Scout Picks: Skiing & dining - the perfect mix

Cloud Nine at Aspen Highlands. Photo: Aspen Snowmass

Aspen: A skier heaven for foodies

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. Matsuhisa, 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.

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Cloud Nine at Aspen Highlands. Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Game Creek Lodge. Photo: Vail Resorts

Vail: Where reservations are as important as the forecast.

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. 

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Game Creek Lodge. Photo: Vail Resorts
Photo: Whistler Blackcomb, Randy Lincks

Whistler: Good for every taste and every budget

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.

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Photo: Whistler Blackcomb, Randy Lincks
Photo: Park City

Park City: Cuisines of the world on offer

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.

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Photo: Park City
Photo: Destination Queenstown

Queenstown: 100% pure goodness

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.

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Photo: Destination Queenstown

The best resorts and ski towns for fine dining.

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. 

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Photo: Aspen Snowmass

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