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The Real Banff Blog / Published: Mon, 02/26/2018 - 13:27

5 Adventure + Food Pairings in Banff National Park

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Like fine wine, some activities pair with our favourite food better than others. Here are a few ways to plan your next nature escape from start to finish. 

Cross country ski + fondue

Cross-country skiing is a favourite pastime in Banff, and it’s been that way for over a century. In fact, skinny skis on flat ground were the preferred winter activity before downhill took off. We’re sure the first Swiss explorers here had a soft spot for the fondue pot, too. 

There are several excellent trails in Banff National Park. Spray River trail starting at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is an easy scenic out-and-back trail, and the nearby Waldhaus Pub offers an Alpin Cheese Fondue sure to satiate the soul. Or check out Banff Grizzly House Restaurant - one of Banff's landmark fondue stops. 

The Lake Louise area also hosts a variety of unique trails, best completed with a visit to the Walliser Stube’s Fondue - a cozy restaurant in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with several decadent styles of fondue. Indulgence at its finest!  

Backpacking + burgers

They say that food tastes better in the backcountry, but it’s just as good after the backcountry, too. A juicy burger with all the fixings is best enjoyed fresh off the trail and fresh with endorphins. Discover your burger potential with Eddie Burger & Bar's custom build menu. 

Find a patio where you can sit back and appreciate the view of your objective to really savour your accomplishment, and your burger too! 

The Elk & Oarsman and Rose & Crown have great summer patios with views of Banff’s prominent peaks - Rundle, Sulphur, Tunnel, and Cascade. Or if you’re hiking around Castle Mountain Junction, make a burger stop at Baker Creek Bistro’s rustic yet quaint patio. For more inspiration, check out our blog: 9 Patios You Need To Try This Summer.

Ski + Curry

With day’s end of any skiing mission, whether resort or backcountry, the top priority is a hearty and spicy meal to warm us up from the inside out. 

Pad Thai Restaurant in the Clock Tower Mall is a hidden gem in Banff, offering an excellent Thai Green Curry and Mussaman Curry. Be sure to try the unique Thai Iced Tea, too!

Masala is the only East Indian restaurant in Banff National Park and a delicious one at that. Madras, vindaloo, masala and more - you’ll have a hard time deciding which dish to try. Your best bet is to dine with a big pack of ski buddies and share as many as possible! 

SUP + Taco 

The lakes in Banff National Park may not be the warmest for swimming (unless you have pretty thick skin), but they’re excellent for stand-up paddleboarding! The Banff Canoe Club is located right in the town of Banff on the Bow River and will set you up for a great day exploring the water.  

Once you’re SUP-ed out, get that paddle out of your hand and replace it with a taco! Magpie & Stump has no shortage of taco filled meals, and you might as well indulge in a lime margarita (or two) while you’re at it!

They have ample patio space - both streetside and rooftop - to soak in the last of the day’s sunshine and scenery.

Climbing + Pizza

Whether climbing a frozen waterfall in the winter or sport climbing at a sunny crag in the summer, pizza is a treat to top off your adventure year-round. 

Beginners can look to Yamnuska Mountain Adventures for the first courses and steps of trying out climbing, whether on rock or on ice. 

While climbing can be gratifyingly challenging, keeping the post-adventure meal simple is a great balance. The Bear Street Tavern are well-known for their fresh ingredient pizzas (and calzones!) with a side of chili oil and honey, and Athena’s has a decades-long reputation of whipping up some of the best za in the valley. If you're looking to add a little bowling into the mix, don't miss High Rollers. 


If you love a good cause and want to attend one of North America's most talked about culinary events, then clear your weekend calendar when Cochon555 heads to Banff, Alberta on April 27 & 28, 2018 at the incredible Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Imagine an elaborate 30-course, stand-up, sustainable dinner featuring wine, craft beer and spirits and where you get to help pick the best bite from some of the best local chefs. To learn more, visit Cochon555 Banff.

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