Having to travel to find snow is new experience for many who are enjoying mild winters this year. But for anyone really hankering for a weekend spent trudging and skiing rather than just walking and driving, Banff, a resort town in Alberta, Canada, should be high on the list. It’s a classic ski town with mountainous surrounds, well-preserved lakes and wildlife, hot springs, and three resorts that have the whole "ski-hard, play-hard" thing down. Banff has even more to offer, beyond its expanse of nature, like these five bites...
Breakfast: Melissa’s has been open for more than 30 years, greeting locals and visitors alike for thick fillets of steak. But their breakfast menu is a real gem with, of course, steak and eggs alongside a crab and asparagus omelette, homemade pancakes, and huevos rancheros. It is hearty fuel food served in a dark wood, old-fashioned cabin interior.
Lunch: A quaint little shop on Bear Street, Wild Flour Bakery makes delicious sandwiches with bread baked in-house. It’s one of those places everyone loves for savory sandwiches, hearty potpies, and sweet pastries, all made in-house, and the team at the café is always open to suggestions (and compliments). They accommodate gluten-free snow lovers, too. The soups are just as tasty as the sandwiches, with flavors like sweet potato and shiitake with ginger. If you opt to go the sandwich route, we’re told the smoked ham sandwich is up there with the best of ‘em.
Dinner: The Bison
For a taste of the local cuisine, book a table at The Bison. When in Rome… order the bison onion soup, which is full of rich flavor and port wine undertones. Then, sink your teeth into the bison rib-eye, which comes with roasted pearl onions and a demi-glace,or the bison burger topped with bacon, white Cheddar, and house-smoked ketchup. The restaurant has a really cozy vibe with warm tones throughout, an open kitchen, and tables that are close enough together to share slope-side stories with fellow diners, but not so close as to feel like you’re eating dinner with strangers. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/christa_renee)
Drinks: After a long day on the slopes, kick back with a drink at Banff Avenue Brewing Co. or Jasper Brewing Co. Order any of the seven beers produced on-site at the Banff Avenue Brewing Co., all of which are made with real glacier water. If you’re paying a visit to Jasper Brewing Co. instead, try the Liftline cream ale or the 6060 stout, both of which are consistently raved about.
Afternoon Snack: Take a break from the lift to pay a visit to The Fudgery, where all their sweets are made in-house. Grab a cashew bear claw, a specialty brittle, or peruse their 20 fudge flavors, which even come in 5-pound bars.