During the holiday season, what's a greater gift than spending quality time with caring friends and loving family?
Having a stomach full of delicious food and bevys, is what. But that's just for starters ... Why not spoil your tastebuds at the newest hot spots for food and drink in world-famous destinations Banff, Canmore and the Bow Valley this festive season?
Amu Ramen Bar (119 Banff Ave.)
Open for dine-in and takeout, Amu Ramen Bar is the new kid on 100 block. Specializing in Japanese cuisine, the noodle house offers an original touch to its ramen variations. With monthly features added to its menu, this ramen spot is one you'll need to keep checking back in on.
Farm & Fire (333 Banff Ave.)
With a focus on putting Alberta-grown ingredients on the plate, Farm & Fire has quickly become one of Banff's go-to culinary destinations. The wood-fired forno or oven, bakes its signature dishes to perfection from its candied smoked salmon to its thin-crust pizzas, there's always a tasty mouthful of something new to try.
Popeye's (Cascade Shops food court)
To quote hungry viral sensation youngster, Sam Caruana: "It's chicken. It's fried chic-it's fried chicken. I like fried chicken." There is considerable hype around the opening of Banff's Popeyes, the southern-style fried chicken chain. A tentative opening date is in spring 2021.
The Radiant (111 Banff Ave.)
Take in live entertainment while sipping a cocktail at this Roaring Twenties themed jazz bar and restaurant. The Radiant offers boutique cocktails, whiskey straight or on the rocks and an intriguring lineup of shareable dishes for a night out with friends or that special someone.
Seed N Salt (202 Caribou St.)
New health food restaurant, Seed N Salt is a unique culinary artform that's been missing from Banff's food scene. With a mandate for kindness, community and supporting local farmers, Seed N Salt's menu ranges from smoothies, smoothie bowls, breakfast options and greens and grains.
Shoku Izakaya (304 Caribou St.)
Coming soon to Banff is new Japanese restaurant, Shoku Izakaya. Longtime Banffite Chef Stephane Prevost will take the reins in the kitchen of the Japanese pub/tavern concept, serving dishes such as grilled meats and fish, snacks, assorted skewers like yakitori and tempura, fried goodies, noodles and other Asian influenced-dishes. For beverages, the restaurant has an extensive selection of Sake, and some Japanese-inspired cocktails and beers. The target opening date is Dec. 18.
Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant (205 Bear St.)
New craft brewery in town, Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant is serving five brand new beers perfect for trying as a foamy pint after a refreshing day on the ski hills. If you have a bear-sized appetite, Three Bears offers a variety of appys, shareables, and main dishes, but chef recomends the wood-fired pizza, coming in five different variations and using a "reverse ice water ferment" when making the dough.
4296 (626 - 8 St.)
Main Street's newest culinary player just entered the game. Chef Blake Flann returns to Canmore's competitive food scene with 4296, serving "pop culture inspired" cuisine in three- or four-course dinners, shareable plates and a weekend brunch. An international mix of beers and wines offer variety to the fresh drink menu, but 4296's cocktail list of tasty ingredients and spirits is what brings it to life.
Alberta Wing Shack (1702 Bow Valley Trail)
One of Alberta's top fried chicken and wing stops is expanding to Canmore. With nearly 70 flavours of wings, all made from scratch, Alberta Wing Shack has delighted Banff with its fresh quality ingredients since opening in 2017 and now aims to sauce things up in Canmore next.
Änkôr (1430 - Second Ave.)
A fine-dining experience serving contemporary Canadian dishes is opening in Canmore. Änkôr specializes in wine and food pairings with a rotating menu featuring all Canadian ingredients and is fit with a dryager for meat such as duck. The restaurant's full bar offers a variety of gins, scotch and rum to go with any meal. The decor is an open kitchen concept, with local artwork hanging, and salvaged 100-year-old Chicago Commons bricks were installed and wood planks from the old Seebe dam used for the table tops and bar. Chef and owner Danny Beaulieu said he's being as eco-friendly as possible and Änkôr is LED certified and will soon be solar-powered during days. The grand opening is Nov. 25.
Cabeza Grande (802 - Eighth St.)
New Mexican restaurant, Gabeza Grande offers a fiesta of tacos, tequila and good times. Opening its doors in June, Gabeza Grande shakes up the local foodie scene with its colourful passion for creating Latin-American cuisine. Tacos, burritos, and Bull Dogs, what more could you ask for?
Rocket Pie (304 Old Canmore Rd.)
Send your tastebuds to the moon with a flavourful blast of these pies launching out of Canmore. Rocket Pie serves Neapolitan-style pizza, baked in stone-fired oven that gives a crisp New York pizza finish to any one of its nine signature 'zas. The pizza speciality shop also serves calzones and lasagna, and you can finish each meal with Italian dessert tiramisu, a creamy cake served chilled.
Wagashi Tea House (60 Lincoln Park)
This new local market with an emphasis on Japanese takeout food and teas is not to be missed. Wagashi Tea House offers a wide variety of quality seafood, mochi, bento box and green teas inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun. Every Friday is its fresh fish market.
Dead Man's Flats
Aroma's Cantina, Market and Catering (120 - 1st Ave.)
A new yet familiar restaurant is Dead Man's Flats latest culinary experience. Aroma's Cantina continues to celebrate Mexican cuisine in the Canadian Rockies at its new location eight kilometres east of Canmore. Chef José Castillo and company moved down the road during the pandemic, but have found its perfect new home with an authentic taste of Mexico with tacos, fajitas and even a Mexican buffalo burger.