Tue, 08 Mar 2022

Where to eat plant-based in Banff and Lake Louise (and what to order)

Flashback to 20 years ago and it was hard to find a meat-free dish while travelling, let alone a plant-based one. These days, however, food in Banff and Lake Louise is going beyond traditional meat-and-cheese mountain fare and plant-based options are on the rise. From modern, mainstay restaurants, like Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar, to filling and affordable cafes and bistros, like Whitebark Cafe and Nourish Bistro, eating plant-based in Banff and Lake Louise is easy as more restaurants are embracing the power of plants to fuel your ski vacation.

Top places to eat plant-based in Banff and Lake Louise

Whitebark Cafe

Just a few extra steps down the main street, past the busyness of Banff Ave., you’ll find the Whitebark Cafe. An oasis of good coffee and vegan grab-and-go cabinet food, located in the lobby of the Banff Aspen Lodge. Despite its narrow footprint and minimal decor, this small cafe has made a big impact on the Banff and Lake Louise coffee scene, pulling some of the smoothest espresso shots in the Bow Valley. Open daily from 6:30 am, Whitebark Cafe is known for its daily vegan options including savoury pastries and freshly-baked loaves as well as its sunlit street-side patio, with uninterrupted views of Rundle Mountain. 

Eat: Tofu and spinach pastry, with a side of tomato or mango chutney

Drink: Oat milk latte, featuring fair-trade Moja Coffee, roasted in North Vancouver 

See menu | 401 Banff Ave, Banff, AB

plant-based-banff-lake-louise-whitebark-cafe Whitebark Cafe is known by locals for its velvety smooth espresso shots and daily vegan treats.

Eddie Burger + Bar

Ask any local, and they’ll all agree that no visit to Banff and Lake Louise is complete without a visit to Eddie Burger + Bar. Famous for its loud, lively interior, late-night menu and infamous Eddie Trashcans - “Eddie” is where you want to apres in Banff and Lake Louise. Now, vegans and vegetarians rejoice at the arrival of Eddie’s new Beyond Eddie Burger - a big, fat, plant-based burger loaded with all of the same punch as their iconic burger menu. 

Eat: Beyond Eddie Burger, with an onion ring upgrade 

Drink: A famous Eddie Trashcan

See menu | 137 Banff Ave #6, Banff, AB

vegan-vegetarian-banff-lake-louise-eddie-burger Vegans rejoice! Eddie Burger + Bar now serves a plant-based Eddie Beyond Burger. | Photo courtesy of Banff Hospitality Collective

Una Pizza + Wine

Searching for the perfect, intimate, yet modern, with a San Francisco vibe (but also cozy in a snow-falling-outside-the-window kinda way) place to eat? Una Pizza + Wine is just the spot. Serving up California-influenced thin crust pizza, Una is the heart of the neighbourhood. A place where locals and visitors alike can all bump shoulders and tables are filled up on a first-come-first-serve basis. Vegans love Una because of its secret plant-based menu, including a secret vegan pasta (not on the menu) and a vegan, dairy-free pizza. Ask your server about both - they’ll know what you mean.

Eat: Secret Vegan Pasta (not on the menu)

Drink: Rose Sangria, made in-house

See menu | 201 Caribou St, Banff, AB

plant-based-banff-lake-louise-una-pizza-wine-banff Una Pizza + Wine brings California-inspired pizza vibes to the streets of Banff. (Plus, it's got secret vegan options.)

Shoku Izakaya

Opening its doors in 2021, Shoku Izakaya is Banff’s newest sushi joint. A small, beautifully-designed space with low ceilings, adorned with delicate paper lanterns, every detail of Shoku makes you feel as if you’ve stepped off a flight to Tokyo (without the jet lag). Normally, sushi joints aren’t the kind of places that scream plant-based, but Shoku spins that stereotype on its head with its Vegan Maki Roll, Agedashi Dofu, and Kabocha Black Garlic Skewers.

Eat: Vegan Maki Roll to start, Kakiage Tempura with vegetable fritter as an entree 

Drink: Seaside Junmai Sparkling Sake

See menu | 304 Caribou St, Banff, AB

shoku-banff-sushi-vegan-resturant Shoku Izakaya makes a Vegan Maki Roll that gives regular sushi a run for its money. | Photo by Shoku Izakaya

High Tea at the Rundle Bar, Fairmont Banff Springs

High tea? In the mountains? Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s vegan-friendly. High Tea in “the Castle” (aka the Fairmont Banff Springs) is a quintessential Banff experience and a nod to the elegance and refinement of travel that first transported tourists by train car. Reserve your table in the Rundle Bar solarium for this formal tea service and enjoy a three-tiered tower of fresh french pastries and finger-sized sandwiches. If you prefer to eat plant-based, simply ask your server for the vegan option and they will be happy to make a special tower that accommodates a plant-based diet. 

Eat: The Rundle Bar High Tea three-tried tower

Drink: Choose from their list of 35 different tea blends

See menu | 405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB

vegan-vegetarian-banff-lake-louise-fairmont-banff-spring-banff-lake-louise-tourism-high-tea-rundle-bar Ask for the vegan option of the Fairmont Banff Spring's famous High Tea service. They'll make you a special three-tiered tower. | Photo by Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Chimney Corner, Banff Sunshine

If you think life’s too short for french fries and you fancy full-service, sit-down dining in your ski gear, the Chimney Corner at Banff Sunshine might just be the place for you. Located in the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the warm, inviting fireplace of this aptly named restaurant is the center point of Banff Sunshine’s elevated culinary scene. Plus, it’s a great spot to eat vegan and vegetarian in Banff and Lake Louise. Winter Kale Salad, Vegan Brushetta, Crispy Tofu Fries and more!

Eat: Portobello Burger, served on a vegan brioche bun

Drink: Blueberry Lavender Lemonade

See menu | Upper Village, Banff Sunshine

vegan-vegetarian-banff-lake-louise-chimney-corner-sunshine-village Eat plant-based on the slopes at Banff Sunshine's Chimney Corner, located in the Sunshine Mountain Lodge.

Lakeview Lounge, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise 

With its high wainscot ceilings, art deco trimmings, and floor-to-ceiling lakeside views, it’s hard to feel anything but grand dining in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s Lakeview Lounge. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this elegant dining room is a must-do experience when visiting the famous shores of Lake Louise. When it comes to plant-based fare, the Lakeview Lounge is exceptionally accommodating. It even has a stand-alone vegan menu featuring lunch and dinner dishes like Avocado and Harvest Root Salad and Fragrant Fried Rice. 

Eat: Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, with toasted sesame, hummus, and harissa chickpeas

Drink: Caramel Old Fashioned, with Caramel Cognac and Black Walnut Bitters

See menu | 111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB

vegan-vegetarian-banff-lake-louise-lakeview-lounge-fairmont-chateau-lake-louise The Lakeview Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has a special vegan menu along with jaw-dropping views. | Photo courtesy of Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Nourish Bistro

Of course, we couldn’t talk about eating plant-based in Banff and Lake Louise without mentioning Nourish Bistro. A staple for local veg-heads, Nourish Bistro has been open since 2005 and since then has been committed to bringing plant-based comfort food to Banff and Lake Louise. Vegan? Gluten-free? Raw? Allergies? Nourish Bistro’s compassionate kitchen team can tailor their menu to all kinds of diets. Plus, it’s an experience of its own to pull up a chair at Nourish Bistro's eco-bar. A one-of-a-kind apres setting pouring inventive craft cocktails using only local ingredients and house-made syrups and shrubs. 

Eat: World Famous Nachos, featuring 27 ingredients including strawberries and vegan house-made queso

Drink: Have a Pav’, a vegan pavlova cocktail with coconut whipped cream

See menu | 211 Bear St #110, Banff, AB

vegan-vegetarian-banff-lake-louise-nourish-bistro-nachos The vegan nachos at Nourish Bistro are famous for having 27 ingredients, everything from strawberries to dill pickles.

Banded Peak Base Camp, Lake Louise Ski Resort

With ski-in access from the rolling groomers, on the front side of Whitehorn Mountain, the Banded Peak Base Camp is the ideal apres meeting point after a long day skiing at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Plus, they make a mean plant-based burger served with kettle-cooked chips. While the burger is listed as vegetarian on the menu, it can also be made vegan, just ask your server. Paired with a pint of crisp, local craft beer, we can't think of a more scenic place to eat plant-based in Banff and Lake Louise.

Eat: Base Camp Burger, ask for the vegan option

Drink: Any one of Banded Peak's local beers on draft, brewed in Calgary, AB

See menu | 1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, AB

vegan-vegetarian-lake-louise-banded-peak-base-camp Banded Peak Base Camp, located at Lake Louise Ski Resort, is a ski-in patio that serves a mean plant-based burger.

Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar

Known as “the only distillery in a national park”, Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar (or PARK, as the locals call it) serves up way more than incredible distilled craft spirits. They have an extensive menu full of hearty, campfire-inspired fare with a dedicated plant-based menu to boot. For lunch or dinner, we recommend fueling up on a filling meal salad, like their Butternut Squash Salad, or warming up with a bowl of Smoked Tomato Chili Vodka Soup. 

Eat: Park Veggie Bowl, with toasted chickpea falafel

Drink: Vegan Park Ceaser

See menu | 219 Banff Ave, Banff, AB

plant-based-banff-lake-louise-park-distillery Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar has a campfire-inspired plant-based menu and a long list of local cocktails. | Photo by Banff Hospitality Collective

Arashi Ramen 

Blink and you might miss it - only locals know about this Banff ramen restaurant that will rock your world. Located on the third floor of the Sundance Mall, Arashi Ramen doesn’t need flashy signs or fancy decor to keep patrons coming back for more. No, they just need to do what they do best and that’s pouring up piping hot bowls of Japanese-style ramen, using the freshest and most traditional ingredients this side of the Pacific. While their vegan selection is limited, the few dishes they do have are so good we promise you’ll be coming back for the same thing.

Eat: Vege Miso ramen, made with a soy milk base

Drink: A bottle of Sapporo beer

See menu | 3rd floor #213 Sundance Mall, 215 Banff Ave, Banff, AB

plant-based-banff-lake-louise-ramen-arashi-banff-sundance-mall Ramen Arashi is Banff's best-kept secret, located on the third floor of the Sundance Mall.

Farm & Fire

And last (but certainly not least), Farm & Fire, located in the Elk + Avenue Hotel, is a must-do dinner destination for anyone searching for a plant-based restaurant in Banff and Lake Louise. With warm, roaring fireplaces - both inside and out - Farm & Fire serves up the kind of vibe everyone is looking for on a winter vacation in Canada - warm, cozy, and friendly. Pull up a table or bundle up in a blanket on their patio and choose what plant-based dish to dine on. Their vegan and vegetarian dishes are thoughtfully designed, using only fresh ingredients from local Alberta farmers. 

Eat: Smoked Beetroot Tartare

Drink: The Explorer cocktail, with Park Glacier Rye, ice wine, and apple juice

See menu | 333 Banff Ave, Banff, AB

vegan-vegetarian-banff-lake-louise-farm-fire-pursuit Farm & Fire, located in the Elk + Avenue Hotel makes all of its plant-based dishes with fresh ingredients from local, Alberta farms. | Photo by Pursuit

Eat, stay, and ski

Pair your plant-based food tour of Banff and Lake Louise with a ski and stay package. Our Vacation Specialists will be happy to help you find accommodation that fits your desired holiday dates and budget.

Should you need a bit more flexibility with your travel plans this winter our no-questions-asked cancellation policy for both lift tickets and packages allows for free changes and full-refund cancellations until 3-days before arrival. To book your winter ski vacation or secure your multi-day lift tickets, call 1-844-754-2443 to speak with a Vacation Specialist or go online to access some exceptional Ski & Stay Package deals.