We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“It is not nearly as good as they think.”
Review of Chaya Restaurant

Chaya Restaurant
Ranked #53 of 151 Restaurants in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Asian, Japanese
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 3 July 2017

Overall, a very poor experience. This is a popular place that has let notoriety gone to their heads. Whatever the reasons of their success, today, it is a claustrophobic dive serving instant noodles.

Food: 2/5
The only positive thing to say about this place is that they didn't mess up the udon soup. But that again, considering this is the Japanese equivalent of instant noodles, it is not a great distinction. The soup tasted exactly as you might get from a packet at a grocery store. So, the kitchen knows how to boil water and open packets at least.

Value: 2/5
This is slightly hard to judge, since Banff prices distorts perception. Either because the remote location, or the sock-the-tourists mentality, the prices are high everywhere in town. So, the value is terrible on an absolute scale: the same dish - if they dare to serve it - in Toronto cannot be more than $6. It's double here. But on a scale relative to the shoppes next door, it suddenly seems passable. So, the value is terrible, unless you are from around here.
But, I have to add this is a popular place. There was a long waiting list when we got in. So whatever the excuse for the pricing, people are coming still. But speaking as a tourist, I will not be coming back even if I return to Banff.

Atmosphere: 1/5
The store may have been trying do shabby chic meets utilitarian. But all it got is cramped chaos. Tiny tables with little separation from your neighbors. An unfortunate splash (bound to happen when eating noodle soup) can easily get you from two tables away.
Also a special mention that this place is not young children friendly. There is a sign about folding strollers, but honestly, even folded, there is no room. So, think twice if you want eat sitting down with kids in strollers.

Service: 1/5
One does not expect great service from a 300 sqft (guessestimate) hole in the wall, but the staff performance was noteworthy in the wrong way.
We wanted to do take outs, and we had to communicate this three times, to the two waitresses (yes, that's right, twice to the same person) before order was taken, and we had to communicate this one more time, to one of the same aforementioned waitress again after the order was taken.
Keep in mind this is an establishment with at most 20 seats, the confusion in the front line staff is astounding.

My advice to diners: find the Asian grocery store in town and do it yourself, your wallet will thank you. But if you really have to have it, drop by early to secure tables.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Joshua L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (231)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

20 - 24 of 231 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2017 via mobile

I went there twice during my short trip to Banff. The place is small so expect you will be on waiting list to get a table. I had udon and it was so yummy that I had it for both of my visit. The first udon was a bit salty but the second one was just perfect. I especially liked the broth. If you are looking for some good Japanese noodles, this is the place to go.

Thank Cobaltbluesantafe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017 via mobile

Chaya is a delicious and refreshing change from the sea of burgers, pasta and steak dinners.

I got the Miso Ramen with extra BBQ pork, while my boyfriend got the Beef Soba noodles and we shared a pot of green tea. After tax and tips, it ended up around $38CAD but we thought it was worth the price. The noodles were more than filling and the broths were deep and flavourful, which was perfect for the unexpectedly windy, cold day! But, I found the BBQ pork to be dry and flavorless compared to other ramen shops.

Be sure to make a reservation beforehand! There's limited seating and it can easily be a 45min wait if you don't call ahead. We got a table as a walk in but that was a stroke of luck from a no-show!

Would definitely recommend, especially if you're looking for a change of taste in Banff.

Thank Hiu-Laam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2017

Small eatery that packs a punch! Great food that scores high on authenticity and value. Efficient and friendly staff too!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kaira428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2017

Went to Chaya when we found no tables available where we had initially wanted to go -- pleasantly surprised -- great food - but don't go for the ambiance.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank gkach53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Chaya Restaurant also viewed

Banff, Banff National Park
Banff, Banff National Park
Banff, Banff National Park

Been to Chaya Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing