Five of our favorite and delicious non-touristy restaurants and bars that can’t be missed during your Whistler trip
Whistler is definitely a tourist town so we were pleasantly surprised by the selection of restaurants and bars that didn’t cater to tourists by offering boring menu options. We were happy to discover that instead of finding a bunch of places with mountain themed menus, each bar or restaurant that we hit was unique and cool in its own distinctive way—mountain theme or not. We found that the food and cocktail scene in Whistler is totally modern and as up to date as any trendy major city.
After taking a tour of the town and perusing our options in Whistler Village, the following five restaurants and bars turned out our favorite meals and cocktails for the trip. But we're sure that wherever you end up, you’re sure to find a delicious meal, scrumptious cocktail and friendly service!
Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar
Located in the heart of Whistler Village, Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar, has refined food that is beautifully plated in an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere. The relaxed atmosphere, which included families, couples, groups and even a small wedding party, made it a perfect spot to enjoy for any meal, not just for celebrating a special occasion. The cocktails were incredible, and it turned out the place wasn’t a new trendy spot in town, but was actually a pioneer in the farm-to-table movement. Which was probably why there was such care put into the fresh ingredients in our cocktail choices.
Aura Restaurant at Nita Lake Lodge Hotel
Aura Restaurant is located at the Nita Lake Lodge Hotel, which is a totally gorgeous setting, so be sure to get there early so that you can take photos of the surrounding area before you start eating. The lake and landscape are worthy of a look but the restaurant also has amazing food—it’s not just one of those places for scenery, it manages to have both stunning views and delicious food. Casual and cozy, the food is local and fresh and the care that goes into it can be tasted with every bite. Try the Nita Lake Salad, which has shaved radish, baby carrots, cherry tomato, crumbled feta and an addictive honey citrus dressing. It’s light and refreshing and the perfect precursor to the delicious salmon, which is also a must-try.
Christine’s on Blackcomb - Mountain Top Dining
The only way to get to Christine's is by a gondola, soaring up the mountain! Sitting on top of Whistler Blackcomb Mountain, Christine's is a good way to get a bird’s eye view of the city while sampling some creative and delicious bites. The restaurant has a fine dining feel, in everything from the presentation of the food to the wonderful flavors but you only have to dress up if you’re in the mood. Otherwise, come in your ski outfit. Whatever you wear, be sure to try an array of the outstanding dishes, including some of the best burrata we’ve ever had, and perfectly crisp falafel. I fell in love with the slow-cooked wild salmon with soba noodles and Chris loved his Vietnamese pork burger.
Bar Oso - Spanish Tapas & Craft Cocktails
If you’re as craft-cocktail obsessed as we are, then Bar Oso is definitely a must for your visit to Whistler, because you’re unlikely to find any other spot in town that offers Spanish tapas and cocktails that come with candied bacon. In fact, the cocktails here are so good that I actually enjoyed my gin and tonic—but I probably won’t like any others, so it’s reserved only for my time in Whistler. The reason is that the bar offered a selection of gins to pair with a variety of artisanal tonic waters—who knew that more just Schweppes is available for tonic water? They were all good and the menus for lunch and dinner are equally good!
Mallard Lounge - Cocktails Taken Fireside
With a backdrop of Whistler Mountain and roaring fireplaces throughout, it doesn't get more scenic than Mallard Lounge inside the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Order your favorite classic or simply tell the bartender your spirit of choice and let them do all the work to create a new drink just for you. They also have a great bar menu and we hear that the nachos are especially impressive!
Wherever you end up, you’re sure to find a delicious meal, scrumptious cocktail and friendly service!