Answers from Our Experts (2)
No matter what you’re in town for — be it skiing, hiking or mountain biking — you’ll work up an appetite in Whistler. With a cornucopia of restaurants, there’s a wide variety of cuisine to be tried in this alpine village. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best places to eat in Whistler:
1. Araxi. This Whistler Village restaurant is consistently the best in town. Araxi serves up a delightful West Coast-focused menu with dishes like whole British Columbia Dungeness crab and Canada prime beef tartare.
2. Bearfoot Bistro. This fine dining restaurant within The Listel Hotel in Whistler Village has a massive wine cellar and a contemporary Canadian menu that’s heavy on upscale dishes made with local ingredients, including the Canadian buffalo with tomato marmalade and herb quinoa salad.
3. Christine’s Restaurant. Sitting atop Blackcomb Mountain within the Rendezvous Lodge, Christine’s Restaurant is the only full-service restaurant on either mountain. The food is delicious, but the setting is unbeatable. The summer menu features dishes like Salt Spring Island mussels and frites, while the winter menu has hearty dishes such as bouillabaisse.
4. Aura. Nita Lake Lodge’s signature restaurant, Aura, has a European menu with local ingredients. You can opt for a five- or ten-course tasting menu, as well a three-course prix fixe option. The menu has a good balance of offerings from both the land and sea.
5. Sidecut. This eatery at Four Seasons Resort Whistler offers a nice twist on fine dining. Sidecut is cozy and warm in the winter, while summertime brings dining on a refreshing outdoor patio. The menu features all things meat, as well as regional seafood like Chinook salmon.
My top recommendation for fine dining would be the Bearfoot Bistro (www.bearfootbistro.com) especially if it is a special occasion. If you purchase a bottle of sparkling or champagne, the sommelier will take you down to the wine cellar to "saber" the bottle (with an actual saber or sword) and talk about the history and tradition of sobering. The chef, Melissa Craig, was crowned ‘Canada’s best chef’ at the Canadian Culinary Championship in 2008. Her menu is Modern Canadian Cuisine with a blend of the West Coast ingredients. When dining here, you have the option of choosing from a set 3 or 5 course menu.
Another famous and well-known restaurant in Whistler is Araxi – the name may be familiar to you as it was the feature restaurant on Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen 2009 Season. The Executive Chef, James Walt, collaborates with local farmers to provide a seasonally rotating menu which also features the freshest seafood catches from the Pacific Ocean. Lively ambiance with adjoining bar that is the known gathering place for drinks and the summer patio is people watching and mountain scenery.
Rim Rock Cafe (www.rimrockwhistler.com) seems to be the most popular restaurant in Whistler as they book up quite far in advance, the Chef features Pacific Northwest Cuisine focusing mainly on finest fish and game. My two favourite items on the menu would be the lobster mashed potatoes and baked oysters.
For Italian, I would certainly say Quattro! (www.quattrorestaurants.com) The pasta is amazing and prepared fresh daily by the Chef in the traditional North Italian style, and if you like Italian wine and grappa they have a very large selection on their wine list.
La Rua (www.larua-restaurante.com) is a magnifique French Restaurant featuring fish, seafood, steak and game with plenty of wonderful French wines to choose from.
Enjoy your dinning experience in this beautiful resort!