The weeks before Whistler ski season begins can be torturous–we can literally watch winter arrive as the snowline creeps down the mountain but all that powdery bliss remains just out of reach.
Many skip the season altogether and book a surf trip to warmer shores but those of us who stick around deal with the anticipation the old fashioned way: we eat, drink, and be merry.
The best way to hijack the all-consuming anticipation is Cornucopia Whistler, a ten-day, full-immersion of fine food, delicious drinks and all-around revelry taking place November 10-20, 2016 but there is another Whistler tradition that thrives in the autumn months: brunch
Brunch: Best Meal of the Day?
As everyone knows (or should know) brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, typically eaten during the late morning or early afternoon. Brunch is awesome, but in a town with over a hundred places to eat, that awesomeness shines even brighter.
“I love that brunch can go any direction,” says Amy Huddle, president of the Whistler Restaurant Association and no stranger to the best meal of the day. “It can be sweet or savoury, utilitarian or celebratory. I like the social aspect of brunch, it’s unrushed.”
And in the autumn, unrushed is perfect. “In the summer it gets light early and there’s so much to do it’s just go-go-go,” Amy says. “And in the winter the ski hill opens early and everyone is up there chasing pow. But right now, there’s no pressing reasons to get out of bed is there? Brunch can be the highlight of the day.”
And while Amy’s position with the local restaurant association kind of requires her to recommend every restaurant in Whistler as a go-to lunch spot, she also understands that this is The Insider so she dished up her faves.
“If it is a planned celebration we do a fancy hotel brunch like the Fairmont, those are fabulous. But if it’s a more impromptu brunch I like the Southside Diner because it has that local flair. It’s in Creekside so it’s bit more under the radar and you will usually run into a friend with a hangover and a good story.”
Amy adds that one of her Whistler brunch must-do’s is to order and extra plate for the centre of the table that everyone can share. “If everyone is ordering savory then get a pancake for the middle,” she says, “or if everyone is going sweet get an eggs benny sampler. You need a sharing item, brunch is about spending time together.”
Amy also cautions about confusing brunch with ‘second breakfast’, which is a more utility-based meal taken strictly for nourishment reasons. “If you got up really early and had a piece of toast then grab a breakfast sandwich a few hours later, that is not brunch,” she warns. “Brunch is social and ideally is taken no earlier than 10:30 AM and not later than say about 3:30 PM. After that you are infringing on après territory, which is a big no-no.”
Where to Brunch in Whistler
We put the word out to other Whistler locals to ask their fave local brunch spots:
“Get the Benny Sampler at the Wildwood. Add sausage and bacon…” –Quinny
“Elements Fritatta.” –Kelly
“Elements tomato avocado Benny with aged cheddar and pesto hollandaise. And those chive sour cream potato tartlets are divine. And perhaps a fresh squeezed grapefruit mimosa…” –Soo
“Mexican Hash at the Alpine Café, add chorizo. Brunch or Second Breakfast.” –Kirsten
“Farmers bowl at Stonesedge Kitchen.” –Teri
“The Benny at Caramba is the best, served with a carrot slaw on the side. But I’ve heard the Prime Rib Benny at Brandy’s is amazing (available only during NFL football season brunch hours.)” –Amy
“The BELTCH sandwich with home fries at the Riverside Café.” –Peter
“Function Junction is a great spot for a light brunch and there’s more options than you might think. Hit up Purebread for one of their cheddar and jalapeño scones for something savoury, or Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. for a pastry and a very very good coffee.” –Pip
More Brunch Spots
North of the Village
Have we missed your favourite spot or brunch dish? Let us know below and we’ll add them! There’s plenty of places to get that essential mid-morning nourishment, so sort out a late checkout or just stay another day to make sure you fuel up properly. For more information on where to eat visit Whistler.com.