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Dining Date Night

Food and Fun in the Canadian Rockies

By Keili Bartlett

You probably grew up hearing, “Don’t play with your food!” But in the Canadian Rockies, we recommend it! Satisfy your appetite for food served with a side of fun at these hot spots.


Let the good times roll at High Rollers.

A new addition to Banff Ave, High Rollers has stepped up the (bowling) game.

Let the Good Times Roll

Swap your ski boots for bowling shoes at High Rollers. Once the site of Aurora nightclub, co-manager Mai Yamagishi says: “It’s a completely different vibe. We’re family-friendly, but after 10 pm we have a DJ and nighttime crowd.”

Pizza, Pins and Pints

Serving up a good time, High Rollers offers weekly drink and dinner deals.

High Rollers has daily food and drink deals and a constant flow of free popcorn. The perfect piece of pizza hits the spot while you hit the pins. “Try the Canadian pizza,” suggests Yamagishi. “Drizzle maple syrup on top; it’s lovely.” Pair your pizza with beer; there are 48 varieties on tap.

Banff entertainment, Banff nightlife

You’re in for a wild ride at Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon!

When in the West

Find fun at Banff’s saloon, live music venue and smokehouse. Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon is the place to be Tuesday nights for karaoke and mechanical bull rides. Half the delight is watching others try to hold on!

After building your appetite, delve into a Cow Puncher’s Platter with ribs, brisket and sausage. Cocktails bring a taste of the south to the north, while Wild Bill’s all-Canadian Caesar is served with a strip of bacon.

Bands play often and DJs take to the stage Sunday nights. Two-step routines are honed to perfection at country performances.

Sidelines at Stoney Nakoda Casino

Put your money (and some chicken wings) where your mouth is!

Place Your Bets

Saddle up and ride to Sidelines Lounge; then put your money where your mouth is. The bar at Stoney Nakoda Casino has 12 big screens that stream live horse races from around the world. “It’s just like being at a track,” says events manager Chris Grimes. “You can bet on multiple races at the same time.”

With your wins (or remaining cash) invest in nightly food and drink specials every night; 35¢ wings on Wednesdays are the most popular. Or, continue to try your luck on the video lottery terminals. A 100-inch projection screen that shows live sports means you don’t have to leave your seat (or your wings) to get the score.

While the Sidelines Lounge is a smoker-friendly venue for ages 18+, the resort’s Ridge Buffet is non-smoking, open to all ages, and popular for Friday and Saturday rib and lobster buffets. The casino floor features 250 slot machines and classic games such as blackjack, roulette and poker.

Wet Your Whistle

Live like a local at the Whistle Stop Pub in Jasper. “It’s a great hangout with a laidback vibe,” says the bar’s Jeff Smith.

At The Stop you don’t have to blow the budget. Find $4.75 pints and $7 cheeseburgers anytime, free pool on Tuesdays and daily happy hours 4:30 to 7 pm. Catch the game on nine big TVs. Add live acoustic jams Saturdays from 3:30 pm to 6 pm, and it’s no wonder this is amongst Jasper’s favourite watering holes.

See more Banff, Canmore and Jasper restaurants.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

Hot Dining Halifax: Small Bites, Big Taste

Pair a wine with a delicious cheese and charcuterie board at Obladee.

If you’re planning a special night out with friends or a date, visit Obladee on Barrington Street. The atmosphere is a mix of classy and casual. With a focus on smaller dishes and tasty wines, the menu boasts a wide selection of reds, whites, sparkling, pink and bottles from the cellar. Sip on some Blomidon from Annapolis Valley, or try a glass of pinot noir from New Zealand. Also pair your drink with appetizers, including a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards.

Chic style and fine dining sum up Onyx on Spring Garden Road. Treat yourself and choose from the new small plates menu, including focaccia balls, spicy lobster risotto, Quebec cheeses and more. The restaurant also has a long list of wines, cocktails and champagne. Celebrities Sir Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger have even dined here.

Hot Dining: Book a Table and Save


Typically, a reservation saves you a table at a restaurant, but now your booking can also take a chunk off your bill. With the online service Dining Date Night, you pay $10 to reserve a table at a participating establishment, and receive 30 per cent off your final tally. Unlike a prix fixe menu or daily specials, you can order whatever your taste buds desire and still come out with more money in your wallet. Crush Wine Bar, Splendido and Maléna are just some of the Toronto restaurants taking part.