A competing travel guide encourages readers to “eat at your hotel.” Not only is this unhelpful, it’s misleading—the village of Lake Louise  may exist only to serve travelers, but there are good dining options serving all budgets.
If you don’t feel like a cooked breakfast, start your day off at Laggan’s Mountain Bakery (Samson Mall, 403/552-2017, daily 6 a.m.–8 p.m.), the place to hang out with a coffee and a freshly baked breakfast croissant, pastry, cake, or muffin. The chocolate brownie is delicious (order two slices to avoid having to line up twice).
Across the TransCanada Highway, the Lodge of the Ten Peaks, at the base of Lake Louise Mountain Resort  (403/522-3555), is open daily 7:30–10:30 a.m. in summer for a large and varied breakfast buffet that costs a super-reasonable adult $13. An even better deal is to purchase a breakfast/gondola ride combo for $29 (the gondola ride alone is $26). The buffet lunch (11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.) is $19, or $33 with the gondola ride.
If you made the effort to rise early and experienced the early-morning tranquility of Moraine Lake , the perfect place to sit back and watch the tour bus crowds pour in is from the dining room of Moraine Lake Lodge (403/522-3733, daily from 7:30 a.m. June–Sept.). Staying overnight at the lodge may be an extravagant splurge, but breakfast isn’t. A simple, well-presented continental buffet is $15, while the hot version is a reasonable $18.50.
In 1987, the Post Hotel was expanded to include a luxurious new wing. The original log building was renovated as a rustic, timbered dining room (403/522-3989, daily 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–9:30 p.m., $31–44) linked to the rest of the hotel by an intimate lounge. Although the dining room isn’t cheap, it’s a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The chef specializes in European cuisine, preparing several Swiss dishes (such as veal zurichois) to make owner George Schwarz feel less homesick. But he’s also renowned for his presentation of Alberta beef, Pacific salmon, and Peking duck. The 32,000-bottle cellar is one of the finest in Canada. Reservations are essential for dinner.
One hundred years ago visitors departing trains at Laggan Station were keen to get to the Chateau Lake Louise as quickly as possible to begin their adventure. Today, guests from the chateau, other hotels, and even people from as far away as Banff  are returning to dine in the Lake Louise Railway Station Restaurant (200 Sentinel Rd., 403/522-2600, $16–34), which combines a dining room in the actual station (daily 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.) with two restored dining cars (summer Fri.–Sat. 6–9 p.m. in summer).
Although the menu is not extensive, it puts an emphasis on creating imaginative dishes with a combination of Canadian produce and Asian ingredients. Lighter lunches include a Caesar salad topped with roasted garlic dressing—perfect for those planning an afternoon hike. In the evening, expect starters such as pear and prosciutto bruschetta and entrées such as a memorable pan-seared salmon smothered in roasted corn salsa.
Within this famous lakeside hotel is a choice of eateries and an ice-cream shop. For all chateau dining reservations, call 403/522-1817. The Poppy Brasserie has obscured lake views and is the most casual place for a meal. Breakfasts (daily 7–11:30 a.m.) are offered buffet-style ($28 per person), a little expensive for light eaters. Lunch and dinner (daily 11:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., $18.50–32) are à la carte.
The Walliser Stube (daily 6–9 p.m.) is an elegant two-story wine bar decorated with rich wood paneling and solid oak furniture. It offers a simple menu of German dishes from $21, as well as cheese fondue.
The Lakeview Lounge (daily noon–9 p.m.) is along floor-to-ceiling windows with magnificent lake views. Choose this dining area for afternoon tea (daily noon–4 p.m., reservations required, $31 per person, or $39 with a glass of champagne).
The Fairview Dining Room (daily 6–9 p.m., $31–37) has a lot more than just a fair view. As the chateau’s signature dining room, it enjoys the best views and offers the most elegant setting. The menu combines Canadian produce with classic European cooking styles.