Dining in the mountains hits different. Arriving from the slopes, red-cheeked and energised by the elements, the senses are wide awake and the appetite is keen. Some of the most memorable meals are enjoyed at altitude, and when it comes to British Columbia, there is an embarrassment of edible riches. The province excels at every level, from simple pleasures to fine dining.
People from all corners of the planet flock to Whistler to make use of its enormous mountain playground. This is reflected in its immense restaurant scene, which has developed to cater to a discerning cosmopolitan clientele. For those looking to push the boat out, a stop at the Bearfoot Bistro is a must, with plenty of champagne sabring and a frozen vodka igloo.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler offers some of the best steak in the area, and you can even enjoy five courses of accomplished gastronomy from the comfort of your very own Snow Globe. Breakfast is often the most important meal of the day when up high and a visit to Whistler wouldn’t be complete without a stop at local favourite Elements Urban Tapas & Wine Bar. Or, for anyone wanting to experience it all, opt for the excellent Whistler Tasting Tours. Whistler offers dining that would rival any city.
Revelstoke has been gaining momentum as one of the top mountain destinations in North America and its dining scene is keeping pace. Situated in the Selkirk Range of the Columbia Mountains in the centre of the province, the small town definitely punches above its weight with an array of excellent restaurants. The Quartermaster is located in one of the town’s chicest hotels – The Eleven Revelstoke Lodge – and offers a delicious locally sourced bistro menu.
The Old School Eatery is a new eatery that has taken Revelstoke by storm. The town gets its collective caffeine fix at Dose Coffee, which is nothing short of an institution. Otherwise, fold up a slice at Emo’s, which has been feeding happy families since early days. You can rest easy that every meal will be served up with a healthy portion of Canadian charm.
Perfect for bookending a visit to the mountains, Vancouver not only offers a covetable natural larder, it has one of the most uniquely multicultural communities on the planet. The Michelin Guide recently dipped in and was enthralled by what was happening in the city, and rewarded it with eight Michelin stars and 12 Bib Gourmands. The city’s Asian population has a deep influence on the food scene, with an array of regional Japanese and Chinese restaurants that showcase wild Pacific seafood at its finest.
The food-obsessed will be well rewarded with a visit to Granville Island Public Market, where visitors can taste freshly harvested sea urchins and gooseneck barnacles. The First Nations has a powerful influence on the city, and visitors can experience delicious indigenous cuisine at restaurants such as Salmon ‘n Bannock. When visiting Vancouver, don’t forget to pack a healthy appetite.
The rich soils and gentle climate of the Okanagan Valley produce an incredible range of wines, and account for 86% of British Columbia’s vineyards. The region is also teeming with incredible tasting rooms and restaurants, ensuring that visitors never want to leave. Restaurants such the Naramata Inn produce hyper-local cuisine that truly reflects the terroir.
For those that enjoy the inventive, sample Korean-Italian fusion at Gather Restaurant. And, it being the west coast, you’ll find superlative plant-based food at restaurants such as Frankie We Salute You. Muscles aching from the mountains? The Okanagan wine country might be the perfect place to soothe them.