The road to Jasper is considered one of the most scenic on Earth. And as much as we love breath-taking, we’re on the hunt for mouth-watering on this particular venture. Join us on the road to Jasper’s newest culinary offering: Aalto at Pyramid Lake Lodge.

Calgarians can get a little…preferential…when it comes to Banff as the quintessential mountain town. Fair enough. At just over an hour away, it’s convenient, beautiful and has lots of delicious options for gastronomes. But for those willing to go venture a little further, the payoff is well worth the trip to Jasper: Edmonton’s Banff.

Wait! Hear us out.

At five hours away, Jasper is a hike, but you almost forget the distance when you’re cruising one of the world’s most beautiful highways. And there are those who feel Banff may have lost its rustic hamlet feel over the last few decades. Jasper’s still got it in spades. If you’re a hiker and you’ve done all of the Bow Valley beauties, this trek offers dozens of spectacular options (we loved Helen Lake with a gorgeous view of the Crowfoot glacier). Speaking of glaciers, you’ll get to visit the Columbia Icefields, one of the things that makes this highway a UNESCO world heritage site. But you’re not necessary here for the views, so let’s get to the food.  We recently joined the Pursuit group for a tour of their mountain munches from Banff to Jasper and beyond.

Brazen, Banff

This great eatery can be found in the Mount Royal Hotel along Banff Avenue. Created as an homage to the daring mountaineers who re-discovered and founded Banff, the menu takes a few risks itself, while remaining accessible to the families who stay at the hotel. It offers brunch and dinner menus, which change with the seasons. Since opening in 2022, Brazen has become a foodie favourite, adding to Pursuit’s existing Banff offering of Farm and Fire and Sky Bistro at the top of the Sulphur Mountain gondola.

Our pick: Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Terra, Jasper

Opened in 2022 in Jasper’s Crimson Hotel, Terra is a delicious example of how using local ingredients translates to divine dishes. Chef Shane Rutledge is creative, innovative and knows his way around local produce. Some ingredients are, in fact, foraged from surrounding terrain ensuring maximum freshness. In addition to these images, we enjoyed a sampling of this great menu including a delicious take on elotes (Mexican street corn) called Corn Ribs featuring ginger aioli, red chili powder and lime.

Our Pick: Mushroom Parfait

Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, Maligne Canyon

This hidden gem is the most off the beaten path we got on this adventure and we’re so glad we made the stop on the way back from our Maligne Lake Cruise.

If you’re there during the summer, enjoy the gorgeous patio complete with the soundtrack of singing birds and the gentle roar of the Maligne River as it rushes through the canyon.

The menu is focused on house-smoked meat and the team was eager to strut their stuff. We enjoyed a lot of meat. Like…a lot of meat. But we’re professionals and when there’s a job to do, we do it.

Our pick: Smoked Chicken Wings

Aalto, Pyramid Lake Lodge

The newest addition to the Pursuit family, Aalto is set to open this summer. We got a sneak peak at the menu and tried some of the dishes that will be available in July. With a menu focused on cooking traditions like fermenting and curing, the Aalto team has created an offering that uses local ingredients with Nordic techniques resulting in a thoughtful menu that is both adventurous and accessible.

Our pick: Kennebec dumplings