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Where to Eat in Banff – a food and dining guide

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Set upon a dramatic, picture-postcard Rocky Mountains landscape, Banff is best known for a winding stock of wonderful walking routes tunneling through the wilderness, fascinating native history, and quick access to world-renowned ski resorts. But there’s more to it: this quietly vibrant and picturesque town boasts a wealth of culinary temptations that will satisfy all manner of tourists. Both locally and internationally geared, there’s a huge amount to tickle the tastebuds.
Typical dishes

 

 

The food available in Banff is eclectic to say the least. For a taste of authentic Rocky Mountains meaty goodness, wild game is the way to go. Elk, venison, and buffalo are also worth sampling.

Banff Avenue

 

Banff Avenue is a large and colorful thoroughfare dressed with a generous drizzle of shops, a side of hotels, and a delicious dollop of restaurants. The many excellent dining options vary significantly in style and price, but all guarantee a tasty evening out. The Balkan Restaurant has been serving up Greek classics with a modern twist since 1982 and is great for a fairly robust budget – their tender 12-hour slow-roasted lamb is the stuff of dreams. For a cheap and mightily impressive plate of Japanese loveliness, Chaya is refreshingly basic and utterly delightful.

 

• Balkan Restaurant, 120 Banff Ave, Banff; Tel: +1 403 762 3454

Chaya, 118 Banff Ave, Banff; Tel: +1 403 760 0882

 

Bear Street

 

Running adjacent to Banff Avenue in the heart of downtown is Bear Street, a paradise for food lovers of all descriptions. Whether you want something cheap and fast or slow and refined, you can rest assured the flavors scattered along this road are out of this world. Nourish Bistro is perfect for a veggie lunch break and a lip-smacking dinner if you fancy sharing a few beautifully presented dishes. For the best combinations of dough, cheese, and all that other wonderful stuff, the Bear Street Tavern churns out ridiculously good pizzas, with beer on hand to wash it all down.

 

• Nourish Bistro, 110 Bison Courtyard, 211 Bear Street; Tel: +1 403 760 3933

Bear Street Tavern, 211 Bear Street, Banff; Tel: +1 403 762 2021

 

Caribou Street

 

Also at the core of downtown Banff is Caribou Street, where you can find another intriguing selection of heart and stomach-warming establishments. Tooloulou’s is the place to go if you’ve got hankering for something a little bit Southern. This welcoming bistro cooks up fair old portions of Louisiana grub at medium prices. You’ll not doubt enjoy tucking into a succulent rack of Big Daddy’s ribs, a plate of fish tacos, or perhaps a fragrant crab and shrimp boil. For affordable sushi in a friendly atmosphere, the Sushi Bistro should meet all your fresh and fishy needs.

 

• Tooloulou’s Bistro & Bar, 204 Caribou Street, Banff; Tel: +1 403 762 2633

Sushi Bistro, 208 Caribou Street, Banff; Tel: +1 403 762 4000

 

Mountain Avenue

 

The area just outside town and to the south of the Bow River is home to 1 or 2 stately getaways. Snuggled cozily in among blankets of shimmering woodland, the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Rimrock Resort Hotel, on Spray and Mountain avenues respectively, offer some of the region’s most up-market cuisine. The Fairmont’s Waldhaus Restaurant, perched in the woods above the Bow and Spray rivers, delivers Bavarian feasts in a hunting cottage-style environment – you can’t go wrong with fondue and schnitzel – while Eden Restaurant at the Rimrock is known for carefully crafted French fare of the absolute highest order.

 

• Waldhaus, Fairmont Banff Springs, 405 Spray Avenue, Banff; Tel: +1 403 762 2211

Eden, Rimrock Resort Hotel, 300 Mountain Avenue, Banff; Tel: +1 403 762 3356