it worth it?
          In my experience, I've found that Mexican, along with Greek, is the type of food that doesn't get exponentially better with higher end dining. Maybe I haven't had the right kind, but for Mexican, the best has been $2 tacos from trucks and for Greek - hole in the walls. Mid range, in both cases, were tasty and worth it...but once things get to $30+, the ratio of awesome : affordable gets skewed

          2 Replies
          1. re: ekim256

            You have to take this in the context of Canmore, nothing is particularly cheap here - althoigh there are plenty of deals available midweek or shoulder season. I agree ob the Banff comment as well, Canmore is so much better dining wise - we could still do with a couple of more interesting places especially with the demise of the Quarry and Treo.

            1. re: graemejw

              Agreed. It's certainly not cheap for Mexican food but the prices are reasonable relative to other establishments in Canmore.....especially if you go easy on the drinks. I've been going to Aroma Cafe since it was part of that fusion restaurant I forget the name of and I can confidently say that I enjoy the Mexican food here far more than any I've tried in Calgary.

              Unless things have changed, the head chef is Jose Castillas (I believe) from Mexico City. Almost everything here seems fresh and hand made greasy, frozen sysco garbage. My only complaint aside from the lackluster decor might be the utterly clueless wait staff who tend to work during the brunch shift. The owners deserve better than these employees who don't know anything about their own menu or Mexican cuisine in general.

              I reccommend the sopa de azteca and the breakfast burrito with a side of spicy Oaxaca sauce.
              If you like it cheesy, I seem to recall the chicken enchiladas with salsa verde being pretty good. Also worthy of mention is a pork tenderloin entree I totally forget the name could be a variation of cochinita pibil now that I think of it. Not sure if they're still on the menu but the chicken tinga tostadas were excellent as well. I remember having breakfast one morning when Chef Jose came to the table personally to see how we were enjoying the meal. When I mentioned I'd like to spice it up a bit, he literally went to the kitchen and whipped up a really delicious and unique roasted chilli oil with a spicy/nutty flavour. Amazing.

              It should be noted that Aroma isn't really a taco joint although you can certainly order them if you like. There's simply so much more to sample at Aroma. I love to support a small business like this one and encourage everybody to give it a try!