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May 31, 2011 07:57 PM

Calgary, Banff, the badlands, Lake Louise after mid June - your advice is needed

We are flying to Calgary from Toronto and will have 8 days - first Drumheller area 2 nights, 3 nights in Banff area, 2 in Lake Louise and last night in Calgary - any recommendations re great places to stay with good food will be much appreciated. B & B's are fine as long as there is private bathroom

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  1. Some places in Calgary I enjoy (all over the map in terms of cuisine & prices):
    District, Boxwood, Famoso, The Coup, Bolero, Vin Room, The Casbah, Globefish Sushi, Atlas Specialty and Mango Shiva.

    In Banff, I like to eat at The Bison, Maple Leaf Lounge and at the Banff Springs Hotel (particularly Waldhaus and Castello). Wildflour Cafe is good for breakfast or lunch.

    If you're into fine dining, I've heard great things about The Post in Lake Louise.

    Drumheller... I haven't found anything besides run of the mill pubs and chain restaurants though maybe there are a few gems that other people have discovered?

    Mango Shiva
    218- 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B5, CA

    Vin Room
    2310-4th St SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1X2, CA

    22 Replies
    1. re: cellophane_star

      I enjoyed the cafe in the little house at 233 Centre St. in Drumheller. I can't remember the name. We had some homemade soup and a strangely delicious curried lamb grilled cheese sandwich (I think the owners are Japanese?)

      1. re: 23skidoo

        we're arriving in Calgary at noon - after picking up rental car etc thought we eat somewhere that makes sense if driving to Drumheller for late afternoon/early evening - anything specific from anyone that you'd suggest as our first Alberta meal :) Don't mind lunch being the main meal and something lighter in evening in Drumheller

        1. re: foodmadfam

          Since your coming from Toronto and will be tired from the travel experience I would eat in Airdrie or in Drumheller following this route. Easiest way to get out of town and the best way to Drumheller from the airport. Unfortunately I don't know about food in Airdrie or Drumheller.

          map below with driving instructions on left:

          or a small variation - there is a hotel on the right on Barlow Trail in Calgary with Italian food - perhaps some knows the hotel and restaurant name.
          Edit: it's the Acclaim Hotel and the restaurant is Pacini Pasta & Grill Ristorante. It seems to have mixed reviews.

          1. re: rosetown

            ok - thanks, will look up Airdie - don't want to eat lunch in Drumeller =
            - will be hungry I'm presuming if landing at noon and then also will =
            have two nights in Drumheller so want to try something different - =
            thought that there might be something in Calgary on way from airport =
            that does not entail getting involved in traffic etc - any other suggestions welcome -

            1. re: foodmadfam

              Another option is to have lunch at the Delta hotel on the arrivals level.


              1. re: foodmadfam

                If you do eat at a local place in Drumheller, let us know how it was! I've only had dinner in Drumheller a few times, and it's usually Chinese food or Greek, and not quite good enough to recommend.
                Another option is the dinner theatre in Rosebud, AB, a short drive from Drumheller. I've never eaten there but the food gets fairly positive comments online:

                1. re: 23skidoo

                  found the Vietnamese Noodle House in 2nd Street in Drumheller - skip the western menu - we had pretty good pho (beef noodle) and a veg stir fry with chicken on rice big enough to share - so by no means 'fine dining' but pretty good food and very reasonable. Best of course was the iced Vietnamese coffee

                  The Noodle House
                  4815 48 Ave, Red Deer, AB T4N 3T2, CA

            2. re: foodmadfam

              If you like dosas, Southern Spice of India in Calgary is a possibility. Reasonably priced and located in Calgary s little India. About 20 minutes from the airport - half rural, half urban drive - not difficult to navigate to. The location is light industrial - right beside Canada s largest mosque.


              driving instructions:

              Southern Spice
              4655 54 Ave NE #102, Calgary, AB T3J 3Z4, CA

              1. re: rosetown

                took your suggestion re Southern Spice of India - great dhosas - especially the spicy chicken - unpretentious place

                Southern Spice
                4655 54 Ave NE #102, Calgary, AB T3J 3Z4, CA

                1. re: foodmadfam

                  Terrific that you are reporting back!!

                  added to database:
                  Vietnamese Noodle House, Drumheller

                  Vietnamese Noodle House
                  202 2 Street West, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y4, CA

            3. re: 23skidoo

              think you're referring to Molly Brown's cafe - nothing there now and one store owner nearby said that 'the owner went back to Japan'

              1. re: foodmadfam

                Sorry to hear that.
                Thanks for the update all the same!

            4. re: cellophane_star

              There's also a diner in Drumheller that the locals seem to love recommending, Whifs. It's on the road out to Tyrrell Museum. I went there but didn't stay because there was a line.

              1. re: 23skidoo

                thanks to all of you - was just about giving up on any replies :)

                1. re: foodmadfam

                  If you're wanting to stay in and around Lake Louise, let me recommend The Siding Cafe/General Store in Field for an excellent lunch stop and/or Cathedral Mountain Lodge for dinner (both 15 minutes from Lake Louise). Field is a off the beaten path kinda town, and has the advantage of being close to everything in the area but no crowds! Enjoy your trip.

                  1. re: CriolloLover

                    On the Field note, the Kicking Horse Lodge and Truffle Pigs bistro is the perfect combination you've asked for ( A great little mountain inn with an extraordinary restaurant that a few folks on this board (including me) have raved about in the past.

                2. re: 23skidoo

                  Link for Whifs

                  Whifs Flap Jack House
                  801 N Dinosaur Tr, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y1, CA

                3. re: cellophane_star

                  Second for Wildflour, the Bison. Charcut in Calgary esp. if you are watching Top Chef Canada (chef is Connie deSousa). Una Pizza and Wine, also Calgary.

                  1. re: beggsy

                    On the Top Chef Canada note, Charcut hosts a viewing party every Monday at 9PM. I think you have to RSVP in advance, maybe via Twitter. I've never been but I think it would be a fun opportunity to enjoy great food and meet Connie as well as some local food enthusiasts.

                    Also, CHARCUT is located in the Le Germain hotel.

                    I'll second the recommendations for The Bison and the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff (classic "castle in the mountains"--weekend brunch is a pricey, but resplendent choice. Perfect for a vacation splurge).

                  2. re: cellophane_star

                    Last report from Drumheller - try the Greek Restaurant - think it's called Athens - generous portions - not fancy but we enjoyed hummus, greek salad and an island shrimp dish - could have stopped at the hummus and salad in terms of quantity - friendly service

                    1. re: foodmadfam

                      Adding link

                      Athens Greek Restaurant
                      71 Bridge St, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0, CA

                      1. re: foodmadfam

                        The lamb there is great. Eaten there a number of times.

                    2. I have to say I am a fan of the Royal Tyrell museum but I do wonder why you planned 2 nights in Drumheller. I'm going to guess you really like dinosaurs? It's not a place known for food.

                      Let me apologize now to the Drum fans.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sharonanne

                        second thank you to the next round of replies: Re Drumheller - although two nights, will actually only have one full day and wanted to have that - but thanks for the heads-up; will try what has been recommended - can't wait - first visit to Alberta!

                      2. I have been to the Palomino and Booker's BBQ in Calgary. They both have good BBQ and the prices & service are good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: a93302

                          I love Barpa Bill's in Banff, it's lunch counter greek deliciousness. One block off the main street near the theatre. Had a slice of pizza at Ardvark's and some tasty sweet potato fries last visit, yum.

                          a93302 check out tasty ribs! They're just off Blackfoot across from Shaw GMC and soon on 16th ave NE near Edmonton trail.

                          1. re: The Gut

                            In Calgary, we tried out River Cafe. It was nice. We liked the game and fish board as appetizer. And the flank steak was good.
                            However, our favorite in Calgary is Rush.
                            In Banff, we had a cheap lunch - we went to Chaya for ramen and curry rice on Banff Ave. Very tasty, good value and efficient service. We also went to Sunday brunch at Banff Springs Hotel. it was fun - we had a great view. But not sure if I would go back. Although there was still a long lineup when we left at 1:30pm.

                            In Lake Louise, we loved our dinner at the Post Hotel Pub. Tasty food, hearty portions and reasonable prices. Our favorite meal of our trip this week in the Calgary area.

                        2. In Drumheller, you need to check out Bernie and the Boys Bistro. giant amazing burgers, many many flavors of milkshake, and if you can get 4 people together, they'll make you an omelet from an ostriche egg. Also Drumheller is the only place I'l buy beef jerky. Its called riverside packers, and its on the road to rosedale on the west side of the highway.. its well worth the price for a bag!