Sky Bistro, one of the best restaurants in Banff, offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Not only is the restaurant on top of a mountain, but guests must take the thrilling Banff Gondola just to get there (and get down).
If you’re terrified of heights, this spot isn’t for you, but dining at Sky Bistro should be on your bucket list if you love panoramic views and delicious food.
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We were recently lucky enough to take the trip up the gondola to experience it for ourselves, and it was stunning from start to finish.
The Banff Gondola took us over 7,510 feet up to the summit station, where we would explore Sulphur Mountain. It took eight minutes and was half the fun of it all. The 360-degree views from the top were terrific, even if it was a blizzard when we went.
There were incredible viewpoints, wooden outdoor pathways, and educational areas, but it was time to eat.
The second you step into Sky Bistro, you see the continual use of nature with the architecture. There’s even a wine rack made of live trees! It really does feel like you’re eating in a sanctuary in the sky.
Once we sat down and looked over the menu, the fantastic experience wasn’t over.
We tried delicious red and white wine sourced from the highly regarded Okanagan Valley to drink.
For starter dishes, we tried the Oka — a fried Canadian cheese served with a gooseberry chutney and tomato salad. It felt like a subtle but delicate dining twist on the mozzarella stick.
We also tried the duck wings with a honey and sriracha glaze, Haskap berry compote, and the Alberta beef tartare, prepared with a Saskatoon berry mustard, pickled radish, and crispy fingerling.
After the starters, we ditched the wine and had some cocktails.
We tried the Mountain Mule enhanced with rosemary and shaken with a mountain glacier vodka. The Alpen Glow was also a bight and refreshing drink made with Wildlife Adventure Gin, white rum, Jolene’s Peppermint Tea, Butterfly Blue Pea, Token Lavender Bitters, and lime juice to balance it all out.
The real showstopper that had the entire room turning their head was the Old Fashioned that was smoked right at the table.
Then it was time for the entrees.
We ordered a few of the main dishes, and they were all highlights.
The braised short rib, with a side of charred maple and citrus broccolini, baked corn polenta, carrot puree, and a port demi, was delicious and surprisingly large.
The pan-seared salmon with a white bean and basil casserole and the pork chop and French fries with apple and red wine braised cabbage were equally as fantastic at the table.
We had a wonderful time at Sky Bistro, where a top-tier dining experience matched a first-class view.
The gondola up feels new and exciting, and after such a fantastic dinner, it feels different going down. It’s a chance to reflect on the food, the laughs, and the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountain environment surrounding Banff.
The next time you’re in Banff, make a reservation at this spot in the clouds.
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Address: Banff Gondola Upper Terminal – Mountain Avenue, Banff