Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Explore Banff's Bounty of Plant-Based Bites
Nestled in the magnificent Canadian Rockies, Banff is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. But did you know it's also a haven for vegans and vegetarians? Banff offers a bounty of plant-based dining options to satisfy even the most discerning herbivore.
Start your day at Evelyn's Coffee Bar with a steaming cup of oat milk latte and a freshly baked vegan muffin. Their cashew cheese bagels are a savory way to fuel up for a busy day of hiking and exploring. Stop in for lunch at The Maple Leaf for Banff's best plant-based burger, topped with all the fixings on a hearty multi-grain bun. Their crispy yam fries served with chili aioli make the perfect pairing.
For a refined dining experience, book a table at The Bison Restaurant's Garden Room and indulge in a multi-course vegan tasting menu. Expect innovative dishes featuring local vegetables and foraged edibles, accented by house-made nut cheeses and charcuterie. The Garden Room's expansive windows offer stunning views of the Bow Valley as you dine.
Sample Banff's take on Asian cuisine with a visit to Melissa's Restaurant. Their vegan menu features steaming bowls of coconut curry, pad thai, and stir-fries, made with tofu, vegetables and meat substitutes. The bibimbap bowl is a standout, served in a hot stone pot with crisp seared tofu and a medley of sauteed veggies.
Satisfy your sweet tooth by stopping into Cows Ice Cream shop, where you'll find creamy non-dairy ice cream flavors such as chocolate coconut, strawberry cheesecake, and cookies and cream. Grab a cone and head to the Bow River pathway as you take in the beautiful scenery.
For quick fare on the go, pop into the Lumberjack's Fast Food truck near the Banff Gondola. Their menu features vegan takes on classic Canadian snacks like poutine, wraps, and beyond meat burgers. Grab their signature spruce tip kale caesar salad for a refreshing, superfood-packed meal.
What else is in this post?
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Explore Banff's Bounty of Plant-Based Bites
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Warm Up with Hearty Vegan Soups and Stews
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Decadent Vegan Desserts
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Sip On Seasonal Vegan Coffee and Tea Creations
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Pack a Picnic with Portable Vegan Fare
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Indulge in Comforting Vegan Versions of Classic Dishes
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Discover Banff's Best Vegan Brunch Options
- Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Sample Inventive Vegan Takes on Canadian Classics
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Warm Up with Hearty Vegan Soups and Stews
The Maple Leaf is beloved for its soup selection, with rotating daily vegan options like roasted cauliflower chowder, curried sweet potato bisque, and smoky chili. Pair it with their warm, crusty homemade bread for sopping up every last drop. Customers rave about the rich, complex flavors of the soups, with one saying "the curried sweet potato bisque warmed me from the inside out after a long day skiing at Sunshine Village."
At the Bison Restaurant, start your meal with their popular beet borscht, its deep ruby hue topped with a dollop of cashew sour cream. The soup features earthy beets accentuated by a pop of lemon, for a refreshing yet cozy first course. For heartier stew options, try the Yukon gold and king oyster mushroom bourguignon, dished up piping hot in a cast iron crock. Its savory vegan take on the French classic is deliciously warming and satisfying.
Melissa's Restaurant also shines with its hot pot soups, bubbling away at your table. Opt for the mixed veggie and tofu soup, swimming with mushrooms, bok choy, leafy greens and plump dumplings. The broth is intensely flavored from soy, ginger and garlic, for the ultimate comfort food. As one reviewer gushes "this soup filled my soul - I've been thinking about it ever since."
For grab and go soups, stop into the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Their soup bar features a rotating daily vegan selection in 16 oz containers, perfect for taking on a hike or picnic. Choices may include hearty lentil and roasted veggie, cream of mushroom with truffle oil, or curried coconut pumpkin. The containers keep soups insulated while you explore Banff's breathtaking trails and vistas.
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Decadent Vegan Desserts
Indulge without an ounce of guilt when you discover Banff's delightful array of decadent dairy-free desserts. Whether you have food allergies, are vegan, or simply want to treat yourself to something sinfully sweet, you'll find plenty of tempting options to curb any craving.
For a classic dessert done vegan, look no further than Tooloulou's creme brûlée. Their silky vanilla custard gets its richness from coconut milk, with a shatteringly crisp burnt sugar topping that some say "puts traditional creme brûlée to shame." Try their seasonal flavors like pumpkin or chocolate coconut for a new twist on a timeless treat. Their fruit-topped tarts are equally divine, with an almond crust and lusciously creamy filling made from cashews.
At Nourish Bistro, the real showstopper is their warm chocolate lava cake, oozing with dark chocolate when you pierce the cakey exterior with your fork. Made with spelt flour and coconut oil, it's gluten-free and unapologetically fudgy. For lighter fare, their fruit crumble explodes with juicy rhubarb, apples, or berries baked under an oat pecan streusel. It's served warm with housemade ice cream for the perfect hot and cold combo.
If ice cream is what you're after, Cows Creamery churns non-dairy flavors like cherry chocolate chunk, mint chocolate chip, and maple walnut - so creamy and rich you won't believe it's dairy-free. Their soft serve twist cone lets you sample two flavors at once. Try the salted caramel and peanut butter swirl for a sweet and salty craving cure. For an adult twist, hit up Park Distillery and sip their Banff Ice Vodka, infused with vanilla ice cream and distilled right in town.
Those with a sweet tooth shouldn't miss Bear Street Tavern's skillet cookie, pulled piping hot from the oven and served with your choice of housemade ice cream. Watch as the giant chocolate chip cookie dome starts to melt over the ice cream, creating an irresistible ooey gooey delight. Vegans praise it as "satisfying the deepest cookie craving" with its doughy center and crisp edges.
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Sip On Seasonal Vegan Coffee and Tea Creations
As the leaves turn and the air grows crisp, warming up with a comforting hot beverage takes on new appeal. Luckily, Banff's coffee shops and tea houses offer seasonal sippers to delight vegans and vegetarians. Using dairy-free milks and quality tea leaves, these drinks provide cozy indulgence without animal products.
For the ultimate autumnal coffee drink, stop into The Bear Street Tavern and order their pumpkin spice latte with your choice of oat, soy, or almond milk. It blends pumpkin puree and chai spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for a perfectly balanced, non-dairy PSL. As one reviewer raves, "this latte tastes even better than the famous Starbucks version and didn't upset my stomach like dairy does."
At Evelyn's Coffee Bar, try their apple cider steamer made with soy milk, apple juice, maple syrup and apple pie spice blend. Topped with cinnamon sprinkles and an apple slice garnish, it's like sipping liquid autumn. For something warmer, their spiced apple chai adds black tea and hits all the right notes for fall.
At the Temple Mountain Tea House, you can sample premium loose leaf teas boosted with health-promoting adaptogens like mushrooms, herbs, roots and barks. Their VitaliTEA blend combines reishi and chaga mushrooms with ginger, lemon balm and schisandra berry for an earthy, complex flavor profile. Add steamed almond or oat milk to temper the intensity.
For a tea with locals roots, try their Hawk Owls Branches - an invigorating mint and juniper green tea harvested right in Banff National Park. The tea masterfully balances the piney juniper notes with cool, refreshing mint. Served hot or iced, it's the perfect way to tap into the essence of the surrounding forest.
At the Maple Leaf, indulge in their zero-proof Fall Sangria brimming with cinnamon sticks, fresh apple slices, pomegranate seeds, and cranberry juice. Just as vibrant and fruity as a traditional sangria but without the alcohol or added sugars. It makes a festive mocktail to enjoy with your plant-based lunch or dinner.
Cows Ice Cream parlour also channels fall flavors into their creamiest non-dairy ice cream yet. Their limited edition pumpkin spice ice cream is infused with real pumpkin, warm spices and vanilla. Get it swirled together with their salted caramel non-dairy flavor for the ultimate autumn treat. Their freshly brewed soy chai latte also pairs perfectly.
The Bison ups the ante on hot toddies by infusing non-alcoholic bourbon with apple cider, lemon, maple and spices. Sip the soothing steamy drink after one of their garden dinners and you just may forget that it's booze-free. It's just as satisfying as an old fashioned - but able to be enjoyed at any time of day.
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Pack a Picnic with Portable Vegan Fare
Banff's awe-inspiring natural beauty makes it the perfect place for an outdoor picnic. Vegans will be delighted at the array of animal-free options for easily packing a satisfying picnic meal to enjoy amidst the vibrant fall vistas. Put together a portable feast at one of the local restaurants or food shops and head to a scenic lookout to dine alfresco.
At the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co., opt for one of their make-your-own vegan flatbread pizzas, baked perfectly crisp in their wood-fired oven. Choose from pesto, tomato or olive oil bases, then pile on roasted vegetables, marinated tofu, caramelized onions and more. Their pizzas are available fully assembled or grab a par-baked crust to finish topping and cooking at your picnic spot. Flatbreads make satisfying hand-held picnic fare.
Lumberjack’s Fast Food crafts stellar veggie burgers enveloped in soft whole wheat buns. The patty itself is a flavor-packed blend of beans, grains and roasted veggies. Their vegan Big Crunch burger even mimics a fried chicken sandwich with a cornflake coated tofu filet! Wrap it to travel or get the burger in a box to keep the bun from getting soggy. Their hearty yam fries are ideal picnic accompaniments.
The Maple Leaf’s chickpea BLT sandwich holds its structural integrity nicely for transport, layering crunchy toast, creamy avocado, tempeh “bacon” bits and an umami mushroom spread. Ask them to wrap it in foil and place in a bag to retain maximum crispness. Their protein-rich macro bowl, with quinoa, greens, tofu and tahini dressing, travels well too.
Bear Street Tavern's picnic packs include a vegan sandwich or wrap, side salad, piece of fruit, and giant housemade cookie or brownie. Sandwich options include grilled eggplant, portobello and roasted peppers on focaccia or their chickpea "tuna" salad with dill aioli. Build your own salad bowl from their extensive ingredient list for a perfect portable plant-based meal.
Cows Ice Cream parlour sells pints of their lusciously creamy non-dairy ice cream to tuck into your picnic cooler - flavors like chocolate hazelnut fudge and strawberry cheesecake. Bring some disposable bowls and spoons to devour it at the picnic spot. Their ice cream sandwich with oatmeal cookies holding vanilla ice cream makes hand-held treat.
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Indulge in Comforting Vegan Versions of Classic Dishes
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Discover Banff's Best Vegan Brunch Options
Nothing cures a pesky case of the morning munchies quite like a leisurely vegan brunch. In Banff, plant-based daytime dining has reached new heights, with creative chefs putting their own stamp on familiar breakfast fare. From pancakes to bennies, the options abound - but where should an herbivore head to indulge? We've got the inside scoop on Banff's top spots for an unforgettable vegan brunch.
Let's start with Tooloulou's, which draws crowds each weekend for their extensive vegan menu. Stars of the show are the fluffy banana pecan pancakes, miraculously made sans eggs and dairy. Griddled to golden perfection, they're drizzled in maple syrup and topped with a dollop of vanilla coconut cream. Add a side of housemade soy sausage for the complete experience. Their crepe options shine too - try the Storm Mountain with smoked tofu, hashbrowns, and avocado nestled inside.
Next up is Melissa's Restaurant, dishing out Asian flair with dishes like coconut curry noodles, Vietnamese subs, or udon carbonara featuring rich cashew cream. Their brunch bibimbap is a standout, with seasoned tofu and veggies served sizzling in a hot stone bowl. Mix it together and crown it with their sublime kimchi for flavors that will jolt your senses awake. Oh, and you can't miss their bubble tea - swirling with tapioca pearls and plant-based milk.
At the Bison, weekend brunch in the garden room revolves around fresh, foraged local ingredients. Beet-cured gravlax gets its heady flavor from Banff juniper berries. It's served atop tender hash browns along with perfect poached pears and hollandaise from cashews and miso. Their creations exhibit "all the comfort of a classic brunch, but with ingredients so fresh you can practically taste the Rocky Mountain air" one diner remarks.
For grab-and-go fare, hit up Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co on Sundays when they do a "bottomless vegan brunch." For a fixed price, nosh on an endless array of muffins, scones, bagels and more baked fresh that morning. Add a slice (or three) of their famed carrot cheesecake, made creamy with a cashew nut base. Fuel up before hitting the trails or after a long morning hike - either way, it's the most convenient and delicious brunch around.
No vegan brunch would be complete without a proper Benedict. Head to the Bear Street Tavern to try their showstopping combo of English muffins, silky cashew hollandaise, tomato, avocado and coconut "bacon." It brilliantly mimics the original while being 100% plant-based. Tavern staff call it "our best-selling brunch item hands down" - even convincing the most skeptical of meat eaters.
Leaf Peeping and Plant Eating: Top Vegan Bites for Fall Foliage in Banff - Sample Inventive Vegan Takes on Canadian Classics
Canada's culinary heritage brims with meaty mainstays from coast to coast. But Banff's talented chefs prove even poutine, Montreal smoked meat, and Arctic char can get deliciously reimagined with plant-based ingredients. These inventive vegan takes on Canadian classics allow herbivores to enjoy the familiar, comforting flavors they crave without animal products.
For the quintessential Canadian snack, try the Lumberjack's poutine - Yukon gold fries smothered in a savory vegan gravy with nutty cheese curds fashioned from fermented cashews. One happy customer gushes "if I was served this poutine blindfolded, I truly would have thought it was the traditional beef and dairy version - it's uncanny." Lumberjack's gravy in particular astonishes, achieving smoky, salty depth from mushrooms like shiitake and oyster.
At Tooloulou's, their take on Montreal smoked meat sandwiches layers marinated seitan with zingy mustard and crunchy sauerkraut on rye bread. The seitan emerges from a 3-day marinade in spices, vinegar and liquid smoke to mimic brisket. Sink your teeth into the stacked sandwich and you'll marvel, "I can't believe this isn't the real thing!" as all the flavors meld in perfect harmony.
For a taste of the ocean, try the Arctic char at the Bison. Meticulously molded carrots mimic the fish's orange hue and delicate texture. Pickled seaweed, squash and an olive tapenade conjure the briny sea, while an almond puree lends a smooth creaminess. This creative rendition "transports me right to the coast for light yet satisfying meal" says one patron.
Another Bison showstopper - their vegan butter tart with a flaky inland pine crust and gooey coconut maple filling. Crowned with Saskatoon berries, it evokes the classic prairie treat but with a local twist. The Bison enhances Canadian cuisine by not only veganizing it, but focusing on indigenous plants native to the Banff ecosystem. Dishes feel intimately tied to the surrounding land.
Melissa's also riffs on the iconic Nanaimo bar dessert by turning it into a soy milkshake. Velvety vanilla soft serve swirls with rich chocolate sauce, then gets doused in coconut whipped cream and crumbled chocolate wafer - mimicking all the layers. Every decadent sip screams "Canada!" But without using dairy or eggs.