Six Sensational Summer Hangouts in Banff
Put Some “Aahh” Into Your Après with Our Top Picks for Dining with Epic Views
There’s nothing quite like summer in Banff, and with a mountain of activities on hand to fill the long, warm days, working up an appetite is the easy part. After breaking out a sweat on your mountain bike, summiting a peak, reaching the highest point of a Via Ferrata route, or spending the afternoon leisurely SUP’ing along the Bow River, it’s time for a well-deserved “cheers” and a refuel.
And for après-adventure, Banff has some mouth-watering options – where the surrounding vistas are just as alluring as the dinner menus, craft beer selections and cocktail lists.
Read on for our top picks of where to head to after a day of exploring in Banff.
The Juniper is still one of Banff’s best-kept secrets, and the expansive patio is a local favourite for sipping on something cool and refreshing, with one mighty view. Go with a group and take a seat: the signature peaks of Rundle, Cascade, and Tunnel Mountain will keep you good company as you graze on the Juniper Bistro’s delicious patio bites. We’d recommend the Moules-Frites (1lb of Atlantic mussels cooked in harissa cream, roasted red peppers, pickled fennel and chili oil), or, The Juniper’s take on a Canadian staple… (Pulled Pork Poutine anyone? Yes please!).
On the fine-dining side of Banff’s food scene, is the Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar – found tucked away on Tunnel Mountain at the Banff Centre. With a floor-to-ceiling glass surround, diners can soak in the wrap-around valley views while indulging in a high-end taste experience. Lead by Executive Chef Sébastien Tessier, this is the place to order something a little different, such as the Octopus Carpaccio and Cured Arctic Char. Sourced from British Columbia and served with plum jam, liquorish pearls, watermelon and mint salsa, you won’t be disappointed.
You don’t need to be a golfer to think that the Waldhaus Pub & Patio is a hole-in-one in the après stakes. Pull up a chair and bask in the sunshine while overlooking the Fairmont Banff Springs’ iconic Stanley Thompson course. With a Bavarian feel, this is the place to enjoy an authentic Hacker Pschorr beer and pub snacks, while letting the hours pass you by.
Well we couldn’t feature après with a view, without including our very own Cliffhouse Bistro, could we?! Sitting at an elevation of almost 7,000ft, the Cliffhouse Bistro’s breathtaking views are guaranteed to make you want to relax (perhaps order one of the just-launched tea-infused cocktails) and stay a while – and with that backdrop, why not?
With a focus on contemporary flavours, this original 1950s tea house is all about fresh, simple Albertan flair with a modern twist. With Executive Chef Morne Burger at the helm, this is the place to sip local craft beer and indulge in hearty, no-fuss dishes. Sharing is also encouraged: try the Gorditas (trust us, the Lime Chipotle Beef is to die for), or the Meat & Cheese Board – featuring locally cured meats, pates, artisanal cheeses, jams, and homemade bread. Tip: The warm salted pretzel with mustard thyme mascarpone & beer, confit garlic & cheddar is the perfect companion to a pint of Jasper Brewing Co. Crisp Pilsner.
Chuck’s Patio is the newest patio hangout to arrive Banff, making its debut just this month. Atop Chuck’s Steakhouse, a traditional Albertan meatery located on the corner of Banff Avenue and with 360-degree peak-to-peak views, this is a perfect early evening hangout. Order one of Chuck’s signature cocktails, such as the ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ – Hendrick’s gin, lemon, honey lavender syrup, egg white, activated charcoal, and then “branded” with a mist of Angostura bitters. Intrigued? Try it!
For a view of a different kind, visit our friends at Banff Ave Brewing Co. Here, it’s not just about the mountain views, but the people watching. Perch on the front patio and sip locally-crafted brew while taking in all the action from above Banff Avenue. Known simply by the locals as the ‘Brew Pub’, this brewery-in-a-bar concept is the hub of Banff’s social scene, and the perfect spot to gather a crew and sample the menu of ales, pilsners, IPAs and stouts. Brewing their signatures on-site, just feet away from the bar taps, the Brew Co. is a must stop-off on any Banff visit. Tip: Why not opt for their tribute tap, brewed to celebrate Mt. Norquay’s 92nd year? The ‘Norquay 92 Cranberry Orange Saison’ is all kinds of citrus and cranberry deliciousness; perfect for a hot summer day.
For more information on the Banff Ave Brew Co., click here.