HEADER PHOTO WILD BLUE
For such an idyllic, little, ski town Whistler is simply bursting at the seams with dining options. When hunger strikes, the choice can seem overwhelming but fear not! Let’s take a look at some of the options for different dining occasions, from where to go for a special occasion to more laid-back options, as well as suggestions for brunch and cocktails.
Grab your knife and fork (throw in a spoon too), we’re going in.
For Fine Dining: Wild Blue
Restaurant Director, Neil Henderson gathered together some of Whistler’s greatest culinary minds when he opened Wild Blue this past August. The result? One of the most exciting and beautiful, restaurants Whistler has ever seen.
A true feast for the senses, Wild Blue’s aesthetic is a delicious palate of stained oak, black walnut, velvet and glass, accompanied by a seafood menu that has, in just four months, established a dominant presence on the Whistler food scene. The cocktail menu, spearheaded by ex-Bar Oso manager Zack Lavoie, has some stunning creations and the wine list is extensive.
Must Try: The Seafood Tower and a chat with their expert sommelier team about your drink choice.
For a Special Occasion: Bearfoot Bistro
When it needs to be more than just about the food (which is exquisite), an evening at the Bearfoot Bistro is an experience in itself. Choose to dine à la carte or blow the budget with a tasting menu and wine pairing. When the hard decision-making is over, you can head down to their wine cellar and learn how to sabre your bubbly with their experienced sommeliers.
Stretch your legs between courses by slipping into an arctic parka and sampling some of the world’s best vodka in their Vodka Ice Room. Yes, that’s a room made of ice.
Must Try: Chefs or magicians? Featuring swirling vapours of liquid nitrogen, the tableside ice cream is a perfect way to wrap up the evening.
For Cheese Lovers: The Chalet at Fairmont Chateau Whistler
If you’re a fondue fanatic like myself, this Swiss trademark dish is best experienced at the upscale Bavarian-style venue known simply as, The Chalet. Settle in next to a crackling log fire for a classic alpine dining experience.
Practice your skewering skills whilst enjoying a smorgasbord of house-made schnitzels, charcuterie and cook-your-own steak. Don’t miss the option to add truffle to your bubbling, cheese bowl of bliss.
Must Try: Be sure to save room for the chocolate fondue dessert and a digestif from the traditional schnapps wagon.
For a Dinner (and a Party): Sushi Village
Home to excellent sushi, a signature come-as-you-are vibe and the potential for raucousness, the local’s favourite is Sushi Village. Whistler is home to five Japanese restaurants, all of which are excellent, but Sushi Village is where the party is at.
Just a stone’s throw from the ski lifts, head to the back of the restaurant to find the low, shoji-walled booths and enjoy a sake margarita. FYI, Sushi Village doesn’t take reservations for groups of less than six and it is a very popular dining spot, so my suggestion would be to go early, secure your spot and then take a walk through Whistler Village while you wait.
Must Try: There is a long-held local tradition of dangling upside down from the rafters whilst having sake poured into your mouth…I’ll leave it there.
For Perfect Pasta: Il Caminetto
Il Caminetto, which means the fireplace in Italian, is the place to go when you’re craving a hearty plate of pasta with all the luxuries of a fine dining experience. The food, which includes rich pasta, tender risottos, and slow-roasted meats is paired with attentive service, which never disappoints.
With an excellent wine list and subdued ambiance, Il Caminetto provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxed, romantic evening full of subtle extravagances.
Must Try: The Mushroom Risotto and house-made focaccia (but save room for your entree!).
For an On-Mountain Treat: The Crystal Hut
The Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain has a winning combination of excellent location and waffle mastery. A must-do as part of any Whistler Blackcomb ski experience, this cozy, on-mountain hut is the perfect mid-morning breakfast or lunch stop.
Home to a bustling atmosphere and the irresistible smell of baking batter, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious hot chocolate whilst enjoying epic vistas over both mountains.
Must Try: The waffles: huge, fluffy and loaded with whatever toppings you choose.
Best for a Fancy Cocktail: Raven Room
Founded by four Whistler locals, The Raven Room is home to a refreshingly passionate team of expert mixologists who love to share their time-honoured techniques and creative flare. Expect innovative cocktails you won’t find anywhere else in Whistler and an excellent food menu to boot.
Must Try: The happy hour food menu is from 3 – 5 PM and has a delicious variety of dishes, my favourite being the Spicy Thai Fried Chicken.
For a Gourmet Breakfast: Hunter Gather Eatery & Taphouse
For the breakfast gourmands, Hunter Gather has an authentic community vibe and is known for large portion sizes and farm-to-table quality dishes. With a come-as-you-are vibe and an inviting open space, this eatery is a casual taphouse, that serves lunch and dinner, but its breakfast menu is one of the best-kept secrets in town.
Must Try: The Chicken & Waffles or The Bacon Benny served on a potato rosti.
For When Everyone in the Group (Annoyingly) Wants Something Different: Portobello
Portobello is one of Whistler’s culinary cornerstones, providing the solution to any and all tummy rumbles. Tucked away in the picturesque Upper Village, this hidden gem caters to all the different needs of your group. Sit down and enjoy a breakfast bowl, construct your own legendary, made-to-order sandwich, grab a donut to eat in the lift line, or enjoy one of the world’s most indulgent hot chocolates at a leisurely pace.
Open for a pre-ski coffee at 6.30 AM, they provide all-day dining until evening service wraps up at 9 PM with their Smokehouse Dinner menu. Options include their signature brisket, porchetta and rotisserie chicken served with a range of sides, as well as share board options for four people.
Must Try: The Maple Bacon Donut and The Dirty Breakfast Bowl.
Are you hungry yet? Whether you are donning your finest formals or something of the elastic waistband variety, Whistler has an amazing selection of gastronomical delights to suit every budget and taste. Syrupy or spicy, bougie or boozy, whatever your cravings – they can be satiated by the hugely passionate and talented hospitality community here in Whistler. Whistler takes food pretty seriously!