A ski vacation isn’t just about hitting the slopes anymore. High on the priority list for many vacationers are great food and après-ski cocktails — and who can blame them? Many award-winning restaurants are now taking up residence within ski resorts and snowy villages around the world to capitalize on their hungry target market.
It's long been a United States ski destination mecca, but Colorado is also becoming a culinary destination for skiers and non-skiers alike. Vail and Vail Village are home to the Four Seasons and The Sebastian Hotel, which both offer a variety of dining options, and The Sebastian boasts one of Colorado’s largest Scotch selections. For a different experience filled with some of the best skiing around, Beaver Creek also has a variety of dining options and two particularly decadent possibilities: the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek and The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. To get your fix of après-ski s'mores, swing by the Hyatt’s fire pit any day of the week. [slideshow:786839]
And our friends up north in Canada know how to ski. With impressive mountains offering the best snow around, Whistler has become a worldwide ski destination, along with Mont-Tremblant in Quebec. Both are great options for those who are looking to ski the French Alps but don’t have the monetary funds to make it there. While visiting one of these great ski destinations, the cuisine does not disappoint. At the Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, Aura restaurant is a fine-dining experience that produces stellar dishes such as wild boar belly served with saffron cipollini onion, soft semolina polenta, black garlic, red heirloom spinach, and Tuscan BBQ jus.
Another great American ski destination is Park City, Utah. There, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has opened J&G Grill in The St. Regis Deer Valley. Another favorite local eatery is Mariposa, which offers gluten-free and vegetarian options. And in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the cuisine is as serious as the slopes. The Four Seasons hotel is home to The Handle Bar restaurant, run by chef Michael Mina.
The Daily Meal’s list of the best ski resorts for food includes some old favorites like Beaver Creek and Park City from our 2012 list, but also incorporates new spots that have award-winning restaurants, chefs, and impressive wine and beverage menus that have garnered significant media buzz over the last year.