Banff and Canmore are stuffed with restaurants that are Canadian influenced, featuring many regionally sourced ingredients. I’m not sure if this is a boom of sorts, as I do not recall this trend of awesome restaurants on previous trips, but maybe I just didn’t have the interest (or bank account…) at the time.
What can I say, I ate a lot of Wendy’s in both Las Vegas’ Fashion Show Mall and in Banff on ski trips early in my travel career. (The Tex-Mex restaurant in Banff called The Magpie and Stump was a favourite of my 20 year old self, though!)
Either way, if you haven’t been to the Albertan Rockies in some time, there are many new restaurants to check out.
After much consideration, Mike and I finally decided to eat at The Bison. There are so many great sounding restaurants, it was hard to decide. What really sucked me in were the miniature lamb corn dogs and lavender S’more on the menu, and the promise of smoked meats and housemade condiments.
The Bison is a casual two floor restaurant, with a deli and shopfront on the first floor, and a patio, bar and restaurant up top. The deli sells sandwiches, as well as their condiments. It is very casual (is any place in Banff or Canmore truly fancy?) but the prices are a bit high. So, pretty standard for Banff.
We were quickly seated and started with beer and bread. They have Okanagan Spring beer on tap, and the bread (from the bakery next door, served in a rustic tree bark bowl) came with softened fleur de sel topped butter.
Naturally, I had to get the lamb corn dogs (adorable, but delicious as well) and a main of wild mushroom tagliatelle with leek and plump fresh peas, under an avalanche of goat cheese. It was super creamy, and my only small issue was that there may have not been enough noodles to support the sauce.
Lamb corndogs came with house made mayo and grainy mustard. I could have eaten an entire serving platter of these.
Mike got the daily soup (squash with smoked bacon and peaches) and the venison feature plate. The Bison does game meat like I have not had it before, and I have sampled widely from Alberta’s large mammals, such as calf moose and deer, hunted by my mate. Wild is pretty different from ranched.
Turns out in the end, there was no room for the lavender S’more though.
the bison restaurant and lounge
211 bear street
(one block off the main drag, behind sundance mall)