Best Banff Cafes

Banff’s best cafes are not always obvious in a town that is filled with predictable chains. Banff also lacks the hip hangouts that you’ll find in nearby cities like Calgary and Vancouver, but there are a few good options for coffee and a light meal. If you are looking to get connected, all these cafes offer free wireless Internet.

Here are our favourites:

Whitebark Cafe (401 Banff Ave., 403/760-7298, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily) is the newest cafe in town, and has quickly gained a reputation for excellent coffee in a much quieter setting than comparable downtown cafes. The coffee poured is as good as anywhere in Banff and teas are sourced from the locally owned Banff Tea Company.

Banff’s lone bakery is Wild Flour (Bison Courtyard, 211 Bear St., 403/760-5074, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily), and it’s a good one (albeit a little pricey). Organic ingredients are used whenever possible, and everything is baed onsite. The result is an array of healthy breads, mouthwatering cakes and pastries, and delicious meat pies. The Wildflour attracts a younger, outdoorsy crowd. Eat inside, where the walls often feature the work of local artists, or out in the courtyard.

Jump Start (206 Buffalo St., 403/762-0332), just off Banff Avenue opposite Central Park, hasn’t changed much in 25 years, but the loyal locals don’t seem to mind and its location also makes this a popular place for visitors in the know. The self-serve coffee is inexpensive and the hot savories and sandwiches all made in-house.

Evelyn’s Coffee Bar (215 Banff Ave., 403/762-0352) has a central location pouring good coffee and serving huge sandwiches. The few outside tables at 215 Banff Avenue—on the busiest stretch of the busiest street in town—are perfect for people-watching.

One block back from Banff Avenue, Banff National Perk (220 Bear St., 403/762-8642) is, like Jumpstart, a reliable place to bump into longtime locals who find there way here daily for decent coffee and delicious pastries, muffins, and cakes baked daily on the premises