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Dining and Nightlife

Paul Zizka

Eat and Drink in Banff and Lake Louise

After a day playing outside you’re starving and can hardly wait until dinner. Bundled up warm and with snowflakes starting to float down from the darkening sky, you headed out into the bustling street trying to decide what to choose tonight. The local chefs in Banff and Lake Louise are some of the best in the country, sourcing their ingredients from small Alberta farmers, co-operatives and ranchers seeking inspiration from the National Park’s stunning landscape. The local restaurateurs, microbrewers, spirit distillers, hoteliers, lounge and club owners are as varied as the scenery. 


Banff and Lake Louise have developed great culinary reputations, with talented chefs creating delicious food of all types. If you enjoy food, you’re going to be well satisfied in Banff and Lake Louise. You can eat food from all around the world or choose to stay more local with the regional fare, known as Canadian Rocky Mountain Cuisine, which features seasonal produce and beef and bison from Alberta. Banff and Lake Louise also celebrate our foodie culture with annual events and festivals, such as Taste For Adventure where chefs at over 30 restaurants prepare unique menus during the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in late October through early November, the Banff Craft Beer Festival in late November, and Banff’s Big Taste event in January.

It can be difficult to choose with so many options. You could try classic Western-style steakhouses, fusion cuisine, fine dining, sushi, Thai, Swiss fondue, Italian, pub food, pizza, or vegetarian restaurants. Take a look at the member listings below to check out all of the restaurants, bakeries, fast food, delis, and cafés.


After your day on the ski slopes or your hike in the hills, the natural next step is après. Banff and Lake Louise pride themselves on their après scenes - it could even be said to be a way of life around here. Spend a leisurely, late afternoon by the fire trading stories of your day and refuelling with drinks and appetizers. Take the family for hot chocolate at a mountain lodge. Enjoy the evening sunshine and a beer brewed with glacial water at a terrace table. Listen to upbeat tunes while kicking back at the base of a ski hill. Sip cocktails and meet new people at a plush hotel lounge. There are endless options. 

Night Clubs, Bars and Lounges

After refuelling with a delicious dinner, your next stop will depend on your energy levels and mood. If you’re still in après-mode, there’s a variety of pubs and lounges throughout Banff and Lake Louise where you can keep the spirit of the day going with more relaxing by a fire, chatting with family and friends, and sipping on your favourite beverages.

If you feel like the night is still young and you have energy to burn, Banff Avenue in downtown Banff is lined with high-energy night spots where you can dance and laugh the night away. Also, when out west, you really must visit Wild Bill's Legendary Saloon a true Canadian western saloon for cold drinks, hearty food, line dancing, mechanical bull riding, and calf roping.




Learn about what inspires our local chefs to create some of the best dining experiences in the Canadian Rockies.

From the bounty of the nearby Okanagan harvest to paddling the Bow River on a calm Fall afternoon, inspiration comes from all over Banff and Lake Louise.

East meets West

What first brought Chef Chris MacDougall to Banff was his love of skiing. He planned on moving to Banff from Nova Scotia for just one season, but 21 years later, he's still calling Banff home.

Sourcing Ingredients

Chris is diligent about including ingredients in his dishes that come from Alberta and our neighbouring provinces. But the East-coaster in him won't deny that he'll always prefer east coast oysters to west coast. He likes to build protien forward menus to fuel peoples mountain adventures, with more comfort food during the cold winter days and a lighter fair just in time for summer.

Escaping the day to day

One of Chris's top spots to hang out is Cascade Ponds. Packing a cooler with delicious food and wine and cooking over an open fire with great friends is something he really enjoys. The scenery tops it all off.

Visit The Maple Leaf Grill & Lounge to try Chef Chris MacDougall's creations.

A chef, a teacher, a nature lover.

Chef jW Foster worked in Banff National Park many years ago and its beauty always stayed with him. When the opportunity arose to be the Executive Chef of the 'Castle in the Rockies', he was eager to return and to transform the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel into a teaching hotel where young chefs can learn and grow. 

Showcasing the bounty of the region

Chef's focus has always been to connect with local farmers and producers to showcase the bounty of the region. Ingredients are sourced from small Alberta farmers, co-operatives, and ranchers, giving guests the opportunity to experience local flavours.

Connecting with nature

On a sunny day off, Chef jW Foster takes advantage of hiking, biking, exploring the majestic natural playground that surrounds him. The mountains make him feel more connected to the natural environment and the elements drive his passion for featuring authentically local products. 

Visit any of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Restaurants to try Chef jW Foster's creations.

Always up for an adventure

Chef Jennifer Ruszczak jumped at the opportunity to move to Banff from Windsor, Ontario over eight years ago and since then has been seizing the moment and embracing the mountain lifestyle every single day.

It never gets boring

Mountain biking, hiking, swimming at the lakes during summer, and snowboarding in the winter - Chef Jennifer is always out on an adventure when she's not in the kitchen. Trying a new sport every season as well as mixing in at least two nice, long dog walks daily, this mountain girl claims to never get bored. It's a form of personal therapy, she boasts.

Relationship building

Chef Jennifer is proud of the great relationships she's built with vegetable vendors at the local Banff Farmer's Market.  It's not uncommon to see Jennifer running over to the market to grab the freshest veggies she can.  And supporting local food vendors such as Valbella, JK Bakery, Rocky Mountain Game Meats, to name a few, has helped shape her menu of local classic favourites to inspirational seasonal creations.

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