Banff: Our Favourite Après-Ski Spots

While Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise are only a short drive away, it’s clear the mountain town of Banff is the beating heart of the social scene when it comes to livelier après ©Travel Alberta/Mike Seehagel

When you’re a skier or snowboarder, you know there’s nothing better than that feeling you get after an exhilarating day carving down the mountain and taking in stunning alpine vistas. When the lifts close at the Banff ski resorts of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay, the fun doesn’t have to stop, as the town has an excellent après-ski scene.

As Michael Giles-Williamson, our Ski Product Manager, says, “Banff is one of my favourite towns. With its vast variety of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes, it really does give you a unique experience.”

Scroll down to see five of our preferred choices of Banff après, from breakfast through dinner and beyond.

The Elk & Oarsman

The Elk and Oarsman has to be at the top of our list. A must for après, we love popping in for elk-topped nachos.

Complete with a sports bar and restaurant, live entertainment, twelve draft selections and a wood burning fireplace, it’s always the first place we visit.

The perfect spot to catch some live sports and enjoy a cold beer, the Elk & Oarsman is a local & tourist favourite located on Banff Avenue ©Elk&Oarsman

The Elk and Oarsman also features on the list of eateries linked to the popular Trifecta challenge. Ski or board at each of the Big 3 ski resorts in Banff National Park, and you will be eligible for a reward. Once you have skied all three, drop by the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub to have your SkiBig3 Lift Ticket, Mountain Collective, or Ikon Pass scanned and validated. The worthy get a coupon for a FREE pint of beer with food purchase (house wine or soft drink is also an option), compliments of the Elk & Oarsman and St. James’s Gate, and most importantly, an exclusive commemorative SkiBig3 Trifecta Award. Glory pics should be shared with the hashtag #SkiBig3Trifecta.

Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub

When they say, “Good food, good beer and good cheer,” you know you’re in for a relaxed and fun time at Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub. This establishment comes with a ready made recommendation as this is a place the locals frequent. They are are very friendly as we ended up chatting to quite a few on our recent visit, and the low key apres-ski vibe is spot on.  Fancy dress is optional, but Batman did make an appearance so come as you are!

Located on Bear Avenue, Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub was established in 1995 and is frequented by locals and travellers alike ©Travel Alberta/Mike Seehagel

A bit of a hidden gem, the entryway is hidden below another business, but it’s well worth stopping here for lunch or dinner and tucking into a sizable portion of chicken Quesadilla, fish and chips or a steak sandwich. Wash your meal down with a local beer or even a glass of wine – there are a few on the menu. Then have a game of darts, play some arcade games or just kick back in the cosy atmosphere.

The Canadian Brewhouse

At Frontier Ski, we are partial to our sports, so we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Canadian Brewhouse, a one-of-a-kind Canadian-themed sports bar and grill, as the ideal place to enjoy a pint. In fact, we sat here and watched the hockey over a few beers before heading back to the hotel on our recent trip to Alberta—Banff, one of the many resort towns we covered in our Big Ski Review.

If you’re a sports fanatic, The Canadian Brewhouse is the place to be—the lively ambience, plenty of TVs to ensure you catch all the action, great beer and burgers is a ideal combination ©The Canadian Brewhouse

The establishment is the 44th Canadian Brewhouse location in Canada, and we have to say the ambience is usually on the louder side here. Either way, whether you are in the mood for appetisers, entrees, or just drinks, the warm, welcoming vibe is very apres-friendly. For views, the second-floor patio with a breathtaking mountain backdrop will not disappoint.

Moose Hotel & Suites: Pacini Restaurant

The high-end Pacini, which is based at the Moose Hotel & Suites (one of our favourite boutique Canadian hotels) is part of a chain of 20 Italian restaurants located across Canada. A top restaurant to visit, here you can have your fill of gourmet Italian food—the flatbread pizza is highly recommended.

Whether you are dining for breakfast lunch or dinner, the Pacini at Moose Hotel & Suites is a go to offering authentic Italian cuisine and delectable desserts

Pacini has a great ambience for groups and based in the heart of Banff, it’s a hard to beat location not just for dinners but also breakfasts. Don’t miss the unique garlic butter, pesto, tomato basil bread bar, where you toast your own.

Tooloulou’s

From our more recent trip, we can definitely recommend Tooloulou’s. The Louisiana, Cajun-style food comes with a little Rocky Mountain infusion, and we feasted on servings of shrimp, alligator, and crayfish, which were nothing less than mouthwatering.

Come to Tooloulou’s for a little Cajun inspired Canadian cooking – pictured Shrimp & Grits. We can promise, you’ll be back!

This is also a popular haunt for breakfasts, so make sure to book in advance, as when we finished up, there was already a queue of people outside the door. The breakfast will set you up for the day, and there’s a great deal of choice; in fact, they have one of the most extensive breakfast menus we have ever seen!

Built up over the course of three decades, at Frontier Ski, you benefit from our unrivalled personal knowledge, as every recommendation is based on first-hand experience. As an ATOL and ABTA-protected tour operator, you can also book with complete confidence.

Contact us today on 020 8776 8709 or email us at ski@frontier-travel.co.uk to plan your tailor-made ski holiday today. ATOL PROTECTED No 5405 ABTA W3207.