Dining in Lake Louise

Aug 24th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Dining in Lake Louise

Our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies is just around the corner, and we have been trying to compile a list of restaurants to eat at while we are there. I think we have Banff and Jasper under control, but Lake Louise I haven't read much about.

I understand the Post Hotel is spoken of highly. Are reservations essential? How far in advance? Are there any other places you'd recommend for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Specific fare or price isn't much of an object.

Also, a place that does take-out sandwiches (some sort of deli) would also be great, so we can pack a lunch for the road when going to Yoho.

Thanks in advance!
Mazey is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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The Bistro at the Baker Creek Chalets in Lake Louise is very good. We first found it on our honeymoon years ago, and returned last summer. Just as good as before! We have only had dinners there, but the breakfasts smelled wonderful as we walked past (we were staying there) and the restaurant was full, so that is usually a good sign
mms is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Laggan's Mountain Bakery and Deli in Samson Mall in Lake Louise village sells take-away lunches.

The Post Hotel is exceptional, but of course expensive. I've been advised that reservations are necessary there not just for dinner but even for lunch. However, I think you could make a reservation once you're already in the area (say a day or two in advance).

Deer Lodge also has an excellent restaurant, but an expensive wine list (although you've indicated that price isn't an object). I would recommend reservations for dinner, but it would be adequate to make the reservation on the morning of the same day.

Having stayed at Deer Lodge, I know it provides take-away lunches for its guests, but I don't know if it sells take-away lunch to non-guests.

By the way, Deer Lodge is a nice place to have lunch, and you will not need a reservation at midday.

If you happen to find yourself at Moraine Lake around lunch time, there is a pleasant restaurant overlooking the lake. Its cuisine isn't as good as Deer Lodge's offerings, in my opinion, but it's perfectly acceptable, and you may not feel like driving the 9 miles back to Lake Louise.

People also speak well of the Station Restaurant just across the railway tracks from Lake Louise village. The building, as the name suggests, is a station that has been converted into a restaurant. I'm guessing that the reservation situation would be much the same as at Deer Lodge, probably necessary for dinner but probably unnecessary for lunch.

Baker Creek Bistro, which Mms mentioned, always gets complimentary reviews. Again, I would take the precaution of making a dinner reservation.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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Laggins (I think that is how you spell it) Deli in the Lake Louise Village is great for take out sandwiches, pastries, etc.

There is also a very nice restaurant (called the Lake Louise Station) close by.
maj is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 10:56 AM
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Ditto to everything that Judy has mentioned.

Just wanted to add that Post Hotel is fine dining ( a little more formal than jeans!!), The Station Restaurant is casual ( and you'll see trains rumbling by just feet away from your table while you dine), and Laggans is perfect for lunch - besides take-out, you can also eat in, although most of the time it is quite crowded.

The other place for dining that hasn't been mentioned is Chateau Lake Louise. It's been some time since we've eaten at the dining room (The Fairview), but we have had a very tasty lunch at the little cafe/bistro (but very expensive!!!). Reservations are required for the dining rooms but not for the cafe/bistros.
Just a note - recently Chateau Lake Louise has been shutting itself off from walk-through traffic (in the summer high season), but as far as I remember this does not apply to dining or shopping, although this may have changed too.

Our favourite meal in Lake Louise was an anniversary dinner at the Post Hotel, and it was wonderful, memorable, and made a big impression on our credit card !!
Borealis is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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we enjoyed our lunch at the station.
ltt is offline  
Sep 25th, 2004, 06:50 PM
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too late to help, but in case anyone cares, post is great, as is deer lodge. station was a BIG letdown. and baker creek was superb. we are just back from wonderful trip
annarich is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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Now I am back from the trip, I guess I'll post back on my original thread. The food at the Post Hotel was excellent, but the service was stuffy and pretentious. Our waiter asked me if I was impressed with the wine list as I was perusing it, one of many instances where they all seemed to ruffle their feathers at any chance.

The service was attentive until we were served dinner, then we didn't see our waiter for a long time. Which was fine, but most better restaurants don't let your wine glass go empty. We poured ourselves the rest of the bottle during dinner (almost 1/2 the bottle).

I am not a demanding person in a restaurant, but if I am paying top dollar, I expect service to match. This is the only nicer restaurant I have ever been to where I walked out disappointed.

I have had just as good of a meal elsehwere with much better (i.e. friendlier and more attentive) service.

Our meal at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff was the shining star of the trip. Better than the Post Hotel in every way.
Mazey is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Mazey - about being left to pour your own wine after the first glass - I have been noticing the same thing lately in a lot of "fine dining restaurants" (here in Canada) and was wondering if it some sort of new trend or something?? It's surprising the first time it happens, but when you start noticing it in more than one restaurant in several cities, and then you start wondering. . .hmmmmm. . .

Sorry that your experience at the Post Hotel was so disappointing. I guess that we have been lucky on the few occasions that we have dined there. The service was very formal but excellent. They even went well out of their way to accommodate my dietary restrictions.

We have also dined at Buffalo Mountain Lodge very recently and had a nice evening - I agree that they are good, and their level of service is very welcoming and downright friendly.

Borealis is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:07 AM
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Borealis - maybe you are right and that is becoming an unfortunate trend in fine dining (re: the wine pouring). I had just never experienced that before. It's not a big deal, but it's just not what I expect when I think I am going in for a night of fine dining. Usually that is just the exclamation point on the whole attentive service that we have come to expect in such restaurants. That would be a shame if that got phased out.

A lot of our experience at the Post Hotel could be due to our 2 waiters we had throughout the meal. Perhaps it was them that made the experience different than our expectations, since the food itself was excellent.
Mazey is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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Put me on the list of people who think sitting there waiting for a waiter to pour more wine is simply silly. We don't drink wine at the same rate, and making some poor guy trying to ration our wine which is something we can easily do ourselves comes off as "pretentious" to me. Maybe it's just a sign of the times, but it's one sign I actually prefer. I know it's supposed to be elegant, but could someone explain why you can't pick up a bottle and pour your own wine when you want some? Do you expect someone to come along and feed you bite by bite with a fork as well?
Patrick is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 04:45 AM
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Patrick - expecting wine to be poured is something that happens in every fine dining establishment where I live (which is in a large Metro area) and it is what we are accustomed to. I don't think it is the same as being spoon fed by the waiter. Perhaps I should ask him to chew my food for me as well next time.

It just seems the standard for "fine dining" has decreased in North America over the last decade, and this seems like just another small step in that direction which I think is a shame.

I don't expect top notch service everywhere I go, but when we are spending about $100 each on our meals, then yes, I do expect the service and food to match the price.
Mazey is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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Your post made me think Patrick !! Yes, you have a point. However, when we have a dinner party at home with friends, and we are all sitting around the table, there isn't a free-for-all with the bottles of wine, usually we (the hosts - and most of the time that means my husband) makes sure that all of our guests' wine "needs" are being met. Perhaps the wine being poured for us in restaurants evolved from that "tradition".
By the way, I agree with you Mazey, I think standards and "manners" have gradually become very casual, especially in the last decade, not only in behaviour, but in dress as well (by which I mean that people don't seem to "dress up" when they dine out, even in some very fine restaurants, where the waiters are better dressed than the diners.)
Borealis is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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Planning vacations this winter in the Lake Louise area, I found this thread interesting since it presents various restaurants in the area: The Posthotel of course (shining star of Lake Louise), Fairmont Chateau, Deer Lodge, the Station, Baker Creek Chalet and Laggan's.

I would have liked to know a little more about some of the addresses above.

Annerich states that the Station was a "BIG letdown". Other posts on Fodor were calling it a marvellous experience. Can anybody else comment? Maybe if Annerich sees this post, she may tell me more. I went to see it on the Internet and it seems to be a bit like a theme restaurant (the theme being early century train in our case). Am I wrong? Is it full of kids (no offence to any parents of course, but I am planning a romantic holidays). How is the food: burger and steaks or more elaborate.

Everybody seems to agree on the quality of Deer Lodge and the Posthotel. What about Lake Louise Fairmont Chateau? Any tips with respect to the restaurant, dining rooms, table (best table for the view??)

What about Baker Creek Chalets for dinner? Some of the authors of the thread seem to really enjoy it (mms). Baker Creek Chalet's website does not really show pictures of the dining room which are, in my opinion, welcoming. How is the atmosphere and deco?

I am not trying to find every night a luxury restaurant. What I am after is charming restaurant (alpine charm, wood or great views, etc...) good food and atmosphere (be it quiet and romantic, or wild and totally crazy).

Finally, for a relax bite to eat, can anybody says more on Laggan's. Is it open in the evening?
radial is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Hello radial,

About the restaurants Ė

The Station is a railway station building that has been converted into a restaurant, hence the name. The ambience suits the name, lots of wood etc. Our experience there was that it was quite average, the service, the menu and the food were OK but in my mind nothing special. Itís fine for a casual meal, but I wouldnít recommend it for a special meal. Yes, you may see children there, especially in the late afternoon.

The Chateau Lake Louise has fine dining rooms, there are several, and the service and food are very good. To guarantee a table with a view, I think that you should make your reservations well ahead of time. However, I note that you will be travelling in the winter. It will be dark by 5 p.m. (or earlier, depending on what month you are planning to be there), itíll be difficult to see a view with the glare of the lights inside and the complete darkness outside (especially if you look past the front gardens to the lake). Lunch of course is a different matter, you will want a view!!

Baker Creek has a dining room/bistro, the food is fine and the service is usually quite attentive. It has more of a casual atmosphere, it is part of a lodge/cabin complex in the woods about 10 minutes drive from Lake Louise, and the ambience and décor suit the location.

If you are looking for a charming restaurant (although it is not inexpensive) for a very good dinner, I would recommend Buffalo Mountain Lodge. The ambience with log-looking mountain décor is really charming, the food is very good, and the service was friendly.

Lagganís is a bakery/cafeteria, so it is casual to the extreme. You line up, make your order, find an empty table, and then enjoy your meal. We were just there this past weekend and I canít remember the hours, sorry, but I imagine that in the winter they will be shorter than they are in the summer, although it would surprise me if they werenít open till at least 8 p.m.
Hope this helps.
Borealis is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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I am not sure of Laggin's actual hours, but I have eaten there at dinner time. Don't expect any wider variety of menu at dinner though - it is the same soup, sandwiches, and bakery fare as at lunch. (My personal favorite there are the sausage rolls . . .)

I can see how someone could be disappointed with the station restaurant - especially if it is being mentioned in the same breath as the Post. The station is not fine dining. It is a nice, but pretty casual restaurant. I think the majority of their business is in the evening from tour groups. I would recommend going for lunch, when it is a good value. At this time they serve a variety of foods - wraps, bison-burgers, soup/salad combos etc. You will not need reservations for lunch, in fact, it is often quite empty over the noon hour. As has been stated, it is in a very nice old train station. I wouldn't say it is a "theme" restaurant. I just happens to be housed in the old station, so naturally comes with that ambiance.

For a more casual, less expensive lunch, the restaurant in the hostel is also good.
Aug 18th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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If you want a relaxing, casual restaurant in the evening you might try the Mountain Restaurant. We ate one meal there and don't remember having any complaints about it. It isn't romantic or fine dining, and would probably be a good place to go for breakfast too. It is also in Lake Louise Village area.

Just a note -- we went in middle - late September and although there were families there, most of the vacationers were adults. In fact, I don't remember any restaurant being full of kids. For one thing, I would think it would be expensive to feed a family at most of them. It may be different during school vacation times.
maj is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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We ate at Bakers Bistro in Mid July and had the best dinner of our trip. We live in Sonoma County, CA, and love to eat at our wonderful bistros, it's hard to travel and find food as good as we get at home! This said, we totally enjoyed everything about our dinner at Bakers Creek. We were there on a rainy night and the ambiance and service, and food was great! We also ate at the Starion and it was ok.
CLynnWeg is offline  
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:17 AM
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Thanks everybody for taking the time to respond to me. So many kind people in here....

Borealis, I take you point with respect to the view situation in the Fairmont. Never thought about it.

Is Deer Lodge as good as Buffalo Mountain Lodge? I understand that they have the same owners.
radial is offline  
Aug 19th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts owns Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Deer Lodge and Emerald Lake Lodge. I've found the dining room menus and experience to be similar (with a slight variation) in all three lodges -- I've stayed in all three lodges. The food is excellent as is the wine list. They've perfected what they call "Rocky Mountain Cuisine" which is based on local ingredients and game meats. Lunch or dinner is fantastic.

Be sure to make reservations.
hydra is offline  

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