Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

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todd waldmann
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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#1 Post by todd waldmann » June 18th, 2018, 12:01 pm

We'll be spending just over a week in Alberta and I was hoping to mine the collective wisdom here for restaurant ideas.

We are probably not too interested in high end dining, but somewhat upscale is fine, given there will be nine of us, including kids. There are no vegetarians, gluten-resistant or non-adventurous eaters in the group. We have two nights in Calgary, two nights in Canmore and three nights in Jasper.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#2 Post by Ed Kurtzman » June 18th, 2018, 12:45 pm

It's been over 10 years since I've been in Alberta, but I always remember the Grizzly House in Banff as being a place that kids and adults would enjoy. Lots of exotic meats. Good Canadian wines.

We also liked the Maple Leaf in Banff. I can't remember the names of other places we went, it's been too long.

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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#3 Post by Mike DiSalvo » June 19th, 2018, 8:03 am

I was up there a couple of summers ago and there are recommendations over on the travel board. My overall impressions was the quality of food was very good in both Banff and Jasper with Jasper being more rustic. You're in for a fantastic trip and drive on the Icefields Parkway and be sure to fill up before jumping on the Parkway since there is only one spot or so to stop and gas up.

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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#4 Post by TimF » June 19th, 2018, 11:23 am

The most interesting culinary experience I had in either of those places was in Banff. We hiked up to the Lake Agnes Tea House on a miserable day (my kids were 7 and 5) in the rain and mud. Best tasting coffee and cookies I've ever had in my life.

https://www.banfflakelouise.com/hiking/tea-houses

I honestly don't remember much noteworthy food-wise. We ate out of the back of our SUV a bunch of the time (coleman stove and cooler). I do remember having decent wood fire pizza in Jasper. But the food is a joke compared to the scenery.
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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#5 Post by Jonathan Kalman » June 19th, 2018, 11:34 am

My son Josh is working as a chef at the Park Distillery in Banff, http://www.parkdistillery.com . I haven't eaten there but he tells me it's pretty good!
If you get to Lake Louise the restaurant at the Lake Louise Inn is very good and the wine list is excellent.

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#6 Post by todd waldmann » June 21st, 2018, 11:54 am

Thanks for all the tips everyone.
“Burgundy is, well, Burgundy. A minefield of potential disappointments beloved by elitists and pseudo-intellectuals who like to discuss ad nauseam growers and terroirs—not quality.” RMP

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#7 Post by PHuff » June 24th, 2018, 1:55 pm

The restaurant at The Post Hotel at Lake Louise is special....great food and awesome wine list
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#8 Post by Jonathan Kalman » June 28th, 2018, 8:53 am

PHuff wrote:The restaurant at The Post Hotel at Lake Louise is special....great food and awesome wine list
I had wrongly called this Hotel 'The Lake Louise Inn' in my earlier post. It was the Post Hotel that I meant and not the Inn.

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#9 Post by David Cooper » June 29th, 2018, 4:08 pm

Post Hotel was fantastic when we visited.

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#10 Post by Brian Tuite » June 29th, 2018, 4:21 pm

We had a memorable dinner at Chateau Lake Louise with an awesome view the length of the lake to the mountains.
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#11 Post by Paul Miller » June 29th, 2018, 4:24 pm

I worked in Calgary a few years ago. A nice place to eat was River Cafe in Prince’s Island Park.

Another place we went to quite a bit during the week was a wine bar on 8th Avenue, but not sure if it’s still there.

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#12 Post by Sh@n A » July 16th, 2018, 7:44 pm

Best meal for us in banff was (I) a random b&b with fresh salmon in the cedar plank in their bench table — I can still taste it, and (II) packed a nice cab and cheese / salami picnic, did a light hike with great views, put on iPhone light cello — I remember that one as well.
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#13 Post by Sh@n A » July 16th, 2018, 7:50 pm

Best meal for us in banff was (I) a random b&b with fresh salmon in the cedar plank in their bench table — I can still taste it, and (II) packed a nice cab and cheese / salami picnic, did a light hike with great views, put on iPhone light cello — I remember that one as well.
/ @ g r @ \

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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#14 Post by Brian Tuite » July 16th, 2018, 8:36 pm

Sh@n A wrote:Best meal for us in banff was (I) a random b&b with fresh salmon in the cedar plank in their bench table — I can still taste it, and (II) packed a nice cab and cheese / salami picnic, did a light hike with great views, put on iPhone light cello — I remember that one as well.
You can say that again!
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#15 Post by Brian Tuite » July 16th, 2018, 8:41 pm

Sh@n A wrote:Best meal for us in banff was (I) a random b&b with fresh salmon in the cedar plank in their bench table — I can still taste it, and (II) packed a nice cab and cheese / salami picnic, did a light hike with great views, put on iPhone light cello — I remember that one as well.
I was kidding.
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Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#16 Post by Jonathan Kalman » July 23rd, 2018, 2:38 am

I asked my son (who works as a chef at Park Distillery in Banff ) for some advice on eating in Banff and this is what he wrote;

"Hi Dad,

I think you're in the air right now, so I guess you'll see this when you see this...

Juniper Bistro - Great food with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and house made products. It's also got one of the best views you can get from a restaurant in Banff.

Sky Bistro - Head up the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur mountain (a trip worth making in it's own right) to Sky Bistro, enjoy one of the more upscale restaurants that Banff has to offer with a view that is truly hard to beat. (reservations recommended)

The Bear Street Tavern - Located on Bear Street in downtown Banff, this restaurant (known as the "Tavern", or simply "Tav" by locals) is a great casual spot to go to if great thin crust pizzas is what you're after. (Alternatively, "High Rollers also has really good pizzas, and a massive beer list that is sure to satisfy any cravings for suds. And they have bowling there as well, so... you know... bowling)

Eden - Located in the Rimrock resort, Eden offers a French influenced menu that always gets terrific reviews and feedback. (Really supposedly a great place for a meal). This is a place in Banff that is widely respected among other kitchens and chefs.

Park Distillery - Located right in the middle of Banff Ave. A great place for folks of all ages. Casual, fun and vibrant atmosphere. Probably the best place in Banff for cocktails. The bars are stocked with award winning house made spirits (they also offer free distillery tours during the day). And trust me, the drinks are great.
The kitchen has options for just about anyone, from burgers and hand pulled chicken sandwiches, to steaks and fish grilled on the open flame wood grill that give the great smokiness that we love with our food. (Reservations are highly recommended as the place is one of the busiest in town, especially on weekends)

Other spots worth checking out:

Bison
The Maple Leaf
Saltlik
La Terrazza

I hope this helps

Josh"

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Re: Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#17 Post by Mike Wenzel » July 21st, 2019, 10:25 pm

To update this old thread, just got back from a trip to Banff. It was very crowded with tourists.

Great cocktails at Park Distillery. Juniper Bistro was disappointing, the wild boar was basically sushi. Disappointing but the view was good.

Chuck's Steakhouse was great. Good cocktails and service, great steaks.

The Bison was fine, very good Bison Ribeye, pretty good cocktails.

In Jasper ate at Syrahs. Very nice staff and pretty good food.

All Canadian winelists at some of these restaurants which is not a high point.

The drive from Banff to Jasper is epic. One of our most spectacular and awe inspiring travel experiences.

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Re: Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#18 Post by Mike DiSalvo » July 23rd, 2019, 11:17 am

<In Jasper ate at Syrahs. Very nice staff and pretty good food. >

Loved the onion tart and the biscuits, especially the biscuits. It's a great place to go after a day of hiking over 25K steps on the various trails near Jasper.

The drive on the Icelands Parkway is holy sh%T epic. Going to figure out how to get back there again sooner than later...

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Re: Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 23rd, 2019, 1:20 pm

We're headed back to Banff/Yoho/Jasper, etc. for the fourteenth time this September.

Food (other than as calories to replenish after the hikes) has never been a priority, but The Bison has always been good. Lots of really good places closed post 2008 crisis. It's a very different town now than it was back then. There are some good places in Canmore as well. My wife and I always enjoy Rocky Mountain Flatbread. Good pizzas and local beer on tap. Syrahs in Jasper is indeed good. Fiddle River Seafood in Jasper is enjoyable as well.
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#20 Post by mmoyer » July 23rd, 2019, 2:06 pm

There last month. In Calgary enjoyed Teatro. In LL The Post. We then spent a few days at Moraine Lodge and dined there...but you have to stay there to eat. All were wonderful. All but The Post welcomed outside wines.
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#21 Post by Mike Wenzel » July 23rd, 2019, 9:57 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 1:20 pm
We're headed back to Banff/Yoho/Jasper, etc. for the fourteenth time this September.

Food (other than as calories to replenish after the hikes) has never been a priority, but The Bison has always been good. Lots of really good places closed post 2008 crisis. It's a very different town now than it was back then. There are some good places in Canmore as well. My wife and I always enjoy Rocky Mountain Flatbread. Good pizzas and local beer on tap. Syrahs in Jasper is indeed good. Fiddle River Seafood in Jasper is enjoyable as well.
Wow, fourteenth time. Interesting re your comment about how it's a very different town now. Can you elaborate? Just curious as this was my first trip.

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Re: Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#22 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 24th, 2019, 4:44 am

Hi Mike,

Banff and Canmore (not so much Jasper) have become much more homogenized, with many interesting, independent shops now gone. There used to be a fantastic book store at one end of Banff Avenue. There was also an Italian place that had basic, but delicious food, and the world's best garlic butter (lots more gone, but those two still hurt). The food was always so hot when it came out of the kitchen that you had to wait five minutes before taking a bite. Lots of the old B&B owners are gone, and the homes updated to high end luxury. Canmore has become a McMansion farm on one side of the highway, where none of that was present when we first started going in 1999. Crowds are way up in both towns, and it's now shuttle bus access to places like Moraine Lake, whereas we used to just drive up and park, no problem at all.

My wife and I now spend most of our time in back country lodges, rather than in the towns. It's much more relaxing to be with a max of 12 other people, rather than standing in line with 1200 people to get on a shuttle. I may not get the high-end cuisine (though the food is always good at the lodges), but I do get unencumbered views of this:
IMG_5092.JPG
and this:
IMG_3590.JPG
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Re: Calgary, Banff, & Jasper Restaurant help

#23 Post by Mike Wenzel » July 24th, 2019, 7:06 am

Yeah, downtown Banff was shockingly crowded, reminded me of Fisherman's Wharf in the summer. We never made it to Moraine or Lake Louise because of the crowds and need to be on a rigid shuttle schedule to get there, but luckily there were plenty of other great spots to visit.

Our next door neighbor here in California was born in and grew up in Canmore, and her family is still there. We met up with her while visiting as she was in town visiting her family and she mentioned how much Canmore has changed over the last 40 years.

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#24 Post by alan weinberg » July 24th, 2019, 12:53 pm

Block Kitchen and Bar in Banff great. Ate there twice on recent trip.

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#25 Post by Mike DiSalvo » July 24th, 2019, 1:41 pm

Another excellent place to eat when in Jasper was Evil Dave's. Get the Malevolent Meatloaf (Wild Boar and Bison) which is especially tasty after a day of hiking (and if there is a chill in the air).

I gotta get back up there soon but probably won't be for at least three years or so.

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#26 Post by Subu Ramachandran » July 25th, 2019, 10:34 am

Was there last Labor day: 5 days of long day hikes. Best spots in banff were:

Bison Restaurant: Great steaks, cozy atmosphere.

Three Ravens Restaurant and wine bar: the view is incredible, their wine selection was not interesting. Very good food, incredible presentation. The atmosphere inside was not cozy.

Juniper Bistro: Went twice for breakfast. Great good, view and atmosphere.

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