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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.