Fancy watching basketball, American football, hockey or baseball? The town of Banff has got you covered. It features several sports bars to serve up your favorite game AND some delectable cuisine and beverages. In this article, I listed the nine best places to go.
First off, I want you to know that the list below is not definitive. There are probably more restaurants and pubs in Banff where you can watch a game or two. Pubs showing NFL, for instance. However, the ones in this post actively promote themselves as sports bars.
They come with the typical atmosphere in these kinds of bars. So if that’s what you’re after, I invite you to read on.
1. Banff Ave Brewing Co.
This place is, first and foremost, a beer brewery. Which makes for some exciting craft brews for you to try. It’s situated on the second floor of the Clocktower Village Mall, right on Banff Avenue. Head in through their taproom at the ground level, take the stairs and turn left, and you’ll get to the pub.
The pub has gluten-friendly (no separate deep fryer), gluten-free, and dairy-free options. It also has vegetarian dishes on its menu.
Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Address: 110 Banff Avenue
Phone: +1 403 – 762 1003
2. The Bear Street Tavern
The Bear Street Tavern is situated just behind Banff Avenue in the much quieter Bear Street. This cozy place is a good, relaxing choice for watching a sports game while having food or snacks. It’s not your typical pub, but an excellent place to spend several hours nevertheless, if you ask me.
Eat pizzas, sandwiches or other specialties in one of the tavern’s booths and indulge while watching your favorite game. Their menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Of course, they also serve many alcoholic beverages.
The Bear Street Tavern
Address: 211 Bear Street
Phone: +1 403 – 762 2021
3. Boston Pizza
Sure, Boston Pizza is not a sports bar; it’s a major pizza franchise. Still, its Banff location could easily qualify as such. There are many big screens on the walls so you won’t have to miss a second of your favorite game.
While munching on a tasty pizza, of course. However, their menu has many other options, like pasta, sandwiches, bowls & salads and shareables.
Situated above the Banff Avenue Mall, Banff’s Boston Pizza is a big but surprisingly cozy joint where you can easily spend several hours watching sports. Or to just eat and have a good time. Go check it out.
Address: 201-225 Banff Avenue
Phone: +1 403 – 762 2192
4. Earls Kitchen + Bar
Earls Kitchen + Bar is part of a Canadian and American franchise. Located a bit further east on Banff Avenue, it’s right at the ‘beginning’ of the shopping district.
The food is of high quality, presented beautifully and is not expensive for what you get. Earls also has some gluten-free and vegetarian options. If you have specific allergies, their menu comes with an allergy guide (upon request).
Earls Kitchen + Bar
Address: 299 Banff Avenue
Phone: +1 403 – 762 4414
5. Elk & Oarsman
The Elk & Oarsman likes to promote itself as “Banff’s Premier Sports Banff”, and it might actually be. In my opinion, it lives up to that reputation.
It’s a spacious place on the second floor of 119 Banff Avenue, with a “timber & river rock décor” and a stone fireplace. It has the typical sports bar atmosphere with lots of big screens on the wall.
It’s a cozy place where you can order tasty pub food from their sports bar menu. Nothing truly fancy but tasty and filling and for very reasonable prices. It also has some vegetarian options.
Elk & Oarsman
Address: 119 Banff Avenue
Phone: +1 403 – 762 4616
6. Melissa’s MisSteak
Melissa’s MisSteak is, first of all, you guessed it, a steak restaurant. But the giant tv screens on the wall also make for an excellent sports bar.
Besides watching your favorite game and eating and drinking, you can also play a game of darts or pool at Melissa’s.
Melissa’s is situated on Banff Avenue on the second floor of the building where the former Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon used to be. Their menu contains some vegetarian options.
Address: 201 Banff Avenue #2
Phone: +1 403 – 762 5511
7. Pump & Tap
The Pump & Tap is hidden from Banff Avenue as it’s situated in the middle of the Sundance Mall. A mall may not seem ideal for a pub slash sports bar, but the Pump & Tap is a thriving and cozy place. Lots of seasonal workers like to hang out in a typical British bar style and atmosphere.
You can watch your favorite game here while playing a game of pool or eating simple but finger-licking pub food like fish and chips and chicken wings.
Because The Pump & Tap promotes itself as “Banff’s Original authentic British pub”, its televisions regularly tune in to soccer, better known as (real) football.
It includes all premier league & Champions League soccer. Furthermore, you can watch NHL, NFL and all rugby. The Pump and tap also show Aussie footie, NRL, and Scottish footy.
Pump & Tap
Address: 215 Banff Avenue
Phone: +1 403 – 760 6610
8. Rose & Crown
The Rose and Crown is one of Banff’s “classic” pubs, situated on Banff Avenue in the middle of the shopping district. It’s a pub you should absolutely check out. Since they transformed the pool room in the back into a sports bar with lots of big-sized television screens, it’s now also a superb place to watch your favorite game.
The Rose & Crown offers terrific pub food, so you don’t have to go hungry while watching a game. The menu contains gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options as well.
9. St James’s Gate Irish Pub
St James’s Gate Irish Pub is, first and foremost, eh, well, an Irish pub. But as befits Irish pubs, St James’s offers lots of sports on big screens. So if you want to enjoy your favorite game and eat and drink in a warm ambiance, this is the place to go.
Located just off Banff Avenue in a quiet street, this place could tempt you to spend all night here. Since it’s an Irish pub, expect to see lots of football (soccer), but other more mainstream North-American sports are also shown.
St James’s Gate Irish Pub
Address: 207 Wolf Street
Phone: +1 403 – 762 9355