When considering the best winter resort options, many people look for quality skiing, breathtaking mountainous surroundings, and other activities to keep the group entertained. Dining options, though, may not even make the list. Ski resort food is often adequate and nothing more, with the goal of simply providing enough fuel during your stay.
However, that is not the case for these exceptional fine-dining experiences available at ski resorts around North America. These resorts offer the very best on-mountain dining, with incredible five-star food and drink options and serene views brought together for a meal to remember.
The Roundhouse, Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley, Idaho
The Roundhouse at Sun Valley is the nation’s original on-mountain restaurant. It opened in 1939 and, more than 80 years later, is still a favorite among guests for both lunch and dinner. It’s best known for its impeccable service, hand-crafted cocktails, five-star atmosphere, and, of course, mouth-watering menus. Aside from the delectable cuisine, the panoramic views of the Wood River Valley and the surrounding peaks are absolutely breathtaking. The Roundhouse sits halfway up Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain – world famous for its steep, perfectly-groomed ski runs – at just over 7,700 feet of elevation. On one side of the restaurant, diners can enjoy peering down on the classic ski town of Ketchum in the valley below; on the other, they’re afforded views of skiers and snowboarders flying down the slopes.
Lunchtime at The Roundhouse is a more casual affair than dinner and offers the ideal setting for skiers to recharge. The lunch menu consists of hearty sandwiches, crisp salads, and classic comfort-food snacks. For those who enjoy a midday beverage (and who doesn’t while on vacation?), the restaurant offers a fantastic selection of refreshing specialty cocktails. We recommend enjoying a hot toddy while warming up by the fireplace.
Dinner at The Roundhouse is a full experience. After dusk, the only way to get to the restaurant is in style, aboard the Roundhouse Express gondola. The gondola swoops guests up from the base of Bald Mountain and travels swiftly uphill for about 10 minutes — a perfect opportunity to enjoy the evening views while making the 1,975-foot ascent from the valley floor. Upon arrival, we recommend diners take a beat to enjoy a signature cocktail at Averell’s bar (located downstairs from the restaurant and named for Averell Harriman, the railroad mogul who established Sun Valley as America’s first destination ski resort way back in 1936) before settling in at their table. Once seated, sit back and let the best-in-class waitstaff take care of the rest. Menu selections are made simple with The Roundhouse’s signature four-course prix-fixe dinner, but make sure to save some room for their famous fondue.
Pro Tip: Reservations are required and can book up well in advance. The Roundhouse opens for winter lunch service on December 4, 2021, and dinner service on December 17, 2021. They are taking reservations now, so don’t wait!
Seven Glaciers, Alyeska Resort
The Seven Glaciers restaurant at Alyeska Resort in Alaska is another true dining experience, rather than a simple dinner out. The establishment gets its name from the stunning seven hanging glaciers in Girdwood valley, all visible on a clear night from the observation deck or through the 7-foot-tall windows.
Although Seven Glaciers is a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, in true Alaska fashion, dress code does not apply. Dining outfits may range from diamonds and black-tie to jeans and boots, but no one cares nor judges. The experience begins with a scenic tram ride 2,300 feet up Mount Alyeska to an elevator lift, where diners are then guided down a gold carpet walled by towers of wine. Grab a cocktail at the bar or take in the mountainous air on the observation deck before settling into the elegant dining room.
One of the many unique aspects of Seven Glaciers is their emphasis on using locally grown and raised ingredients for their dishes. The freshly caught fish includes salmon and halibut from Alaska waters, and their signature game includes Aspen Ridge angus beef and wagyu steaks. They feel strongly about supporting their local community of farmers and growers, and even thank them by name on their website. You’ll appreciate the dedication, too, the second the fresh, full flavor hits your tastebuds. Let the chef expertly guide your dinner journey via their two available prix-fixe menus.
Editor’s Note: Seven Glaciers is temporarily closed but will reopen December 10, 2021.
The Viking Yurt, Park City Mountain Resort
Park City, Utah
The Viking Yurt at Park City Mountain Resort is the perfect break from the summit to the base for a beer or bite. But in the evening, it becomes a gourmet, six-course, Norwegian-inspired experience.
The evening begins with a snowcat pulled sleigh ride up the mountain, where you can enjoy the stars and twinkling lights of the town. The ride lasts 23 minutes with a 1,800-foot elevation gain, so hats, gloves, and layers are recommended. While you might want to wear a cute pair of shoes, you’ll be walking across the snow during the evening, so think warm boots.
The sound of an antique baby grand piano and the beautiful glow of candlelight set the mood when you arrive. You’ll feast on lobster and salmon bisque, a variety of fruits and cheeses, beef short ribs, mashed potatoes, and marzipan and valrhona chocolate cake for dessert. Once you’re full, you’ll waddle back to the sleigh for the ride down the mountain. The entire evening lasts about 3 and a half hours.
Outside of the Christmas holiday period, dinner costs $240.59 per person. Alcohol is not included with the dinner price but is available to purchase. That’s a Utah thing, by the way.
The Yurt only seats 40 for dinner, and that number could be reduced. You must book a table for two, four, or six. If your party is an odd number, you’ll want to have a conversation with the reservation folks.
The Mountain Room, Sunday River
While most of the dining choices on our list are for those special evening events, The Mountain Room experience is only offered during the day at Sunday River, Maine’s second-largest ski resort. Chef and Maine native Harding Lee Smith is a well-known Portland restaurateur. What he offers at Sunday River is something you won’t see at most resorts.
Just to give you a sampling of the menu options: fried scallop PLT (sandwich), pork belly buns, oxtail, duck rillette, and whipped farm ricotta. The list goes on. There isn’t a chicken finger or generic cheeseburger in sight. Top it all off with a Maine craft brew, of which there are many, and they are fabulous. You’ll have a fantastic afternoon.
You don’t have to actually ski to the mid-mountain Peak Lodge to enjoy Chef Smith’s fare. You can also ride the Chondola to visit, but you’ll need a lift ticket either way.
Beano’s Cabin, Beaver Creek Resort
Beaver Creek, Colorado
If you are making a trip to Beaver Creek this winter, dining at Beano’s Cabin is an experience not to be missed! It is known as one of Colorado’s top restaurants, having earned the coveted four-diamond designation from AAA.
While the elegant, rustic cabin is a favorite among those looking for a five-star dinner, getting there is half the fun. Beano’s Cabin is located on Beaver Creek Mountain, within the White River National Forest. Check-in for the restaurant is at the designated Beano’s Greeter at the Beaver Creek CBar. Guests are given warm blankets and whisked away on a 20-minute open-air sleigh ride up Beaver Creek Mountain. Upon arrival at Beano’s, guests are invited into the lobby to remove coats, gloves, scarves, and even boots. From there, guests are offered comfy slippers and shown to their table.
The luxurious log setting is the perfect backdrop for the five-course dinner. The menu features local Colorado favorites and prides itself on an exceptional wine list and top-notch service. If there’s ever a time to splurge on a meal, this is it!
Eagle’s Eye, Kicking Horse Resort
Golden, British Columbia
Known as Canada’s “most elevated dining experience,” Eagle’s Eye Restaurant is a culinary experience not to be missed. The restaurant sits 7,700 feet above sea level and offers stunning, panoramic views of three mountain ranges and five national parks.
Eagle’s Eye is open for dinner reservations on Friday and Saturday nights — and on holidays. Every dinner includes a gondola ride up the side of the mountain. Guests are also welcome for lunch or aprés — but must have purchased a lift ticket or have a season’s pass.
The dinner menu consists mainly of local fare influenced by classic French techniques, with rich flavors and savory sauces prepared in-house. Besides being a fantastic restaurant, Eagle’s Eye has an incredible bar with a backdrop like no other. It may be one of the only bars where you will need to wear sunglasses. But if you forgot yours, they have spares on hand.
Discover more skiing and winter resort content here: