Sep 2016

Banff Sweets: Beavertails, Nanaimo Bars and more!

Sweets in Banff

Earlier this summer, June and I tagged along with The Astronomer to Banff for a physics conference. While most of our travels in the era before baby were more or less focused on stuffing our faces, we prioritized fresh air and breathtaking scenery on this trip—#welliguessthisisgrowingup.

Even though foodie pursuits took a backseat, we still managed to eat very well in Banff, especially in the desserts department. Here are a handful of sweets that were as enchanting as the surroundings:

Lake Agnes Tea House - Banff

After hiking 3.5 kilometers with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet (and a toddler in tow!), Lake Agnes Teahouse was a sight for sore eyes. Due to its remote location, ingredients and supplies are carried in by staff several times a week, and diners are charged with bringing their trash down the mountain.

Lake Agnes Tea House - Banff

Truth be told, just about anything would’ve tasted good after such a laborious climb, but the flaky, buttery tea biscuits with strawberry jam were especially memorable.

Lake Agnes - Banff

And just take a look at this view from the Teahouse…incredible.

Wild Flour Bakery - Banff

One of our favorite spots closer to the center of town was Wild Flour Bakery. According to the bakery’s website, “the people of Banff have come to this spot seeking warm, nourishing comfort food since the late 1800s.”

Sweets in Banff

While the sandwiches and salads here were solid, it was the Nanaimo bar that knocked it out of the ballpark. Composed of layers of chocolate and buttercream icing with a graham cracker-cocoa-almond-coconut base, the Nanaimo bar was hefty, sweet, and a pleasure to eat.

Sweets in Banff

And then there was ice cream at Cow’s, which opened in 1983 with a recipe that originated in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

Sweets in Banff

My scoop of maple walnut was properly maple-y, and the fresh waffle cone made it even better.

Sweets in Banff

Next came the beavertails—deep-fried dough rafts slathered with sugary stuff and topped with more sugary stuff. The local purveyor, BeaverTails, has been making these sugar bombs since 1978.

Sweets in Banff

We ordered our hot-from-the-fryer beavertail with cream cheese icing, caramel, and crushed Skor toffee bits. While we were prepared to be overwhelmed by the avalanche of sweetness, the beavertail ended up being dangerously easy to polish off. Mmm…carnival fare!

Sweets in Banff

On our final day in Banff, we stumbled upon the Buzzed Bear Java Shack at Johnston Canyon, a most adorable little stand selling a variety of provisions.

Sweets in Banff

I couldn’t resist ordering another scoop of maple walnut ice cream. It provided a very sweet send-off.


We’ll see you later, Banff!

Lake Agnes Teahouse
Lake Louise, AB, Canada
Phone: +1 403-763-7242

Wild Flour Bakery
211 Bear Street #101
Banff, AB T1L 1B4, Canada
Phone: +1 403-760-5074

134 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB T1L, Canada
Phone: +1 403-760-3493

120 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB T1L 1E7, Canada
Phone: +1 403-985-0086

Buzzed Bear Java Shack at Johnston Canyon
Canada, Improvement District No. 9
AB, Canada

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