If you’ve caught my latest posts, you already know that Will and I recently went on an amazing trip to Banff in Alberta, Canada. I have already covered where we went, and the trails we hiked, but I can’t leave out where we ate! To me, good food makes traveling a richer experience, so I wanted to share the spots we enjoyed and recommend in case you’re headed that way soon.
On our first night in Banff, we arrived pretty late. So late there were not many restaurants were closed! Luckily the lodge next door had a restaurant bar still open that served their bar’s food menu until the last call.
The Keg Steakhouse and Bar was a cute little spot, and their main menu looked really good. I had no complaints about their bar menu either. They had a great selection of items to choose from.
Did I mention we were starving?! Soup was sounding really good to me that late at night, so I ordered a cup of French Onion, and Will chose the prime rib sliders (and yes, they serve their sliders with real horseradish! Yum!).
When Will and I travel, we each usually pick something from the menu, but we share everything we order. That way, we usually don’t stuff ourselves too much at each meal (sometimes), and we also end up getting to try more food because we just hop around to different places and try a little local fare here and there.
The French Onion Soup really hit the spot, and the sliders were very good! On top of that, we also ordered some garlic cheese bread… Did I mention we were starving from traveling and not eating all day?
After our first hike through Johnston Canyon, we went back to town to grab a bite before we headed to Sulphur Mountain. We didn’t really plan ahead to eat here either (I usually like to research where I’m going to eat while on vacation in advance), it was just something we found on a whim and decided to stop in because we needed some food, and it looked like they had a good variety on their menu.
I ordered a quinoa power salad with Green Goddess dressing to fuel up for our next hike up Sulphur mountain (and good thing because it was a tough hike!), and we also ordered some Poutin Style fries (with the gravy on the side because I wasn’t sure what the gravy was going to be like and I didn’t want it too covered and smothered on my fries).
Poutin is a Canadian dish, so if you’re ever in Canada, I feel like it’s something you should try! Got to experience the local fare, right!?
Did I mention that Earl’s has two happy hours? We were not there during their happy hour, but the bartender said that things get really busy there during HH.
We went to Ticino our second night in Banff. It is a Swiss-Italian restaurant, and the combination of that seemed pretty interesting to me, so we decided to give it a try. It also wasn’t too far of a walk from the Rundlestone Lodge, and we were pretty tired from walking 11+ miles our first day, and didn’t want to venture too much further for dinner.
For appetizers we ordered a charcuterie board, and a cup of wild mushroom soup. I don’t usually order soups at restaurants, but on this trip I was just feeling soupy for some reason!
For dinner we shared the Roasted Duck Gnocchi and Elk Osso Bucco. The Elk is braised for over 24 hours, so it was so tender, and just melted off the bone. The elk came with fresh vegetables and homemade spatzli. It was so much comfort food, and we were so worn out from our long day, I almost passed out at the dinner table.
If there is only one place in Banff that you try from this list, I recommend Bear Street Tavern! They have a an awesome variety of food on their menu, cool atmosphere, delicious pizza, and a great beer menu to wash down all the the good food.
We actually broke my cardinal sin of traveling and ate here twice!!! After our first meal there, we decided that we wanted to try a different pizza, and their fish tacos, so at least we didn’t order the same thing…
Anyway, the meal that left us wanting more was their chicken wings (served with a chimichurri sauce), and their Godfather Pizza that came with prosciutto, garlic, olives, truffle oil, arugula, and grand padano mozzarella. It was so good, we ate every last morsel.
If you’re a pizza connoisseur, like me, you should also try Bear Street Tavern for the unique spin they add to their pizza. When you get your za, they also give you a bottle of honey and a bottle of hot pepper and rosemary infused oil. You can either swirl both on your pizza, or put some on your plate, mix it around, and dip your pizza in it as you go.
I have had hot pepper oil on pizza before, but never infused with rosemary, and the combo of the oil with the honey on the pizza was really unexpected and delicious!
Our third night in town we actually wanted to eat at The Maple Leaf, but they were closed for a private event, so we popped into Eddie’s Burger Bar to grab dinner. It is a small, hole in the wall, type of spot. It was very busy too, we had about a fifteen minute wait until we could be seated.
Eddie’s also has a milkshake bar, and a wide variety of milkshakes to choose from (some also contain alcohol if you want a shake that is a little extra). It had been many, many years since I have had a milkshake, and looking at their menu got me in the mood. The Oreo milkshake definitely hit the spot, and was big enough to be a meal in itself.
For dinner we split the Eddie Burger with hot tots. Have you ever heard of hot tots?! We hadn’t, so naturally we had to try them. These are definitely a side you should try to recreate if you’re a fan of sriracha sauce. The hot tots were tater tots topped with bacon, a dill ranch sauce, and topped with sriracha. Yum!
The burger was good too. Eddie’s, like many places in Canada, uses locally sourced Alberta beef that is hormone free! Why can’t more places in America use hormone free beef!?
After our hikes around Moraine Lake, we headed to the Lake Louise Gondola to have lunch at the Whitehorn Bistro. We purchased the dine and ride gondola tickets which gave us a $20 credit (each) to use at Whitehorn Bistro.
I ordered a hot apple cider to start. There was just something about being up in the mountains at a ski resort that had me wanting some hot apple cider, even if it wasn’t snowing outside. The taste, as always reminded me of Christmas!
For a starter we ordered their charcuterie board which consisted of some prosciutto, salami, bison tartare, bone marrow with asiago cheese, bacon jam, duck wings, smoked duck, crostini, and a variety of pickled vegetables.
Most of the board was meats prepared in ways that Will and I had never tried before, so we were excited to try something new. And if eating something like bone marrow sounds a little scary to you, it was surprisingly good! Everything on the board was very good, and was enough to be a meal in itself, but of course we had to have a little more…
We ordered their Signature Burger, made with Alberta beef, to split for our main course, and it definitely hit the spot! You should definitely try Whitehorn Bistro if you’re in the area.
On our last morning in Banff, we woke up to perfect warm weather, so we made a stop to grab a quick breakfast and enjoy a little sunshine on a porch before we drove back to Calgary.
We stopped at the Wild Flour Bakery for some baked goods, and some coffee. Will ordered a croissant, and I ordered some scones because scones are my absolute favorite. Wild Flour’s scones were the perfect texture for scones too, not too fluffy like a lot of scones that I have had lately.
WHILE WE WERE IN CALGARY
We strolled around 17th Ave. SW and popped in Tuk Tuk for a quick bite to eat. It was good Thai, quick, and comes in cute to go boxes!
After a light lunch we went to check out the Peace Bridge, which is a walking bridge that looks like a Chinese finger trap, and is one of many landmarks in Calgary. After checking out the bridge we walked through Prince Island Park, and down Riverfront Ave., through chinatown, until we arrived at Charbar.
Now Charbar was closed for a wedding reception, but the Rooftop Bar at Simmons was open, and that is where we wanted to go! On the rooftop, there is a separate restaurant from Charbar that serves cantina style food. The rooftop bar was really cool, and they had a lot of great beers and good looking cocktails.
Sorry I didn’t take any pictures, but this place is recommended for a cool atmosphere and a great view! Charbar’s menu looked great too. We didn’t eat here because we were saving our appetite for dinner at Modern Steak!
While looking at maps figuring out where we were going and other sights to see in Calgary, Will came across Greta Bar, and decided we had to stop because that is our daughter’s name.
Modern Steak was a steakhouse that he found, and wanted to try because they carry Waygu filets. It is highly possible that he had been wanting to try some Waygu ever since he heard Brooks Koepka ranting and raving about it during some interview…
Anyhow, Modern Steak is Calgary’s top steakhouse, and all their meat is Prime Grade Alberta Beef, and bred from their own prize winning Black Angus Bull. Calgary, home of the Calgary Stampede, takes pride in their meat, and for good reason. It was delicious!
We started out with the Waygu Dumplings, in a gochujang aioli, with ponzu dipping sauce. I have never had this king of dumpling before and it was delicious. So tender and flavorful.
Not pictured (and before our dumplings came out) is the truffle popcorn they gave us as an appetizer, which was to die for! I have already tried to recreate it at home (and might need one more try before I have perfected my dupe recipe to share with you… didn’t use enough truffle oil on my first try!).
For our main course we had the Filet Trio, an Alberta beef showcase of their traditional filet, grass fed, and Waygu filet. We had some loaded mashed potatoes and mushrooms as our side.
The trio was 21 oz. of filet total, so we had way too much to eat! Don’t worry though, we finished it all! It was a neat experience trying three different types of filet at once. They all had different flavors, but were all delicious. Don’t ask me to choose which one I liked best!
Did I mention that we were there to celebrate my birthday? It was actually a few days early than my actual birthday, but we decided to celebrate early. They treated us with their Baked Alaska, a salted caramel gelato with a vanilla sponge at the base, some lemon curd and Italian Meringue in the exterior. They flambé it at your table side, so that was fun to watch!
This was the perfect meal to end a wonderful trip to Alberta, Candada. We really enjoyed Banff, and maybe next time we go to Calgary, we will try to be there for the Stampede!