Photo: Bear Street Tavern Patio on Bear Street, Banff - Credit: Paul Zizka
Strolling through Banff townsite is a rite of passage when visiting Canada’s first National Park. Banff's main drag, Banff Avenue is flush with tourists year round, but locals roam the streets parallel to the main drag. Bear Street is a hip alcove dotted with galleries and organic outposts. We recommend popping into these local favourites:
- Freshly baked artisanal breads and pastries are served up a Wild Flour. Situated in the Bison Courtyard this organic eatery caters to health nuts and vegans, but don’t let that steer you away!
- The Rockies have long inspired artists, and at Canada House Gallery, art lovers can snap up a diverse range of contemporary paintings, sculptures and crafts from Canadian artists.
- World Cup experienced technicians are ready to help visitors rent or buy at Soul Ski and Bike. Snowtips-Bactrax also offers ski and bike rentals, and can also kit you out for hiking, fishing and camping.
- Fitness routines needn’t be neglected on your travels. Rocky Mountain Yoga offers drop-in classes, inspiring workshop and some stunning views.
- If tots are in tow, try pottery painting at Crock A Doodle Banff or stop in at Scallywags, an independent children’s clothing and toy store.
- A foodie favourite, The Bison serves up regionally inspired fare (try the bison carpaccio) in addition to epic views. The patio makes for a great brunch location in the warmer months.
- The spot for pizza, Bear Street Tavern is a casual, family-friendly pub with an enviable courtyard patio and an extensive beer selection.
- Locals claim the best burger in town is at Barpa Bill’s Souvlaki, where you can also tuck into classic Greek dishes.
- Catch a flick at Lux Cinema, where both new releases, cult favourites and classic films are shown.