Epic terrain is what draws thousands of powder-hungry skiers and snowboarders to Whistler Blackcomb year after year, but just as important as magnificent trails on a ski holiday are the meals carved in amid all the outdoor adventure. Mention dining and Whistler in the same breath and chances are a few village standbys will come to mind: Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro, and Rim Rock Café, to name three.
Often overlooked, however, are the many spots that offer primo snacking—the kind of food that fuels fun on the slopes but doesn’t make you want to fall asleep on the chairlift after lunch or drown your sorrows by doing a solo shotski when the bill comes. Those seeking small bites before they shred or treats after an afternoon above the tree line can rest assured there’s no shortage of places they can turn to.
Reopening November 7 after a short break, Crêpe Montagne offers not just crepes of every kind (vegetarian, savoury, sweet, seafood, flambéed, and even gluten-free) but also a variety of cheese fondues. Have one of the latter with bread or go big and dip cubes of meat and seafood into the melted stuff. The Chalet at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s golf club (which opens in the clubhouse in mid-December) also serves up this French classic—made with Emmental, Gruyère, white wine, and kirsch—with baguette and house pickles.
If you’re looking to detox or load up on antioxidants between runs, take in the wholesome offerings at the Green Moustache. Perhaps a superfood salad full of seeds and sprouts would do the trick; if not, there are smoothies and raw desserts to give you a boost. Freshly made smoothies and pressed juices are available at Naked Sprout, which is also home to organic salads and gourmet wraps, like one with avocado and sustainable tuna, among other nutritious nibblies.
It’s counter service and street-style food at La Cantina, a taqueria where fillings range from Mayan-style pulled pork and slow-cooked brisket to chicken tinga and poblano pepper. There are tacos at Mexican Corner too, with the gorgeously decorated resto also offering Veracruz-style ceviche and Aztec soup (with pasilla chili and tortilla), among other traditional dishes.
Charcuterie’s the thing
Check out Top-table Group’s latest venture, Bar Oso, a Spanish-inspired restaurant specializing in house-made charcuterie as well as quintessential tapas like Iberico ham and bocadillos, small plates that are perfect for sharing. Taking its name from the Spanish word for “bear”, it just opened on Halloween, exactly 34 years after its sister restaurant, Araxi, got started. Flip straight to the meat-and-cheese menu at Basalt Wine + Salumeria if you’re looking for something lighter than the three-course chef’s menu (reasonably priced at $32). Create your own platter with meats such as bresaola, bauernschinken, and Brome Lake duck salami (all of which come with mustard and pickles) and cheeses like Bleu d’Auvergne and B.C. goat’s milk Gouda (accompanied by a seasonal fruit paste and warm bread), or let the chefs select a sampling.
Fill your piehole
“Quintessentially Australian”, Peaked Pies specializes in a down-under staple: meat pie. Chunky steak plays a starring role in some of these flaky wonders, but other versions include Thai chicken satay and vegetable medley. “Peaking” a pie means to top it with mashed potatoes, mushy peas, then gravy. A hearty snack, to be sure—but then, zipping through moguls does build an appetite.
Seventh heavenly sweets
Purebread did, indeed, start with bread, but this bakery is really geared to those who have a sweet tooth the size of Black Tusk. The salted caramel nar is so insanely delicious it will stop you in your tracks and have you reminiscing about its flavour for hours. One bar is called Crack—’nuff said. There are all sorts of brownies, cookies, cakes, loaves, and squares… as well as some of that aforementioned bread. (There are overly sweet scones, too; I would love to see the company, which also has locations in Function Junction and Gastown in Vancouver, ramp up its selection of savoury stuff across the board.) For something a little more straightforward, take a stroll to the Connection Café at Lost Lake’s PassivHaus. Freshly baked, all-natural goodness comes in the form of $1 cookies, best enjoyed with a cup of organic java from the Pemberton Valley Coffee Company.