Five foods you must try on your next trip to Waterton National Park

Mhairri Woodhall

Travel Alberta

Feb 14, 2019 - 3 minute read

Alberta’s smallest national park in the Canadian Rockies is a total stunner. With its bold and beautiful backdrops, it’s easy to see why Waterton is bucket-list material for hikers, golfers, paddlers, bikers and selfie stars. But playing on the park’s shimmering lakes, wildflower meadows and soaring peaks will spark the need to feed. When it’s time to refuel hit up the townsite for patio bites and bar brews. From beaver tails and bison to wieners and waffles, here are the five foods you’ve got to taste in Waterton:

Katie Goldie

Local bison burger

The Thirsty Bear Kitchen and Bar grills up one mean bison burger. It’s a two-handed affair, loaded with guacamole, bacon, onion straws, a fried egg and all the fixings. Toss in a side of truffle fries with garlic aioli, and you’ll have probably met your calorie intake for the week. But hey, you’ll burn it off in the mountains anyway. For a lighter fix, go for the super-food-laden kale and quinoa power bowl with chili garlic ginger dressing – now there’s no guilt in having the jelly doughnut sundae for dessert. On sunny days, grab a seat on the street front patio. On weekends nab one inside for live music at Waterton’s only pub.

Katie Goldie

The Anti-Dog

For falafel fans, the Anti-Dog at Wieners of Waterton is meat-free perfection. The delicious deep-fried concoction is served on a freshly house-baked roll and loaded with hummus, tzatziki and the veggies of your choosing. Cutting carbs? Opt for the lettuce wrap and roll-up your sleeves, as this wiener-less wonder is one saucy dish. If you’re more of a purist, the local all-beef smokie is the way to go. Sweet potato fries, dipped in chipotle mayo, pairs well with either order. Eat on the picnic tables outside, or grab it to go and wander over to Emerald Bay for a picnic on the beach. 

Original Liège

Waffleton, located next door to Wieners, specializes in Belgium Liège waffles – an indulgent caramelized confection with crunchy pearls of sugar baked into the batter. With the comparable sweetness of a doughnut, the original recipe served with a frothy flat white is a total treat. If your sweet tooth is in overdrive, add on strawberries, Nutella and whipped cream, or take it to the next level with a gooey marshmallow chocolate covered s’mores. Craving savoury satisfaction? The ham and cheese Belgian-style waffle is the ultimate hot pocket sandwich.

Cauliflower

Yes, that’s correct, a vegetable made the cut. And it’s better than good. Red Rock Trattoria’s fried cauliflower appetizer is life changing. If you like the cruciferous veggie, you’ll love this dish. If you don’t, be prepared to have your mind blown. Crispy on the outside, tender in the centre and tossed in lemon, chilies, capers and Grana Padano. Order one – or two – for the table to start, and the handmade agnolotti stuffed with veal, spinach, mascarpone and wild mushrooms as your main. If you can manage, the house-made cannoli and tiramisu compete for best dessert.

Katie Goldie

Double scoop waffle cone

Rent a Surrey bike from Pat’s Waterton, grab a map and tour the townsite. First stop: Welch’s Chocolate Shop for a double scoop. Be sure to ask for one of the house-made dipped waffle cones with sprinkles. Flavour choice depends on taste. All are good, but the mint chocolate chip and butter pecan are always classic choices. The oversized cone will look ginormous, but you’ll have no problem working it off. While it’s easy to eat and ride on a Surrey, the heavy four-seater bikes take some serious quad power to pedal. You’ll figure this out quickly coming back up the hill from Cameron Falls.