Lake Agnes/Plain of Six Glacier Teahouses: "teahouses are a way of life in Banff NP" Banff National Park Restaurant Tip by richiecdisc
Banff National Park Restaurants: 43 reviews and 37 photos
Teahouses have been a part of hiking in Banff since 1927 when the park was a climbing mecca and Swiss mountaineers introduced Canada to the sport. Their influence is evident in the chalet architecture of the small mountain restaurants.
For European countries like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, this is very much the status quo. You do not hike in major tourist areas there without having such places to take a break. I must say I would prefer a more pristine environment and they take some of the beauty away from the areas where they are built. But these are historical structures and people seem to love them. For many who have not hiked in Switzerland and such places, it may be their first exposure to being able to not carry a lunch, and even get a hot beverage or soup while out hiking.
Enjoy them if that is your thing. Walk to a more serene area otherwise. One good thing about such places is most people congregate there so if trying to avoid the crowds, just avoid the teahouses.
Favorite Dish: Their menus are simple and prices are high but you must factor in their cost in getting food and fuel to the respective teahouses as well as transporting garbage back out. I did not use the facilities but to be honest you have to be lucky to get a seat. They are that popular despite the prices. Expect to pay C$13 for soup and sandwich combos, C$5 for a piece of cake, and C$6/12 for small/large pot of tea. Of course, they only take cash.
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: There is one about a kilometer short of the Plain of Six Glaciers overlook and one at the head of Lake Agnes.
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