The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern
The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern

The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thebison.ca/
  • Phone: (403) 762-5550
  • Hours of Operation:
    Bison Restaurant: open daily for dinner service from 5pm. Brunch served Sunday's from 10:00am until 2:00pm.

    The Bear street Tavern: open daily from 11:30am until late. Please note we do take reservations in The Bear Street Tavern after 5pm.

  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Comfort Food, Northwest
  • Executive Chef: Liz Gagnon
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering:


  • Private Party Facilities: The Bison is available for private functions for up to 100 people seated or 150 people reception style.
  • Private Party Contact: Jessica Pacheco 4037605088x
  • Entertainment: Keep an eye on our website for our feature menu's

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Caribou
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: We are located across the street from the open air parking lot on Bear St. You can also find street parking on Bear Street as well as a secondary parkade located beside the Nester's Grocery Store, one block South of Caribou Street.

A word from The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern
Our venue hosts 2 different restaurants... Reservations made after 5pm are in The Bison Restaurant. Please note we do not take reservations in The Bear Street Tavern in the evenings after 5pm.
Upstairs, 'The Bison Restaurant & Terrace' is committed to using regional, seasonal and Canadian ingredients. Our intimate dining room has windows on all sides, with Banff's best mountain views, and large sunny terrace. Watch as a brigade of chef's prepare your meal in our open concept kitchen led by executive chef Liz Gagnon.
Our main level houses the 'Bear Street Tavern', a Banff National Park inspired hot spot serving up Banff's best pizza and cast iron specialties. Our courtyard patio is perfect for cocktail sipping or enjoying a local pint.
The Bison is open daily from 5pm with brunch served on Sunday's from 10am until 2pm.
The Bear St Tavern is open daily from 11:30am until late
Children welcome in both of our venues.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
76 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (52)special occasion (40)romantic (28)neighborhood gem (24)good for groups (22)notable wine list (21)great for outdoor dining (18)hot spot (18)scenic view (15)great for brunch (11)great for lunch (8)kid-friendly (7)vibrant bar scene (4)late-night find (3)Show More
  • Always return-but it is loud! Ask about the menu!
    FineDiners
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Lamb great, bison ribeye not so great - quite fatty and I ordered med rare! Server might have suggested doneness for the cut of meat!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One to seek out
    UmiTastebud
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    A place where locals come back. Food and service are consistently better here than most Bow Valley dining experiences. Their efforts to use local and seasonal food items was one of the first dining establishments to do so - and to do it in impressive taste-experience ways. Wine selection will not disappoint, and the servers are knowledgeable enough to give you solid advice for your selection. Brunch here is always a treat and my favourite - for years, I kept a postcard image of the French Toast menu item on my fridge for inspiration. A bit too noisy ; space could use some re-design to improve the ambience for all groups of diners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant
    smorrey
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Hi there, my wife and I tried the Bison restaurant for the first time and found it be to really nice. Our waitress was really great, seating was nice, food was incredible, wine was a bit pricey so we had a glass each instead of a bottle. The only downside to the restaurant was that we went in November and it was really cold outside and where we were sitting they had a back door propped open and we were freezing during the meal. I guess they thought that would help the staff that was running around but for the patrons sitting down it was pretty cold. Other than that I would highly recommend this restaurant, the gnocci poutine was incredible to start and we had the lamb and venison as mains, really delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Buritto
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The food was very good if somewhat expensive. The service was very good and discreet. The Bison ribs were excellent. The biggest disappointment was the very large markup on the price of wines and the wine list only had Canadian and US wines.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food, Amazing Service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    This is the second time visiting this restaurant and everytime it is delicious and the serving staff is knowledgeable and attentive. Cannot fault it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bison never dissapoints!
    pcs123
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I have had the bison short ribs both times I have been to this restaurant, and I will have them again next time I go. My fiancée has something different each time and is always blown away! Appies and desert are always top notch as well, and are always paired with the right cocktail or spirit. Service is always just right, and the ambiance is warm and cozy with just the right amount of energy. Love this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Restaurant
    welovebanffforfood
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Food was excellent. A little on the pricey side, but worth it. Did not see a children's menu [did not need or ask for one]. Service was top notch, waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu, and even made a great recommendation.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Food was ok but for the price should have been significantly better. Waiter was pleasant but should have provided some input on our selections.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great time
    SheppieVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The flat bread pizza was fantastic, service awesome and great time was had by everyone. Thank you
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Everything was good
    JG01VIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    The food was good, just not great. Bison ribeye was lacking flavor and tenderness even though it was medim rare. Pork chop seemed to be a littl tough. Like I said it was all good just seemed to be lacking some flavor. The restuarant was cool and service was good. During peak seasons I'm sure this place is very busy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite in Banff
    DebbyG
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We always return to The Bison when in Banff. The food is creatively prepared, locally sourced and overall delicious! We were there for Canadian Thanksgiving and had the Turkey dinner. While the turkey was wonderful, the sausage dressing, brussel sprouts and buttermilk mash were so delectable. Also, the service we received at The Bison was first rate. We look forward to our next trip to Banff and The Bison! Keep up the stellar work!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reviewer
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Wonderful! Great night. Very attentive server. Great food as always.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Always have dinner and brunch at The Bison when in Banff!! The food is always incredible!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Goodfood, good experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    I have been to the Bison on multiple occasions. This last visit was the best - good food, excellent service, overall a very good experience and one that I would not hesitate to repeat. The Bison is certainly one of the very best choices in Banff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bison Brunch
    CgyMomof2
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We made a reservation for 10:30 and were seated very close to that time. We had a delay in food service this Sunday. Usually once we order food comes out very quickly but today we saw food be delivered and plates be taken away before we even got our breakfast. It took about 30 minutes to get our food. We had already had 2 full cups of coffee before it arrived. My hubby had the Huevos Rancheros and did not leave a speck on his plate. I am partial to Benny's so I ordered the salmon & asparagus Benny. I will not do so again. Eggs were done wonderfully, but I did not enjoy the salmon today, it was quite strong tasting and overwhelmed everything else. I will still return as I enjoy other options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • John12
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Great service and good food. Have been here many times, never disappoint.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delish!
    Meja11
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Wonderful meal... highly recommend! Only negative comment... the elk was much better than the lamb (lamb was a bit dry and overdone).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great meal but not cheap
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Everything was near perfect. Service was outstanding. One app to share, two mains, one dessert, one bottle of wine, $210 with tip. Still its worth it. Bison and venison were best I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible
    mikeys
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Food was cold and overcooked. Some dishes were under seasoned and some were over seasoned. Over priced for what you are getting. The waiter also had poor serving skills. To be fair, they did give us a complimentary glass of wine because of a complaint about fish being overcooked.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Boz62
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Extremely poor service and below average delivery on featured menu items. Unfortunately, had the opportunity (during long waits) to witness questionable practices undertaken in bar area and very poorly supervised wait staff. Did not live up to published ratings.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best food in Banff!
    DeeTee
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    We were in Banff for two nights on our Canadian Rockies tour. We found The Bison through an online search, liked the look of the menu items. Had a delicious dinner our first night in town, and enjoyed it so much we booked a return meal for the next night! Enjoyed: whole roasted cauliflower, bison ravioli & scallop appetizer, duck breast, venison strip loin and caesar salad. Also a lovely cabernet by the glass by Truchard. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing menu, great service!
    Doug
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Love the Bison - always a treat when in Banff. I started with grilled peach salad - yum. For my main I had the duck with BC cherries and risotto - so delicious. We wrapped up with some birthday cake and a maple whiskey. Others had bison burger, bison short ribs and lobster risotto. All reports were great. As a maritimer I'm not a fan of rock lobster - gotta be Atlantic - so that's one tiny quibble. A fabulous night out and Sue the server was amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Diningreviews
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    This restaurant came recommended to us while we were visiting a new town. The food was quite tasty and it was a pleasurable experience. Unfortunately, they were out of several items that were listed on the menu and it took a very long time for our food to get delivered, which was disappointing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • over-rated
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The restaurant is dumpy in appearance and a little too dark. The Asian dumplings on the appetizer menu are out-of place and they don't taste good i.e. no sign of the pork that they were supposed to contain. The bison burger tasted good but its presentation on a board was ugly. A plate would be better especially if you wanted to cut the "too-big- for-your-jaw" burger down to size. The accompanying warm potato salad was served in a little bowl making the wedges hard to cut down to bite-size. The warm potato salad was slimy and not very tasty. The beef tenderloin was very good. We had a good waiter.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Avoid the Bison, overhyped/priced
    CriticalJon
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    For the quality of food and the price, I would definitely not recommend the Bison to anyone. Personally I will not return. I will die a little each time I drive past Banff and think of the sub par meal. 3 out of 4 people at my table ordered steaks. The bison rib eye was cooked to specifications. The beef tenderloin and beef New York strip were overcooked. At a fine dining restaurant this is unacceptable. The steaks were ordered medium rare and medium, both were well done and the New York steak was a poor cut of meat as well. I have had better at the Keg, and I do not enjoy chain restaraunts. Although the rest of the food was acceptable, it was not overly impressive. The main attraction is the meat, and it was a fail.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food and ambiance better last year
    Lola2009
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    My sister and mother went to this restaurant last spring, and had a great meal, and enjoyed a delightful ambiance. When I returned this August, the vibe was considerably different. There were loud young kids (I was hoping for a romantic evening), and the food was so-so. My boyfriend enjoyed his steak, though my lighter meal of the beet salad was blah. We started with the charcuterie platter which was so-so at best. Who can't cut some salami and cheese and put it on a board with some fig crackers that you can buy at Safeway? It is not worth the price! Service was lacking as well. Restaurant appears to have went down hill. Not sure if there's new management perhaps?
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magnificent!
    BunnykinsVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    An absolutely excellent experience from beginning to end. Started with the roasted beet salad and followed with the bison ribeye. Salad was both beautiful to look at and delicious. The bison was without doubt the best piece of meat I ate during my week in Alberta! Cooked to medium-rare perfection, it was tender, flavorful, and perfectly seasoned. I'm even going to mention that the potatoes Lyonnaise were fantastic :) The wine list was not huge but had many high-quality Canadian offerings as well as some others from around the world. Pleasant and timely service without being intrusive or over the top. This restaurant is not to be missed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprisingly good
    neighborVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I was skeptical when we entered and there were only a few other people there during a busy week in Banff. I had the salmon and my sister had the halibut. Both were excellent. Best food we'd had during our visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful fresh food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Excellent cuts of meat, well informed waiter. Really nice country/cabin setting. Note we ate upstairs, not at the bar. Overall just a great spot, and well worth the money, compared to eating in Boston, NYC, and other cities, this wasn't bad at all for prices.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best dinner we had in Banff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Food was excellently prepared and in the right amounts. One did not feel overstuffed when finished. They obviously have a great chef. We will return on our next trip.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bison or Bear Street - Both Great!
    ilovenevadahockey
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Every time I am in Banff (at least once a month), I wander the streets looking for somewhere to eat and always end up at Bear Street. The fresh ingredients, friendly staff and reasonable prices keep me coming back. I find that most places in Banff have poor service or over priced food, but Bear Street always has attentive servers and great food. One time, I was determined not to go to Bear Street for brunch one morning, Googled the best brunch place in Banff and ended up at Bison. I somehow ended up back here again. Bison is the fancier Bear Street with higher end dishes and ingredients, but let me tell you, the brunch was phenomenal. Again, with great service and amazingly fresh food. A MUST in Banff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My favorite!
    Bear
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The Bison is by far my favorite restaurant in Banff - the chacuterrie board is amazing and with the menu changing to fit local fresh food it is always delicious. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food
    Captain
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    This place was exactly what I was expecting from a Banff dining experience. The food was local, fresh and tasty. The service was friendly and everyone we encountered genuinely wanted to be helpful and make our experience a good one. I would recommend this place to anyone going to Banff!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Was nice
    NoWOW
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    When making my reservation I requested to sit on the patio and put a note that we were celebrating my Aunt Debs birthday. When we were being seated the host was about to sit us inside so I then requested again to sit outside. I whispered to the host that it was my Aunts birthday and he said he would pass it along to my server. As a server myself I know that I was handing you a golden ticket to WOW our table. You could have mentioned happy birthday, you could have thrown a candle in one of the 3 desserts we bought, you could have comp'd her drink.. anything.The food was average. The duck was very salty and the ravioli was a bit tough to share between 4 people. The desserts didn't blow us away either. $200 bill and slightly disappointed
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The very best
    Jaker
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    I have eaten here twice - two years apart - and the food and atmosphere was absolutely fantastic both times. This is a must stop in Banff for any foodie.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    skeeter23VIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Glad we had a reservation. Very packed. The baked cauliflower was good but delayed so we were given a discount. My steak was excellent and my wife had a nice vegan meal that was a touch Spicey. Very good meal
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and service
    bethfnj
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    We enjoyed dining here - interesting menu. The salads were creative and delicious. The bison burger was excellent, as was the duck breast. Halibut was a bit dry, but overall a very nice experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Steak!
    Jean
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Our steaks were excellent, not too big, seared exactly right and not overcooked. Loved the mix of veges that accompanied along with purple potatoes. The cold peppercorn sauce on the side was boring. The peach salad was really exceptional, loved the citrus dressing, really light and perfect for summer. Service was excellent. We will be back if ever in Banff again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Super Meal and Amazing Server
    HKDineVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    The Bison was recommended to our group of 6 by a number of people that had visited before and it was a fantastic choice. The room is quite nice upstairs above the tavern; the food was really delicious (first time many of us had bison though there are other items on the menu). My bison short ribs with vegetables was a fantastic dish. What topped everything, though, was our server - Rachel. She was incredibly knowledgeable regarding everything on the menu, steering some away from dishes that might not work for them (for instance when a piece of meat should be served medium-rare and the person wanted something well-done). I would highly recommend The Bison!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good food, horribly slow service
    BobFromOhioVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Bison is a very pretty restaurant on the second floor, above the more casual Bear Street Tavern. My wife started with the peach salad and I had the Caesar salad. Everyone in our party ordered the steelhead trout, which was complemented by green beans, roasted potatoes and parsley purée. The portion was rather small but it was very good. The main downside to our visit was the very slow service. We waited 20 minutes to order, didn't get our salads until 45 minutes after arrival, and it was a full hour and 10 minutes until we got our entrees. Our waiter was continuously busy but seemed to have too many tables. Overall, the food was tasty, but the portions were small and the service was slow, which makes it hard for me to recommend Bison.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate