The Barefoot Mermaid’s Guide to Banff and Jasper National Parks, Part I

The Barefoot Mermaid’s Guide to Banff and Jasper National Parks, Part I

In late August 2017,  we traveled to Albert, Canada for a thirtieth birthday celebration with my cousin and her husband. We had a fabulous time as usual. The landscape was breath-taking. To me it was more beautiful in person than in pictures you see. I always assumed they were enhanced and edited. They are not.

Guides: 

Parks Canada

Lonely Planet Book We took this book with us. It was a good way to read about what we were seeing without burning internet data.


Stay:

Inns of Banff We spent our first two nights here. It’s located on the end of town you enter in from Calgary. Had a large balcony (which we know balconies or large opening windows are my favorite) and was clean. We did walk from here to dinner the first night. It was not too far out if you wanted to walk, but there is free parking closer to the shops and restaurants. Again much “nicer” hotels in the area, but you can not stay in the swankiest places if you like to travel as much as we do. This hotel was perfectly nice and we basically just slept here.

The Crossings Resort We spent night number three here. It is nothing to write home about, but a great mid way location between Banff and Jasper. You have to pay extra for internet and it is terribly slow, so I would not unless you really need it. The food here is also lacking but it will do. It was clean and a place to rest our bones after a good hike. The mountains that surround the area are impressive.

Sawridge Inn  We spent two nights here. The nicest place we stayed. The hotel had free, fast internet, a pool, hot tub, and sauna. It also had a restaurant but we did not eat here. The beds were comfortable and spacious. Also located on the edge of town. We drove down to the free parking areas to grab food.

Comfort Inn South located in Calgary. We just looked for a cheap deal to stay in the night before we left. Clean, internet and slept well. Looked like it had an awesome pool and slide but we did not have time. It was about a twenty minute drive to the airport but this was not a problem for us. We had plenty of time to get there. We did unfortunately take two separate flights home because of hurricane Harvey.


Eats:

Earl’s Banff we ate here on our first night in Banff. The food was ok. They told us they carried unique items on their menu. We were bewildered at first, since it looked like typical American dishes. Later we realized why as most restaurants only have burgers and not diverse menus.

Wild Flour Bakery we had breakfast here on our way out to hike one morning. A few different goodies with locals and tourist alike.

Cow’s Creamery we are here on our second night in Banff. Recommended by a friend who visited a few weeks before us, it was delicious. We returned later on our trip back to Calgary. Ryan ordered the milkshake with chocolate cheesecake ice cream, it was the best flavor we tasted. I tried to get in when we went back but unfortunately they were out. They also carry bottled Raspberry Cordial a nod to Anne of Green Gables. It was tasty. If you life Anne of Green Gables or raspberry flavor I recommend trying it. Must eat.

Eddie Burger + Bar local burger joint did not disappoint. Yummy combos or build your own. I tried the Hot Tots as well and loved them. Alyssa and I both got the grass-fed burger. Note that they only cook meat well done because of standardized health regulations. I did not mind as this is how I prefer my burgers, but they were still juicy and tender. Would recommend as a must eat.

Bill Peyto’s Cafe located at a hostel around the town of Lake Louise area. It was yummy. Your standard Canada food. Burgers, fries, etc. I had the buffalo chicken wrap and really enjoyed it with a local ginger beer. We also tried the poutine here.

Lake Louise Village Grill also locate in the same area as Bill Peyto’s Grill. We ate here after our hike up the Beehive. I would not recommend it. The food was just ok. Honestly there seem to be other restaurants in the area. I am not sure why we chose this one. I would rather have eaten at Bill Peyto’s again. The food was not terrible but just unimpressive.

Lake Agnes Teahouse this tea house is located beside Lake Agnes. The tea house was built in 1901 by the Canada Pacific Railway as a respite for hikers and started serving tea in 1905. They only accept cash American or Canadian. It is a hike up from Lake Louise steep at times but do able with lots of rest breaks. Must eat.

Crossing Cafe located in the middle of no where at the hotel we stayed at. There is a cafe, pub and restaurant on site. They all seemed to have about the same menu. We chose the cafe just because it was a bit cheaper. Hot dogs, chicken, burgers, and chili topped everything.


Evil Dave’s located in Jasper. We ate her on Alyssa’s 30th Birthday. The best meal we had. We had drinks, appetizer-the Beautiful Brie was heavenly, main meal and dessert.  Ryan and I had El Diablo. Alyssa had Hell’s Chicken and Ian had the Karma Curry. All were delicious. We got the trio of desserts, I preferred the cheesecake. Must eat.

Bear Paw Bakery with two locations in Jasper this is one happening spot. We grabbed breakfast to go both mornings. Everything was yummy. The chia latte was heavenly. Must eat.

Famoso a pizza place located in Jasper. We grabbed take out one night and enjoyed in our hotel room. I had the Caloletti with roasted brussels, prosciutto, gorganzola cheese, dates, walnuts and honey. Delicious. The nutella dessert pizza was also good. Must eat but only if you have already eaten Evil Dave’s and the deli.

Patricia Street Deli we grabbed sandwiches and wraps from here to take on our way to Maligne Lake. We all got the chicken. Why are wraps in far away places so good! We would have gone back had it opened up before we needed to leave the next day. Great to grab and take on a hike especially if you have a cooler. Must eat.

Los Mariachis this was close to your hotel and something quick and easy (and not burgers) when we got into Calgary the night before our flights. We had to fly separately because of Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston. Alyssa and Ian took the early 715 departure just in case there was any back up from Harvey Alyssa could be back at work. We flew out around 1230 luckily neither of us ran into any problems or delays.

Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus Ryan and I ate here before we flew out later Sunday. Dutch styled crepes. If you read my Paris guide then you know how much we love crepes. These were no exception. I, dare I say it, almost liked them more because the additives are not layered on top but mixed right in.  we both got a savory one as our “breakfast” we ordered a sweet one but cancelled it because we were so full. Must eat.

Check back next week for all the things we did. It was a fun packed week.

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