Banff’s Best Coffee – Bean There, Drank That
Banff National Park, Alberta
Banff is cold. This explains why everybody wears warm clothes and why that white stuff falls so frequently from the sky. Whether you are the type of person who prefers warmth and sunny beaches or not, you must admit there are some things you can’t beat about winter. Crawling into a warm bed after a hard work day / bender is one. Collapsing into a leather couch by the fireside is another. Surely one of the nicest things, admittedly coming from a caffeine addict, is the thought of meeting a friend in a great coffee house, stripping off some layers of clothing and wrapping your hands around a large mug of warm coffee! There are more cafes than you can shake a percolator at up here so before my hands shake from too much caffeine, here are a few of my favourites.
Starbucks and Second Cup
Don’t judge me! I know they are commercial whores, I know it’s nothing new, I know they are expensive. However, because of these monsters, coffee everywhere has become expensive and taken on names like the Curly Wurly Whackachino (not an actual flavour). We humans love to hate the big dogs but the fact is that the coffee in these two places are very good, the staff are amongst the friendliest in town and one major plus point is that they have high speed wireless for those looking to relax and check email / write hilariously informative blogs. Both these coffee houses offer two hours of free internet access per session which in Banff, a place with limited wireless options, is a real bonus. If you can’t choose between the two, Second Cup is Canadian!
There are actually more Evelyn’s Cafes than Starbucks in Banff believe it or not. They just seem to pop out of no-where these cafes. There is one right in the heart of Banff that stays open until 11pm for the seriously addicted. The prices are similar to the big boys around town with a regular coffee at $1.75 for example. The food is excellent but fairly pricey. Basic things like a muffin ($2.50) or a sausage roll ($4.75) shouldn’t be so pricey. The homemade cookies however would make you want to swap your mother. I tried. For something different, pop in for a cappuccino. Bear Street is the best location.
The Wild Flour Café
Hippy hangout has a host of healthy hoptions to choose from. Yes, I spelt options wrong for the sake of alliteration – pretend it is a silent ‘h’. This charming, slightly hidden away little place on Bear Street is a breath of fresh air in Banff’s café scene. Organic – it bills itself as Banff’s Artisan bakery café and this is exactly what it is. There is no better selection of breads and cakes to choose from in all of Banff. My two personal favourites are the Pulled Pork grilled sandwich which is braised in an apple barbeque sauce with swiss cheese served on sourdough. Salivating yet? The All Day Breakfast choices are incredible. Try the herbed egg, frittata with cheddar on sour dough bread. Great Hoptions for all.
Jump Start Café
This is more of a jump in and out sort of café. High tables and stools and a handy location make it a great choice to pop in for a quick coffee before or after work around Banff. There is a massive selection of everything from ice-cream to sandwiches to breakfast bagels. The main reason this place makes my personal list is simply because of the views. I don’t mean this in a perverted way but there is nothing more relaxing than enjoying the views of the mountains while people watching from the massive glass window. ..in a perverse way.