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  • The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern

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

The Bison Restaurant and The Bear Street Tavern Details

  • 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: Northwest, Comfort Food, Steak
  • 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 (403) 760-5088
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "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!"
    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!"
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "2 nd time to the Bison , first time was middle of the week and the food and service , was great . This time Friday night @ 9:00 , busy and understandable , but the food and service lacked this time . I would check out anouther restaurant next time in Banff , but I will go back to this place again in the future . Prices for the mains are ok, the apps and salad prices are pretty high for what it is . Didn't have desert , not a big selection and prices a little high for what you get. Overall , nice to try out once and decide for yourself ."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Locally sourced food, great wine selection and outstanding presentation make this the best stop in Banff. The place was jumping as it was Saturday night, but our server was attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu and the wine list. We wanted a place featuring locally sourced food, and this place came up all aces. Great spoy for intimate sinner, or big group."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Although I've been to this restaurant before, I'd honestly forgotten how good it can be. We had wonderful service, a fantastic table close to the patio doors and absolutely wonderful food right from the starter to the dessert. Keep it up!"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The food, the wine, the service - all was excellent. I value the use of local products. As a solo traveler, I have received very poor service at many establishments - not true of the Bison. I can't say enough about the superior service! Thank you so much!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "My husband and I visited The Bison on our honeymoon and it was the perfect choice. We chose it because we thought they offered a corkage service. We were sad to learn they didn't, but treated to a glass of prosecco and everything we ordered off their wine menu was excellent. The food was spectacular and the portion sizes perfect - enough to enjoy but not so much that you will feel ill if you finish three courses. Highly recommend it. And the high quality service was possibly the best part! Two large parties were seated ahead of us, but that didn't impact our experience at all."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "This restaurant has great food but needs a solid cleaning. We were seated at a table next to the window which was nice except it had a handful of dead bugs on the ledge (right next to our plates) and at least 10 bugs flying up and down the window while we were seated. Asked the host to change us to a different table and he gave us some flack (multiple other open tables that he said were resereved). The waiter moved us to another table and there were a couple bugs at the next window table too. Very unappetizing."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "We were so excited to get reservations here... had lunch at the Bear Street Tavern in the lower part of the complex and saw all the wonderful reviews about the Bison. Got there and immediately were served drinks, waiter took order for dinner and 1.5 hours later our dinner came... my husbands bison steak was burnt and my tiny appetizer and salad were $30 and were not even worth mentioning. Unfortunately, we left there hungry, no apologies for the burnt steak... they did not charge us for the steak... Very disappointed. :("
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Bison restaurant is still a leader in the Banff dining scene but misses on enough marks to bump it down from outstanding to very good. Dishes lack the creativity of a few years back but execution is mostly excellent. The wine list could be more imaginative. The restaurant would also benefit from offering the draft beers they have directly below in their sister restaurant. Bottle selection is limited."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "A fabulous find, plenty of quality beer, wine & food choices. Service was excellent too."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Very good food, extensive wine list and enjoyable atmosphere! It is nice to know food items are obtained from local and regional sources where possible!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Delicious Sunday brunch in banff for my family. Plenty of choice for children and adults. The food was tasty and well thought out - the kids devoured their French toast!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Friendly, accommodating staff and great food! The bison ribeye and beef tenderloin were excellent and the wine list was great, especially for Canadian wines. It got a bit loud in the restaurant because there were a couple big tables but overall it was a great experience and I would definitely return!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The Bison ribeye was burned and the meat was poor quality. To bad as I was here a couple times before and the food was good. The Korean chicken was also just average."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "The Bison used to be our favourite mountain restaurant, but over the past three or four visits (spanning approximately 2 years), we have been somewhat let down by the lackluster changes made to the restaurant's menu. We likely won't return anytime soon, until the food quality improves to what it was two or more years ago. This saddens us, as the service has always been great, and we genuinely love this spot."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Enjoyed Sunday brunch at Bison. The spinach and mushroom frittata is delicious. The vegetables are well represented in the dish and the goat cheese evident in each bite. Equally delicious - the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. Good craft beer - grasshopper wheat - finished off a well constructed and served meal."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Can't go wrong at Bison in my view--I have dined here many times, usually for Sunday brunch. This past Sunday we had both brunch and dinner. The brunch was perfect for a Sunday morning. Both times we ate on the second floor deck, which overlooks the courtyard and has a nice view of the nearby mountains. Later that day we had dinner--several appetizer dishes instead of mains, and they were all outstanding. Love it, will be back!! "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Love the Bison's brunch menu, especially the four types of eggs benny to choose from. As a local I always recommend the Bison and The Tavern to anyone asking! The food is fantastic and the ambience is one of the best in town."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Our server was great! I was late so I didn't catch his name, but he was fun (grooving to Motown while pouring water isn't easy!), attentive and helpful. The toffee pudding trio for dessert was fantastic - bacon dust cotton candy FTW! I dine at the Bison every time I'm in Banff - it's a definite must for any "foodie" coming to this mountain town. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "the porabello and leek pasta was bland, overcooked. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "I absolutely adore hamburgers. I have tried many different ones from different places for the last 20 years. By far the Bison burger at this places was the best I've ever tasted. It was juicy, had lots of flavor and has just the right condiments."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "I've been going to Banff since I was a little kid and growing up I remember a few of the great restaurants my family and I have dined at and now i can add The Bison to that list. I'm glad my hubby and I decided to finally try it out, since it was recommended by a friend. The food was absolutely delicious. Our waitress was so friendly and the atmosphere was cozy. I highly recommend this restaurant. We came for brunch but would definely love to go for dinner some time. Best restaurant we've been to in awhile. Very pleased with everything. Can't wait for our visit and if you plan on going to Banff try it out. Resos are recommended as it does get busy :)"
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Bear Street Tavern is a great little pizza place, fit for kids, groups, and has a great patio in the summer. Every time I'm in Banff, I find myself back at this place. I have never had a bad experience. Has some good micro-brews, thin crust pizza's.. great service. Bison - I made a reservation here not knowing it was the same owner as Bear Street (my attempt at eating somewhere else) - ended up here for Sunday brunch. I thought it was fantastic because it was high quality food without the outrageous pricing of other breakfast places in town. I had the eggs benedict and my boyfriend had the bison breakfast sandwich. Highly recommended for couples, foodies even just people wanting a grade A brunch without the price tag."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "We were seated at a great table by the window with big comfy chairs. Our server was chatty and pleasant. She recommended the Duck Confit Benny which my husband ordered. I ordered the Broek Back Benny and we swapped Bennies so we had one of each. Both were delicious! My daughter ordered Bacon and Eggs from the kids menu and my son had the Mountain Man Breakfast. They both cleaned their plated. Their homemade ketchup is outstanding. I would buy a bottle if it! The food took a while to arrive at our table but it was hot and our eggs were all perfectly cooked. It was busy and the room had a great bustling vibe going on. "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "The restaurant was busy when we arrive for our 8 o'clock reservation. We were seated right away. Our server was very pleasant and helpful with choosing our wine selection. My husband had the beet and goat cheese salad, it was light on the beets but flavour was ok. I had the trout as a main it was a little undercooked...the server told us that the chef recommended medium for the trout but it came to the table more medium rare. My husband had halibut cheeks, he said it was good but would not order again because of the texture. The noise level increased over our meal as was too loud for normal conversing by the end of our meal."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We were attending the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Conference at the Banff Centre and had heard The Bison was outstanding. This proved to be absolutely true. We started with a reservation for 4 people, which turned into 7 and eventually had an 8th person show up. Our server, Katie, was outstanding, didn't miss a beat with our changing demands, and helped make our evening a big success. The food was fantastic, accompanied by wonderful BC wines, and the ambiance was perfect for a slightly rowdie group with an appreciation of great food, wine and fun!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We had a reservation in the Bison upstairs, but decided we would rather pick from the menu downstairs at the Bear Street Tavern. The service upstairs was decent, for the time we were there, but when we moved downstairs, it was dismal at best. The table we were sat at overlapped with two booths, so there was no personal space. Our server made it very clear with her behaviour that we were an inconvenience to her. She didn't explain that their "deep-dish pizza" was simply a pizza put in a cast iron pan, she never returned to ask how our meal was, didn't fill our water glasses, didn't offer more drinks, and didn't have a single smile for us. All this in spite of passing our table at least 10 times while we were there. Terrible!"
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "This is our favourite Banff restaurant for dinner and brunch. We visit very time we stay overnight in Banff. This was our first trip with our 4 week old son and everybody went out there way to make sure we were well seated with a safe space for the car seat. We made it for a Friday night dinner and Sunday brunch this trip. Food, as always, was delicious and our server Antoine was super attentive. :-)"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I've been to this restuarant twice now. The first time was an amazing dinner with my boyfriend. This time I was able to share this incredible dining experience with one of my best friends that was out west for the first time. I absolutely love the duck. And I strongly suggest sharing the roasted cauliflower to start."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Our meals were beautifully presented, savoury and lived up to the lavish descriptions on the menu. Only disappointment was our server, who seemed not all that interested or invested in his job."
    Dined on 4/13/2014