From Whistler to the Canadian Rockies, there’s plenty that’s new and delicious in western Canada’s mountains. Whether you’re planning a warm-weather road trip or looking ahead to the winter ski season, you can eat well in the region’s mountain towns.
From new spots to refreshed offerings, these restaurants are worth a stop on your next visit:
At Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s recently updated restaurant SIDECUT is elegant with dark leather furnishings set around a stunning circular stone fireplace. Known for its steaks, including a wagyu flat iron and a 52-ounce dry-aged ribeye designed to share, SIDECUT features regionally sourced seafood, too, from cedar-planked steelhead to miso-marinated Pacific black cod.
The Four Seasons has also revamped its lounge into the cabin-style Braidwood Tavern, where in addition to favorites like burgersb beer-marinated mussels and duck poutine, you can order from an extensive vegan menu. Drawing on recently appointed executive chef Sajish Kumar Das’ Goan heritage, a highlight is the creamy coconut vegetable curry served with freshly made paratha.
Whistler has no shortage of loud and lively venues for après-ski drinks. Instead, head for The Raven Room, which opened in a tucked-away space in Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre. The cocktail menu flits from classic gin and tonics to unexpected creations like Adios Pantalones, which blends mezcal, sherry, elderflower, agave and prosecco. Snack on beetroot tartare or sweet-and-spicy fried chicken, and if the sun is shining, enjoy your après while perched on the terrace.
If you’d like an assortment of charcuterie, cheese, fruits and other nibbles for a mountain picnic or an après-adventure cocktail hour, The Deli by Picnic Whistler is your place. Order a charcuterie box or platter online, ranging from snack or lunch sizes that you can easily pack for a day in the mountains, to spreads that feed a crowd. Its new storefront location, which will add sandwiches to the charcuterie menu, is opening in May in Whistler Village.
Also watch for Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar, led by a team of industry veterans, including Alex Chen (executive chef at Vancouver’s Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar), and for Barn Nork, which will serve a mix of traditional and contemporary Thai dishes. Both are slated to open later this spring.
Farm to table takes on a new meaning when the restaurant owners operate their own farm. At Terra Firma’s Kitchen, a casual café in Revelstoke, gateway to Mount Revelstoke National Park and Revelstoke Mountain Resort, many of the ingredients in the breakfast plates, salads and sandwiches are sourced from the owners’ fields or other local producers. In the popular “toasties,” the café’s sourdough bread is layered with Gouda, kale and kimchi, or with whipped goat cheese and beets. Sate your sweet tooth with a sourdough cardamon bun, nectarine crumble bar or other freshly baked pastry.
Surrounded by the Monashee and Selkirk mountains in Rossland, just north of the U.S. border in central British Columbia, RED Mountain Resort draws serious skiers to its 100-plus challenging runs. Now, it’s a destination for serious eaters, too, thanks to The Velvet, the posh restaurant and lounge overlooking the slopes at The Josie Hotel.
Your dinner here might start with a squash and burrata salad or seared foie gras sauced with a pickled cherry gastrique, before moving on to elk atop a potato cake or the day’s cut of lamb. Finish with a homey peach crumble or the elegant brown butter madeleines served warm with a caramelized white chocolate sauce.
Add these restaurants to your itinerary in Banff, the most popular destination in the Canadian Rockies, where you can explore the lakes, mountains and trails in Banff National Park.
Who needs s’mores when you can sit around a circular fire pit for inventive Japanese small plates? At Hello Sunshine, the fires warm the dining room, which is filled with woods and curvy banquettes. On the tables, you’ll find tempura-style kabocha squash, spicy shrimp and avocado hand rolls, and creative takes on nigiri and maki. To drink, choose a sake flight, a cocktail like the matcha colada (rye, matcha, pineapple, coconut milk and matcha bitters) or a Happy Trails pale ale from Banff’s Three Bears Brewery across the street. Upstairs, the same owners opened Lupo, offering fresh pastas, pizza and other Italian classics.
Graze through the menu at another Japanese-style newcomer, cozy Shoku Izakaya, where the pork belly bao, crispy chicken karaage and skewers stacked with savory shiitake mushrooms or Humboldt squid make excellent post-adventure snacks. Or wrap up an active day with a plate of locally cured game and a craft beer at The Prow, the new lounge and dining space at Buffalo Mountain Lodge.
In Canmore, 20 minutes south of the Banff park gates, vistas of the mountains surround the second-floor dining room at The Sensory, where a new chef has recently taken the helm. Menu highlights include confit duck wings sauced with a bourbon-blueberry reduction, and seared Arctic char served over truffle pureed potatoes and a salsa of compressed watermelon, basil and cucumber. Let the kitchen surprise you with the “Trust Me Journey,” a three-course chef’s choice tasting menu.
In Jasper National Park, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and what better place to mark this historic lodging’s milestone than in the hotel’s Orso Trattoria? Living up to its tag line, “the authentic taste of Italy, with significantly better views,” this dining room overlooking Lac Beauvert rotates multi-course menus, highlighting different regions of the country, with dishes like mushroom ravioli with truffle cream sauce and crispy kale, carbonara with boar bacon and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Alberta bison tenderloin paired with local root vegetables. Toast the occasion with an Okanagan pinot noir or an Italian amarone.
For a unique taste of the mountains, book a Peak-Nic adventure with Jasper Food Tours. Hike into Jasper’s scenic backcountry, where you’ll have an outdoor cooking lesson and enjoy your gourmet meal beneath the often snow-topped peaks. It’s a new and delicious way to savor some of western Canada’s best scenery.