The town of Banff has an almost endless variety of eating options. As locals we have compiled a list of our favorite spots. We like these places because they have great food and offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We’ll also mention that as vegetarians we can find several options on their menus. If you’re looking to get a taste of Canadian cuisine see our post Food And Drinks To Try During Your Canadian Rocky Mountain Visit.
Pad Thai Restaurant
110 Banff Avenue
Clock Tower Village Mall
Daily 11:30am to 9pm
This is probably our favorite on the list, especially for grabbing lunch. Pad Thai is a small restaurant tucked away in the lower level of the Clock Tower Mall. The friendly staff is getting to know our faces quite well. The green curry is one of the best we have had. They serve red curry too, either one comes with chicken, beef or tofu. We also enjoy their spring rolls and salad rolls with peanut dipping sauce. They have many other authentic Thai dishes, all at a very reasonable price.
Open daily 7:30am, closing varies during the year.
218 Lynx Street
Melissa’s serves hearty, made from scratch dishes. We can guarantee you won’t leave here hungry, the portions are generous. They are known for legendary breakfasts, but serve a lot of other tasty meals as well. We have frequented many times for their huge plate of pancakes. Even though they are a steak house, they make an excellent vegetarian burger. It and the other burgers come with soup, salad or a big plate of fries for between $9.50 and $10.95, a steal in Banff!
Banff Ave. Brewing Company
Banff Ave. Brewing Company
110 Banff Avenue
2nd Floor Clock Tower Village Mall
Daily 12:00 noon to 2:00am
Good food, on site brewed beer and a great atmosphere, need I say more? It’s no surprise it’s a favorite locals hangout. In the warmer months we like sitting on the balcony to watch the action down below on Banff Avenue.
We love their spicy Buddha noodles and creative salads and entrées. If you’re a vegetarian you’ll get a kick out of the dish named the Fist Pumping Hippy. It’s a delicious stack of crusted tofu and portabella mushroom with balsamic syrup and veggies. We also enjoy their battered Haddock and fries. There are lots of pasta, burger and sandwich options. If you’re just looking for a bit of a snack with your drink, try their hand cut potato chips and dip. It can get busy on weekends, holidays and during the tourist filled summer months.
Waldhaus Restaurant And Pub
The Fairmont Banff Springs, 405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB
If you’re looking for a special or romantic evening out the Waldhaus Restaurant at the Banff Springs Hotel offers authentic Swiss fondues in a cozy setting. For more casual fare there’s the Waldhaus Pub located in the same building situated on the edge of the Bow River and the picturesque golf course.
Maple Leaf Grille And Lounge
Maple Leaf Grill
137 Banff Avenue (403) 760-7680
The Maple Leaf Grill has a great atmoshphere in a warm mountain style decor. The feature a lot of Canadian cuisine. One of our favourites is their signature dish of B.C. salmon. They have Alberta beef as well as a number of game dishes. They have wines from all over the world and if you want to get really Canadian try a glass of maple whiskey!
St. James Gate
St. Jame’s Gate
207 Wolf Street (403) 762-9355
Families are welcome up until 10pm
This is another great watering hole. It’s a fun place with good pub style food and lively entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Our favorites are the Asian salmon noodle salad, the wild B.C. sockeye salmon filet, or beer battered fish and chips. They have plenty of hearty Irish fare and a wide variety of beers on tap.
299 Banff Avenue (403) 762-4414
11:30am til late
We always find we can get a descent meal at Earl’s for a reasonable price. My husband Jack is addicted to their Hunan noodle dish. I like having their soup, salad and pan bread or margherita pizza. There are plenty of burgers, pizzas and pasta options as well as creative entrées, salads and appetizers. The regular Earl’s restaurant is upstairs. There is a lounge downstairs that serves the same menu and drinks with large screen televisions.
Lunch 12:00-3pm Dinner 5-9pm, closed Tuesday
Reservations are recommended for dinner
215 Banff Avenue, Upper Level Sundance Mall, take elevator to 2nd floor.
Finally a vegetarian restaurant that gets it right! As vegetarians we will be the first ones to say that a lot of veggie restaurants we have tried are, well….. bad. I don’t know why, but many of these types of places don’t have good food. Nourish is an exception for sure. It’s a small place with only a few tables that creates and intimate atmosphere and allows for very personal service.
This restaurant is truly a gourmet vegetarian experience. It’s not what I would call cheap, but you do get incredibly flavorful and creative food dishes that could hold up in quality to any five star restaurant. They have some good lunch specials. Meal options include vegan, wheat and gluten free as well as completely raw dishes.
Banff Springs Hotel Weekend Brunch
Saturday and Sunday 11pm to 2pm
Served in the Bow Valley Grill
405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4
The legendary weekend brunch at the Banff Springs is not cheap, but if you consider that it will be most of the food you’ll consume for the day it’s not so bad. We’ve left here so stuffed that we didn’t need to eat again until later that evening and only a light snack at that. We don’t have to say too much more we’ll just let you drool over some of the dessert selections.
The variety breakfast and lunch items offered are just as endless.
Do you have a restaurant you like to go to in Banff that’s not on our list? Add it in our comments and tell us why you like it?