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About The Bison Restaurant

'The Bison Restaurant' 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 Kyle Nelson.
The Bison is open daily from 5pm with brunch served on Sunday's from 10am until 2pm.
Children are welcome and reservations are recommended.

Box 3959 #213, 211 Bear Street
Banff, AB T1L 1E4
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Canadian, Farm-to-table, Contemporary Canadian

Hours of Operation:
Bison Restaurant: open daily for dinner service from 5pm. Brunch served Sunday's from 10:00am until 2:00pm.

Cross Street:
Caribou

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
CAN$31 to CAN$50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(403) 762-5550

Website:
http://www.thebison.ca/

Catering:
We can customize menus for cocktail hors d'eouvers, as well as full menu options for both large and small functions.
Contact Jessica Pacheco, Sales/Events Manager for details. direct 403 760 5088

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.

Executive Chef:
Kyle Nelson

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

The Bison Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (24)
Special Occasion (17)
Local Ingredients (16)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (16)
Romantic (14)
Cozy (14)
Fit for Foodies (13)
Worth the Drive (12)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Comfort Food (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Authentic (7)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Seasonal (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Business Meals (5)
Casual (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Scenic View (5)
Fun (4)
People Watching (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Great Beer (3)
Healthy (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Organic (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tapas (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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846 reviews
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 (Edmonton)·Dined 4 days ago

Great food and atmosphere

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Food was good. Noise level is high. Made conversation a bit difficult. Overall good experience.

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food4
ambience2
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 10, 2018

Great eclectic menu. Unique and not afraid to try out of the box preparation

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 8, 2018

It was fantastic!! The food was amazing. Staff were knowledgeable about all the food ingredients and prep on the plate. And if you sit close to the grill it is like watching live theatre with the head chef in his starring role. Yeah! Great experience for final night of vacation.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on January 6, 2018

My partner and I came to celebrate our anniversary at the Bison. We received some excellent table service from Ryan, who was always there to offer recommendations and assistance. The beer/spirits/wine selection was outstanding, though having had cocktails elsewhere in town our attention was focused on the food.

We found an excellent selection for vegetarians on the menu, and ended up sharing four dishes. All were excellent, though two stand out as exceptional: the celery root dumplings and the homemade tofu. The celery root dumplings were absolutely delicious--and I could eat the mushroom broth that came with it every day. The homemade tofu was also outstanding and was completely unlike store-bought tofu--it had flavour, character, and texture that went perfectly with the fried shallots and black rice. We also had a dessert--though found it far too subtle after the punchy and interesting flavours of the sharing courses.

All in all, an excellent night--and though not a vegeterian restaurant, has ranked high on the list of best vegetarian meals I've had.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Quiet Conversation, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

A friend, who teaches the food and nutrition classes at my kids’ high school, recommended this restaurant, since my husband and I were spending one night in Banff town on our way home from Sunshine ski area. Also along for the meal was my nine-year-old who subsists almost entirely on noodles with butter.

We ordered the house-made potato chips, cauliflower appetizer, and the potato bread to start. All were delicious. My son loved the chips, even though they had vinegar and another non-standard ingredient. The yogurt sauce served with the cauliflower was a yummy counterpoint to the veg. The potato bread was amazing. I could have had just that for dinner. Perfectly and freshly baked.

For mains, we got the beef tenderloin (me) and the short rib. The beef was cooked medium rare, which I like, though I ordered medium. It was fantastic. My son ate quite a bit of it. The beans that were served with it were very good. I didn’t know what to expect from the description. The seasonal vegetable was carrots and they were perfectly cooked. My husband said the short rib was good and he cleaned his plate (as did I). He doesn’t get excitable about food, but even his blasé reaction is a positive one.

We shared the apple tart and chocolate cake for dessert. My son ate the cake and really liked the maple marshmallow but didn’t care for the apple sorbet, which had a barbecued vibe. The server described how the apple had been prepared and the flavor made sense but today I can’t remember what she said. The apple tart was delish, and the accompanying miso ice cream was unusual but very tasty.

Our server was knowledgeable and cheerful. She gave us her thoughts on the food when we asked. She gave us lots of time to sit and talk, though the restaurant was full.

I heartily recommend this to anyone. I wish we had this restaurant near us! Do make a reservation. We went on January 6, a Friday, at 7, and it was, as I said, full.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Great Food.

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food5
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·Dined on January 4, 2018

We had a table reservation for 19:30, at first we were ignored by the door host, not even an acknowledgment whist she was busy looking at her computer screen, then eventually told our table wasn't ready. Instead of inviting us to wait at the bar, we had to wait in the doorway at the bottom of the stairs, I really don't know why, for around 15 minutes, until being led to a not very nice table just up the stairs. It all seemed very busy and no one server seemed to know who was supposed to be looking after us. After another 10 minute wait we put in our simple order for the Bison short rib and a couple of drinks. Within just a couple of minutes our food and drinks arrived at the same time, which now made us feel rushed! One short rib was obviously far larger than the other and when questioned about this, I wad told simply that they were all weighed equally, well I guess there's always one which slips through the net?! The ribs were delicious and the waiter did bring over a small extra protion to make up for the disparity in the sizes. We had not been offered any sides by our server, no bread brought to the table, no starters suggested, and didn't reslise that the ribs more or less come alone on the plate. Very dissapointed with our experience we decided to leave and not prolong the misery any longer, so we went elswhere to fill up with a desert. We have eaten out in Banff 9 nights in a row, almost all experiences oustanding, this one was very disappointing.

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food4
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on January 3, 2018

The food was great but my family of 4 all left still hungry. We stopped to buy snacks on the way home. Our waitress told us they recommend sharing some dishes so we did that for appetizers then all ordered an entre.

Tags: Healthy, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Brisbane / QLD)·Dined on January 2, 2018

Food was delicious but size of the meal was a bit disappointing for the price.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Bison is a favourite of ours in Banff. It was quite cold outside, so it was nice that it was close to the hotel. We had a reservation, so we were greeted and sat right away. Our server was finishing up with a couple tables, so the service was slow to start. She did, however, make up for the slow start with prompt service for the rest of the dinner and a great wine recommendation. The food tasted delicious and came quickly. We shared a few starters and a main, which worked well for a late dinner.

Bison didn't disappoint and we'll be back for sure.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 29, 2017

Food was great. Good portions wine selection was pricey. Had a great night

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 27, 2017

We enjoyed our dinner here. They have delicious and creative dishes that highlight local and regional ingredients. They have a nice selection of small plates so we were able to sample a nice variety of their offerings. The food was very good and the staff was friendly and attentive.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Very good meal. I️ would call the cooking style more contemporary than other local restaurants. Not as many “traditional” dishes but that’s not a bad thing—just different. Highly recommended.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Way overpriced- food was different! They charge for bread and even butter! Bathroom is awful! The keg is way better for value and food

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food1
ambience4
service4
value1

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on December 24, 2017

To - die - for! Our experience at The Bison was nothing short of amazing. What a great place to share the love, laughs, and small plates with friends and family.

Tags: Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Cozy, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on December 24, 2017

The food was delicious however the main course portions have been substantially reduced and unfortunately the price has remained the same. Not cool.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on December 24, 2017

After just opening from a renovation, the staff seemed very well organized. Food and menu was spot on. Bison burger was fantastic as well as the tenderloin. The cauliflower and beets for starters were top notch. Overall fantastic meal

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

The food was amazing! Our server Tommy was great! 5 stars!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Calgary)·Dined on December 23, 2017

The service was exceptional and the food was very good. Our beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly. The bread and butter with shaved foie gras was great and so was the elk tartare. A great experience and a great place to celebrate a special occasion.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 20, 2017

The environment is stunning, loved the main course. My friend ordered bison prime rib and I got lamb, they were both great. We grabbed a shared bite which was recommended by wait staff. The octopus costed 19 dollars, had only 3 tentacles and some sauce on top. That was a huge disappointment. Dessert was not as good as well.
Additionally, with the price they are charging and potion size given, they are also charging 5 dollars for 2 slices of sour dough bread and butter. Overall, main course was great and environment was good, disappointed at the appetizer and dessert

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 19, 2017

The food is amazing. Very rustic, earthy, and locally sourced ingredients. Truly excellent experience all around. We will definitely be back very soon!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 18, 2017

Great place!!! Very tasty food and friendly stuff.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Calgary)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Not a huge fan of the new menu but we will give it another try.
Portion sizes are smaller and The flavours are too rich and muddled. The old menu style was much nicer with much more balanced and robust flavours. Also the menu does not do a good job describing what you are getting. My wife hates nori but that's exactly what her green beans were covered in with no mention of it on the menu. My dish had leak hay which was also not mentioned.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

We were seated quickly and ordered our drinks and food soon thereafter. Our drinks were quickly followed by the arrival of our entrees (and I mean quickly! From ordering to getting our food, it was probably ten minutes). That's where the good service ended. Our entrees were brought to us by another server and we soon realized that they had forgotten our appetizer. Deciding to start eating our entrees, our attempts to find our server and flag her down to ask about the appetizer failed. She was no where to be found, despite the fact that the restaurant was only half full.

Our food experience here at the Bison was completely different. My boyfriend ordered the (last) pork chop (they ran out of pork chops and chicken by the time we had ordered) and his meal was delicious. Mine, however, was a massive disappointment. I ordered the pappardelle pasta. It seemed like what I got was the dregs of the pasta - the small broken pieces that were leftover. All the pasta was short stubby pieces and it was cooked until it was so soft that it almost fell apart (maybe that's why the pieces were so stubby?). It was underseasoned and underwhelming. Not only all of this, but it was the WRONG kind of pasta. It was not pappardelle (long, wide, flat noodles) but was instead fettuccine.

By the time our server finally came back to our table, my boyfriend was done his meal and full and I was so disgusted and disappointed by my meal that we didn't want our appetizer anymore. Our server apologized for the mix up and said she would take it off our bill. I am not one to complain about food, although in retrospect, I probably should have.

In summary, I was hugely disappointed by this meal and would not waste my money here ever again. I can't believe that this place is supposedly "one of the ten best restaurants worth travelling the world for". I'd want a refund on my entire trip (not to mention my meal) if I travelled for such an abysmal meal and terrible service.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value1

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

The Manager arranged for a window table and our server Ryan took exceptional care of our dinner needs. The dinner allowed new memories of Banff and Canada.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Romantic, Scenic View
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on October 22, 2017

My husband and I had an amazing anniversary dinner here! Every part of the experience was second to none! My birthday was also the same day and our server just made it extra special. Every dish brought to our table was not only mouth watering delicious but the presentation was just beautiful! They gave us complimentary desserts for our special day and I thought that was just so thoughtful. I am so thankful for the wonderful memories my husband and I made there that night. I can't wait to go back!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

The food was delicious the staff were friendly and super accommodating. Wonderful way to spend our last morning in Banff

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Sunday Lunch, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

Fantastic food and service! Had a great time. Farm to table and fresh, made to order.

Tags: Cozy, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 16, 2017

The way the food was described was farm to table which is great. Their meat is butchered at the restaurant so it’s supposed to be really fresh. I went there to get bison but was told the Bison cuts they had were very tough so we were stearred away from that. We were told the steak was very good so I decided to order that. The cut was so fatty I couldn’t chew a good bit of the meat. It looked appealing but did not taste good and I spit most of the meat out because it was all hard fat. The sides that came with it weren’t tasty and did not compliment the dish.

I had high hopes because it was recommended by so many people but it did not live up to expectations. I would go again to get my original optu N regardless of what the waitress told me.

Tags: Business Meals, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Birthdays
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food2
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 15, 2017

The Bison Restaurant was absolutely delicious! We had the bacon wrapped scallops, to die for, nailed it. Then Bison carpaccio, to die for, nailed it. Beef tenderloin w/ wild mushroom and onion purée, medium rare, perfect cook, melt in your mouth and the smoky onion purée... WOW!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on October 14, 2017

My husband and I came to Banff for our anniversary and had dinner at The Bison the last night of our trip. Absolutely PHENOMENAL. Everything was perfect - food, atmosphere, and service!

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot, Cozy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 9, 2017

Amazing food and service. We had the turkey and bison ribs which were delicious and tasty.
Our server was a really nice local guy. Loved it and would recommend all day long!

Tags: Romantic, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 7, 2017

Fantastic atmosphere, service and food. Infant friendly.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 5, 2017

Good place with awesome food and fantastic service

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 2, 2017

Appetizer of escargot and bone marrow was delicious. Pork chop tough and over cooked but seasoned well. Bison ribeye was good. Server was disinterested and made me want to try a new restaurant in Banff even though this was previously my go to.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Berlin)·Dined on October 1, 2017

We were in town for a wedding and were told that we should make a reservation for Sunday brunch. We weren't disappointed! Great brunch cocktails and fantastic food. The eggs benny were incredible. Highly recommended!

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Nice upscale food, nice atmosphere, great service in Banff

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Good service, interesting menu, unusual dishes. Great cocktails, good selection of wines

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on September 28, 2017

Great place to eat! All folks working there worked very hard to make it a great evening for all the patrons I witnessed. There was a genuine feel that they were enjoying the work. Local ingredients and breweries. Unique foods - we had escargot in a bone with the marrow, braised bison tongue, and the bison short ribs. All were delicious especially the escargot - we aren't snail type of folks by the way but this was a recommendation from our waitress - delicious! I would highly recommend if you are in Banff!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Great Beer, Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Casual, People Watching, Fun, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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