Canmore is often overshadowed by the town of Banff due to its close proximity to so many amazing hikes, lakes, and ski slopes. However, Canmore is a hidden gem with incredible breweries and restaurants that can’t be overlooked. The town itself is charming and has a local, non-touristy atmosphere.
If you decide to use Canmore as your jumping off point for your Canadian adventures, check out the list below for a great selection of restaurants and breweries.
If you would like more information on what to see in Banff, check out our post on how to spend 3 days in Banff National Park.
Breweries in Canmore
Grizzly Paw Brewery
The Grizzly Paw Brewery is unique in the fact that it has two locations in Canmore: The Grizzly Paw Pub and The Grizzly Paw Brewery & Tasting Room. We decided to visit The Grizzly Paw Brewery & Tasting Room. The brewery is multiple levels, with a tasting room on the first floor and a restaurant called Tank 310 on the third floor. The restaurant serves all Grizzly Paw beer so it was a no brainer to check it out.
Tank 310 has large windows offering incredible views of the surrounding mountains with a wrap around porch that you can sit at as well. Sipping delicious Grizzly Paw beer and snacking on appetizers while enjoying a spectacular view of the Three Sisters, a famous mountain range in Canmore, was one of the highlights of our trip.
Canmore Brewing was opened in the fall of 2016, becoming the second brewery to open its doors in Canmore after Grizzly Paw. The taproom has a great view of the brewing equipment, and if you are curious about their process they offer tours on Saturday afternoons.
The strength of Canmore Brewing is the beer itself; their year round taps are very strong. We gravitate towards pale ales and IPA’s, and their offering did not disappoint. The Ten Peaks Pale Ale is a perfect summer ale for easy drinking after a long day of hiking. They nailed the Misty Mountain Hops New England style IPA as well; it’s perfectly hazy and fruity.
The views and environment aren’t as charming as the Grizzly Paw, but if you just want a nice refreshing beer in a no-nonsense brewery setup, this is the spot for you.
Sheepdog Brewing will always hold a special spot in our hearts because we happened to be there on opening day in June 2019. We grabbed a spot at the bar early in the day and spent at least 3 hours observing the crowds of locals coming out in large numbers to support the brewery on it’s first date in business. We even witnessed the owners of Grizzly Paw and Canmore Brewing come by and wish the owner of Sheepdog best of luck. The brewing community is the best!
Since it was opening day they didn’t have all of their styles nailed down, but one particular beer we had was excellent. The La Noire Cascadian Dark Ale is a dark IPA with loads of flavor, and they serve it in a really funky IPA glass which is awesome. The Steedz Long Travel Pale was great as well – a classic american pale ale. However, I’m sure their offering has expanded and a flight would definitely be a must visiting this fledgling brewery!
Half Hitch Brewing
Half Hitch Brewing gets a shoutout because it has a location in downtown Canmore, however the “hitch” is that it does not brew on location. Don’t let this discourage you from visiting the bar! They have fantastic happy hour deals and a nice atmosphere with a very central location. Also, their beer was decent but nothing to call home about – definitely worth drinking it during happy hour.
Restaurants in Canmore
The Market Bistro
The Market Bistro is a delicious restaurant on the outskirts of Canmore, perfect for a date night. The atmosphere is a mix between a wine shop and a coffee shop, but don’t let the laid back decor fool you; the food is on parr with any fine dining experience we’ve ever had.
If you can make it, go on a Wednesday night – they have a price fix menu with $5 glasses of wine which were phenomenal pairings for the food. If you enjoy the wine, be sure to check out their wine shop next door, they offer discounts if you buy bottles in bulk!
Tavern 1883 is a great spot for dinner as well as a night out. However, if you’re going for dinner you have to come on an empty stomach. The food at Tavern 1883 is phenomenal and the portions are absolutely huge. We ordered way too much food and ended up having to tap out because we were so full, but it allowed us to taste test a lot of the menu.
The truffle fries in particular are a ridiculous value. For only $11 CAD you get a humongous basket of truffle fries. That alone would have been more than we could handle but we also ordered the vegetarian chili and the brussels sprouts which were so good as well!
Iron Goat Pub & Grill
The Iron Goat Pub & Grill is ideal for a beautiful spring evening, when all you want is to sit outside in the open air with a magnificent mountain view. The inside is decorated to give you the feel of a cabin with heavy wood accents, and it’s pretty cool in it’s own right, but the patio is the reason Iron Goat made the list!
If you even remotely like cornbread, be sure to start with the cornbread skillet; not only is it the least expensive item on the menu, but it is truly a slice of heaven. Growing up in the southeast of the US, I had plenty of good cornbread but I had never tasted anything quite like this. The entrees were large portions, the perfect hearty meal after a long day of outdoor activities.
Quatro Asian Bistro
Quatro Asian Bistro is a decent spot for a variety of Asian dishes including Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, and Chinese. While it’s not the best Asian food I’ve ever had, if you are in the mood while you’re in Canmore it will definitely fulfill your craving.
Graze Food & Drink
Graze Food & Drink is an eccentric spot located in the heart of Canmore. With a menu containing a wide variety of options, Graze is good for any appetite. As a vegetarian, I was able to order a delicious meal with no issues. It’s inevitable that you will meet the owner, Tony. He’s very friendly and eclectic, but he’s very accommodating. If you’re lucky, he may even give you Oreos for dessert… we weren’t so lucky.