The Europeans make a ski lunch into a leisurely multi-course meal with wine,
fine food and views. Ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and
California are starting to get the picture - perfect view, sit down table service
and local cuisine between crushing corduroy or conquering steeps and powder. You
need to power up while skiing, so you might as well make it an enjoyable event.
These on mountain restaurants offer sit down service
and elevated alpine fare. Here are our favorite amongst the best on mountain ski resort restaurants
Cloud 9 at Aspen Highlands is a delightful mountain chalet at
10,400' with views of the Maroon Bells, raclette and fondue. This little hut
gets lively towards après ski, as Veuve Clicquot flows and folks dance in ski
boots. At sister resort Snowmass, Gwyn's is a lovely lunch spot
mid mountain, while Bonnie's at
Aspen Mountain is where the
locals go for homemade goods following first tracks.
Buffalo's at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch at
Beaver Creek is a gorgeous lodge to ski to for
lunch. The "park-itecture" of this beautiful log hotel is breathtaking, and the
buffalo chili is delicious. There's also a Wyld which is more upscale, urban, and avante
garde in the Rocky
Mountains at the Ritz.
10th Mountain Lodge at Vail is
located mid Vail, this beautiful Rocky mountain building honors the 10th and
Vail founder. Vail's impressive lodge has views of Riva Ridge, the Gore Range, a
beautiful bar and dining room, an extensive menu, and the most elegant ski
Uley's Cabin at Crested Butte This is the coziest of on mountain cabins we have encountered. Off the
Twister Trail, Uley’s old moonshine chalet has been transformed into an elegant
culinary treat for Crested Butte skiers - feast
on charcuterie and gourmet cheese plates, elk and native cuisine with an
international wine and beer selection. Outside on a bluebird Colorado day, sit
at the unique Ice Bar for a cool cocktail and a view of Telluride’s slopes
above. Evenings at Uley’s include a sleigh ride and a gourmet dinner.
Alpino Vino at Telluride The highest restaurant in North America, this 11,966’ mountain chalet
at Telluride is reached from the Gold Hill Express
for a ski in lunch, or takes a snowcat for a five-course candlelight dinner with
wine-pairing. Waiters are dressed in authentic alpine attire in this delightful
setting – which was once a private home on an old mining claim. The logistics
alone are impressive when you are dining on an elaborate menu of fine cheese,
charcuterie and truly haute cuisine accompanied by a 100 label wine list (all
delivered by snow cat). The view from the outdoor heated Wine Bar at lunch is
breathtaking as well of the San Juan's and Prospect Bowl.
Round House at Sun Valley, Idaho
Ski in to the mid-mountain Round House as the first Sun Valley skiers did back
in 1939. Dine on Austrian fare of fondue by the fire, while an
accordion player entertains with classic mountain ski songs. This is a
Sun Valley must, now with its own Gondola.
Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Ride the Bridger gondola from the base to 9,095 and dine at Couloir -
floor to ceiling windows frame the spectacular Wyoming scenery and the snowy
slopes that surround you. Sit down service of bison burger or a gooey Brie
sandwich will have you wanting to remove your ski boots and stay all afternoon,
but the venerable Tram to Jackson Hole's
summit is staring at you, tempting you to Rendezvous Bowl.
Collin's Grill at Watson’s Shelter, Alta, Utah
This earthy skiers’ only mountain has a surprisingly elegant mid-mountain
restaurant with linen table cloths and creative courses, concluding with the
Heart of Darkness Chocolate dessert. A great view of the
slopes and skiers passing by on the Collins quad will keep you connected with
your Alta ego. We look forward to seeing the new
Snowbird Summit Lodge at 11,000' on Hidden Peak.
Everett's 8800 at Big Sky Big Sky's latest offers a true
alpine lunch or
breakfast at this beautiful log chalet at 8800' at the
top of the Ram Charger Lift. Here you can enjoy
spectacular views of 11,000' Lone Peak. The menu is pricey, but the scenery is
priceless, and you can dine on charcuterie, Swiss Rosti potatoes, and
strudel - a taste of Europe in the Montana mountains. Specials evenings take the
chair lift up for a multi-course menu on the mountain.
Alpenglow Stube at Keystone
Atop Keystone’s River Run Gondola, trade in your ski boots for soft slippers as
you are greeted and waited on by Bavarian costumed waiters. Dining at 11,444’on
fondues, soups, game, and pastries is extraordinary at this elevation.
More great on mountain dining spots: Snowbasin in Utah has gorgeous on mountain lodges, Earl's, John Paul
and Needles Lodges are all opulent, elegant, Sun Valley inspired - since the
Utah resort is under the same ownership. We like the view at John Paul Lodge
best - cafeteria style but the food and prices are excellent, so are the
panoramas under gold chandeliers in leather chairs.
Hazie's at Steamboat Resort
At the top of the Gondola at Steamboat Resort
is this super scenic lunch and dinner setting overlooking the beautiful Yampa
Valley. White linens, table service and a great western menu with bison and
local cuisine are a perfect reprieve between laps on Steamboat's spectacular ski
terrain. Make a reservation, or get a seat at the beautiful and equally scenic
bar. You can also ride the gondola here certain nights for dinner overlooking
the twinkling lights of Steamboat Springs.
Backside Bistro at Dante’s at Purgatory Mountain at Durango, Colorado
The views of Engineer Peak, the San Juan's and The Needles at 14,000’ is capped
with a casual atmosphere, affordable small plates and table service (the bar has
the best views). Snack on bison or Kobe beef sliders accompanied by a side of
their addictive homemade potato chips with blue cheese.
Purgatory at Durango is home to four
microbreweries, all represented on tap at this 10,000’ mountain lodge called
Sidewinder Saloon at Monarch Mountain, Colorado Monarch Mountain is an old school mountain,
offering classic terrain and a relaxed vibe off the beaten path where you can
often find powder days after a Colorado dump. Go for lunch or après ski at the
Sidewinder Saloon in the newly expanded base lodge. Like Monarch, the saloon
setting is nothing fancy but the food and friendliness make it great. Get the
nachos with Colorado beef and a local microbrew after skiing the extreme double
black Mirkwood Bowl. Monarch also boasts the world’s highest Starbucks in their
10,790’ elevation base lodge – that’s a tall latte!
Lookout Cabin, The Canyons, Utah on The
Canyons side of Park City, with table service and a diverse menu
- poutine, fondue, salads, soups and sandwiches. The chefs’ prepare your saslmona or mountain man chili in an open
kitchen but the stunning view of the Wasatch Mountains is the real attention grabber. In
The Canyons Village, The Farm is a top rated Utah restaurant with farm to table
cuisine, pricey and poised at the base of the gondola.
Café Kandahar at Whitefish
Mountain Resort is one of
the top restaurants in Montana, with James Beard nominated Chef Andy Blanton who
gets very creative with native elk, lamb, bison, and Kobe beef. Kandahar’s
tasting menu, paired with regional wines, is a feast from Foie Gras
and Duck Prosciutto to Elk Carpaccio, and Lamb. The setting and service are as
elevated as the cuisine at Café Kandahar. Arrive early at Kandahar Lodge for a
drink in Kandahar’s cozy Snug Bar or the sumptuous fireplace lobby.
Willow Creek at The Ritz Carlton Aspen Highland, Colorado
Ski to the slopeside Village at Aspen Highland and enter the Ritz Carlton Club
for lunch, and a break from Deep Temerity’s steeps. The Willow Creek has a nice
menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and of course, ritzy service.
Royal Street Café at Deer Valley, Utah
Located upstairs in Deer Valley’s mid-mountain
Silver Lake Lodge is this full-service culinary café. The Chipotle BBQ Burger is
to die for, much like Deer Valley on a powder day. Consdier skiing to the
Montage Hotel for Burgers and Bourbon in a prime slope view
table top in this posh hotel at Empire Canyon.
Gunbarrel at Heavenly, California
The Gunbarrel has location, location, location at the top of the Heavenly Tram.
The fare and friendly service are a bonus, but its all about the
Heavenly views of Lake Tahoe.