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Banff Dining

Going skiing in Banff in February and am not familiar with the area. Need dinner suggestions. Prefer something more casual (as nice as we can get into without slacks or sports coat). Willing to try anything as longs as it's good. Have heard the Post Hotel is good but not sure of the attire or price range. Prefer entrees in the $20 to 35 price range. One in the group is a vegetarian but isn't too picky about his food.

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  1. Definitely try the Grizzly House & definitely make reservations... worth the EXPERIENCE!! http://banffgrizzlyhouse.com/
    On first look it seems pricey, but the Complete Fondue Dinners are actually a pretty good deal! Such a fun place...VERY "Rocky Mountains-y"..largely carnivorous menu, but judging from the service, would more than likely accommodate the Veggie! Best birthday dinner in a long time for Me!!

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: Eat Yokel

      hrm, i would certainly not take a vegetarian diner to the grizzly house.

      1. re: nonlinear

        I used to be a vegetarian (20yrs+) and was there during my veg years. Loved it. They serve great cheese fondue and a veggie one that I really liked too. Plus the chocolate fondue for dessert. A full vegetarian menu is possible.

      2. re: Eat Yokel

        We just ate at Grizzly House tonight after reading about it on this thread. I agree with you that the Complete Fondue Dinners are a good deal. Plus, we went with three people, and our waiter told us that we were welcome to split two of the dinners between the three of us (we just ordered an extra side salad). Even sharing the meals, we were pleasantly full (and that was after a full day of hiking and a light lunch). The restaurant has a total 60's/70's vibe, service was good, and we really had fun. The previous two meals I had eaten out suffered from overcooked proteins, so I was kind of glad to cook the meat myself. It doesn't make my top 10 list of dinners ever, but I left the restaurant happy and not feeling ripped off, which is good in a resort town.

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

        1. re: mountaincachers

          Mountain: did you use the phones and make/receive any phone calls? That's part of the fun! I love this place for easy menu and silly atmosphere, in a resort town.

          1. re: TSAW

            We did use the phones to make a couple calls. Hilarious. The whole dinner was just really, really fun.

      3. The Post Hotel dining room doesn't have a strict dress policy but I remember reading somewhere they do not want athletic attire. Once we were desperate for something to eat (pub was closed) and arrived in clean hiking gear. The frowning maitre d looked us down slowly from head to toe, then sat us in a secluded corner. Entrees tend to hover from the $20 to $50 range and we probably spend a good $150 without drinks or tip.

        If you want more casual and less price point, eat in their pub. Same kitchen and some entrees may be the same, much cheaper and very casual.

        1. I still like Chaya - hot soup and ramen after a long day of cold skiing = yum.

          3 Replies
          1. re: anonymoose

            Chaya is awesome! Just like Nourish, I only discovered it a few months before I left this town. It's cheap (10$ a plate), and soooo delicious! Just a tiny hole in the wall, but definitely worth a visit. The portions are good, and the food is made fresh to order. It's quite popular among locals in town, as it's not constantly swarmed with tourists and provides consistent quality.

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            Chaya
            118 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L, CA

            1. re: hungry34

              I LOVE Chaya. I still think they have better Japanese-style ramen than any place in Calgary.

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              Chaya
              118 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L, CA

            2. re: anonymoose

              +1 for Chaya. I live in Canmore and come by for Udon on avg once a week. Simple, cheap and delicious.

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              Chaya
              118 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L, CA

            3. Loved my last meal at the Maple Leaf Lounge on the main street in Banff.

                1. re: cellophane_star

                  We had dinner there last night and it was delicious. Love the Bison!

                2. I will also suggest the Grizzly House. It's a fun experience to sit and socialize over a nice long meal. What about going to nearby Canmore? There's a few nice dinner places there too.

                  Not to hijack, but I figure it could fall into the same category rather than starting a new one right next to it that's so similar. Will be in Banff and/or Canmore one morning between X-Mas and New Years. Can anybody suggest their favorite breakfast spot for 1 meal in either place?

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

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: NumberFive

                    For breakfast in Banff, I love Wildflour Cafe. In Canmore, my husband loves The Drake.

                    1. re: cellophane_star

                      2nd Wildflour - love their breakfast panini

                    2. re: NumberFive

                      For breakfast in Canmore, I like Craig's Way Station. Basic diner fare, family restaurant.

                    3. The Grizzly House is a novelty - the portions are small and it's pretty expensive. In Banff - for sure eat at Bison Bistro (more upscale but not snotty), St. James Gate is an Irish Pub with pretty decent food (try the potato nachos!!), and for the best burger you'll ever have - go to Barpa Bills - have the Barpa Burger (Greek style). Lots really like the Maple Leaf Grill but I've never been.
                      Canmore is only a short drive away and has far better restaurants - for sure check out Crazyweed. Really Really great cuisine & wine.
                      The Post Hotel is in Lake Louise which is about 1/2 an hour away. If you do end up going out there, be sure to take photos at the lake - it's spectacular. Have a fun trip~

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

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Sisero

                        I find the portions at the Grizzly House more than adequate. I'm always stuffed when I leave from there.

                        All excellent suggestions here, BTW. Have fun!

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

                        1. re: Sisero

                          Thanks for the Barpa Bill's info. I read it this morning and decided to try it for lunch. Amazing burger! Love the tzaziki sauce! The poutine was really good too and the Greek salad delicious! We will pick up some more salad for dinner.

                          1. re: josey124

                            Breakfast here in Canmore......

                            Harvest for really nice Cinnamon buns - not sure about their weekend hours at the moment.

                            Summit Cafe for the best cooked breakfast.

                            Communitea or Mountain Mercato for the best coffee.

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                            Mountain Mercato
                            817 8 St, Canmore, AB T1W 2B3, CA

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

                        2. Was in Banff last night for dinner and ate at the Maple Leaf Grill, and is was a wonderful experience. This was on Dec 27, undoubtedly a busy day in Banff (due to being one of the busiest days of the year at the ski hills), and even with it being busy all night, the service was great. The food lacked in no way what-so-ever. Portions were great sized, and the food was very well prepared. If you're looking in the $20-$35 range, I think you'll be happy. For the most part, all the entre's fall into the upper end of your desired price range, but you won't be disappointed with the food you get for that.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: NumberFive

                            Maple Leaf is a very good option in Banff. The space has a nice feel and the food I find always consistently good.
                            On NYE I tried Grapes for the first time at the Banff Springs. It doesn't take reservations and only has 6 tables so I found it to be quite a neat place. Be aware besides wine all drinks come from the Rundle so it takes a while in case so order early in case you're a fast drinker like me. The food was good once again but nothing to write home about.
                            They try to source all ingredients within 100 miles of Banff which is good. I had the Wild Mushroom Ravioli with prawns and it was a big portion but would have liked to taste more Wild Mushrooms bc the pasta is quite thick. My SO had the Chicken and it well made but reminded me of a dish my grandma would serve me with cabbage and a few other vegetables.
                            For italian food I still think the appies at Castello are great for Banff. The mains arent bad but they just don't stand out as much imho

                          2. I lived in Banff for nearly 3 years, and if I have one regret, it is not discovering Nourish Bistro any sooner than I did, 6 months before I was leaving for good. It's a vegetarian place, tucked in the Sundance Mall, 3rd floor. It's absolutely tiny, so make sure you reserve. There are no words to describe the ambiance, the charm... It's one room, no walls separating the kitchen from the dinning room. Everything is fresh, and items aren't always available as they run out, in order to ensure freshness. It's almost tapas style, and always best to go with a group of friends or family so you can try a bit of everything! I highly recommend the mushroom ravioli and the nachos (don't be scared by the 30 toppings list, strawberries and chickpeas are an awesome match!!).

                            http://nourishbistro.com/the_bistro.html

                            Enjoy!!

                            1. shakes has nathans famous hot dogs.. they're the best in banff... for the non vegetarians