Brunch is always a good time, but that’s especially true in Banff and Canmore — the views, fresh air and laid-back mountain vibes all add to the dining experience. After spending the night at a chic mountain lodge, brunch is usually the next item on the docket, and thankfully there are plenty of great spots to stuff your face before exploring the Rockies. Here are a few places that do brunch right for your next visit to the mountains near Calgary.
The Bison is all about fresh, local and seasonal — using local ingredients is the “bread and butter” of the restaurant (including the local bread from Uprising Bakery). This philosophy extends to the Sunday brunch menu, which is always changing with the seasons, and has featured dishes such as French toast with local cheese, eggs Benedict with Alberta pork and a bison breakfast sandwich. Brunch is only served here on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
211 Bear St., 403-762-5550, thebison.ca
Across the Trans-Canada highway, just outside of Banff town proper, the Juniper Bistro (inside the Juniper Hotel) offers an impressive seasonal brunch menu daily. Plus, the restaurant boasts one of the best views of any dining room in Banff, overlooking Vermillion Lakes. Try one of the specialties like the Juniper Benny with bannock bread and braised rabbit, or the stuffed French toast filled with apples, brie and apricot coulis.
1 Juniper Way, 403-762-2281, thejuniper.com
Known for its inventive vegan cuisine, Nourish Bistro also offers a vegan brunch menu on the weekends. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nourish Bistro serves delicious, vegan friendly items like a chickpea omelette, granola with vegan coconut yoghurt and Peruvian-inspired banana pancakes.
110, 211 Bear St., 403-760-3933, nourishbistro.com
Tooloulou’s offers some amazing breakfast and brunch items featuring a mix of Cajun, Creole and Canadian flavours. Expect dishes like grits topped with ham and red-eye gravy, 10 kinds of eggs Benedict and andouille sausage omelettes. There are also multiple variations of pancakes, waffles and French toast for those with a sweet tooth.
204 Caribou St., 403-762-2633, tooloulous.com
Located inside the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, this swanky spot offers an a la carte breakfast menu and a breakfast buffet ($36) daily, plus an indulgent brunch buffet ($62) on Sundays. Among the spread are eggs Benedicts, carving stations, desserts made in-house and more, all enjoyed alongside the incredible view of the hotel grounds and the towering Rockies.
405 Spray Ave., 403-762-2211, vermillionroom.com
Open only for breakfast and lunch, Chez Francois specializes in brunch dishes with a French twist. Sweet and savoury crepes, omelettes, liver and onions and poutines are all on the table, but a must-try item is Francois’ duck liver pate or cretons (a pork rillette-type spread) with a fresh croissant. Combined with the mountain views from the patio, you might find yourself being transported away to the French Alps.
1716 Bow Valley Trail, 403-678-6111, restaurantchezfrancois.com
This local favourite, nestled in Canmore’s downtown area, is a great choice for anyone looking for a lighter and healthier brunch option. With a menu packed full of healthy bowls, wraps and smoothies, Communitea has offerings for everyone, including those with dietary restrictions thanks to gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options. Plus, as the name suggests, there is a massive list of teas of all varieties.
117, 1001 6 Ave., 403-688-2233, thecommunitea.com
This family-run restaurant offers all the breakfast classics — pancakes, French toast, eggs Benedicts — plus house specials like shakshuka, croque madame and breakfast poutines. This restaurant is located in the heart of Canmore, so when you’re done eating, you can walk off your meal and do some shopping in the area.
102, 717 8 St., 403-675-5550, grazefoodanddrink.ca
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While not technically “brunch,” sometimes nothing beats a few fresh pastries in the morning. Le Fournil sells fresh breads, sweet and savoury pastries and croissants, tarts and cakes, along with a small selection of sandwiches. Grab some bread, pastries and a few of the homemade jams, jellies, pates or other accoutrements, and head out to enjoy the mountains with an unforgettable picnic spread.
101, 1205 Bow Valley Trail, 403-675-5005, fournil.ca
In a dining room surrounded by gorgeous mountain vistas, Sage Bistro offers a weekend a la carte brunch menu featuring all the usual suspects (think bacon, sausage, eggs and toast), plus a few Sage classics like ricotta pancakes and banana bread French toast. For those who love a drink with brunch, don’t miss trying one of the brunch cocktails offered here.
1712 Bow Valley Trail, 403-678-4878, sagebistro.ca