Gourmet Getaway Guide: Bragg Creek
Updated: May 10, 2022
"Although it is small in size... Bragg Creek has a little something for everyone."
Tucked away in the forested foothills is the quaint hamlet of Bragg Creek. Picturesque in summer and underneath a blanket of snow, Bragg Creek offers a quick escape from the city bustle. Although it is small in size, the fine dining the hamlet offers is abundant. From traditional German cuisine, to Korean fusion, gourmet pickles and preserves, and ingredient-focused Italian, Bragg Creek has a little something for everyone...
Nestled in a rustic old house, The Italian Farmhouse is extra cozy. The menu highlights a wide array of local and seasonal ingredients in traditional Italian dishes. I was particularly impressed with the arancini (crispy deep-fried risotto balls) and the house made pillowy gnocchi with melt-in-your-mouth beef ragù. This restaurant really pulls off the “farmhouse chic” vibe, and the beautiful paned windows fill the space with natural light. It looks as though it was once someone’s home. The dining areas are divided into separate rooms, making for an even more intimate eating experience.
"...traditional German and European fare with an Albertan influence."
The Bavarian Inn A Bragg Creek institution, The Bavarian Inn has upgraded their branding as The Bav (Mountain Dining) and The Tav (Mountain Drinking). Yet another cozy spot in this tiny hamlet, this restaurant highlights local producers on the menu and carries an impressive variety of beers. Chef Sammy Mehler (a Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Professional Cooking program graduate) integrates traditional German and European fare with an Albertan influence. There are Bavarian classics like Beef Rouladen, Weiner Schnitzel, and traditional Maultaschen dumplings. One of my favourite things on the menu is their homemade spätzle. Try the Käsespäatzle with emmenthaler cheese, gruyere cheese, and caramelized onions or the Krautspätzle with Valbella (a Canmore producer) double-smoked bacon, sauerkraut, and crème fraiche. And while I cannot guarantee it for every visit, the local deer seem to be particularly friendly just outside the restaurant.
Located in one of Bragg Creek’s strip malls is this hidden gem. It is run by a family from South Korea, who came to Canada in 2006. Creeker’s Bistro’s menu has a distinct Korean-fusion flare. Their Beef Bulgogi Burger is out of this world. It has the most flavourful and juicy, marinated Korean beef. Also, I think all too often the quality of a french fry is overlooked, and this place has the BEST! All this writing and now I know where I am going this weekend. Creeker’s Bistro also has a little pet-friendly patio out front for you to enjoy a meal with your favourite furry friend. I may have taken my cats there, much to the server’s surprise.
"All this writing and now I know where I am going this weekend."
Preserved STOREFRONT PERMANENTLY CLOSED
Preserved makes expertly crafted jams, jellies, pickles, and preserves. Red Seal Chef and owner, Vanessa Rundell aims to create gourmet products highlighting local Albertan ingredients. Preserved teams up with Albertan farmers to make sure they get the best products, and then uses precise techniques to ensure their creations are of the highest quality and nutritional content. I appreciate this, because while Alberta does have an incredible abundance of products, our growing season is so very short. Through the craft of small-batch preservation, Preserved allows people to enjoy Alberta’s bounty year round. I especially love that they specifically tell you where their ingredients are directly from, such as their:
“Raspberry Vanilla Jam” (Raspberries grown in Picture Butte, AB)
“Saskatoon Berry Gin Jam” (Saskatoon Berries from Millet, AB and Gin from Turner Valley, AB)
“Haskap Jam” (Haskap Berries from Alcomdale, AB)
“Sweet Garlic & Chili Ketchup” (Gull Lake, AB)
As for the rest of their products, they vary based on the seasons and availability. Their website says “what is in store changes like the season but our shelves are always full”. I recommend checking out their Bragg Creek store (only open Friday to Sunday) to see what inspires you. Last time I went I found a sweet corn jelly, so unique and creative! Preserved products are also currently being sold in 24 different stores across Alberta (check their website for locations). Nothing jazzes up a cheese board or a grilled cheese more than some locally made preserves! The food offerings are bountiful in Bragg Creek. While dining-in is one option, consider grabbing some takeout or preparing yourself a gourmet picnic (and grabbing some Preserved products on the way through to take your picnic up a notch). There are lots of nearby locations for leisurely walks or a family picnic. Elbow Falls is a particularly iconic sight near the hamlet, and there are a variety of other lovely spots to set up along the Elbow River. So, plan an upcoming day off to visit Bragg Creek, enjoy some delicious food, and get back to nature.