For those who like to kick off the day with a hearty and wholesome meal before hitting the ski slopes or hiking trails, Jasper, Alberta, offers up a variety of breakfast and brunch destinations. Meals can be as simple as grab-and-go baked goods or as fancy as a tapas-inspired Sunday spread.
This beloved, laid-back café hits all the right breakfast notes with a menu that includes everything from Montreal-style bagels with cream cheese and home-made granola right up to oatmeal cinnamon waffles and huevos rancheros. The Backpacking Hippie ($14.80) is a gorgeous skillet mash of tofu, vegetables and hash browns doused with home-made mango chutney with served with toast.
Praise be to spots like Wicked Cup that open at 7am and keep early birds fed and watered. Breakfast is served all day here, and could be as simple as a muffin or smoked salmon bagel, or as hearty as burritos, pancakes or the morning mason jar ($9.95) with layers of Greek yogurt, wild berry compote, fruit and home-made paleo-friendly granola. For the seven-and-under crowd, there are three options for $7 breakfasts. You can even order an adult beverage (beer, wine, cider or cocktails) with your meal.
Crazy Elk Café
The Crazy Elk Café, inside Lobstick Lodge, is a coffee shop that serves Starbucks beverages as well as salads, sandwiches and baked goods that make an easy meal for the grab-and-go crowd. The café is in the hotel lobby and is open only from 7am to 11am. Don’t miss the faux mounted deer head with golden antlers that doubles as a clever light fixture.
Bear’s Paw Bakery
When one bakery is not enough, why not have two in the same small town? In Jasper, there is Bear’s Paw Bakery and the Other Paw Bakery Café (at 610 Connaught Drive). Everything is baked from scratch and there’s a mix of European-style pastries and Canadian-style cakes. Signature dishes include Granny Smith apple pie, trail cookies and raspberry white-chocolate scones. Both locations have full espresso bars and merch, including the Bear’s Paw Bakery Recipe Book ($24.95).
Harvest Food and Drink
If you crave brunch seven days a week, Harvest Food and Drink is your spot. A relative newcomer on the food scene, the family-owned and -operated restaurant is just two years old and serves breakfast, brunch and lunch every day. Try the Smoked Salmon Benny with English muffin, free-range poached eggs, house-smoked salmon rillettes, lemon hollandaise and roasted potatoes. You can get your Belgian waffle fix here, too, or feast on short rib poutine or kale and potato hash.
When the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge beckons, remember Orso Trattoria, which cheekily promises “the authentic taste of Italy, with significantly better views.” (The views are of Lac Beauvert and the mountains.) Sunday brunch is served from 10.30am to 1.30pm and reservations are highly recommended. Each Sunday, the chefs create a different tapas-inspired tasting menu with $7 dishes in the categories of antipasti, verdura and dolci (appetizers, vegetables and desserts).
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