Whether you prefer steak or tofu, traditional whole-wheat treats or gluten-free sourdough, Banff National Park is home to a smorgasbord of dining options. Traditional diets are well catered for here, with a variety of comfort food hot-spots that are sure to satisfy.
If you’re looking for something more niche, finding a great meal is just a matter of knowing where to go. Here are our top picks for gluten-free indulgence and vegan/vegetarian/dairy-free feasts in Banff and Lake Louise.
1. Nourish Bistro, Banff
Popular among meat-lovers and vegans alike, this tapas-style, vegetarian comfort food haven is renowned for inventive twists on conventional dishes. Don’t miss the signature dish: 27-ingredient Num Num Nachos (available with vegan or regular cheese), and the Beautiful Burrito.
The Let Us Wraps (lettuce wraps) are a delicious build-it-yourself option, featuring lettuce cups served on a DIY platter alongside fillings such as flavourful noodles, nuts, fresh fruits and veggies such as strawberries, mandarin and peppers, topped off with a generous side of Nourish’s famous peanut sauce.
2. Wild Flour Café, Banff
Want to kick-start your ski day with something delicious? This popular local hotspot has you sorted for I-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan-and-gluten-free treats and dairy milk alternatives for hot drinks. Take your pick from fig and anise cookies, vegan dark chocolate tortes, chocolate and almond macaroons, Portobello mushroom pesto paninis, decadent chocolate chip granola bars, chocolate sweet potato loaf, seed bars, soups and more.
3. Grapes Wine Bar at Fairmont Banff Springs
For a taste of luxury and artistry, head to Grapes Wine Bar at Canada’s famous “Castle in the Rockies”. Historic and charming, this hidden gem is certain to impress, no matter your dietary requirements. Meat and dairy lovers can enjoy exceptional charcuterie of cured meats, cheeses and preserves, while vegans and vegetarians can enjoy an outstanding off-menu charcuterie alternative of exquisitely crafted salad and bruschetta.
Insider tip: Chef Tyler is a true artist – a claim regularly celebrated on TripAdvisor.
4. Whitebark Café at Banff Aspen Lodge
Ask a local where to find the best coffee or hot chocolate in Banff, and Whitebark is usually the answer! Dairy-free and vegan customers won’t miss out here, with alternative milks such as almond and soy available for your hot drink of choice. The secret to their famous hot chocolate is one specially-sourced ingredient from Vancouver-based confectioner Thomas Haas: solid dark chocolate, grated. No cocoa powder here.
For snack options that tick the box for both dairy-free and gluten-free, go for the coconut macaroons and pecan sugar cookies, or the soup of the day (depending on the rotating menu). Gluten-free brownies are also available on weekends. Depending on the day of the rotating menu, vegan options can include blueberry banana bread and the soup of the day.
5. Block Kitchen + Bar, Banff
This cozy space is a local dinner favourite for good reason. Known for great quality and variety, the Block is also experienced with accommodating a variety of dietary requirements. The Chef’s Curry Craving (signature dish which rotates every few days), asian lettuce wraps, and the zen salad with quinoa, golden beets and sesame-ginger dressing are excellent choices which are easily modified to suit gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan diners.
6. Juniper Bistro at The Juniper Hotel, Banff
On the drive from Banff to Mt Norquay you’ll find The Juniper Hotel, home to the popular Juniper Bistro. Stand-out vegan/dairy free and gluten-free options include the smashed avocado on sourdough, 3-grain porridge, daily soup, veggie chili served in a sourdough bread bowl, and beet salad with poached pears and balsamic orange glaze. The mushroom gnocchi is another gluten-free winner.
7. Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
For fine dining with a view, head to Three Ravens, a hidden gem at the Banff Centre. Stand-out choices that tick all three boxes for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan include beetroot soup with pickled cabbage and dill slaw, and Thai black rice with fried tofu. A number of menu items contain micro greens grown on-site, for an added bonus that’s sustainable, organic, and fresh. For a more casual setting, head downstairs to Maclab Bistro for more vegan/dairy-free options including the Asian stir-fry wrap, veggie burger and salads.
8. Lakeview Lounge at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
For a hearty meal and stunning views, head to the Lakeview Lounge, overlooking the famous Lake Louise (frozen into the world’s most beautiful ice skating rink during winter). Here, the sweet potato quinoa veggie burger is an excellent option that’s coincidentally vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free, while the dal makhani lentil stew is also vegan. Most dishes can be modified to accommodate any dietary requirements.
9. Eden at The Rimrock Hotel, Banff
One of only 6 five-diamond-rated restaurants in Canada – a system similar to Michelin stars – Eden is among the most renowned restaurants in Banff National Park. Head here for a multi-course smorgasbord that you’ll never forget. A dedicated vegetarian tasting menu is available, and dietary requirements including vegan and gluten-free are also well accommodated.
10. The Bison, Saltlik Steakhouse, Melissa’s MissSteak, Banff
While Banff is home to a number of meat-focused venues, your group doesn’t need to eat separately if someone wants a steak while another prefers meat-free. Popular Banff eateries such as The Bison, Saltlik Steakhouse, Melissa’s MissSteak, Coyote’s Southwestern Grill and Tooloulou’s are happy to accommodate a variety of dietary requirements including gluten-free and vegan/dairy-free, with a number of adaptable menu items.
11. Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Delicatessen, Lake Louise
Laggan’s is a great choice for the tastebuds and for the wallet. Here you’ll find several hot and cold options for a tasty breakfast or lunch on the go. Vegan/dairy free options include veggie chili with corn chips, soups, quinoa lemon salad, and energy bars. Gluten-free options include beef and veggie chilis, soups, wraps, salads, chocolate-dipped hazelnut bars, almond macaroons, energy bars and peanut butter crisp squares.
On-mountain at SkiBig3 resorts
12. Mt Norquay Banff
For a number of tasty options to fuel your Mt Norquay ski day, head to Lone Pine Pub for the eggplant parmigiana burger, black bean tacos, soups or salads – all of which can be made gluten-free or vegan/dairy-free.
13. Banff Sunshine Village
For a hearty soup or veggie burger with slope-side convenience, head to Chimney Corner in the heart of Banff Sunshine Village, or Mad Trapper’s Saloon for their popular deep-fried pickles. Staying overnight at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out mountain hotel? Guests can enjoy excellent fine-dining at Eagle’s Nest Bistro, where the miso-maple glazed salmon is a gluten-free must-try, and the lentil wellington is a stand-out vegan option.
14. The Lake Louise Ski Resort
For an energizing lunch, head to at Kuma Yama at the base of The Lake Louise Ski Resort for fresh sushi (gluten-free and vegan options are available). If you’re looking for something extra special during your ski day, head to Whitehorn Bistro for a mid-mountain fine dining experience. Most menu items can be adapted for gluten-free guests, with stand-outs including bison short ribs and pork belly. Vegan-friendly dishes include risotto, gourmet kale or beet salads, and the soup of the day (depending on the rotating menu).
Feeling hungry yet? Need help planning the perfect vacation?
Our friendly Reservations Team is always happy to share their local knowledge and experience to help you find the best vacation package for your style and budget. You can reach them via Live Chat (scroll up for the Live Chat link at the top of our website), or by calling 1-844-754-2443.