Lake Louise — Dining

For breakfast on the mountain, the cafeteria ($) in the Whiskeyjack Lodge serves affordable breakfast options. Reasonably-priced on-mountain lunch options are The Powder Keg ($$) with nachos, sandwiches and pizza; the Great Bear Room, with hot luncheon serving stations; and Sawyer’s Nook Restaurant ($$) in Temple Lodge.

For a full-on Lake Louise dining experience, the Sitz ‘n’ Suds Apres Ski and Dinner includes an apres-ski party, a full buffet dinner and live entertainment every Friday during the ski season. The program runs through 8:00p.m. and includes bus service back to Lake Louise and Banff hotels.  Cost is reasonable.

On Saturday evenings, the Brewster Cowboy’s Barbecue & Dance Barn (800-691-5085; 403-762-5454; $$$) near The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise provides a hearty cowboy dinner of a “Hip of Beef” served on a pitchfork, baked beans, baked potatoes, soup, salad and pie. Salmon and chicken are also available; cash bar. Enjoy Western entertainment from mid-December to early April. This adventure includes a sleigh ride to the barn where you’ll slap your thigh to a live country band and dance if that’s your passion. Cost for the package sleigh ride, dinner and dancing is $$$$. Call for current prices. (Photo right by Steve Giordano)

For dinner in The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (403-522-3511 for reservations at all its restaurants), the most elegant dining room is the Edelweiss ($$$), serving entrees such as salmon and duckling. The Swiss Walliser Stube Wine Bar ($$-$$$; photo below) specializes in raclette and fondue. The Poppy Room, a family restaurant, and the 24-hour deli are the only facilities open for breakfast in winteri. Glacier Saloon ($$) has steak sandwiches, finger food and salads. The Chateau’s deli is also a good choice for a quick lunch. It also can pack a meal to go.

The Post Hotel (403-522-3989; $$$) is recognized as serving the finest continental cuisine in Lake Louise. For a special occasion, this is a wonderful place. Deer Lodge (403-522-3747; $$$; above), originally a general store for provisioning hikers, has homemade breads, yummy full breakfasts as well as innovative dinner specials and in-house baked pastries.

Lake Louise Station (403-522-2600; $$–$$$) is a restored railway station with views of the mountains and freight trains that often rumble past. The menu is quite extensive, with pastas, lamb, Alberta steaks and fresh salmon, among other dishes. Couples might like a table in the Killarney car, which was the private railroad car of a Canadian Railroad president.

If you’re itching for a change of scenery, take the half-hour drive up the Icefields Parkway to get a taste of the Rocky Mountain cuisine at the Elkhorn Dining Room (403-522-2167; $$$) at Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. Try to identify the animal trophy heads lining the walls while dining on fresh trout or hunter-style venison.

For a special night, locals head to the Storm Mountain Lodge (Rte. 93 heading west, 403-762-4151, $$$$, left) about halfway between Banff and Lake Louise. The rustic log cabin only has nine tables so, make sure to call for reservations. This resort established way back in 1922 is still in family hands.

What a find! Bill Peyto’s Cafe (403-522-2200; $) at the Canadian Alpine Centre & International Hostel promises great food at affordable prices and delivers it. The menu, posted on a chalkboard, is long and varied, with an emphasis on healthy, wholesome food. Breakfast is served until 2 p.m.

There are many dining choices in Banff to consider too.

Dining Legend (Cdn$): $$$$—Entrees $30+; $$$—$20–$30; $$—$10–$20; $—less than $10