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BEST OF THE BOW: Ramen Arashi and Carlito’s tie for Banff’s best takeout

Picking a takeout spot in Banff is hard. But our Best of the Bow voters narrowed it down to two restaurants.
William Hudson of Ramen Arashi hands off a takeout order of its Japanese specialty meals. The restaurant tied for Banff's Best Takeout in the Best of the Bow 2020. JORDAN SMALL RMO PHOTO

BANFF – Picture the scene.

You’re just getting home from work. The frozen chicken you asked your kids to put in the sink earlier in the day is still rock-hard and untouched in the freezer. It’s already 30 minutes past supper, and a slew of “what’s for dinners?” are being repeated.

You’re tired and in no mood to try and thaw that delicious bird. If the kids are lucky, you’ll use your final string of self-control to pull out a coin from your pocket and flip it and let fate decide the outcome of where you'll be getting takeout this evening.

In this year's Best of the Bow readers' choice awards, Ramen Arashi and Carlito’s Pizzaria are voters’ go-to spots to grab grub to-go with a first-place tie for Banff’s best takeout spots.

Ramen Arashi is a Japanese specialty café serving ramen variations with an authentic touch from the Land of the Rising Sun. Located downtown in the Sundance Mall, the compact restaurant opened its doors in 2018 and locals have been gravitating towards it since.

“My boss told me to always to keep doing the best and be professional ... and that’s why I think guests are coming for this ramen,” said Ayako Ogasawara, manager of Ramen Arashi.

“I’m very glad the Bow Valley people chose us and I hope we get more popular.”

The top selling takeout dish is its Arashi Tanten Men, a dish with pork belly, egg, spinach, seawood, green onion, bamboo shoot, chili oil and crushed peanuts on a sesame base.

A long-time culinary staple in the Banff community, Carlito’s Pizzaria is a trusted brand that has been serving the community hot pies with a smile since 2007.

Located on 501 Banff Ave. inside the Banff Inn, the pizza shop’s stone-oven-baked pizza is a hot commodity as seen by its red delivery cars buzzing around the vibrant town on a nightly basis.

“Thank you very much for voting us as the best takeout restaurant in Banff. We are really grateful for your support to the local businesses,” said Yukiyo Inageda, general manager of Carlito’s Pizzaria.

“Also we donated $1,000 to a local hospital from our food sales. We truly thank you for our customers for supporting our community with us.”

Carlito’s most popular takeout items are its pizzas, with freshly made pizza dough and marinara sauce that keeps bringing hungry patrons back.

In particular, the Carlito's pizza, with chicken and artichoke toppings and its La Diva, a roasted veggie mix, stand out among the rest.

So the next time you're in a crunch for dinner, just remember Banff's two top takeout joints and pick heads or tails.