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Warm-Up this Fall in Banff National Park

Published Date
Sep 27, 2021
Two women drink coffee on Banff Ave in Banff, Canada.

Fall in the mountains is a fan favourite for so many reasons! The days are shorter, providing time for extra shut-eye and blanket hogging before hitting the trails; the temperatures drop, waking wool sweaters from hibernation; and fewer crowds are lining up to get into some of Banff and Lake Louise’s hottest dining establishments.

Take it on the Trails

Before hitting the trails, make sure to get something to cozy up in or with while soaking up those mountain top views or golden larches. Try some of these local favourites to take out with you on the trails.

Big Bear Trading Co. and Rocky Mountain Flannel Co.

Find oversized sweaters, vintage long sleeves, and flannel PJs at these two downtown stores. While you’re there, pick up some long-burning candles, plush fleece blankets, and mugs.

Female relaxing on a cozy blanket with a cup of coffee and an oversized sweater. Fall foliage in the backgroundFemale relaxing on a cozy blanket with a cup of coffee and an oversized sweater. Fall foliage in the backgroundFemale relaxing on a cozy blanket with a cup of coffee and an oversized sweater. Fall foliage in the background

Jolene’s Teahouse and Banff Tea Co.

There are two well-known tea companies in Banff that specialize in high-quality loose leaf tea. Each has its own blends that make them unique.

A selection of teaA selection of teaA selection of tea

Chocolate Shops

Banff has several chocolate shops along the main street. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Mountain Chocolates, Banff Sweet Shoppe, Banff Candy Store and The Fudgery.

A selection of chocolate treats and candy applesA selection of chocolate treats and candy applesA selection of chocolate treats and candy apples

Apres Hiking

After a day full of fresh alpine air, out exploring trails, kick your boots off, unwind and cozy up at these local restaurants. Get a local favourite cozy food like fondue, Alberta beef, or Italian and finish off with an after-meal coffee.

Fondue

There’s nothing that comforts the soul more than a group of your favourite people gathering around a nice gooey pot of Swiss cheese. Find this traditional mountain fare and so much more here:

The Grizzly House

The famous Grizzly House is steeped in Banff history. If you’re craving exotic meats from all over the world, make sure you add this to your itinerary.

Waldhaus Restaurant & Pub

Fairmont Banff Springs is well-known for its culinary offerings. A short walk from the main Castle, this Bavarian-style pub house will have you sipping a pint of beer fireside in no time.

Couple enjoying dinner, wine, and fondue in front of a fireplaceCouple enjoying dinner, wine, and fondue in front of a fireplaceCouple enjoying dinner, wine, and fondue in front of a fireplace

Ticino

Ticino serves up a Swiss, Italian, and Canadian fusion food and culture. Started by Swiss immigrant Erwin and his wife, Lorraine, the restaurant is now owned by his daughter, Jill, and her husband, Louis-Pierre Hélie, Canadian Olympian.

Cheese fondue with bread and veggiesCheese fondue with bread and veggiesCheese fondue with bread and veggies

Alberta Beef

While in Alberta, do as Albertans do and pull up a chair to indulge in homegrown beef. Many of our restaurants pride themselves on sourcing local, quality ingredients from farmers they know and love. Give these spots a try:

The Bison

The absolute best time to visit The Bison is at dusk. The mountains are still visible, the twinkle lights turn on, and the glow of Bear Street below makes you feel the true magic of being in a mountain town. Let us assure you, the food is the cherry on top with fall-off-the-bone meats and imaginative dressings and sides.

Braised Short RibsBraised Short RibsBraised Short Ribs

Chuck’s Steakhouse

Banff was once part of the wild west, and Chuck’s Steakhouse honours that past with an upscale twist. If steak is your weakness, you’re in for a treat with several cuts, including Canadian Waygu, 45-day dry-aged, prime rib and more.

Steak dinner with wine glasses in the backgroundSteak dinner with wine glasses in the backgroundSteak dinner with wine glasses in the background

The Maple Leaf

The Maple Leaf is in the heart of downtown but makes you feel like you’re at a mountain lodge tucked away in a valley surrounded by snow-tipped peaks. Their short and refined menu offers classic beef cuts that are seared to perfection.

French Onion Soup French Onion Soup French Onion Soup

Italian

Pasta is a go-to comfort food for when the days start to shorten and nights cool down. There’s something about ripe tomatoes, sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and leafy basil that pairs so well with a robust wine list. Reserve a spot at these favourites:

Pacini

Pacini has the type of menu that has you second-guessing your choice because all of the options are so tempting. The solution? Go with friends and family to order a sampling of pasta, risotto, and pizza, so they’re plenty to share!

Flatbread pizzaFlatbread pizzaFlatbread pizza

La Terrazza

The European-trained chefs at La Terrazza know how to whip up an authentic Italian meal. They focus on homemade ingredients, including their bronze-die cut pasta that clings to just the right amount of sauce.

Indoor dining room - tables set with wine glassesIndoor dining room - tables set with wine glassesIndoor dining room - tables set with wine glasses

Castello Italiana

The menu may be short and sweet, but it has all of the classics you crave. From caprese salad to crispy calamari to eggplant parmesan, your taste buds will be jumping for joy.

Spread of Italian food including bread and pastaSpread of Italian food including bread and pastaSpread of Italian food including bread and pasta

Hot Drinks

Sometimes a little extra warmth is called for throughout the day. These cafés offer a homey atmosphere to stop in and wrap your hands around a piping hot cup of coffee. Try them out:

Whitebark

If you’re an early riser or looking for a snack and coffee to tide you over until your late dinner reservation, pop by Whitebark café. They have a selection of dairy-free and gluten-free options available daily, so there’s always something tasty to curb your appetite.

Three friends sitting at a table enjoying coffeeThree friends sitting at a table enjoying coffeeThree friends sitting at a table enjoying coffee

Evelyn’s Coffee Bar

If you’re not ready to head home after dinner, stop into Evelyn’s for a coffee aperitif. The coffee bar is open later than most cafés in Banff, so you can get a hot beverage and carry on the night’s festivities.

Couple sitting at an outdoor table wearing cozy mittens and toques and drinking coffeeCouple sitting at an outdoor table wearing cozy mittens and toques and drinking coffeeCouple sitting at an outdoor table wearing cozy mittens and toques and drinking coffee

Little Wild: Coffee by Wild Flour

This pit stop is ideally placed on Banff Ave. They offer all of your favourite coffee and teas but also a small selection of homemade loaves, muffins, and cookies made at their bakery a few blocks away.

Whitney Arnott

Whitney Arnott

Whitney enjoys all things outdoors. Whether she’s camping, hiking, or kayaking, she always has her camera at hand ready to capture life in the Canadian Rockies.