The 10 Best On-Mountain Restaurants at Ski Resorts In North America: Peak Eats

Lunch can be another high point of your ski day. With day lift ticket prices pushing $200, ski and snowboard areas have upped the quality of their high-country cuisine for food lovers. Forget burgers and hot dogs for lunch… Resorts now serve on-piste repasts such as Kobe-beef chili and grilled venison in elegant, sit-down settings. Over the years, I’ve tasted-tested at resorts from the Rockies to the Appalachians. Here’s my choice for the Top Ten at the Top—the best restaurants on North America’s most notable summits. Several have gondolas (small enclosed cable cars), so non-skiers/boarders can also lunch while they ogle the scenery.

The Roundhouse—Sun Valley, Idaho

Featured in the Sun Valley Serenade film starring Sonja Heine, The Roundhouse (opened 1939) is America’s first on-mountain restaurant. Inside, a four-sided stone fireplace beckons with cozy warmth; outdoors, the spacious deck overlooks Ketchum, the former mining town where Ernest Hemingway lived (and died). Flavorful choices include flatiron steak frites and a hot lobster roll. [208-622-2012; gondola access. Lunch entrées $17 to $32.] https://www.sunvalley.com/dining/the-roundhouse

Alpenglow Stube—Keystone, Colorado

Swap your ski boots for comfy sheepskin slippers at this chic Bavarian-style chalet poised at 11,444 feet atop North Peak. Douglas fir beams and a copper-trimmed kitchen enhance alpine ambience. Guests select from entrées such as seared Wagyu tri-tip or a sous-vide lemon-garlic chicken sandwich. More than 600 labels beckon on the wine list. [800-354-4386; gondola access. Lunch entrées $20 to $27.] https://www.keystoneresort.com/explore-the-resort/during-your-stay/dining/alpenglow-stube.aspx

Crystal Hut–WhistlerBlackcomb, British Columbia, Canada

“Fully loaded” never tasted better than at Blackcomb’s cozy log cabin that’s famous for Belgian waffles. Top them to taste with maple syrup, melted chocolate, berries, whipped cream–or (recommended) all of the above. If you’re eating on the outside deck, enjoy the antics of the sociable Whiskey Jack birds that beg for tidbits. [800-766-0449; Waffles $12.50 to $16.50] https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-village/dining/crystal-hut

Lookout Cabin—Park City Mountain, Utah

Keep watch on the Wasatch Range from this ridgeline restaurant where a glass-paneled deck leaves nothing between you and the drop-dead vistas. Start off with the cheese fondue, then hunker into cider-braised beef short ribs or lighten up with a grilled salmon and spinach salad. [435-615-2892; Lunch entrées $19 to $29.] https://www.parkcitymountain.com/the-mountain/more-options/mountain-dining.aspx?page=viewall

Summit House Restaurant–Crystal Mountain, Washington

“The mountain’s out today,” Seattleites say on clear days when Mount Rainier looms in full, 14,410-foot glory. And that snow-cone peak looks close enough to touch from this aerie with a wood-burning fireplace and antler chandeliers. Fresh, local ingredients star in dishes such as bison medallions and grilled halibut tacos with chipotle lime cream. [360-663-3085; gondola access. Lunch entrées $14 to $28.] https://www.crystalmountainresort.com/plan-your-trip/where-to-eat/summit-house/

Ragnar’s Steamboat, Colorado

Named for a 1916 Norwegian ski-jump champion, casually chic Ragnar’s celebrates the Scandinavians who helped establish skiing in Steamboat Springs in the early 1900s. Set mid-mountain near the popular (and generally sunny) “o-clock runs,” the restaurant features Nordic dishes such as fiske suppe (seafood chowder) and köttbullar (meatballs) plus salads, schnitzel, and burgers. [800-922-2722; Lunch entrées $17 to $23.] https://www.steamboat.com/things-to-do/dining/ragnars

Cliff House—Stowe, Vermont

Crowning the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield, the restaurant showcases snowy panoramas sweeping from Vermont to New York, New Hampshire, and Quebec. The menu includes a classic New England clam chowder, pan-seared Atlantic sea scallops, burgers with applewood-smoked bacon, and—of course–Vermont cheeses. [802-253-3665; gondola access. Lunch entrées $15 to $22.]https://www.stowe.com/explore/dining/

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant—Kicking Horse, British Columbia, Canada

Set at 7,700 feet, this is the highest restaurant in Canada. Honoring B.C.’s heritage, decor centers on a Native-style eagle mask carved from a single piece of 500-year-old red cedar. The menu showcases dishes such as grilled beef tenderloin and gourmet poutine—French fries topped with smoked pork shoulder, cheese curds, red wine and peppercorn gravy. Two swank suites adjoining the restaurant offer overnight mountaintop retreat. [250-439-5425; gondola access. Lunch entrées $18 to $27.] https://kickinghorseresort.com/purchase/eagles-eye-restaurant/

The 10th–Vail, Colorado

Named for the 10th Mountain Division that trained for World War II in the Colorado Rockies, the restaurant offers sweeping views of the Gore Range from its Mid Vail perch. Drawing from high-altitude culinary traditions from France, Switzerland, Italy, and the Rocky Mountains, specialties include chicken-and-pheasant potpie and beef short-rib bolognese over pappardelle. [970-754-1010; gondola access. Lunch entrées $20 to $31.] https://the10thvail.com

Collins Grill–Alta, Utah

Steep meets chic at this mid-mountain lodge where floor-to-ceiling windows survey the schusses down Mount Baldy’s runs. While vistas are snow-capped, the culinary outlook stays sunny with dishes such as grilled Utah trout, acorn squash stuffed with rice in a curry sauce, and chicken Marsala. Dessert is to-die–save room for the rich ooziness of Stuart’s Heart of Darkness molten chocolate cupcakes. [801-799-2297; Lunch entrées $16 to $25.]  https://www.alta.com/visit/dining-guide/on-mountain#collins-grill/

 

After a meal at one of these top restaurants, you’ll feel like an Olympics champion on your afternoon runs.

Article by Risa Wyatt – www.risawyatt.com

Photo Credits: Alpenglow Stube/Ben Lindbloom Vail Resorts; Crystal Hut/Risa Wyatt; Lookout Cabin/Park City Mountain; Ragnar’s/Larry Pierce Steamboat Ski Resort; Eagle’s Eye/Resorts of the Canadian Rockies; The 10th/Ric Stoval, Vail Resorts; Collins Grill/John Shafer

 

 

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on Jan 22, 2018

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