The top places to indulge in the South Canadian Rockies: Breweries, bistros, and beyond
While the South Canadian Rockies in Southwestern Alberta is undoubtedly a hidden haven for all types of adventure, it is also home to stunning mountain towns with home-style, comfortable restaurants, diners and cafes for the moments in between all your skiing, biking, hiking, and more.
To help you eat your way through the South Canadian Rockies (SCR), we’re breaking down some of the must-visit spots to add to your next trip itinerary.
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Named after the groups who smuggled liquor into the US during the Prohibition era (and the eponymous cocktail that came after them), The Rum Runner in Coleman is a warm and cozy must-see watering hole complete with homey bar decor that includes tons of wood, vintage signage, and local objects on display.
The menu is guaranteed to warm you up and satisfy your hunger, featuring hearty soups, burgers, fish and chips, fries with gravy, and other comfort foods to give you energy for all of your trip’s activities. The restaurant is also known for its surprisingly comprehensive cocktail selection and dessert. Stop in for live music or get some fresh air and a view from the charming patio. Don’t forget to snap a pic at this Insta-worthy SCR destination.
If you’re in the mood for more of an elegant experience, there’s Encounters Wine Bar & Small Plate Kitchen in downtown Coleman, where you can choose from an extensive wine list, and also sumptuous dishes that change seasonally, such as Moroccan Lamb Tagine, Korean BBQ Pork Belly and Elk meatballs.
The spot is also known for its one-of-a-kind takeout grazing boxes and chocolate fondue that you can bring with you for a scenic picnic amid your outdoor fun.
If you’re looking for a friendly homestyle spot with a hearty breakfast selection (on top of its lunch and dinner options), check out Chris’ Restaurant and discover for yourself why their slogan is “friendly faces & good food.”
Choose from a ton of classic options to start the day, 18 different types of sandwiches or 12 types of burgers (including a veggie burger) at this traditional diner, where the local Canadian pride is strong and the food — and overall experience — will satisfy your soul, as well as your appetite.
To continue celebrating all things local, visit Bear Grass Bistro, where all the food is locally sourced and made in-house. Whether you’re looking for a full meal or a coffee and baked good to go, Bear Grass has you covered.
This is one of those spots where visitors might walk away with some new lifelong friends — a true “home away from home” in the South Canadian Rockies.
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You’d be hard-pressed to find a cafe as unique as Crowsnest Cafe & Fly Shop, which also doubles as a fly-fishing shop in sincere South Canadian Rockies fashion.
The humble Coleman eatery is a great spot to stop for coffee, tea, or a wholesome organic meal with a menu of staple sandwiches, soups, and salads made with delectable and healthy homemade sauces and salsas.
Or, stop at Stone’s Throw Cafe, another gem in Blairmore that’s known as well for its warm welcome as its tasty and unique baked goods, meals, coffee, and wares that include locally-made gifts and souvenirs. Stone’s Throw also partners with the local art gallery to
showcase local talent.
To satisfy your sweet tooth even more, definitely add nearby Cherry On Top Bakery and Koffie Shop, as well as Cinnamon Bear Cafe to your list, where you can grab a homemade muffin, sticky bun, coffee, sandwich, and tons more to fuel you up for your next trek through the area.
There is also the funky Miner’s Mercantile & Bakery in Beaver Mines, which is a deli, bakery, and general store with all the eats and supplies you could want for your Rockies trip.
Bravely born out of the pandemic, The Pass Beer Company is an amazing local brewery in Blairmore that boasts not only a wide selection of small-batch craft beer brewed right in the Crowsnest Pass, but also wood-fired pizzas and a giant outdoor patio where guests can take in the region’s unbeatable views.
Choose from delicious and cleverly-named saisons, IPAs, sours, pilsners, lagers, nitro stouts, blondes, ales, and even seltzers, non-alcoholic beers, and cocktails while you take a break from all the South Canadian Rockies action. An added perk is that the beer garden is dog-friendly!
Just a quick 20-minute drive away in Lundbreck, you’ll find the taproom and patio of Oldman River Brewing, a family-focused spot built on a sheer love and passion for good beer.
The team at Oldman has a fierce appreciation for the stunning wilderness that the brewery is nestled in, and you’re likely to run into them again on the local trails and waterways during your stay in the SCR.
With an ever-rotating selection of all types of beer with unique flavour notes of citrus, fruit, spices, honey and more, you’re sure to find your new favourite pint here, no matter your tastes. Experiment with a flight and chat with the friendly and helpful beer-lovin’ staff!
This establishment is also family-friendly and dog-friendly (outside), and hosts events like taco and bingo nights, plus live music.
So start planning your trip today to taste everything you’ve been missing in the South Canadian Rockies, and sign up for the newsletter to stay in the know about all the local happenings.