Whether I am skiing the sweet powder slopes or climbing a cliff face in the majestic Banff National Park I need my coffee shop hour to prepare the body and soul for the Albertan Rockies majesty. As an emigrant to North America from a rural Irish farming area, the mountains and Canadian coffee houses have enchanted my heart. These are the Albertan Rocky Coffee Shops that I recommend for a local and inexpensive culinary pleasure.
1. Harvest Cafe
If you have more than 15 minutes to spare and you want to eat and drink coffee where the local ski bum and climber eats, you need to visit Harvest Cafe. It is even located adjacent to a used mountain gear shop. Reservations are not required and it is a short walk from Canmore town center. It is best to park in Canmore town center. Word of month from another climber is what brought me to this hidden treasure. Casual dress is essential, the more mountain rugged you look the more you will fit in. The walls are ever painted with images of skiers, climbers and mountains. The staff dress as casual as the customers however they have the differential of being from the French speaking region in Canada that brings a rare French-Canadian culinary experience to the English speaking province of Alberta. Coffee in the cafe is sourced from Mountain Blend Coffee Roasters which is locally based in Canmore town. The breakfast menu and lunch menu are written on a large chalk board and center mainly on healthy options including the sunrise (scrambled egg, avocado, mango salsa and mozzarella) and cowboy (scrambled egg, bacon, salsa)breakfast wrap which my boyfriend and I chose on our most recent visit. Both were priced at about $7. The daily coffee special was a coconut latte and the pastry was a cinnamon bun with cream cheese.
2-718 10th Street, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Are you looking for some local coffee shop history? Have you a desire to titillate your coffee taste buds? Are you time constrained for your coffee hit? If yes to any or all of these I would thoroughly recommend a visit to one of the two Beamer’s Coffee Bars in Canmore. The first Beamer’s Coffee Bar was established in 1994. Free parking is available adjacent to both locations. I love Beamer’s as it has amazing coffee blends with delicious breakfast/ lunch wraps, sandwiches and pastries. These are all available for a quick grab and go or to stay and all for a reasonable price. You can be in your ski gear or office clothes and you will fit in here. Foodies Top Tip: If you bring in your own travel mug your chosen brewed coffee is only $2 and they often have day old muffins for $1.
A – 1702 Bow Valley Trail/ 120, 737 – 7th Ave, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
As the name strongly suggests if you want a freshly baked bagel with a brewed coffee this is the premier place to visit in the Albertan Rockies. Even if you didn’t read this review you would be able to understand from the crowds that queue at the weekend at the downtown location the appeal of these bagels. The cafe has two locations with the most popular being the downtown Canmore location, however if your goal is for a quick stop for quality coffee blends on the way to a mountain I strongly recommend the Bow Valley Trail Location in the town. Parking at the downtown location is limited so walking is best from a town parking lot whereas the Bow Valley Trail location as amble parking adjacent to the premises. The clientele range from mountain guides to wealthy Canadian retirees.
830 8 St #102/, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Do you want to go where the Banff Ski bum goes for coffee? Do you want to avoid the Banff tourist crowds? Do you want damn good coffee at a reasonable price then the WhiteBark Cafe is the place to go. The White Bark Cafe was recommended as a medicine to my Banff coffee woes by a friendly local who indicated that it was established by an ex-Olympic Ski Athlete who used to train in the area. The cafe is located at the edge of Banff town center in the Banff Aspen Lodge Hotel. Parking is very limited unless you are staying at the hotel so walking here is best. Please be aware the Banff Parking Officers are very active and the author has purchased a $50 parking ticket along with her 2 minute coffee stop. Staff are formally dressed but the customers range from people in their ski gear to higher end formally dressed visitors. It is best to grab a coffee and as the White Bark has limited space but if you have time to site at the bar facing the window you can admire beautiful views of the local Tunnel Mountain. Additionally if your belly is empty you can dine one homemade treats such as their homemade granola cereal and bars or savory dishes such as Foccacia bread which was the daily special on my most recent visit.$
401 Banff Avenue, Banff, Alberta, Canada
Do you love art, photography and baking? Then a visit to Banff’s Wild Flour Bakery is essential. It is located one block off the main drag in Banff yet on a Saturday morning this bakery is a hive of activity due to famous bakery and the freshly baked smell emanating from within. On my first visit several years ago I even found my way here by following the aroma down Banff’s Bear Street. My recommendation for a visit is to grab a beverage and admire the art adorning the walls before purchasing food. The beautiful things in life need to be savored and there are too many good things at once. You need to appreciate the smooth coffee (coffee is sourced from fantastic Fratello roastery which is located in Calgary city) you need to appreciate the fantastic mountain art for sale on the walls and you need to savor the delicious food. Parking is limited though there is a parking lot across the street which as of 2016 is free, though it does fill up quickly. Walking here is best as you really need to follow the aroma. Foodie Tip: You can buy loaves of bread freshly baked in store. My favorite purchase was a Walnut and Cranberry bread loaf.
101-211 Bear Street, Banff, Alberta, Canada
About Aislinn Deenihan
Aislinn Deenihan loves the Rocky Mountains and the local cafes in the environs.