Bill Peyto’s Cafe

Location: 203 Village Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0

Website: https://hihostels.ca/en/about/hostels/bill-peytos-cafe

Price: Was too delirious to recall

What We Ordered:

  • Angry Peyto’s Burger

Burger Review:

We went to Lake Louise in Alberta to hike the Tea Trail.

The trail is rated “moderate” and takes “most people 1-2 hours”. Which I assumed was “totally doable if you’ve got a working pair of legs and takes at most 2 hours round-trip”.

But what it really meant was “Over 2 hours of relentless incline at a higher altitude than your soft Ontario body can handle and slip-sliding the way down for another 45 minutes on a snowy trail.”

We fool-heartedly started our journey hungry (thinking we’d only be an hour or so) and were starving, wet, and aching by the time we got down 3 hours later. We punched in “restaurants” on our map and drove to two different spots in town that turned out to be closed before finding the Peyto’s Hostel Cafe. By then we didn’t care where we ate, it just needed to not be up a hill or stairs. Thankfully Peyto’s had a ramp leading to their cafe.

I ordered the Angry Peyto Burger with fries. My sister ordered the Quesadila. I’m not ashamed to say that while we waited for our meal we closed our eyes and dozed off a bit. Once the food came, my sister ate hers and half my fries so fast I thought she’d hurl on the way home. She didn’t.  

My issue with the angry burger, other than the cheap patty, was the jalapeños were just pickled straight from the jar and there was way too many. It would have been a more thoughtful burger if the jalapeños were breaded and fried, or chopped up as a salsa type thing. As it was, this wasn’t a carefully planned burger made by a chef expressing their creativity. The only effort going into it was opening a box of frozen patties, fishing jalapeños from a jar, and peeling off a slice of cheese along with chopping some lettuce and tomatoes before squeezing on off-the-shelf condiments. Anyone can do that. Still, it was welcomed fuel after a long hike.

How the Angry Peyto came to the table

Meat: I’m guessing from frozen box burger. It did say it was Alberta beef but I almost wish it hadn’t because this patty did not do the Alberta beef reputation any favours. Seemed to be grilled, which is nice. It was not as bad as my WestJet cafeteria burger, but not nearly as good as the 360 patty.

Toppings: Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, onions, chipotle mayo, and a pickle on the side. The onions were too sharp and the jalapeños were way too many out of a pickle jar. But the lettuce and mayo were good and I love me a side pickle. I had to add my own ketchup. The main issues with the toppings was they were off the grocery shelf rather than thoughtfully prepared.

Bun: The bun was good and had a buttery fluffy texture. I believe it was a brioche bun. But I can’t say it was made fresh on site or anything fancy. It looks delicious in the cross section below. 

Cross section of the Angry Peyto Burger

Other Food:

Fries were good. They have the skin on which is a nice touch. We also had a brownie which had nuts in it (gross) with a scoop of ice cream (yum). I had about two bites, which was plenty for me since it was way too sweet for my tastes.

Atmosphere & Staff:

The place has an outpost kind of feel with a large fireplace lined with vintage hiking boots. It’s in a hostel which had lots of activity and chatter coming from the entrance not far from the restaurant and upstairs they were playing some loud game that made the floor shake and later in our meal there was a wellness conference happening. Lots of kids and teens milling about. It seemed like a fun place to stay. The staff were friendly and attentive.

Inside the Bill Peyto Cafe. That look from my sister tho

Final Verdict:
3 stars

Peyto’s was a welcome respite from the cold mountain trail. They had warm, simple comfort food. If you need a place in town to recoup with a burg, then come here.