Believe it not, even hardcore skiers need to eat (even moreso, we assert). So before you go ranting that SKI should be writing about skiing—we do, plenty—because you didn’t subscribe to Food + Wine, know that many of the restaurants that pop up in the pages of the latter title happen to be located in ski resorts. So yes, skiers eat, and enjoy dining at some of the top restaurants on the continent.
See the list here: The 10 Resorts With the Best Dining Options in the West
The list below is based on the results of our 2022 Reader Resort Survey—these are the Top 5 resorts that ranked highest for dining. But we dug in deeper, identifying some of the best spots for skiers to check out this season, from fancy fine dining establishments and unique dinner experiences to family spots and quick eats so you can get back on the slopes fast.
Top 5 Resorts in North America For Dining—and Where to Eat
No. 5: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.
Dining Score: 8.81/10
Other Strengths: Lifts (#3), Nightlife (#2)
What Readers Say
“I’m in love with Aspen Snowmass. Location, amenities, food, après, and service is amazing AND add on the exceptional ski company and instructors. Unbeatable.”
When a ski resort can claim a town like Aspen as its beating heart, you know all of the skier amenities are going to be top-notch, from fine dining to lodging and everything in between. You can really find something for every palate in Aspen, a place that naturally attracts talented chefs and food-service types with its international flair and amazing landscape. In addition to Aspen, don’t discount Snowmass, where multiple hotels—with great restaurants—have opened up, in addition to the new options on tap at the re-thought Village at Snowmass. Here are our favorites.
Where to Dine at Aspen Snowmass
New to the Scene
Catch Steak, which just opened in December 2021, is an upscale steakhouse steps from the Ajax Gondola. While the premium cuts of beef are excellent, try the chili tuna tartare.
Mix6, in Snowmass Village, is a cool concept from Pyramid Bistro chef Martin Oswald. Diners choose up to six seasonal ingredients from choices such as miso salmon, pulled pork, and braised beef to make their own healthy plate.
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, in the shadow of the Maroon Bells on Aspen Highlands, is the spot for a Euro-style on-mountain lunch, as well worth the visit for the ambience as the cuisine.
Nothing beats the Pine Creek Cookhouse, in the old ghost town of Ashcroft, 13 miles outside of Aspen. Take a meandering 1.5-mile sleigh ride for a prix-fixe four-course dinner with entrees such as peppercorn-crusted buffalo tenderloin and sautéed ruby rainbow trout, but the amazing apple crisp alone is worth the trek to get there.
No. 4: Telluride Resort, Colo.
What Readers Say
“This is easily the best ski hill/town in the United States. It’s got great terrain, excellent snow, amazingly varied and interesting terrain, plenty of lodging and dining options, and a town that just absolutely rocks. Where else does the mountain literally spill right into an absolutely rollicking town?”
Most skiers know all about Telluride’s challenging skiing and out-of-this-world views, but many don’t realize how world-class its dining scene has become over the last several years, both at the resort and in the town of Telluride. It’s quite impressive, actually, that such a small town with a relatively small population can consistently put forth such diverse and well-rounded restaurants. It all starts with the resort, where the F&B leaders have prioritized the on-mountain dining experience with intimate spots such as Alpino Vino and Bon Vivant in place of the one-size-fits-all ski cafeterias. It’s since extended to town, where there’s truly unique and high-quality eateries for every taste and budget. There are our top picks.
Where to Dine in Telluride
221 South Oak is set inside an adorable old Victorian tucked off of the main drag, and the entire experience, from appetizers to dessert, feels personal, like dinner at an old friend’s house. The menu, from former Top Chef contestant Eliza Gavin, runs the gamut from hearty fare such as bison short ribs to a dedicated vegetarian menu with items like potato gnocchi with cider squash butter.
In Mountain Village, Siam Talay’s large menu of Thai and other Asian dishes covers all its bases. The shishito pepper app is a must, as is pretty much anything off of the Traditional Thai menu. For something new, the tamarind-marinated elk short loin, bathed in Thai spices and flavors, is next level.
Oh, how to choose? Telluride is the best on-mountain dining in North America. There, we said it. On a sunny day, it’s got to be the French-kissed fare at Bon Vivant, eaten under the massive umbrellas at the plein-air restaurant. On chillier days, Alpino Vino’s rustic Italian-inspired cuisine will warm you to the core.
Take the Mountain Village gondola to the San Sophia mid-station for an opulent feast at Allred’s. Try to get there before the sun sets for the amazing views of the alpenglow tickling the top of the San Juan peaks. The menu is appropriately meat-heavy; you can’t do better than the Colorado rack of lamb, elk loin, or bison ribeye.
Dining Score: 8.98/10
Other Strengths: Variety (#1), Nightlife (#1)
What Readers Say
“I’ve skied all over North America and my last 10 trips were to Whistler Blackcomb. Love the steeps, the trees (especially Blackcomb), the variety of terrain can’t be beat. Fun après in the Village and Creekside. Great dining and fun nightlife. The people of Whistler are very welcoming.”
It should come as no surprise that such a large, diverse, and internationally visited place such as Whistler has a top-notch dining scene. In short, Whistler succeeds due to its sheer girth—you can’t come here and not find spots that will become your new favorites, from rowdy après bars to fine-dining spots that have been repeatedly recognized by Michelin and Wine Spectator over the years. If Whistler is in your plans this winter, put some of these places on your list.
Where to Dine at Whistler Blackcomb
New on the Scene
Iconic Vancouver chophouse Joe Fortes just opened a second location in Whistler, where Executive Chef Justin Starr serves his own iteration of classic menu items such as Joe’s Fresh Seafood Cioppino and bone-in Ribeye with bacon-horseradish mashed potatoes.
Sushi Village is an iconic Whistler spot for a reason; the restaurant, which opened in 1985, goes the extra mile to keep the place relevant with dishes such as agedashi tofu and the BC roll, made with barbecued salmon skin. The vibe is fun and vibrant, too.
Splurge at Christine’s, inside Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain, for a sit-down lunch that rivals the Euro chalets with views to match.
Of course Whistler, the international destination that it is (although somewhat less so during pandemic times), has a shop that specializes in Australian meat pies. Opened by an Aussie transplant, Peaked Pies serves breakfast pies with eggs and such as well as lunch and dinner options and Australian-inspired baked goods.
No. 3: Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Dining Score: 9.18/10
Other Strengths: Lodging (#2), Grooming (#2)
What Readers Say
“I love skiing at Deer Valley! The entire experience is wonderful! The snow is great, the terrain is all I could want for my ability (intermediate), the on-mountain food is a treat. Park City is a great resort town, picturesque, with lots of great dining and nice shops!”
Deer Valley can hold its own when it comes to keeping skiers fed and watered, though it doesn’t hurt to have an iconic ski town down the road. The best part is that you really can find everything you need at Deer Valley itself, from truly delicious fine dining to family-friendly eats, both on the mountain or at one of the resort’s three bases. Pro tip: Keep Park City in your back pocket for nightlife. But when it comes to dining at Deer Valley, here are our tried-and-true favorites.
Where to Dine in Deer Valley
The Mariposa serves up an extravagant four-course dinner alongside creative, house-made cocktails and a wine list to rival those in big-city restaurants. Set inside the Silver Lake base lodge, at mid-mountain, The Mariposa, dimly lit and elegant, is a grown-up dinner spot for foodies and those who like to linger and savor the experience.
New to the Scene
Order your customized bowls, salads, and burgers via QR code and get it delivered to your table at the Snow Park base lodge at the new Fresh Tracks Kitchen, a quick and healthy option that debuts Deer Valley’s mobile ordering system.
Don’t leave Deer Valley without enjoying a sit-down lunch at the Royal Street Café. Order the Dungeness crab tower and have fun deciding between entrees such as the tuna tacos, French dip with local Niman Ranch beef, and an incredible mac-and-cheese with bread=crumb topping.
Hit The Brass Tag for après apps, beer, burgers, wings, and sandwiches. This family-friendly option inside The Lodges at Deer Valley is an easy place to hang out and parse the ski day in a relaxed atmosphere.
No. 1: Sun Valley, Idaho
Dining Score: 9.30/10
Other Strengths: Grooming (#1), Service (#1)
What Readers Say
“Sun Valley has a ton of history and a fantastic mountain to ski with great restaurants and lodging. Grooming is second to none, as are the day lodges and food offerings. Minimal crowds—you never wait in line!”
Between Sun Valley and that classic ski town down the road, Ketchum, skiers are guaranteed to keep their bellies full and their appetites satisfied. Like Deer Valley, the resort itself puts a lot of resources into keeping its dining offerings fresh and on-point, utilizing lots of local products from regional farms and ranches. In Ketchum, visitors will find a great combination of vaunted classics and new and innovative restaurants headed by top regional and up-and-coming chefs. Between the resort and the town, options are plentiful. These are our recommendations.
Where to Dine at Sun Valley
Climb in the horse-drawn sleigh for the short but scenic ride to the circa-1937 Trail Creek Cabin, on the banks of Trail Creek. This warm and cozy nook serves Western fare including venison, short ribs, and trout, plus an exquisite dessert menu.
Lunch at The Roundhouse is a no-brainer and a must-do when skiing at Sun Valley. The authentic fondue, the amazing charcuterie, and the Croque Monsieur are all divine, not to mention the ambience provided by this circular structure with 360-degree views at the top of the Roundhouse Express gondola.
What began with two guys who wanted a place for skiers to drink craft beer has grown into the Sawtooth Brewery Public House. Stop by for 25 taps plus sizable lunch and dinner menus with everything from chicken pot pie to gyros.
Out late? Head to The Cellar, a subterranean pub with shuffleboard, games, sports on screens, and a menu of beer, wine, and appropriately greasy and delicious snacks such as wings, burgers, and excellent fries.