Lake Louise Restaurants
For years, a major guidebook publisher advised its readers to “eat at your hotel” in Lake Louise. Not only was this unhelpful, it was misleading—the village of Lake Louise may exist only to serve travelers, but there are good cafes and restaurants serving all budgets.
Best Lake Louise Cafes
If you don’t feel like a cooked breakfast, start your day off at Laggan’s Mountain Bakery (Samson Mall, 403/552-2017, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, lunches $8 to $12), the place to hang out with a coffee and a freshly baked breakfast croissant, pastry, cake, or muffin. The chocolate brownie is delicious (order two slices to save having to line
up twice). If the tables are full, order takeout and enjoy your feast on the riverbank behind the mall.
For a casual meal, head to Bill Peyto’s Cafe in the Lake Louise Alpine Centre (Village Rd., 403/522-2200, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, $12 to $17), where the food is consistent and well priced. A huge portion of nachos is $8, pasta is $12 to $14, and stir-fries range $12 to $17.
Across the TransCanada Highway, the Lodge of the Ten Peaks, at the base of Lake Louise winter resort (403/522-3555), is open in 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. daily in summer for a large and varied breakfast buffet that costs a super-reasonable adult $15, child $10. An even better deal is to purchase a breakfast/gondola ride combo for adult $30, child $17 (the gondola ride alone is $28). The buffet lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) is $20, or $35 with the gondola ride.
RestaurantsAddress: 200 Sentinel Road Phone: 403/522-2600 Open: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (summer only) and from 5 p.m. daily Prices: dinner mains $20 to $36
One hundred years ago, visitors departing trains at Laggan Station were eager to get to the Chateau Lake Louise as quickly as possible to begin their adventure. Today, guests from the chateau, other hotels, and even people from as far away as Banff are returning to dine in the Lake Louise Railway Station Restaurant. Although the menu is not extensive, it puts an emphasis on creating imaginative dishes with a combination of Canadian produce and Asian ingredients. Lighter lunches include a Caesar salad topped with roasted garlic dressing–perfect for those planning an afternoon hike. In the evening, expect entrees like a memorable pan-seared salmon smothered in basil pesto.
Address: 10 km/6.2 miles from Lake Louise on the Bow Valley Parkway Phone: 403/522-3761 Open: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. daily Prices: $21 to $36.
Well worth the drive is Baker Creek Bistro at Baker Creek Mountain Resort back toward Banff along the Bow Valley Parkway. Dining is in a cozy room that characterizes the term “mountain hideaway,” in an adjacent lounge bar, or out on a small deck decorated with pots of colorful flowers. The menu isn’t large, but dishes feature lots of Canadian game and produce, with favorites like beer-braised bison short ribs and cedar-planked salmon. Also notable is the well-priced wine list.
Dining at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Within this famous lakeside hotel is a choice of eateries and an ice-cream shop. For all chateau dining reservations, call 403/522-1818.
Poppy Brasserie has obscured lake views and is the most casual place for a meal. Breakfasts (7 to 10 a.m. daily), offered buffet-style ($28 per person), are a little expensive for light eaters. Lunch and dinner (11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, $24 to $38) are a la carte. Walliser Stube (6 to 9 p.m. daily, $31 to $46) is an elegant two-story wine bar decorated with rich wood paneling and solid oak furniture. It offers a simple menu of German dishes from $31 as well as a number of classic fondues. Lakeview Lounge (noon to 4 p.m. daily in summer, lunches $16 to $24) has floor-to-ceiling windows with magnificent lake views. Choose this dining area for lunch or afternoon tea (noon to 3 p.m. daily in summer, reservations required, $37 per person, or $45 with a glass of champagne).
The Fairview Dining Room (6 to 9 p.m. daily, $35 to 46) has a lot more than just a fair view. As the chateau’s signature dining room, it enjoys the best views and offers the most elegant setting.