Best Ski Resorts for Dining
May 12, 2020
We all love ski vacations for a variety of reasons. But one of the best would be that all that strenuous activity during the day is the perfect excuse for gluttonous activity at night, most especially eating. Fortunately, good restaurants seem to be synonymous with ski resorts around the world. In many cases they’re the equal of food capitals such as Paris and New York. For a comprehensive list of dining suggestions in your ski resort you can always check your Scout Field Guide, free with any mulit-night ski hotel booking.
Consistently rated the No.1 resort in North America for dining, Aspen Snowmass has more than 100 bars and restaurants. It hosts the annual Food & Wine Classic, which attracts celebrity chefs from all over the world. Given Aspen is the town where Wall St and Hollywood rub shoulders, you can expect the quality to be high-end and the prices about the same. Campo di Fiori, Syzygy, Brexi Brasserie, Element 47 and Mezzaluna are among the favorites, and you can’t miss Hickory House Ribs, a casual barbecue joint inside a faux log cabin.
Whistler’s sprawling village is home to a vast array of restaurants. The best part is that compared with many of the big ski resorts in the US, fine dining here can incredibly good value. There are several standout restaurants that are up with the best of Aspen and Vail. Scout favorites include Araxi, Barefoot Bistro, Il Caminetto di Umberto while Rimrock Café, just a few minutes from the village, is a must. Also visit Purebread bakery in the lower part of Whistler village where the pastries melt in your mouth and the coffee is seriously good.
There’s no shortage of excellent dining in Vail, where reservations need to be made weeks in advance. It pays to stay at a hotel with a great concierge who will ring ahead and secure you a prized table. Our picks comprise Kelly Liken in the lobby of the Gateway Building, Game Creek Lodge accessible only by skis or cat, Elway’s steakhouse in The Lodge at Vail, the ever-popular Sweet Basil, and Matsuhisa in Solaris for incredible Japanese from Nobu. Don’t miss The 10th for a great lunch on the mountain.
Park City has an eclectic mix of restaurants spread along the historic Main St and throughout town. From Southern (350 Main Brasserie) to European (Silver, Bistro 412), Asian (Flying Sumo, Shabu), steak (Butcher’s Chop House & Bar), contemporary (The Mustang), American (Talisker on Main, The Riverhorse on Main), Mexican (Loco Lizard Cantina) and countless pizza joints – basically whatever takes your fancy you’ll find it in Park City.
Jackson Hole is home to some fantastic local restaurants and eateries, both in Teton Village and downtown Jackson. Some of Scout's favourite restaurants can be found here including Il Villaggio Osteria (Hotel Terra), Wild Sage (at the Rusty Parrot Lodge), and Bin 22 (downtown). The Local Restaurant and Bar and Snake River Grill are worth the trek into downtown to sample the local produce. Breakfast at Cafe Genevieve is a must, especially for those who love true home-cooked meals.
Crested Butte has to be one of our favourite off-the-beaten-path ski resorts for dining enthusiasts. The town itself oozes with true Colorado mountain town charm, and while it may seem quiet and relaxed during the day, the restaurant and bar scene bursts with flavour come nighttime. Many say that Crested Butte has more fine dining restaurants per capita than any other town in the U.S! Along Elk Avenue, Marchitelli's Gourmet Noodle, Soupcon, and Elk Avenue Prime are highly recommended, while Supper at Sunflower is not to be missed. First Ascent Coffee Roasters will remind you what real coffee tastes like in the mountains.
Traditional Savoie food abounds in Val d’Isere - think raclette, cheese fondue, cured meats and fine wines.. mmmm. Our favourite is the fromagerie restaurant at La Ferm de l’Adroit where you can see the cows in the barn then sample a cheese fondue right at the source. Only the freshest and finest fare in France.
Enjoy the taste of authentic Italian mountain fare at Cortina. Whether it’s an Aperol Spritz in one of the many casual apres bars, some evening Italian style tapas snacks or a sumptuous Italian feast in a cosy mountain top refugio (Refugio Alvarez is a must), you won’t be disappointed with the wonderful array of Italian food at Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Queenstown is a bustling town in the Southern Lakes district of New Zealand with a vibrant foodie scene and some of the country’s best restaurants. A visit to Fergburger is a must (don’t worry, the queue does move quickly). But for the more serious foodie there are several options we wouldn’t go past. Scout’s favorites are Rata and Madam Woo (with Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett), The Bunker, Botswana Butchery and Jervois Steak House. If you’re looking for a little adventure, head to Arrowtown, just 15 minutes’ from Queenstown where Saffron and La Rumbla make excellent choices.