The small town of Jasper, nestled inside Jasper National Park, is known for its sparkling scenery, its access to the ski slopes and the diverse wildlife that occasionally wanders through town. Only a select few know that Jasper is also a small culinary oasis in the Rocky Mountains. From casual to fancy, there are a lot of interesting restaurants that take advantage of Alberta's rich natural environment.
Here are some can't miss stops on any culinary tour of Jasper.
Like every good town in Canada, Jasper has a Tim Hortons, but there are also several local spots worth checking out for coffee and pastries. Bear Paws Bakery and its sister establishment The Other Paw both serve warm and toasty coffee along with a huge assortment of baked goods. The cinnamon rolls, white chocolate scones and sausage rolls are all worth a try on a cold day.
Coco's Cafe is another cozy spot for coffee or tea along with hearty breakfasts, including vegan options. Then theres Snowdome, which is part coffee shop, part Laundromat and part internet cafe, for real multi-taskers in need of caffeine.
Whether you're gearing up for a massive hike or recovering after a day outdoors, there are a quite a few affordable refueling options in Jasper.
Earls Kitchen and Bar is a Canadian chain which specializes in a huge variety of international and local foods - anything from burgers to sushi to warm toffee pudding. There are several pizza options in town but North Face Pizza may be the best value for the money. Their pizza toppings are plentiful and they also make a great poutine. Papa George's is a great stop for a casual breakfast or lunch. Check out their Big Game burger, which is made with a blend of beef, elk and venison.
Although Jasper is a casual kind of town, they have no shortage of fine dining options. Evil Dave's Grill specializes in local cuisine with an Asian twist. They have a variety of well-prepared cocktails and a well-curated wine list. Fiddle River restaurant has a nice ambience and interesting offerings rooted in local game and produce: think elk stroganoff and mushroom ravioli.
For a truly unique experience make reservations ahead of time at the tiny Oka Sushi. The restaurant, which seats only 14, is tucked into the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. It's the playground of Sushi Chef Tatsuhiko Okaki, who hand cuts all the fish in front of the diners. It's well worth the splurge.
If you're interested in craft beer, you must make a stop at the Jasper Brewing Company, started by a couple of local boys who won the lottery. They serve a variety of interesting microbrews, all made on site, along with casual food.
Another bar with a ton of atmosphere is the Whistle Stop Pub, a classic wings and beer place that attracts a younger crowd. Jasper definitely has a work hard, party hard vibe, so if you're looking for a late night, this is the place.
Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.
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