Best (Affordable) Ski Town Food

We select the best affordable food options in the world’s best ski and snowboard destinations

Whether you ski or ride, a day on the mountain works up a killer appetite. And it’s not a normal 9-5 appetite, it’s a craving for substantial, delicious, and hearty. You’ve worked (played) hard and you deserve some solid fuel to get those energy levels up to shred some more gnar the next day. We’ve rounded up some of the best food in six of the best ski towns in the world. To meet our stringent criteria for great mountain food, we’ve selected restaurants based on how satisfied your mountain hunger will be and not having to sell an arm and a leg to dine there, lift tickets are expensive enough, right? Unless you cop free lift tickets at any of these 22 resorts in Japan.

Here is our listing of the best ski town food around the globe:

Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb needs no introduction. The granddaddy of ski resorts, consistently rated the best, if not one of the best ski and snowboard resorts in the world.

A huge amount of terrain means there is something for every skier and boarder out there, and just about every cuisine under the sun. There is no end of fine dining in Whistler Village, and no end to the amount of money you can spend on said fine dining. From the incredible meat and seafood at Rim Rock Cafe, to hearty fare at Red Door Bistro, and fine dining at the classic Araxi. All phenomenal dining experiences with price tags to match. However, the aforementioned are a little too pricy to make this list. Our pick for the best Mountain food in Whistler is Splitz Grill. Their tagline says it all: “CASUAL PLACE – SERIOUS BURGERS” all caps too, so you know they’re not messing around.

Check it out:

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A perfect burger, sitting next to an eggplant, beautiful. Source: Splitz Burger
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Fresh veggies, crispy bacon, and a perfectly flame grilled all beef patty. Source: Splitz Burger
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Splitz Burger’s interior is basic but warm and cozy, just the way a burger joint should be. Source: Splitz Burger

Pro tip: A little bit of Splitz sauce on your burger is indulgent but necessary, and compliments the burger perfectly. Breaded, fried dill pickles are a serious must order at Splitz.

Vail

Vail Colorado is another granddaddy of the North American ski and snowboard scene. With more than 5,200 acres of inbound ski and snowboard terrain, seven miles of backcountry bowls, and the most groomed terrain on the planet, not to mention legendary Colorado Champagne powder, Vail is a force to be reckoned with.

Like Whistler, there is no shortage of high-end restaurants to satiate that Rocky Mountain hunger rumbling in your belly. Sweet Basil offers fine French inspired American dining. Excellent seafood and American fare can be found at La Tour and seasonal, locally sourced haut cuisine is the mainstay of Terra Bistro. But our pick for the best Mountain food in Vail takes it’s name from the mountains it can be found driving around in: Rocky Mountain Taco. This mobile cantina can be found at different locations around Vail based on the what’s poppin’ at what time. Their on-point social media game (@rockymountaintaco) is the best way to find them.

The brainchild of Jose Reza, Chris Mc Ginnis, and Dan Purtell, they serve up delicious, affordable tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tortas (think Mexican sandwich) made fresh from quality ingredients.

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Holy Moley. Source: @rockymountaintaco
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This looks like heaven on a plate. Source: @rockymountaintaco
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Taco Tuesday? Taco errrday! Source: @rockymountiantaco
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We feel like they should just cruise around and park wherever rainbows end. Source: @rockymountaintaco

Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is big country and big skiing and riding. Steep and deep is the way the locals like JH shredding, and with copious amounts of dry powder and the newly opened Sweetwater gondola there is no shortage of amazing terrain to get your stoke on.

With stoke comes hunger!  Jackson Hole fine dining options include the delightfully cute Blue Lion, serving up hearty and healthy dishes. Fantastic wine and delicious Italian fare with a modern twist can be found at Bin 22, and Persephone Bakery servers up phenomenal, honest rustic French food. However with its cozy historic Main Street location and home-cooked food with a Southern accent, Cafe Genevieve is where we’d go to power our next JH runs.

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By far the best fried chicken in JK. Source: Cafe Genevieve
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Big country and thick cut steak. Source: Cafe Genevieve
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One of Cafe Genevieve’s signature dishes, their killer Ruben is just what the ski doctor ordered. Source: Cafe Genevieve
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Cafe Genevieve is as charming as its food is delicious. Source: Cafe Genevieve

Niseko

Niseko is what powder dreams are made of. There are few places that get huge amounts of perfect, dry powder that Niseko sees consistently every season. Combine that with amazing backcountry terrain and the old school charm of skiing and riding in Japan and Niseko is a powderhound’s dry dream.

Japan is a land of fine dining. You could walk into a 7-11 and find something that is actually food and genuinely delicious. But after a day of waist-deep powder, we crave something a little more satisfying than convenience store fodder. Wine and Dine Rakuda and Karabina are two excellent izakaya style restaurants. Izakayas are small Japanese pub type establishments, usually small and intimate, which serve up hearty small dishes meant to be eaten with beer or Japanese highballs. Izakayas are awesome social experiences not to be missed while in Japan. But if we had one meal in Niseko we’d head to Bang Bang Restaurant. We’re guessing Pew Pew Pew was taken, or it’s named after how much flavor their food punches. Bang Bang Restaurant serves Yakitori, or Japanese grilled skewers and meats. Bang Bang also serves delicious fresh sashimi.

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Perfectly grilled skewers and side dishes await you as Bang Bang Restaurant. Source: Bang Bang Restaurant/Trip Advisor
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Source: Bang Bang Restaurant/Trip Advisor
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Bang Bang also serves up some of the best sashimi in Niseko. Source: Bang Bang Restaurant/Trip Advisor
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Fresh Fatty Tuna Belly, mmmm…. We’re drooling. Source: Bang Bang Restaurant/Trip Advisor
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The grill masters at Bang Bang Restaurant. Source: Bang Bang Restaurant/Trip Advisor
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Watch the masters at work. Source: Bang Bang Restaurant/Trip Advisor

Saas Fee

Saas Fee, Switzerland is the jewel of the European Alps, and is renowned for having both amazing Winter and Spring skiing and riding thanks to the large glacier sitting at its top. Big open bowls and bluebird days are what Saas Fee is all about and represents that picture perfect town in the Alps.

Switzerland is bordered by five European countries each of which has distinct cuisines, and all of which are well suited to an alpine appetite. Some of the best offerings in Saas Fee can be found at Essstube, meat heavy fine Swiss dining, Zur Muhle for Swiss comfort food such as stroganoff, rosti, and fondue, and Steakhouse Saas. But if we wanted to kick back after a long day on the mountain in Saas Fee, we’d head to Du Saas-Fee. I mean, it has Saas Fee in the name. Du Saas Fee specializes Swiss classics such as fondue and raclette (mmmmm, raclette).

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Source: Du Saas Fee
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Source: Du Saas Fee
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Source: Du Saas Fee
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Source: Du Saas Fee
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Source: Du Saas Fee
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Source: Du Saas Fee

Cerro Catedral

With 38 lifts, 1150 meters of vertical, 2965 acres of shreddable terrain and amazing weather and snow conditions Cerro Catedral is considered one of the best mountain resorts in South America. Located only 22 km from the city of Bariloche, Cerro Catedral is a mecca for Argentineans and international ski tourists alike, serving up bluebird days and Patagonia powder.

If there is one thing that Argentina does well, it’s grill meat, specifically beef. Argentina is home to some of the world’s best steak. Grass fed and free range, Argentines take their beef seriously and La Salamandra Pulperia in Cerro Catedral does steak right. Rincon Patagonico, Butterfly, and Cassis are all great options, but La Salmandra Pulperia can’t be beat for great food and cozy home-like ambiance. Run by a husband and wife team the food is simple, but perfect in its simplicity. Empanadas, steak, and salad, all you need.

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Source: La Salamandra Pulperia
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Source: La Salamandra Pulperia
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Source: La Salamandra Pulperia
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Source: La Salamandra Pulperia
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Source: La Salamandra Pulperia

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go have a snack.

To learn more about GorillSafe please visit: GoGorillaSafe.com

Safety in the Glades; Tree Well Tips

The 2017 ski and snowboard season has gotten off to a phenomenal start with amazing levels of snowfall from Whistler to Niseko. However with increase snowfall comes increased risks both on and off-piest. Tree wells are often overlooked as potentially life threatening mountain hazards. Less spectacular and visible than avalanches, they are more common and just as dangerous if not more so. As with avalanches a basic understanding of the threats posed and self-rescue and survival techniques can mean the difference between life and death. The threat of tree wells is made even more prominent as they can occur in-bound, in areas where skiers and borders feel otherwise safe and familiar.

What is a tree well? A tree well is formed when snowfall surrounds the base of a tree yet a void is left as branches directly above the tree well keep snow from accumulated around the trunk of the tree. Think of an umbrella keeping the trunk of the tree ‘dry’. The higher the snowpack, the deeper and more dangerous the tree well.

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Source: http://www.treewelldeepsnowsafety Illustration: Allison Miriani/Staff

Danger comes when a skier or boarder falls into a tree well, becoming trapped with the impact potentially knocking snow from branches above onto the individual below. Falling headfirst or being buried by falling snow can cause snow-immersion suffocation (SIS).

Vail Tree Well Scare from Matt Weaver on Vimeo.

The highest risk of becoming trapped in a tree well comes after large snowfalls. The best way to avoid becoming trapped in a tree well is to stay clear of trees! Duh! But if you do ski or ride glades remember that all trees pose a tree well threat, even small trees which don’t appear to pose a risk. Small trees can have surprisingly deep, dangerous tree wells which catch skiers and boarders off guard.

What are some tips to avoid tree wells and survive a tree well incident?

  • Always ski or ride with a buddy. 90% of tree well entrapment tests found that individuals could not self-rescue. Having a friend nearby can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Maintain visual contact with that friend and others in your group.
  • If you see someone who has fallen into a tree well do not assume that they can self rescue, stop and provide assistance and if possible flag down ski patrol, time is critical when dealing with tree well entrapment and SIS.
  • Ski and ride with a whistle that is within easy reach, ideally located as close to your mouth as possible.

If you find yourself trapped in a tree well, what should you do?

  • Try to prevent yourself from sliding further down into the tree well by any means possible. Grab branches, wedge yourself against the trunk, the further into the tree well you sink the increase level of danger and risk of SIS.
  • If you are trapped in the tree well, do not struggle. Struggling after you have fallen in will only lead to the risk of snow falling from branches above and burying you further.
  • Try to make an air pocket around your face and mouth, this small pocket of air can mean the difference between life and death as every minute of air increase the likelihood of surviving long enough to be rescued.
  • Stay as calm as possible.
  • Stay as calm as possible.
  • Stay as calm as possible. Yup three times. Panicking will increase your rate of air consumption and potentially trap you further. Stay calm and yell or blow your whistle to attract attention and rescue.

Tree Wells & SIS Safety: What To Do If You Go Down from SIS Safety Videos on Vimeo.

What should I do if a member of my party falls into a tree well?

  • If you cannot immediately find your missing person contact ski patrol and direct them towards your friend’s last known location, then being to search for your missing person.
  • Listen for any noise which may indicate where your friend is located.
  • If you have an avalanche beacon switch to search mode and use the same techniques you would with a avalanche rescue.
  • If you find the tree well victim, determine where their head is and tunnel in from the side to provide immediate air and minimize further injury.
  • An avalanche skill 1 course will provide you with skills necessary for the best methods to tunnel and rescue a trapped individual. Always tunnel directly to the individuals airway and be careful not to knock more snow onto the victim. Expand out the tunnel to the airway until you can pull your partner out.

To learn more please visit: www.deepsnowsafety.org/index.php

Clever title, great film, and an amazing project.

When the name Travis Rice is attached to a project you know it’s going to have all the money, aerial shots, HUGE lines, and Red Bull that a project possibly could have thrown at it. The name alone elicits that sickly sweet combination of taurine and caffeine (and maybe strawberry?) in my mouth. Needless to say when Rice gets an idea in his head, he has the resources to put it in motion.

What was put in motion was a three year project which followed the hydrological cycle of water and heat around the North Pacific. Ok, cool, got it. Wait, what? Yeah, they snowboarded a lot. AND WENT BIG.

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Mark Landvik frolicking through the trees. Photo: Mike Yoshida / Red Bull Content Pool

With fellow snowboard prodigies Mikkel Bang, Shin Biyajima and Ben Ferguson, Rice follows the flow of snow ladened air around the North Pacific in search of the biggest lines, steepest drops and a close call with an Avalanche which left a mountain face bare. Rice emerging humbled by his close call with one of Mother Nature’s most destructive forces is probably the most powerful moment of the film and allows a glimpse into the human that resides inside the superstar that is Travis Rice.

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Big country and big lines. Photo: Scott Serfas / Red Bull Content Pool

Overall a spectacular spectacle and feast for the senses, The Fourth Phase raises the bar for cinematic Snowboard films. In the tradition of The Art of Flight, The Fourth Phase may not be what every snowboarder desires in a film made about the sport, but it can’t be faulted for its vision and sheer awe inspiring grandeur.

http://www.thefourthphase.com/

 

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