You’ve got your tickets. You’ve got your schedule. You’re all set to explore the festival. But, what about the town?
Part culinary, part shopping; we’ve compiled a list of 10 must-visit hotspots in Banff. Take it from us – these places won’t disappoint.
Coyotes Southwestern Grill
This south-western style hotspot makes fresh, healthy and creative food in a casual setting that makes you want to catch up with your best over a warm cup of coffee. Our favourite? Warm 9-grain cereal topped with yogurt and berries – a nourishing and wallet-friendly way to start your day. Amazing options for lunch and dinner too!
Locals stop here for fresh coffee, homemade bread and focaccia, or hot soup and a kale salad. This bakery café even carries the Banff Yoga Festival’s own Om Cooking homemade kombucha in flavours from root beer to hibiscus ginger. Fair warning: do NOT miss these guys on your weekend schedule.
Connected to the Aspen hotel, just past the busiest part of Banff Ave, lies this gem. Whitebark’s best feature is it’s gorgeous patio space where you can sip a tea and catch up with friends while soaking up the sun between sessions. Their awesome service and stellar lattes only sweeten the deal.
They say good things come in small packages and Cabin 108 does good on this promise. This boutique is our fave local stop to check out the latest in unique fashions. From dresses appropriate for a wedding or an afternoon in the park, to unique and quirky jewellery – it’s rare that you don’t leave drooling over a ‘must have’ item. From shoes, hats, accessories and everything in between, Cabin 108 has you covered, head to toe.
Banff Tea Co.
Independently owned and operated (aka the ultimate in home-grown) the Banff Tea Co. is our favourite place to score some loose-leaf tea and accessories that epitomize life in the mountains. They carry exclusive blends like Banff Trail Mix, Climber’s High and Rundle Mountain, which also make an amazing souvenir or gift. If you’re in need of a caffeine kick for your next vinyasa class or a soothing herbal for yin – this is the place.
Westrock Jean Co.
Tucked away in the Cascade mall by the foodcourt, Westrock is an easy miss — but be sure you don’t! Graphic tee’s, levis, flannel, American Apparel, Obey and even party dresses – Westrock has the fashion scene dialled with options for both men and women.
If doing all the yoga has made you work up an appetite for healthy soul-stoking food, say hey to Nourish. Three words: King. Kong. Noodles. Open for lunch and dinner, come here for the most amazing veggie and vegan options (and they can cater to most other dietary concerns). Their options for sharing make this the best place to try more than one item on the menu. Grab a kombucha on tap to wash it all down.
Pad Thai restaurant
Tucked away in the Clocktower Mall in heart of downtown Banff, Pad Thai offers all your favourites from the east (Tom Yum Soup, Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls and classic Green and Red Curries) at reasonable prices. Tuck your self into their cozy location to re-fuel for lunch or dinner and feel transported by their authentic flavours. Heads up, they’re closed Sundays, so make this a Friday or Saturday stop.
A taste of Japan in the rockies! If you’re in the mood for amazing ramen or sushi – make Chaya your next stop. From the outside it’s inconspicuous, but inside be prepared for an authentic Japanese ambience. On a fresh day in the mountains, a bowl of steaming soup is exactly what we cozy up with.
Bison Restaurant /Bear St. Tavern
This classic Banff restaurant combo is a local fave – Bear St. Tavern (the more casual beat on the lower level) boasts an epic patio, stellar sandwiches and some of the best pizzas in town. (Try the Wheeler Hut!) The Bison Restaurant (head upstairs for rustic elegance) is a great place to splurge on a truly amazing meal. Dine inside or out on their sun-soaked terrace. From brunch to dinner – their seasonal and regional menu has something for every taste. Finish off your meal with a signature cocktail and a great view. P.S. check out their delish vegan option zucchini cakes.