The 10 Best Ski Resorts for Food in North America (Slideshow)
Beaver Creek, Avon, Colo.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has a plethora of après-ski dining options and programs that begin with a complimentary s'mores happy hour each day for those coming off the slopes, held around the fire pit. It also showcases the Masters of Food and Wine culinary series of events, which connects locals and visitors with the resort’s award-winning chefs and sommeliers, professional chocolatiers, craft brew masters, and local farmers and tea producers. "We believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our dishes are thoughtfully sourced and carefully served," noted Robert Purdy, the hotel's general manager. Elsewhere in town, The Metropolitan wine and tapas bar is great for an evening meal or midday coffee break. Also swing by The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch to try Anderson’s Cabin for traditional Swiss raclette, after you’ve skied from village to village, of course.
Banff is a major ski destination for those in North America, as it has the best of both worlds: snow and food. At The Fairmont Banff Springs there are multiple dining options showcasing international cuisine, including Canadian, Japanese, Alpine, and Italian. For those hungry skiers who have specific dietary needs, the resort has a LifeStyle Cuisine Plus program that provides nutritious meals for guests with specific diet-dependent conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and celiac disease. It also offers programs for those who follow macrobiotic, raw, and vegan diets. Grapes wine bar is another must-try on property, as is the afternoon tea that offers 12 loose teas, pastries, and tea sandwiches all while overlooking the mountains. While in Banff, also try the restaurant in the Post Hotel run by chef Hans Sauter, who has worked in Japan and Hungary and brings these influences to his cuisine.
Vail Village is now home to two major culinary resorts: The Four Seasons and the The Sebastian, a ski resort that has a deep wine cellar, a stellar local menu, and one of Colorado's largest Scotch selections. Its main restaurant, Lenora, offers a menu of alpine bistro fare crafted from the freshest local ingredients. For on-mountain dining, The 10th Restaurant is a ski-in and ski-out fine dining experience that opened in 2012. It showcases dishes like hazelnut and ginger buffalo carpaccio with truffle mayo, manchego cheese, and watercress raisin salad.
Local Canadian cuisine is what they do best in Whistler, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Known as a phenomenally popular ski destination for avid skiers, it’s also great at producing excellent fare. At Bearfoot Bistro, in the heart of the village, the chef is serving inventive dishes such as white chanterelle soup and a chicken liver and foie gras parfait with smoked duck breast, fig carpaccio, pickled ramps, apple ice wine, and brioche. And inside the Nita Lake Lodge is Aura restaurant, a fine-dining concept in a relaxed atmosphere. Try the pheasant breast cooked with four spices. And for the best après-ski in town, check out Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill.
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Steamboat Springs is another "must-ski" spot overrun with delicious eating options but with less crowds then Vail or Aspen. Chef George Morris runs popular restaurant Truffle Pig with a menu that features dishes like the "Fishwhich," which is comprised of beer-battered Atlantic cod, mild Cheddar cheese, coleslaw, tomato, red onion, and tartar sauce. The restaurant is located inside a residential property at the base of Mt. Werner. The Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill microbew pub also delights with a superb beer list and items like quinoa-stuffed cremini mushrooms.
Mont-Tremblant, a city in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, is known as one of the best ski resorts in Quebec, and home to, perhaps now more than ever, some of the area's the best restaurants. For an authentic Québécois cuisine experience, try La Savoie with a tantalizing menu of raclettes and fondues. Café Johannsen in the Tremblant Resort is the perfect setting for a warm, hearty breakfast before a long day on the slopes. Finally, swing by the base of the slope to find peddlers selling a traditional snack similar to a maple taffy or caramel, known as "tire sur la neige."
The Stowe Mountain Lodge is where you need to be when you find yourself hungry in this East Coast ski town. While some top skiers may avoid the slopes, as they don’t have the powder skiing you’ll find out west, the mountain still has a 333-inch average snowfall and a dynamite culinary scene. The lodge is a big proponent of locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine and tries to be sustainable and green whenever possible. Its Solstice restaurant has an array of artisanal cheese plates as well as items like hand-rolled ricotta gnocchi. The Colonial Café at the Golden Eagle Resort is also a must-try for breakfast, with local eggs and dairy coming from farmers in the region.
Park City/Deer Valley, Utah
If you’re looking for a luxury ski vacation, you’ve found it in Deer Valley. The region is a skier-only region that has exceptional double diamonds that will keep any expert athlete on their toes. Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten owns and operates J&G Grill in The St. Regis Deer Valley, which boasts an exceptional wine list that will bring worn-out skiers back to life. The Mariposa, located in the village, is Utah’s number one rated restaurant by Zagat that has vegetarian and gluten-free dining options. And the place to go for après-ski is none other than the EBS Lounge for a little mix of everything, from turkey chili nachos to cookies and milk.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley is the oldest and arguably the most well-known ski resort in the United States. The Sun Valley Resort’s culinary program is run by executive chef John Murcko. The main restaurant, Konditorei, is known for Austrian-inspired dishes like pumpkin spaetzle with sausage and apples, and roasted chicken crepes with spinach and spicy Liptauer cheese. Tail Creek Cabin is a hideaway that’s been in operation since 1937. Purchase a ticket for a wagon ride on the property and you’ll be able to score dinner at the Tail Creek restaurant, where you can indulge in items like pork carnitas tacos. For local watering holes, check out Boiler Room, River Run, and Warm Springs lodges.
Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Forbes ranked Jackson Hole as the best skiing destination in North America for 2012 and it's always quite popular with die-hard skiers. The area is now bursting with new culinary outposts that have flocked to the region to capitalize on the captive (and hungry) audience. Michael Mina opened a restaurant, The Handle Bar at the Four Seasons, and a visit to the Roadhouse Brewing Co. is great for dishes mixed with beer, like the root beer-glazed pork chop. And locals and longtime visitors of the region are still partial to Billy’s Burgers.