“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread…where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
John Muir’s words ring true for anyone who has spent time in the company of the Canadian Rockies. And those who have been lucky enough to visit will know that in Banff and Lake Louise, it’s about both the beauty and the bread.
The lively culinary scene doesn’t differentiate between those who are drawn here for adventure or rejuvenation, in winter or summer, for connection or escape. Combining a weekend in the mountains with mouthwatering cuisine is a recipe for the ultimate nourishment. With three days in Banff and Lake Louise, it’s possible to check off a culinary bucket list that rivals our awe-inspiring scenery.
Day 1: Make for the Mountains
There’s no feeling like travelling west through the foothills from Calgary and arriving into the heart of the Rockies. Head past Banff and make a trip towards the Continental Divide on Highway 93 South to feast your eyes on the mountainous spine of North America. Just a few minutes before the Divide is Storm Mountain Lodge, a quintessentially Canadian mountain lodge with sumptuous cuisine that makes for a perfect lunch stop.
After lunch, head back to the Trans-Canada Highway and then continue west to iconic Lake Louise. Work up an appetite with a hike up to the Lake Agnes Teahouse or Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse which are open from early June (bring cash for tea and homemade cakes) or a winter snowshoe tour followed by luxurious Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Day 2: Take the Scenic Route to Banff
Fuel up with breakfast at Poppy Brasserie in the Chateau, or make a quick stop in the village at Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Deli or the Trailhead Café. Freshly baked pastries or flavour-stuffed wraps make the perfect start to a day of adventure. You’ll be set to explore year-round hiking trails, cross-country skiing in winter, or a trip up the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sightseeing Gondola. After that, head off on the scenic Bow Valley Parkway and grab a locally-sourced lunch from Baker Creek Bistro.
Consider a stop to climb to Castle Lookout before taking the Trans Canada Highway towards Banff. Then you’ll have earned your après (not just for skiers!) once you arrive in Banff and roll in to the Fairmont Banff Springs’ Rundle Bar. For dinner, the choices in town are as tantalizing as the menus themselves; try Park Distillery, Farm & Fire, Block Kitchen & Bar, The Radiant, La Terrazza, or Ticino Restaurant.
Day 3: A Final Day of Tasting in Banff
A weekend isn’t complete without brunch, so visit Wild Flour Bakery or head up to Juniper Bistro - one of several local restaurants to land a coveted spot on Open Table’s “100 Most Scenic Restaurants in Canada 2019” list. Then head up to Mt. Norquay for skiing or wildlife sightseeing and lunch high above Banff at the historic Cliffhouse Bistro.
After more ideas for your summer? We only have two more blogs left as part of the Summer Itineraries. Come back next week for "Bike Banff and Lake Louise in 5 Days" and "5 Days of Roadtrips and Sightseeing Around Banff and Lake Louise".