6 favourite Whistler restaurants

So much fresh air, so much exercise, so hungry! Where are the best spots to eat in Whistler? Whistler has over 130 restaurants, cafes and bars with something to tantalise the taste buds of every cuisine and every budget. And that is one of its charms. Whether you want a gourmet dinner or a really good pizza, Whistler has all the options. To pick just 6 is really hard. Hard on the scales and tough on the liver but who cares when you have been skiing all day?

Bearfoot Bistro, Whistler

Rim Rock Cafe

The place to go for fish in Whistler.  Don’t be misled by the name. The Rim Rock is an upscale, if casual, restaurant in Whistler’s Creekside serving the most delicious fish and game. As their menu relies on what is in season and what is in the market, they have several signature dishes. Do trySeared Rare Tuna with Ahi Poke as a first course followed by salmon accompanied with lobster mash – it is wonderful. But if you decide that you should eat something you are unlikely to find at home and if it is in season, the caribou is brilliant. You have to leave room for the Rim Rock Dessert Medley. Five of the best! The Rim Rock is a local’s favourite and certainly one of mine. Rolf Gunther, a long time resident of Whistler, is the owner and head chef of the Rim Rock Cafe. His formal training started in Heidelberg but he has worked at the Kempinski in Berlin as well as the Fairmont Banff Springs.

Rim Rock Seared Scallops

Whistler Creekbread

This is just a fantastic pizza joint. But not just any old pizza place. The pizzas are all made fresh mostly from locally sourced organic ingredients and cooked in a vast wood-fired oven. The tomato sauce is cooked in a wood-fired cauldron and the pizza dough made from 100% organic Canadian wheat. It is a brilliant place to relax with friends but beware, no reservations are allowed and you might have to wait. However, if you phone them 20 minutes before you plan to arrive, they will put your name on a waiting list to cut down time waiting in the restaurant. The ethos of Whistler Creekbread is to be environmentally and locally friendly; each Tuesday night is benefit night when they give some of the takings to local charities.

The Mongolie Grill

This is an unusual restaurant in that it only serves stir fries. They provide a smorgasbord of the freshest selection of meats, fish and veggies they can find, you choose any combination and in any quantity you like and they will stir fry it for you and serve it with Jasmine or brown rice. You pay based on the weight of the food you have ordered.  The atmosphere is casual and fun, the cocktails are inventive and the restaurant is in the centre of the Upper Village. No reservations allowed unless you take over the whole restaurant!

mongolie-grill

The Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar

A long time favourite in the heart of Whistler Village, the Araxi is a splendid mixture. It has a year round indoor / outdoor bar which is a very popular gathering spot, a sleek Oyster Bar and at its core, a contemporary dining room presided over with love by Executive chef James Walt. James was one of the early adopters of the farm to table movement and much of Araxi’s produce is farmed locally, much of it in the Pemberton Valley just to the north of Whistler. Try the house-smoked Arctic Char or the Yarrow Meadow Duck breast. Of course in a restaurant of this quality, the wine list is extensive including many of BC’s best wines; it has over 1000 different labels and it is widely thought of as one of the best cellars in British Columbia

. araxi

Bearfoot Bistro

No visit to Whistler is complete without an evening at the Bearfoot Bistro next door to the Listel Hotel in the Village. Known not only for its excellent food created by award-winning Executive Chef Melissa Craig but also for the Ketel One Ice room. On top of this, you can follow a Napoleonic tradition which meant good luck in the ensuing battle so long as you can cleanly cut off the top of a bottle of champagne with a sabre! As you might imagine, the atmosphere is lively and the cheers loud when success is achieved. At -32C the temperature in the Ketel One Ice Room is the coldest vodka tasting room in the world, but you will be warm as you will be provided with Arctic grade fur lined parkas. The resident vodka expert explains how the vodkas acquire their taste through the distillation process and you get to choose to taste 4 out of the 50 or so vodkas .

bearfoot-bistro-wine-cellar

Umberto

This one is a bit of a cheat as actually Umberto has two restaurants in Whistler and I love them both.  Il Caminetto opened in 1981 and ever since has been offering excellent Tuscan food in an Italian setting. If you are hungry, the osso buco is delicious! The piano bar and the patio are both very popular meeting places after a day’s activity in the mountains. The Trattoria, as you might expect from the name is more rustic but still offers a wide selection of Italian delicacies. Try the warm Cambozola or the Veal Piccata for a real sense of Italy in Canada. Umberto Menghi, the owner of both restaurants has written 5 best selling cookbooks and hosted “The Elegant Appetite”, a popular Canadian television show.

il-caminetto

6 restaurants out of a possible 130. Let me know if you have eaten at any of them or which ones you would include. Bon appetit!

Sandra Potter is Founder of Frontier Travel.

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Comments (3)

  1. Thomas Panos says:

    You might want to rethink this list. Take a good look at the following:

    SideCut at the Four Seasons
    Bar Oso
    Hye’s Steakhouse
    Christine’s

    Just a recommendation. All the best

  2. Hi Thomas.

    Thanks for the suggestions – totally with you on the SideCut and Hyes. Don’t know the other two, but was only allowed 6. A tough choice.

  3. Danielle says:

    These are some great ideas for my next snowboarding trip. I find a lot of ski resorts that really lack good restaurants.

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