More Reasons to Eat at Banff's Big Taste Festival

Sample the very best food that Banff has to offer at this five-day culinary event.

The Bison is hosting Banff's Top Chef on January 18.

Photograph courtesy of the Banff Hospitality Collective.


Banff National Park has always been a favourite nearby destination for Calgarians looking for a change of scenery, the townsite a popular stopping place for a drink or good meal, especially after working up an appetite in the great outdoors. (Nothing makes a burger taste better than a day of snowshoeing.) In recent years, Banff has become more of a culinary destination, with plenty of restaurants worth making the 100-kilometre trek from Calgary for.

From January 18 to 22, Banff’s small culinary community is pulling together to deliver unique experiences for its annual Big Taste Festival, which this year expands from a stand-alone grand tasting event at the Fairmont Banff Springs to five days of culinary events involving 23 restaurants. Organizers are hoping Calgarians will come for the special hotel package deals, collaborative dinners, tastings, tours, classes and other food and drink pop-ups. 

The edible component of the annual SnowDays Festival, Big Taste gives visitors the chance to sample some of the best food in Banff. For example, at the Fairmont Banff Springs, on Thursday and Friday evenings, guests can sip and sample offerings from eight different chefs at the Grand Tasting Hall (the Springs also offers special weekend rates for Big Taste). There’s also special (free!) chocolate making classes at the Cave and Basin.

Or you might hit the slopes and take a nice long break with a four-course lunch (with wine pairings) at Lake Louise Ski Resort, learn how to make craft cocktails at Nourish Bistro or about Greek wine at the Balkan, compare Alberta-distilled spirits and learn how they’re made at Park Distillery, Restaurant + Bar. Or, for something very unique, experience indigenous cooking and winter preserving techniques at the "Indigenous Winter” dinner at Juniper Bistro, a collaborative effort between local elders, Juniper’s Chris Irving and chef Nick Nutting of Tofino’s Wolf in the Fog, who will create an edible journey from the West Coast to the Rockies.  

And Big Taste is giving back to the community in more ways than one. One hundred per cent of Grand Tasting Hall ticket sales will be donated to the Banff Canmore Community Foundation.

For more information and to book tickets or hotel packages, visit

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