It’s easy to get a good, or even great, meal in Jasper . Connaught Drive and Patricia Street are lined with cafés and restaurants. Considering that this is a national park, menus are reasonably well priced. You should expect hearty fare, with lots of beef, game, and a surprising selection of seafood.
You’ll smell the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread even before entering Bear’s Paw Bakery (4 Cedar Ave., 780/852-3233, daily 6 a.m.–6 p.m.). The European-style breads are perfect for a picnic lunch, but not as tempting as the cakes and pastries. Operated by the same owners, The Other Paw (610 Connaught Dr., 780/852-2253; daily 7 a.m.–6 p.m.) has a slightly more contemporary feel, but more of the same great baked goods, as well as delicious salads.
In Jasper Marketplace, with a couple of tables spilling onto the sidewalk, Café Mondo (616 Patricia St., 780/852-9676; daily 8 a.m.–8 p.m., until 9 p.m. in summer) is a popular hangout for locals each morning, but where this place shines is the pizza by the slice and freshly made salads through the day.
In the railway station is Trains & Lattes (607 Connaught Dr., 780/852-7444; daily 6 a.m.–7 p.m.), a small espresso bar.
Nutter’s (622 Patricia St., 780/852-5844) is another good pre-hiking stop, with a wide choice of goodies in bulk bins.
Pizza lovers congregate at Jasper Pizza Place (402 Connaught Dr., 780/852-3225, $14–26). It’s a large and noisy restaurant with bright furnishings, a concrete floor, exposed heating ducts, and walls lined with photos from Jasper’s earliest days. One half is self-serve, the other table service, and upstairs is a rooftop patio. Regular thick-crust pizzas are available from 11 a.m. but it’s not until 5 p.m., when the wood-fired oven begins producing thin-crust pizzas with adventurous toppings, that this place really shines.
On the same side of town as Jasper Pizza Place is one of Jasper’s oldest restaurants, Papa George’s (Astoria Hotel, 406 Connaught Dr., 780/852-3351, daily 7 a.m.–10 p.m., $12–19), which has been dishing up hearty fare to park visitors since 1925. The setting is old-fashioned, with east-facing windows taking in the panorama of distant mountain peaks.
One of Jasper ’s best restaurants, Becker’s Gourmet Restaurant (780/852-3535, May–mid-Oct. daily 8–11 a.m. and 5:30–9 p.m.; $19.50–34) is six kilometers (3.7 miles) out of town to the south along the Icefields Parkway , but well worth the short drive. From this cozy dining room where the atmosphere is intimate, or from the adjacent enclosed conservatory, the views of Mount Kerkeslin and the Athabasca River are inspiring. This restaurant is a throwback to days gone by, with an ever-changing menu of seasonal game and produce that includes a daily wild game special. A menu staple is the baked rack of lamb smothered with apricot glaze. The breakfast buffet costs $16.
Back toward town from Becker’s, on Highway 93A, is the dining room of historic Tekarra Lodge (780/852-4624, 8–11 a.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. May–Sept., $20–32). The setting may be mountain-style rustic, but the cooking appeals to modern preferences with combinations like banana-crusted chicken breast with sweet mango curry sauce.
Villa Caruso (640 Connaught Dr., 780/852-3920, daily 11 a.m.–midnight, $19.50–37) is a steakhouse with a modern mountain vibe. The upstairs location—request a balcony table if the weather’s warm—allows great views across the valley. The menu features a wide variety of Alberta beef dishes, including a massive 16-ounce T-bone. But there’s a lot more than steak on offer, including chicken, seafood, and pasta dishes.
Prime Rib Village (Tonquin Inn, 100 Juniper St., 780/852-4966, daily from 5 p.m., $27–36) has been a long-time Jasper favorite. Charbroiled steaks and hearty servings of prime rib cost are the main draw, but the prime rib sandwich, with a plate-load of extras, will fill any carnivorous cravings for a few dollars less. This restaurant also offers a surprisingly good selection of seafood.
Andy’s Bistro (606 Patricia St., 780/852-4559, daily 5–9:30 p.m., $24–43) is an elegantly casual eatery offering a wide range of uncomplicated dishes using Canadian game and produce prepared with Swiss-influenced cooking styles. Start with a plate piled high with Prince Edward Island steamed mussels, then choose between dishes such as lobster-stuffed chicken breast or cheese fondue for two. Andy’s has an extensive cellar of wines but no official wine list. Instead, diners are encouraged to choose from red wines set along the bar and white wines from the fridge. Also notable at Andy’s is the staff, who seem experienced and knowledgeable.
Miss Italia Ristorante (610 Patricia St., 780/852-4002, daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, $15–21), upstairs in the Patricia Centre Mall, features bright and breezy interior decor with tables also set on a narrow terrace bedecked in pots of colorful flowers. Cooked breakfasts (from 8 a.m.) are $6–10. The rest of the day, pastas made fresh daily average $15, a baked filet of Atlantic salmon is $17, and souvlaki with a side of salad and pita bread is just $18. Check out the daily specials before ordering—they are taken from the regular menu but discounted a couple of bucks and come with soup or salad.
Directly behind the park information center, La Fiesta (504 Patricia St., 780/852-0404, daily noon–11 p.m., $19–29) is a small eatery where the Mediterranean meets Mexico. It offers a tapas-style menu of Mexican dishes, as well as adventurous delights such as pork kebabs served with a fig and pine nut relish and mussels steamed in a tequila broth. This is also the best place in town for a martini.
Jasper ’s premier accommodation, across the river from downtown, offers a choice of casual or elegant dining in a variety of restaurants and lounges. Opposite the reception area is a dedicated dining reservation desk, staffed daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m. in summer, or call 780/852-6052. Reservations are required for the Edith Cavell and Moose’s Nook dining rooms.
Downstairs in the shopping arcade, Meadows Restaurant is a casual room open for a breakfast buffet (daily 6–11:30 a.m., $24–30) and then in the evening for dinner (summer Wed.–Sun 6–9 p.m.). The turnover of food is quick, meaning everything remains fresh. Request a table away from the buffet for a quieter dining experience.
The Emerald Lounge (daily 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., $18–36) takes pride of place in the expansive lobby of the main building. Table settings of various configurations are spread throughout the room while also sprawling out and along a terrace, from where views over picturesque Lac Beauvert to distant mountains are uninterrupted. Both lunch and dinner menus feature imaginative modern Canadian cuisine, but with dinner (from 5:30 p.m.) being decidedly more expensive. At lunch, salads can be made into a full meal by adding extras such as smoked salmon and slices of chicken breast, or stick to mains such as bison burger.
The elegantly rustic Moose’s Nook Northern Grill (daily 6–9 p.m., $28–42) is a good place to enjoy traditional Canadian fare, such as grilled wild boar chops, whiskey-flamed arctic char, or a chargrilled Albertan rib eye steak. Be sure to leave room for dessert—the chestnut-crusted cheesecake smothered in maple syrup is incredible.
The Edith Cavell (daily 6–9 p.m., $49) is the finest fine-dining restaurant in Jasper. Its dark oak walls contrast with the white linens and large, bright windows overlooking Lac Beauvert and the mountains beyond. Even though the restaurant has changed little over time, its overly pretentious atmosphere has softened and service has become more comfortable. Still, this is seriously cultured dining, unequaled in Jasper. With an emphasis on local produce and Canadian game and seafood, the classic cuisine is served with a French flair. Dress code is “business casual”: no T-shirts or jeans; a jacket and tie are “recommended but not required.”