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The Best Outdoor Cocktails are at Banff's Food & Cocktail Festival

Published Date
Mar 5, 2024|
Food & Drink
A woman pours a cocktail on Bear Street during an outdoor cocktail festival.

Mountains, cocktails, and curated menus are what you’re getting when you come to Made with Love – the Banff Food and Cocktail Festival. From April 19 to May 4, indulge in an unforgettable culinary adventure from some of the best restaurants in Banff.

Kick off the festival outdoors on Bear Street on April 19 - 20, featuring entertainment and cocktail, mocktail and food pairing creations developed by local mixologists and chefs to the theme of “Spring Après." Each participating restaurant is offering 1 paired creation - so a mocktail/cocktail paired with food - so do your best to sample each one.

And then, until May 4, head into Banff’s best restaurants to experience their takes on the Spring Après theme across mountain cocktails and curated menus.

Access to the Bear Street festival site is free, but you’ll need a bracelet and tasting coupons to enjoy any of the pairings on offer. Your best bet is to purchase this in advance online. To try the menus elsewhere, book a table at your preferred participating restaurant during the Made with Love Festival dates.

Already convinced? Fabulous. Get your tickets here and plan your foodie-focused Banff and Lake Louise trip.

If you need a bit more background on the festival – read on. We’ve got you.

A cocktail on a table at Magpie & Stump in Banff National Park.
A bartender filters out the parts of a cocktail indoors.

Kickoff Banff’s Food & Cocktail Festival Outdoors on Bear Street

Dates: April 19-20, 2024


  • April 19: 4 pm to 10 pm
  • April 20: 1 pm to 10 pm

Prepare for the most delicious event of the year – the Made with Love Food and Cocktail Festival on Bear Street! Join us on April 19 and 20 for a flavour-packed experience where 20 local vendors will showcase mouthwatering food and drink combinations.

The event happens outdoors on Bear Street, where you can sample incredible cocktails and enjoy views of Banff icons Cascade Mountain and Mount Rundle. It’s the best view you’ll get for a cocktail tasting. The outdoor event is open to all ages, and mocktails are available.

The festival will start on Friday with the Made with Love competition. Ten chef and bartender teams will present their creations, featuring local spirits and ingredients that capture the essence of the Spring Après season in Banff. Make sure to try them all, and then it's your chance to vote for the best cocktail and food pairing.

Saturday brings even more excitement, whether you're into cocktails, mocktails, or exploring the best of local cuisine. With DJs, music, and entertainment throughout, the festival promises a vibrant atmosphere for all ages. Bring your family and friends along to savour the tastes of Banff.

You can get a general admission ticket with a tasting glass, a bracelet and 20 tasting coupons for one day or get the VIP treatment and get the Made with Love Public’s Choice ticket. With this ticket, you can access both days of the festival, 80 tasting coupons, voting rights to help determine the best food and cocktail pairing and an official tasting glass.

Tickets can sell out, so make sure to get yours right away.

A bartender fires off a torch while making a fancy cocktail at the Banff Food & Cocktail Festival.A bartender fires off a torch while making a fancy cocktail at the Banff Food & Cocktail Festival.A bartender fires off a torch while making a fancy cocktail at the Banff Food & Cocktail Festival.

How does Entry to the Food and Cocktail Festival on Bear Street Work?

Access to the festival grounds is free. However, to participate in any tastings, you will need a bracelet and tasting coupons. The bracelet gives you the right to purchase tasting coupons on your chosen day(s) of the Made with Love Food and Cocktail Festival on Bear Street. The tastings vary in how many coupons they cost, and more are available for purchase on-site.

How Do I Get to the Bear Street Food and Cocktail Festival?

The best way to access the Made with Love Food and Cocktail Festival on Bear Street is to take Roam Transit close to the event site or to walk over from one of Banff’s hotels. Near the event site, you will find several hotel options, or you can book the Made with Love Package with Banff Lodging Co. for one of their wonderful local hotels and receive 1-night accommodation and two tickets to the festival. 

Paid parking is available nearby, and free parking is available at the Banff Train Station. However, we strongly advise against driving if you plan to consume alcohol during the event. Please take Roam Transit and choose to stay in a local hotel so you can enjoy safely.

People mill about at the Bear Street outdoor festival during Made with Love - Banff Food & Cocktail Festival
A bartender makes a drink at Made with Love - Banff Food & Cocktail Festival

Curated Cocktails and Meal Pairings at Some of Banff’s Best Restaurants

Dates: April 19 to May 4, 2024

After the kickoff party, explore the curated cocktail and food pairings at any of Banff’s 25 participating restaurants. No tickets necessary; swing into your restaurant of choice and try their paring. It’s the perfect way to wrap up a wintery adventure in Banff and Lake Louise.

Made With Love Participating Restaurants:

Make it A Foodie Adventure in Banff and Lake Louise

Made with Love, the Banff Food and Cocktail Festival is the perfect time to explore Banff and Lake Louise. So, gather your favourite travel friends and try out our Made with Love Food and Cocktail Festival Trip Itinerary.

You’ll start your excursion on Friday evening in Banff.

Check into one of the hotels located just a few minutes walk from the festival site – like Brewster Mountain Lodge, Peaks Hotel & Suites, or the Mount Royal – so you will have easy access to the festival. And a leisurely walk back to your room.

Get settled in your space, and then head out and explore the townsite until the festival kicks off on Bear Street at 4 pm. Give yourself at least a few hours to savour the cocktail and food combinations.

This is the perfect reason to have your favourite travel buddies. Test and try all the combinations and compare your favourites with your friends. Once you're done, head back to your accommodation and get ready for a day of adventure.

On Day 2, wake up and head out to a local café – like Downtown Sally or Banff National Perk to get yourself fuelled up for a day of adventuring.

Then, head on a guided tour to Banff’s best spots.

Try to see as much as possible with an 8-hour discovery of Lake Louise, Bow Lake and other Banff gems with Radventure or get your sweat on and explore Sunshine Meadows by snowshoeing with White Mountain Adventures.

Hit up the hot tub at your accommodation or – for a Banff classic – head to the Banff Upper Hot Springs to relax after a day out. Then, wrap your night by heading back to the festival or picking one of the participating restaurants and heading in for the perfect meal and cocktail capper.

Peyto Lake at sunrise on a winter expedition with Radventures in Banff National Park.Peyto Lake at sunrise on a winter expedition with Radventures in Banff National Park.Peyto Lake at sunrise on a winter expedition with Radventures in Banff National Park.

Your second full day in Banff is another chance to delve into your adventurous side.

In the morning, book a guided tour to explore Johnston’s Canyon – where you’ll be treated to roaring waterfalls just thawing out after winter. Then, in the afternoon, take this chance to get in an early-season hike by heading up Sulphur Mountain.

Make sure to take Roam Transit, so you won’t need to worry about finding parking. The hike is a lung burner as you gain 700 meters over 5 km.

Or, if you aren’t up for a hike, you can take the 7-minute gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain with the Banff Gondola. You can also ride back down if you have chosen to hike up; you just need to get a ticket at the top.

Once you’re at the top, take in the views over the Banff townsite and out towards the Sundance Range and grab a drink with a view from Sky Bistro.

Once you get back down, head into town and go to one of the participating restaurants to try their curated Made with Love menu before hitting up a second to try their cocktail or mocktail and make the most of these exclusive menus.

After a night's rest, spend your last morning in Banff shopping on Banff Ave and Bear Street. There's local artists - like Paper Den and Jeff Walker Gallery - and lots of great places to find gifts like Big Bear Trading Co. and Branches Marketplace.

Robert Massey

Robert Massey

Robert loves being outdoors, in particular hiking, trail running, and anything out on the water. You can frequently find him on the trails or the waters of Banff, camera in hand.