Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or just someone who enjoys the lively atmosphere of a game day, choosing the right sports bar can make all the difference. A great Banff restaurant & sports bar can elevate your game-watching experience, offering a perfect blend of ambiance, amenities, and camaraderie. 

But with so many options, how do you choose the ideal spot? Here are five key factors to consider when picking your go-to sports bar in Banff Canada.

1. Screen Quality and Placement

When it comes to watching sports, the quality and positioning of screens are paramount. Here’s what to look for:

1. High-Definition Screens: Make sure the sports bar has high-definition TVs. The clearer the picture, the better the experience.

2. Multiple Screens: Look for a bar with several screens strategically placed so you can catch the game from any seat in the house.

3. Big Screens: There’s something magical about watching a game on a giant screen. Bars with large projector screens or massive flat-screen TVs can provide that stadium-like feel.

4. Screen Adjustability: Some bars offer the ability to tune different TVs to various games. This is ideal if you want to watch multiple events or follow specific teams not featured on the main screen.

2. Atmosphere and Ambiance

The vibe of a sports bar can significantly enhance your viewing experience. Consider the following elements:

1. Crowd Energy: A great sports bar has an energetic and enthusiastic crowd. It’s the collective cheering, groaning, and high-fiving that create an unforgettable game-day atmosphere.

2. Theme and Decor: Check if the bar has a theme that resonates with you. Whether it’s decked out in memorabilia or has a modern, sleek look, the decor can add to the ambiance.

3. Seating Comfort: Comfortable seating arrangements can make or break your experience, especially for longer games. Look for bars that offer both bar stools and cushioned seats.

4. Lighting: Good lighting is crucial. A poorly lit bar can strain your eyes, whereas a well-lit environment keeps you engaged and comfortable.

3. Food and Drink Options

No sports-watching experience is complete without great food and drinks. Here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Menu Variety: A diverse menu with both classic poutine bar food and unique offerings can cater to varying tastes. Look for a range of appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

2. Quality of Food: Quality matters. Read reviews or ask for recommendations to ensure you’re getting tasty, well-prepared dishes.

3. Drink Selection: A well-stocked bar should offer a variety of beers (both local brews and popular brands), cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. Bonus points for creative signature drinks or specials during games.

4. Special Deals: Happy hours, game-day specials, and combo deals can enhance your experience without breaking the bank.

4. Service and Staff

Service quality can greatly influence your enjoyment. Consider the following:

1. Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff: Bartenders and servers who know their sports can make the experience more engaging. Friendly staff who are willing to chat about the game or recommend the best drink can make a significant difference.

2. Timely Service: Efficient service ensures you never miss a crucial play while waiting for your order. Check reviews to gauge how quickly and effectively the staff serves customers.

3. Customer Engagement: Some sports bars go the extra mile by involving customers in trivia games, raffles, or other interactive activities during game breaks.

5. Location and Accessibility

Convenience plays a big role in how often you’ll visit a sports bar. Here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Proximity: Choosing a bar close to your home or workplace makes spontaneous visits easier. Plus, it saves you time and transportation costs.

2. Parking: Ample parking spaces or proximity to public transport can make your visit hassle-free.

3. Safety: Ensure the bar is in a safe neighbourhood, especially if you plan to attend night games.

4. Accessibility: If you have accessibility needs, check if the bar accommodates them. This includes wheelchair access, accessible restrooms, and seating options.

Why Elk & Oarsman Sports Bar Should Be Your First Choice

Choosing the perfect sports bar boils down to finding a place that ticks all the boxes, and the Elk & Oarsman Sports Bar does just that. Here’s why it stands out as the best destination for any sports enthusiast:

Unmatched Screen Quality and Placement

Elk & Oarsman Sports Bar boasts top-of-the-line high-definition screens that ensure you never miss a single detail of the game. With multiple screens strategically placed around the bar, every seat offers a fantastic view. 

Inviting Atmosphere and Energetic Ambiance

The atmosphere at Elk & Oarsman is electric, fuelled by a passionate crowd that brings every game to life. The bar’s decor, adorned with sports memorabilia and spirited colours, creates an inviting and engaging environment. Comfort is key, and you’ll find a mix of bar stools and cushioned seating that ensure you stay comfortable throughout the game. The perfect lighting adds to the vibrant ambiance without causing strain, keeping you hooked on the action.

Diverse and Delicious Food and Drink Options

Elk & Oarsman takes pride in its diverse menu that caters to all tastes. From classic wings and nachos to gourmet burgers and unique appetizers, there’s something for everyone. 

The food is consistently praised for its quality and flavour. Their drink menu is equally impressive, featuring a vast selection of local and international beers, a signature of cocktails, and non-alcoholic options. Special game-day deals and happy hours make it an affordable choice without compromising on quality.

Exceptional Service and Engaging Staff

The bartenders and servers at Elk & Oarsman are not only friendly but also sport-savvy, making the whole experience more enjoyable. Their timely service ensures you won’t miss any part of the game, and their knack for interaction adds a personal touch to your visit. 

They often organize trivia games and raffles during halftime, providing an extra layer of excitement and engagement.

In conclusion, Elk & Oarsman Sports Bar excels in all the essential areas, making it the ultimate choice for your sports-watching needs in Banff. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant atmosphere, top-notch viewing options, delicious food and drink, or exceptional service, this bar has it all.


Choosing the right sports bar involves more than just finding a place with a few TVs. It’s about the overall experience—great screens, lively atmosphere, delicious food and drinks, excellent service, and convenience.

By considering these five factors, you can ensure that every game day is memorable, whether you’re celebrating a win or commiserating a loss.

So next time you’re planning to catch a game, take a moment to choose the perfect sports bar. It could be the difference between a good night out and an unforgettable one. 

Join Us at The Elk & Oarsman – Where Every Visit is an Adventure!

Craving an unforgettable experience where the spirit of the Rockies meets the thrill of the game? Look no further than The Elk & Oarsman

Whether you’re aiming to catch the next big game, longing for a taste of local brews and cuisine, or simply seeking a spot where friends become family beneath Banff’s vast, beautiful sky, we’ve got you covered. 

Don’t miss out on becoming part of our story – where every cheer, sip, and bite is a moment to remember. 

Come in, find your spot, and experience the warmth and excitement of Banff’s premier sports bar and rooftop patio. Connect with us on our website to reserve your table now! Here’s to adventures, sports, and stories waiting to unfold. See you at The Elk & Oarsman!