Eating Vegan and Vegetarian in Banff, Canada

by on June 14, 2013

Eating Vegan and Vegetarian in Banff, Canada

by Veronica Grace (originally written in 2010 for an old blog)

The mountain town of Banff, Canada is one of my all-time favorite places to visit (and get a delicious vegan meal). The Rocky Mountains surround you from every side, the smell of crisp mountain air and the abundance of the glacier lakes and rivers give rich green landscapes as far as the eye can see.

Growing up in nearby Calgary, my family and I would often take trips to Banff during the winter and summer for things like camping, Christmas shopping, family day trips.

My favorite thing to do in Banff National park is to hike. My top recommendations for sight seeing would be:

Johnston Canyon Falls and Ink Pots (north of Banff)

Time: To Ink Pots – 4 hours return, to falls- 1 hour return
Distance: 5.8 km (3.6 miles)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 215 metres (700 feet)

A truly beautiful leisurely hike for the whole family to enjoy!

Lake Agnes Teahouse (at Lake Louise)

Time: Half-day (approx. 4-hour return trip slow, 2 hours fast)
Distance: 7 km (4.5 miles) return
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 367 m (1,204 feet)

This was the loveliest surprise, after seeing the beautiful Lake Louise, you get the pleasure of viewing Mirror Lake, Lake Agnes and and the Chateau Lake Louise from the top of the mountain.

The Plain of Six Glaciers (at Lake Louise)
Time: 1.5 – 2 hr one way, 4 hour return
Distance: 5.5 km (3.4 mi) – Lake Louise to Plain of Six Glaciers teahouse.
Elevation Gain: 370 m (1215 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 2100 m (6890 ft)

If you have a full day and a picnic lunch, head on out to Lake Louise for this longer hike. The elevation gain is quite a bit at the start, but definitely worth the rewards. The paths are well beaten and fairly safe as well.

Eating Vegan and Vegetarian in Banff

Now eating vegan, the town of Banff has a few challenges for me while visiting: few grocery stores, lack of fridge space in hotel rooms and very meat centred dining options.

Banff thrives on its tourism and one thing that is a little slow to catch on is vegan and vegetarianism. In places like California and British Columbia most restaurants have at least 1 vegetarian option or will cater to your needs, but all of the high end establishments in Banff offer gourmet meat based courses.

So what’s a vegetarian, let alone a vegan to do? Well you could go to the local Safeway and pick up some fruit (it will be more expensive than the nearby city of Calgary), but what if you’d like to enjoy a special night out on the town or you’re traveling with non vegan friends who still want to eat out? Well then you can check out these options below!

Nourish Half Portion of Roasted Red Pepper with Daiya Cheese

Nourish Shepherd's Pie

Nourish Bistro – The Only and Absolute Best Vegetarian Restaurant Around

Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Food

2nd foor, Sundance Mall
215 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB, Canada
(403) 760-3933
Check out the menu here

After July 1, 2013 Address:

211 Bear Street, Banff, AB, Canada

(They are moving soon so check the website for details)

This restaurant is the most inventive restaurant I’ve ever seen with a large palate pleasing menu, most items are vegan, some vegetarian and they even have gluten free and raw options as well. Talk about covering all of your bases in this niche market!

Every time I have visited the owner has greeted me with a smile and we’ve chatted about the restaurant, menu and clientele in Banff. I just find it very fascinating that such a dietary specific restaurant is able to keep busy year round in a province like Alberta which has few and far between vegetarian restaurants even in the big cities.

The meals are served “tapas style” which basically means sharing, and there is always enough to share between 2 people or 3 if you order a few items. Ordering an appetizer and an entree will be enough for 2 people, and add another appetizer or entree per person dining with you. They are famous for their tropical pineapple strawberry salsa which gets added to quite a few dishes that really adds a lot of flavor. Almost all items can be customized for allergies or personal preference, just ask and they will be happy to accommodate!

They just recently increased their portion sizes as well, so although the prices may not look like a deal for vegetarian food, split the price in half and you’ll get an idea for how much it costs per person.

I had mentioned on one of my first visits that I was into raw food and inquired if they ever thought of adding raw food to their menu, citing that there is a lot of raw interest in nearby Calgary with some restaurants having raw options. Well, wish granted! Now even a strict raw vegan can enjoy a night out at this lovely restaurant.

Some of the raw menu items include: Gazpacho, Zughetti and marinara and a large raw sharing platter of fruits, vegetables, crackers and dips. You can also get them to make you a large all raw salad at any time. Check out their juice and smoothie section for delightful fruit concoctions.

Some of the vegan items include: yam tenders (a house specialty), portobello melts, beautiful burrito (with over 20 flavourful ingredients), falafel and stuffed roasted red pepper, just to name a few.

Items from the juice and smoothie menu: raw apple juice, lemonade, cranberry blackberry, strawberry banana and pomegranate blueberry. All without the typical additives like coconut cream, hemp seeds or cacao!

They also serve some raw desserts and tea for after dinner delights. (I’ve always been much to full to even consider getting dessert).

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you check this place out, whether you’re with raw, vegan or vegan curious friends there will be something for everyone. I know we’ll be back every time we’re even remotely in the area. I enjoy keeping places I love in business while we’re traveling. Nourish is probably hands down my favorite vegetarian restaurant in the world… and that’s saying a lot because I’ve been to over 30 different countries in the past few years as well as all over Canada and the USA. They’re food is amazing!

Other Vegetarian Options in Banff

If you’re out and about with a non vegan crowd who isn’t up for trying some vegan fare, you can also check out the following restaurants in Banff that do have a vegetarian/vegan option or two:


Magpie & Stump (Tex-Mex)

203 Caribou street
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Phone: (403) 762-4067
Check out the menu here:

Almost all items can be made vegetarian with no meat, and vegan with no cheese. They use a lot of cheese in there menu in general, so be sure to tell your waiter.

Items include: Casa Gringo Salad, guacamole and chips, refried beans and chips, bean and vegetable quesadilla, vegetable enchilada, bean and vegetable tostadas, bean and vegetable tacos, and homemade salsa.

Timber’s Food Co.

204 Wolf street,
Banff, Alberta, Canada, T1L 1A9
Phone: 403-762-8987
Fax: 403-760-8775
Check out the menu here:

Timber’s Food Co offers a typical Banff style menu with steak, burger, pasta and fish options. There are a few notable Vegan/Vegetarian option: vegetable spring rolls, Gazpacho, Salads (can be modified) Portobello stack burger. A salad would be the best bet for a raw option.

Pad Thai (Thai)

at the back of the ClockTower Mall
110 Banff Avenue,
Banff, AB, Canada
Check out the menu here:

They have a wide selection of inexpensive Thai food, including vegetarian options.

Silver Dragon (Chinese )

3rd floor Park Mall
211 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB, Canada
Check out the menu here (vegetarian menu available at restaurant)

Silver dragon has a very wide selection of vegetable dishes on the main menu. Request the vegetarian menu if you’d like to see all the dishes available.

Coyotes Deli & Grill (American)

206 Caribou Street
Banff, AB, Canada
Check out the menu here

This restaurant has a mix of American, Mexican and Pacific menu options. Vegetarian options include: roasted vegetable pizza, spicy black bean burrito, Mediterranean pasta, mixed greens and roasted pepper salad. For vegan options ask for no cheese on the above items.

Masala (Indian)

229 Bear St.
Banff, Alberta, Canada

This restaurant gets average reviews for food and service. There is no online menu, but they do mention that they offer vegetarian options.

Grocery Stores in Banff:
Chances are you’ll probably need to hit the grocery store at some point in your trip, whether for a quick snack or to make a meal on the go. While prices are not cheap in Banff for grocery items, at least they’re available in the middle of a National Park. Stores are open early to late to serve you at any time of day. Check the store flyer for weekly produce specials as well.


318 Marten Street
PO Box 1450
Banff, AB T1L 1B4
Phone: (403) 762-5378
8am-11pm daily

Nester’s Market

122 Bear St
Banff, AB
(403) 762-3663
8am-11pm daily

Chalet Grocery (grocery delivery)

located at Douglas Fir Resort
800 Tunnel Mountain Road
Banff, Alberta , T1L1C4
(403) 762-5447

So there you have it, tons of resources for your vegan or vegetarian stay in Banff Canada one of my favorite places near by! Enjoy 🙂

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren Vaught May 22, 2015 at 9:07 AM

Thank you to Veronica and Julie for the great suggestions on vegan restaurant options. My husband and I are traveling there next week and want to be prepared!!


2 Julie June 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

You can now get a vegan and gluten free dish at The Bison Restaurant & Terrace which is right beside the new Nourish. The “Vegetable Surprise” changes every day and features Glowfood vegan cashew cheese!


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