New rooms now open in the legendary Canadian town.
Banff may be known for its breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, but those who live in the area know restaurants are just as important. Visitation to Banff almost hit four million last year, but 2017 will be even busier thanks to free entrance to the National Parks. Whether you're stopping by for a visit or staying the weekend, this list of new restaurants with uniquely Canadian menus are proving to be a serious distraction from the hiking trails. (Photo: Park Distillery.)
What better place to start a distillery than in the heart of the Rocky Mountains? With some of the world's freshest water in the world, this restaurant and distillery is serving up drinks and food to feed hungry tourists and locals alike. (Park was recently named Best New Restaurant by Banff Dining.) Keep an eye out for Fifi's Mule: Park's interpretation of the classic Moscow Mule, named after Mount Fifi. The menu features Canadian barbecue favourites like wood-fired broccoli, tinfoil Trout, and rotisserie free-range chicken, but if you're feeling like bar comfort foods, they've got you covered with mac 'n' cheese, brisket potato peels and (if you're feeling flush) a $25 burger. (Photo: Sky Bistro.)
In late 2016, Brewster finally finished the $26-million dollar update for the new facility atop Sulpher Mountain. One product of the update was Sky Bistro, which pairs a stellar view of the Rocky Mountains with an irresistible menu. If you're feeling a touch Maritime-y, try the Nova Scotia lobster roll, beer-battered Atlantic cod or Quebec duck poutine. The West Coast is represented well, too, via B.C. fried chicken, wild mushroom potato gnocchi and Alberta steak done four different ways. Plan ahead and buy the Sky Experience for $65, which includes a two-course meal with gondola ride after 4 p.m., or work up an appetite by hiking the zig-zag trail up the mountain. (Photo: Block Kitchen and Bar.)
Think Canadian fusion at its finest. Start with duck spring rolls before diving into the pig and fig cretons or smoked bison flatbread covered in pesto, onion compote and goat cheese. If you're hungry for dessert, try the green tea and white chocolate blondie with black sesame ice cream. The cocktail menu is not to be overlooked: the Re-Fashioned (think maple syrup, buffalo trace with a splash of apple juice) and Juniper Flower (gin, St. Germain, yuzu and lemon) are both excellent options that might keep you lingering all night. (Photo: Pacini.)
This new room is actually an outpost of a celebrated Quebec-based Italian restaurant, but the cabin-chic design makes the transplant feel right at home in the Moose Hotel. Though there are other Italian restaurants in Banff, Pacini is the only one serving brunch on weekends (with mouth-watering offerings like capicollo and pesto eggs benny, and breakfast lasagna crepes stuffed with ham, spinach and alfredo sauce) and breakfast everyday. If you're there later in the day, you can't go wrong with asparagus and shrimp risotto, or the Italian feast for two with steak, sausage, asparagus topped with Sicilian sea salt. Pacini is about a ten minute walk from Banff's town centre making it a great retreat from a day of sightseeing.