Bumper’s Beef House
603 Banff Ave
Phone: 403 762 2622
After a day of basking in the fresh air of the Rocky Mountains, the body yearns to wind down with hearty food. We were drawn to try Bumper’s, which claims that “if you haven’t been to Bumper’s, you haven’t been to Banff”.
Bumper’s is not one of the many restaurants in Banff’s downtown core. It’s a bit more hidden but still easy to find. If you follow Banff Avenue heading out of town, you’ll find Bumper’s on the left, just before you hit the woods. It’s basically the last building in town.
Bumper’s Beef House has an airy, rustic atmosphere. The inside is furnished in wood, with a huge wooden man in the middle of the restaurant. As you can deduce from the name, Bumper’s serves everything you’d expect from a steakhouse, plus more. Most items on the Bumper’s menu include helping yourself to the all-you-can-eat salad bar. If you don’t want anything else, it’s even worth going just for the salad bar. The salad bar is one of the biggest and best I’ve ever seen. It’s a generous spread of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, legumes, dressings, soups, and fresh-baked dinner rolls.
For dinner we ordered Pile-O-Bones and Bumper’s Super Burger, and both included the salad bar. It was fairly early (they open at 5 pm) and before the dinner rush, so our food arrived much faster than in the average steakhouse.
The Pile-O-Bones, which are prime rib bones, were massive. The waitress had warned that they would be “chewy”. They did prove to be a workout for the jaw, but my friend gnawed happily on these flavorful beef ribs.
I had the Bumper’s Super Burger, touted on the menu as “one of the burger wonders of the world”. It was far from being so! The bread looked black. I normally like bread well toasted, but in this case the bun was simply burnt. The waitress apologized and explained that the toaster was broken. That’s fine, but how did burnt bread escape the cook’s eyes? I was given a new bun, this one barely toasted, but anything was better than blackened. I could tell after digging in that the bread wasn’t fresh to begin with. I also got cheese on my burger after declining cheese when I placed my order. Overall the burger tasted okay but no more.
Last thoughts: Bumper’s is a nice restaurant in Banff, farther away from the busier tourist hangouts yet still close enough to be a convenient option. Would I go back? Possibly, but if so I’m staying away from their “wonder” burger.