Après Ski Deliciously: Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

It’s peak ski season across Canada and the U.S. Just as fun as hitting the slopes is the calorie-reloading that commences after a long day skiing or boarding your way all over the mountain. Whether you’ve got the whole family in tow or it’s just you and your favorite powder hound, here are top restaurants to try on your next ski trip. Headed to other destinations? Check out the more than 48,000 restaurants worldwide on OpenTable to find a spot near you.

Amangani Grill, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
East Gros Ventre Butte overlooks the Snake River Valley in one of Wyoming’s most awe-inspiring views. Even when the ground is covered with snow, diners can’t help but meander outside to the Amangani pool, cocktails in hand, to breathe in the expanse of a landscape unlike anywhere else. After a day of snowshoeing and skiing the Jackson Hole backcountry, in the shadows of the distant snow-capped peaks, Amangani Grill calls guests to its sustainable ranch meats like elk and fresh fish. Fireside snacks from the all-day menu include charred onion soup, foraged mushrooms with farm egg and toasted pine nuts, Vietnamese pork wings with fried garlic and green apple relish, and steak burgers with tomato balsamic jam, tobacco onions with bleu cheese fondue, and petite kale. Make a reservation at Amangani Grill.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

The Vermillion Room, Banff, Alberta
Banff is to skiing what Hollywood is to celebrities. Sprawling, gorgeous views in this sprawling Canadian wilderness means people are few and far between. The guests who come to Banff relish in the panoramas that only Alberta can deliver. In the Fairmont Banff Springs, diners kick back and relax in none other than a Canadian castle, home of the Vermillion Room, a just-renovated bar and brasserie.  Here the dish to try is the regional favorite bison Bourguignon, prepared with Alberta bison, house bacon, mushrooms, and red wine jus. It is adjacent to three ski resorts within Banff National Park, where ice climbing, dog sledding, and snowmobiling are also popular. In addition to the Vermillion Room, there are 10 restaurants within Fairmont Banff Springs. Make a reservation at The Vermillion Room, 

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Flame Restaurant, Vail, Colorado
Haute chocolate, oysters, and steak await après-skiers at Flame Restaurant. At this lively steakhouse, the staff and diners share a mutual love of dishes like the 7x Ranch Wagyu beef and elk corn dogs. They advertise après but elevated – especially on weekends in the late afternoons. On Fridays and Saturdays from 3-5PM on the Flame terrace, views of Vail Mountain are on full display for guests enjoying live music and the raw bar. More than 3,000 acres account for the back bowls on Vail Mountain out of the 5,000 skiable acres in Vail. Talk about working up an appetite – good thing the Flame Restaurant also offers the special ‘steak out’ high on Vail Mountain for die-hard skiers not quite ready to call it a day. Make a reservation at Flame Restaurant.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Bar Oso, Whistler, British Columbia
Oso translates into “bear” in Spanish, a moniker that points both to the wildlife in this natural wonderland and the tantalizing menu of Spanish-influenced cuisine. This is where to get tapas on the mountain, delightful bites of housemade charcuterie and montaditos, which are artisan bread snacks with garnishes like spicy nduja and passionfruit, spreadable salami, Romesco sauce, and Matane shrimp or duck liver parfait with candied orange zest, but don’t leave without sharing an order of Iberico ham pintxos (on skewer) or the gilda with anchovy, olive, and piparras. Large plate examples include lamb meatballs and Waygu short ribs. The community bar offers an ideal meeting place for lively conversation, greeting old friends, and making new ones. In addition to the snowy views, gourmands love to sit at the open bar and watch the chefs create their finest plates. Make a reservation at Bar Oso.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Roundhouse, Ketchum, Idaho
Look up about 7,700 feet to the top of Bald Mountain at Sun Valley Resort and you’ll see why Roundhouse has earned its reputation as an iconic place to dine. Accessible via Roundhouse Express gondola, the circular restaurant provides panoramic views against the backdrop of this historic 1939 structure. The fireplace is part of the original design for quintessential après-ski dining. Roundhouse is famous for fondue and, of course, the much-lauded “Ride the Wolf” experience before dinner, which includes a ride in a snowcat with world-class groomers on Friday and Saturday evenings. Make a reservation at Roundhouse.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Mountain, Golden, British Columbia
This is Canada’s highest dining experience, with the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden clocking in at 7,700 feet. The décor honors the mountain landscape with hand-carved tabletops, local timber, and stonework. Floor-to-ceiling views frame the backdrop of three mountain ranges including Rocky, Purcell,and Selkirk while dishes like the antipasto plate with prosciutto, salami, Portneuf brie, pickled vegetables, and housemade blueberry chutney are a great beginning to the evening, along with sockeye salmon tartare garnished with fresh chives, roasted almonds, olive oil, lemon, lime, capers, and parsley. Entrée samples include game meat bolognese with slow-cooked elk and bison, half-wild boar, and Alberta tenderloin. Don’t forget to choose a few Canadian wines or artisan beers from the vast listing of Eagle’s Eye beverages. Make a reservation at Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Mountain.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Maya-Avon Vail Valley, Avon, Colorado
Few types of cuisine satisfy hungry skiers like Mexican food. Maya answers that call in its contemporary dishes created by chef Richard Sandoval. Situated on the Eagle River, guests can see Beaver Creek Mountain in the distance. Another reason to catch an après-ski evening at Maya – there are 150 tequilas to choose from, including the signature Maya Tequila made especially for the restaurant at Casa Herradura in Tequila, Mexico. It’s the ideal drink to accompany a serving of pork carnitas with black bean puree and requeson cheese on avocado espuma, blue crab and shrimp enchilada wrapped in a yellow corn tortilla on salsa verde, or an order of achiote-marinated flat iron steak on spicy puya sauce with a hoja santa tortilla. Grab a handful of Beaver Creek’s famous cookies for the family before leaving the riverfront access to the Beaver Creek ski slopes. Make a reservation at Maya-Avon Vail Valley.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

The Flying Steamshovel, Rossland, British Columbia
The Flying Steamshovel gastropub offers 14 craft draught taps, artisanal cocktails, and a wine collection honoring British Columbia vintages. Housemade stocks, gravies, and batters shine in a range of dishes like the elk burger made in-house with arugula, caramelized onions, brie, tarragon Dijon mustard, and cranberry bacon jam. Other must-try plates include sustainable fish with chips and the Shovel mac n’ cheese prepared with brown butter Taleggio cream sauce, crunchy shallots, focaccia crumble, and crispy pancetta. The party continues here every week long past après-ski, with performances by Canadian and international talent. Make a reservation at Flying Steam Shovel.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Truckee Tavern & Grill, Truckee, California
There are a dozen ski areas within a short ride from historic downtown Truckee. Every day brings a pleasant surprise at this Truckee staple – the menu changes daily at Truckee Tavern & Grill, but during happy hour, skiers jumble in for an Angus burger cooked on the wood-fired grill, fresh housemade pasta, and discounted draft beer, specialty cocktails, wine, and well drinks. Cocktails are the order of the day here for après-skiers, as Truckee Tavern is known for crafting themed cocktails for each season along with ice blocks designed to complement the beverages served, including a vast whiskey collection. Make a reservation at Truckee Tavern & Grill.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

The Woods at Big White Ski Resort,  Kelowna, British Columbia
Since 2013, The Woods has developed a following not just for the happening après-ski scene in Big White Village, but for Canadian staples served in the outdoor beer garden.  Expect to find dishes like fire-roasted tomato soup, togarashi-spiced calamari, fondue for two, and smoked gorgonzola-stuffed bacon wrapped dates, plus a juicy burger on the menu. Skiers plant themselves here in Adirondack chairs as they warm their feet at one of the outdoor fire pits. Make a reservation at The Woods at Big White Ski Resort.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Larkspur Restaurant, Vail, Colorado
Skiers taking a lunch break to nosh on Larkspur’s Palisade tomato soup, the Larkburger and fries, and housemade deli sandwiches often find themselves returning for après-ski and supper at this on-mountain dining locale. Just a stone’s throw from the base of Riva Bahn Express Lift at Golden Peak, skiers can’t resist options like the lobster club, black truffle “Ruffles” chips, Larkspur’s signature Caesar, and farmer’s market crispy beef tacos. Dessert is a no brainer here, too, – skiers savor the Saigon cinnamon donuts and dulce de leche. Make a reservation at Larkspur Restaurant.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Alpine Union at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Stateline, Nevada
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Alpine Union recently marked its fourth anniversary. It is adjacent to three South Shore ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. Serving American comfort food around a cozy outdoor firepit, Alpine Union’s must-tries include twisted mac and cheese, prime rib, and free-range turkey chili. Post-slopes diners have a choice of Alpine Daly, Union Tai, or Killebrew Press, shot and draft specials, and select ski shot features at Center Bar with live music on Sundays. Make a reservation at Alpine Union at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Brewhouse at Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia
Nothing feels cozier after a day in the snow than a warm pub, a cold brew, and a hot meal. The High Mountain Brewing Company Brewhouse is part gathering spot and part gastropub with a thriving crowd congregated around the two-sided fireplace. It’s also the perfect spot to watch winter sports on one of the many televisions. The Brewhouse proves après-ski is cuisine more than just finger food, with several salads, housemade matzo ball soup, butter chicken, beef with Grizzly Brown Ale pie, and chickpea curry. The aroma of rotisserie chicken, barbecue, and pizza wafting from the kitchen keeps diners eagerly anticipating the made-from-scratch dishes that pair perfectly with in-house brewed ales and lagers. Make a reservation at Brewhouse at Whistler.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Park Prime at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Stateline, Nevada
After indulging in a few drinks and starters at Alpine Union, après-skiers often meander over to dinner at Park Prime steakhouse also within the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe resort. Be on the lookout for the pork osso buco braised in Cabernet over Parmesan risotto. Other notable dishes include seafood pasta and prime cowboy ribeye. The best value here is the Park Prime prix-fixe menu, which includes three courses and wine pairings for each course, available in limited intervals on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Make a reservation at Park Prime at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Spur Restaurant and Bar at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, Teton Village, Wyoming
Within the stunning Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, this Jackson Hole spot’s classic menu reads like a skier’s dream – devils on horseback (medjool dates with goat cheese, bacon, and pomegranate), crispy pork belly, braised beef cheeks, and fried Brussels sprouts — and that’s just to start. The mushroom toast is another finger-food friendly choice while standing at a bar making conversation, prepared with poached egg, potato bread, roasted mushrooms, and Mountain cheese with a truffle vinaigrette. The “307 fries”  pay homage to traditional poutine with braised elk gravy, white cheddar, and chives, while braised Kurobuta pork shank, Idaho buffalo short ribs, and Wagyu beef pot roast take center stage on the entrees. There are two bars with lots of cold beer on tap and handcrafted signature cocktails for imbibers gathering on the heated patio. Many of the staff members at Spur serve as the best resource for where to ski and hike at this slopeside eatery near the base of the Grand Teton National Park. Make a reservation at Spur Restaurant and Bar at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada
Diners may recognize Edgewood Tahoe from a previous season of the reality show The Bachelor. Incorporating all the grandeur of the Alpine slopes into the design, the lakefront Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe feels like it belongs there. Elk is a big deal out west, and no one does elk sausage brick-oven pizza better than Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe – along with the grilled pork chop popular with regulars. Lake Tahoe is just 50 yards away, giving guests a perfect viewing perch through floor-to-ceiling windows. Make a reservation at Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

Velvet Buck, Aspen, Colorado
Three words describe why après-skiers make the Velvet Buck a mandatory stop after the slopes: warm s’mores skillet. But there’s more to this heady and gorgeous respite from the cold. Located in Aspen’s snow palace, the St. Regis Hotel, this is old school, luxury service at its best. Within the Velvet Buck, all that finery comes through in the furnishings and cuisine. Sultry Aspen-inspired décor provides the perfect backdrop for a menu of items like bison tenderloin, Colorado meats and cheeses, and hearty duck cassoulet. It’s all about sharing here, in social dishes like the bone-in ribeye weighed for two with marrow candles and Tête de Moine. Make a reservation at Velvet Buck.

Top Restaurants to Try on Your Next Ski Trip

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Kelly Merritt is an author and freelance journalist specializing in culinary travel. Follow her on Twitter @kellywrites + Instagram @kellymerrittwrites + Facebook at KellyMerrittWrites.

Photo credits: Ema Peter (Oso); Andrew Mirabito (Eagle’s Eye); Dave Heath/Tourism Rossland (Flying Steam Shovel); Eric Allen (Velvet Buck); Hilary Mayberry (Roundhouse).