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Resort Guide 2023

These 10 Resorts Have the Best Dining in the East

These ski resorts serve up variety and quality in the food department.

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Diehard skiers may not care whether a ski resort has five-star dining options on the hill or in town, but they still gotta eat. Ski resort dining doesn’t necessarily need to be fancy to rank high in our books—it just needs to be accessible, offer a variety of options that don’t all come with a side of chili cheese fries, and ideally, not break the bank. According to readers who voted in SKI’s annual Reader Resort Survey, the following 10 ski resorts in the East do an above-average job when it comes to serving up skier fuel. See the entire survey results here.

Top 10 Resorts in the East for Dining

No. 10: Sugarbush Resort, Vt. 

Score: 7.46
Other Strengths:
Terrain, Challenge
Weaknesses:
Value, Nightlife

Rumble's Bistro and Bar Sugarbush
Rumble’s Bistro and Bar is a favorite for its menu and laid-back atmosphere. (Photo: Courtesy of Sugarbush)

What Readers Say

“I love Sugarbush and the entire Mad River Valley. It is all about exactly what a skiing experience in Vermont should be about. A classic ski mountain with all the ambience of Vermont at its best!”

“I started going to Sugarbush last year and was impressed by the terrain and amount of trails, the quality of the snow, the layout of the resort, etc. I really enjoyed my experience and came back several more times.”

“This is my home mountain and I find it a fantastic place to ski as a weekend warrior. Lift lines are rarely bad, parking lots rarely fill up, and they do a good job of shuttling people to the lifts from faraway parking. Staff is friendly, plenty of challenging skiing. I would recommend it to good skiers as the mountain does not do a good job with beginner terrain and has very little for the beginner skier. However, the bumps and steeps are plentiful, especially with good natural snow which we didn’t have last year. Having two separate mountains provides a unique experience.”

No. 9: Loon Mountain, N.H. 

Score: 7.54
Other Strengths: 
Access, Grooming
Weaknesses: Value, Nightlife

Skiers apres at Loon Mountain
Loon has a low-key vibe that makes it a favorite among locals. (Photo: Courtesy of Loon Mountain)

What Readers Say

“A nice mountain with much interesting skiing. It is easier than Killington and feels different, more like a western skiing experience due to the geography. Great mountain for beginners and intermediates, and for experts who like groomed steeps. Not so good for bump skiers. Bumps are limited to small areas of slopes with ‘Bumps’ signs, which I found really funny.”

“I’ve skied at Loon Mtn. for a few years now. I have never had a bad experience there. I love the trails and the staff is very helpful and friendly. I skied there with a friend who has a season pass. I hope to get back there next season. The only issue is that the lift tickets seem to be a bit expensive.”

No. 8: Stowe Mountain Resort, Vt. 

Score: 7.55
Other Strengths:
Challenge, Terrain
Weaknesses:
Value, Access

Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
Stowe has a lot of things going for it, including its quintessential Vermont vibe and a number of amenities, including good dining options.

What Readers Say

“I’ve been skiing Stowe since my teenage years and college years at UVM and 20 years later it is still the ski capitol of the East. The terrain is second-to-none as is the lodging and dining. Yes, I certainly miss the Shed and the Rusty Nail for après and the charms of Spruce Peak before all the build-up and commercialism. But nothing compares to standing on top of Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, on a bluebird day. Yes, Stowe has certainly lost some if its charm. But the turns and contours of the Nosedive trail still make for one unique and exciting adventure. Plus if I’m feeling particularly nostalgic for “Old” Stowe, I’ll shoot over to Matterhorn for sushi or the Trapp for a refreshing German pilsner.”

No. 7: Jay Peak, Vt. 

Score: 7.58
Other Strengths: Challenge, Overall Satisfaction
Weaknesses: Grooming, Nightlife

Jay Peak Dining RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Jay Peak)

What Readers Say

“Good natural conditions can make this resort one of the best mountains for challenging terrain. Combined with the great on-premise facilities for dining, drinking, swimming and other fun make this mountain an unbelievably great time.”

“Challenging terrain, gorgeous scenery, low crowds, excellent food options, lots of natural snow, very attentive and professional staff.”

“This is where I go to challenge myself. Love the trail variety. Slopeside condos are lovely.”

No. 6: Waterville Valley, N.H.

Score: 7.65
Other Strengths:
Access, Family Friendly
Weaknesses:
Lifts, Nightlife

Waterville Valley dining options
Waterville Valley isn’t fancy, but it does serve up a friendly and laid-back vibe. (Photo: Courtesy of Waterville Valley)

What Readers Say

“Waterville Valley is a great place to ski. The lines are manageable, the terrain is well groomed, and the Freestyle Lounge is great!”

“Waterville Valley is surrounded by the White Mountains and is a very unique ‘Alpine Village’ experience for New Hampshire. The mountain is also unique in terms of pitch and role and is why it hosted nine World Cup races before FIS moved to large resorts only. All in all it is that Waterville has a different feel being 10 miles off Rt. 93 and is a resort surrounded by five 4,000-plus foot mountain, secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of other nearby ‘factory like feel’ resorts like Loon, the Mt. Washington Valley, Sunday River, and Killington. Highly recommended for families but lesser so for the twenty-somethings.”

No. 5: Bretton Woods, N.H.

Score: 7.77
Other Strengths:
Lifts, Guest Service
Weaknesses:
Challenge, Nightlife

Bretton Woods dining
Bretton Woods is doing a lot of things right for a ski resort, including in the dining department. (Photo: Courtesy of Bretton Woods)

What Readers Say

“Great for families! The grooming is amazing. Great dining options. The views are unmatched!”

“The customer service is great. The staff are friendly and helpful. And the facilities are always clean.”

“Bretton Woods is the perfect family destination for skiing! The mountain has trails for all levels of skiing. All of the staff from the parking lot, to ticketing, to the lifts, and all of the services are incredibly friendly and helpful. The condos on the mountain or across the street are roomy, clean, and exactly what you need after a great day on the slopes.”

No. 4: Wachusett Mountain, Mass.

Score: 7.82
Other Strengths:
Guest Service, Access
Weaknesses:
Terrain Variety, Challenge

Wachusett ski area
Skiers come to Wachusett for the quick access, top-notch guest service, and the friendly people.

What Readers Say

“Super well-managed mountain. Something for everyone. Excellent and reasonably priced food.”

“I learned to ski with my kids this year so this was our first season going to Wachusett. I was impressed from the moment we arrived. We went throughout the season. Lines were sometimes an issue but great places attract crowds—it was never unpleasant though. The staff is fantastic and the conditions were always the best they could be (it’s New England and there isn’t much anyone can do about the ice—they groom and cover it as best they can but by lunch it’s skied through and pretty slick. They have a good variety of food options and some après, but it’s really the family vibe that shines through. You can tell that the owners value their customers and the experience which is huge in any industry, but especially in this one which has seen such tremendous growth in the past few years.”

No. 3: Holiday Valley, N.Y. 

Score: 8.11
Other Strengths:
Lifts, Family-Friendly
Weaknesses:
Snow Quality, Challenge

John Harvards Restaurant Holiday Valley
Holiday Valley is bursting at the seams with nice amenities, including good dining options at the resort as well as in the town of Ellicottville.

What Readers Say

“I went here three times last year. It is always the highlight of the ski season to me. The elevation is not much, but the resort is large and appeals to a more elite crowd. They have a pretty decent sit-down restaurant with decent choices. The town itself has many choices for great dining.”

“Holiday Valley is our hometown area and continues to be managed by some of the original founding families of the ski hill. So they seriously strive to maintain a resort with character and quality. One new high speed quad this year and a six-pack quad for next season. Excellent snowmaking/grooming and a good variety of trails makes the most out of the modest 750 foot vertical. The village remains quaint, with boutique shops, restaurants and bars, usually offering good live music and monthly theme weekends, such as Blues Weekend and Mardi Gras Weekend. Great for families and for skiers/boarders of all levels. Nothing too challenging for experts, but the trail layout keeps it fun and interesting. No wonder that it draws from the surrounding Buffalo area, as well as from Ontario and Cleveland and beyond. There is a strong and growing 4-season draw to the resort and area as well, so much so that I took the N.Y. state tax hit and moved here from Pa. upon retiring.”

No. 2: Killington Resort, Vt. 

Score: 8.13
Other Strengths:
Nightlife, Terrain
Weaknesses:
Snow, Family Friendly

Lookout Killington
Readers say the dining options are good at Killington, the resort just needs more of them. (Photo: Courtesy of The Lookout)

What Readers Say

“Good terrain variety and challenge; better conditions and more open trails for a longer time period than most eastern resorts. Great dining options, I love the many good choices.”

“Killington is a great ski area, with huge variety and six mountains to cover. I’ve been enjoying the North and South Ridges more lately since they are less crowded. I really appreciate all the improvements they have made on the mountain. I’ve only eaten at the Peak Lodge, and only in the summer. Food is quite good but in winter they just don’t have enough capacity and the lines are excessive. The nightlife scene I avoid —I’ve stayed in Woodstock and Quechee in the past and will stay in my condo in the future.”

“Killington is great for everyone!!! Great food, great nightlife, amazing skiing for all levels.”

No. 1: Tremblant, Qué.

Score: 8.55
Other Strengths:
Après, Lodging
Weaknesses:
Challenge, Value

Mont Tremblant dining
When it comes to dining, après, and nightlife, you can’t beat Mont Tremblant in the East. (Photo: Courtesy of Mont Tremblant)

What Readers Say

“It is a European skiing experience you can drive to! The village is fantastic, lodging options are endless, food is fantastic, and you cannot beat Petite Caribou for the après scene! Nightlife is outstanding and the people are extremely kind. Just a happy vibe from the moment you arrive.”

“Great value. Mountain is not huge but it’s enough to have some enjoyable days. Hotels are affordable, town is super charming.”

“I would say it’s the best resort in eastern Québec.”