Top 10 restaurants in Whistler
Whistler attracts a steady stream of visitors throughout the year eager to experience the world-class skiing, mountain biking, fishing and hiking that the area is so well known for. But to have the energy to keep you going at these demanding activities from sunrise to sunset, you need to be properly fuelled with delicious, nourishing eats. From top end gourmet restaurants to casual bistros, Whistler is full to the brim with dining options to satisfy all tastes and budgets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We’ve gone through the best of the best and chosen our top 10 restaurants in Whistler you need to visit for beautiful surroundings, charming atmospheres, excellent service and, above all else, exemplary food.
Elements Urban Tapas Parlour
Where: 4359 Main Street
The scene: Proudly boasting the title of Whistler’s most innovative and popular upscale dining destination since it opened in 2005, Elements Urban Tapas Parlour serves some of the best breakfasts in the city. From gourmet eggs benedicts embellished with duck sausages to honey ham- and brie-stuffed French toast, these sweet and savoury delights will set you up for a day of sightseeing and exploring. But there’s more to Elements Urban Tapas Parlour than huge servings of awe-inspiring breakfast foods. Come evening, the Mediterranean-inspired décor with fiery red walls, maple-coloured bar furniture and comfy leather booth seating transforms into the perfect place to enjoy a casual dinner with friends. The ever-changing menu makes the most of fresh, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients to create Instagram-worthy tapas dishes designed for sharing. Using carefully-selected flavours from around the world, it’s these sharing platters that won the restaurant Whistler Pique News’ “Best Tapas” award.
Signature dish: Element’s signature bruschetta starter: lightly toasted focaccia bread, smothered with a flavourful basil pesto, topped with bocconcini, roma tomatoes and a balsamic reduction drizzle.
21 Steps Kitchen + Bar
Where: St Andrew’s House, Main Village, 10 – 4433 Sundial Place
The scene: 21 Steps Kitchen + Bar offers amazing views both inside and out. Pull up a chair and stare out the window for unbeatable views of the local village and surrounding mountains or reel in your gaze and admire the warm wooden tones and local photography which decorate the interior and give the restaurant a friendly, relaxed feel. The cuisine is classic comfort food with a fresh modern twist, which can be seen in popular dishes such as bacon-wrapped filet mignon with chipotle butter and garlic chilli prawns with crispy wontons. There’s also a selection of tapas-like small plates to choose from which follow the same innovative-classics fusion style of cuisine that the big plates have. So no one’s forced to miss out on a mouthful of deliciousness, there is an extensive gluten-free menu and plenty of vegetarian options, too.
Signature dish: The Australian lamb chop with fresh sprigs of grilled rosemary and a red vermouth reduction is a must-try.
Where: 2021 Karen Crescent
The scene: For getting back to nature and tucking into delicious, nutritious food free from chemicals and additives, there’s no place better than Creekbread. But don’t be fooled into thinking organic produce and clean eating ingredients mean you’ll be left with nothing but a menu full of salads. (There are one or two salads, and they’re amazing loaded up with hearty ingredients like Happy Days Farm goat cheese and hardwood smoked free-range pork.) What Creekbread really specialises in are pizzas made from 100% Canadian wheat and cooked in an all-natural wood-fired hand-made clay oven. Almost all ingredients are made in-house and everything else comes from local sources with ethical policies. To complement the rustic, back-to-basics style of food, the interior of the restaurant has a homely, welcoming atmosphere. Seating is divided between two floors and set inside a huge wooden structure complete with wooden ceiling beams, matching wooden furniture and folk art for a genuine barn-like feel.
Signature dish: Whistler community Creekbread: wood-fired cauldron sauce, caramelised organic onions, BC-grown mushrooms, premium whole milk mozzarella and Asiago cheese, all baked on top of organic bread dough and served with a drizzle of house-made garlic oil and a sprinkling of organic herbs.
Where: 4591 Blackcomb Way
The scene: The place where steak is so much more than just a meal, Sidecut offers a contemporary take on traditional mountain cuisine blended with healthy, lighter fare. The restaurant’s chic wooden interior provides the ideal place for couples to cosy up in front of the fire in winter while the outside patio is the perfect environment to soak up the sun and enjoy a casual dinner with friends during summer. The locally-sourced menu evolves in line with the seasons and is heavily influenced by the ocean- and farm-to-table style of cuisine that British Columbia is known for. The evening menu begins with a small selection of light salads, raw dishes and seafood appetisers followed by “The Surf”, a selection of wild and organic fish dishes. Then “The Turf” takes centre stage with 6 different types of mouth-watering 40-day aged steaks, including the prestigious wagyu gold label flat iron, each served with a choice of five rubs and four sauces. There’s a great selection of international wines as well as British Columbia premier vintages to complement every dish.
Signature dish: 52oz Cowboy Porterhouse: a huge cut of the finest USDA prime beef from Nebraska cooked on a state-of-the-art 1,000°C infrared grill, made for sharing and carved tableside.
Where: 4599 Chateau Boulevard
The scene: The perfect setting for a gourmet breakfast or an indulgent dinner, the Wildflower offers epicureans a standout dining experience. Although there is an a la carte breakfast option, the buffet is really the star of the show. With absolutely every breakfast food you can imagine, from cereals, fruit, yogurt and cheeses to hot meats, breads, made-to-order smoothies and even an omelette station, the Wildflower breakfast buffet is exclusively for those with a major appetite. The evening menu showcases locally-inspired dishes mixed with innovative classics which change according to the season to make the most of fresh produce. There’s a well-balanced variety salads, fish, meat, pasta and rice dishes to choose from, along with three stellar platters made for sharing between two or four diners. The relaxed, informal style of food is reflected in the casual setting, where floor-to-ceiling windows, two-toned walls and some of the friendliest staff in B, create the signature warm and inviting atmosphere the Wildflower is famous for.
Signature dish: Whole roasted trout made for sharing between two or four. Served with herb buttered potatoes, grilled asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, a dill and horseradish crème fraiche, beurre blanc and citrus salsa.
Where: 150 – 4222 Village Square
The scene: Bar Oso, is a tribute to Whistler’s wildlife and offers an eclectic mix of BC-influenced tapas dishes, small plates and house-made charcuterie alongside hand-crafted cocktails and inspired wines. The Spanish head chef has been involved in restaurants since he was a child and brings his passion, enthusiasm and excitement for food into Bar Oso’s ever-evolving menu. The lunch menu offers a variety of typically Spanish soups, salads, filled baguettes, charcuterie boards and sharing plates with a few key appearances of local ingredients adding a hint of Whistler. The dinner menu is made up of an even wider selection of soups, salads, kebabs, charcuterie platters, cheeses, cold seafood, meat, open-faced sandwiches. Combine these exotic flavours with the cool tapas bar interior of sleek black furniture, a wrap-around marble bar and an eye-catching geometric floor and you could easily forget you’re dining in a restaurant in Canada.
Signature dish: Lamb albondigas: lamb meatballs slow-cooked until tender and juicy then served in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. Meant for sharing and pairing with other tapas dishes.
Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Where: 110 – 4222 Village Square
The scene: Led by executive chef James Walt who was an early pioneer of farm-to-table dining, Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar provides diners with seasonally-focused menus that celebrate the excellence of fresh, local ingredients. Every afternoon, the restaurant’s cool and modern oyster bar opens up and the experienced oystermen begin shucking up to 1,000 oysters of 12 different varieties. But the ocean-fresh oysters aren’t just limited to the oyster bar. The dinner menu served in the charming dining room boasts a selection of 11 amazing oysters, including many ocean-friendly choices. The menu continues with chilled seafood sharing platters, individual fish and seafood main courses and even a generous offering of meat dishes, considering the restaurant focuses on seafood. Saving room for dessert is a must, with a huge selection of sweet desserts and savoury artisan cheese plates to choose from.
Signature dish: Two-tier seafood tower: oysters, chilled prawns, albacore tuna, BC mussels, jellyfish and seaweed salad, spicy tuna roll and wild smoked salmon. Push the boat out and add a third tier of whole maritime lobster for a little extra.
The Grill Room
Where: 4599 Chateau Boulevard
The scene: For a date night you’ll never forget, try the incredibly highly rated Grill Room. A snug, intimate atmosphere is created by the restaurant’s signature stone fireplace and rich cherry wood furnishings which give it the romantic edge on the other restaurants in this list. The seasonal menu showcases regional ingredients and eco-friendly practices, resulting in a great variety of delicious meals containing superb Canadian AAA Prime beef, natural organic produce and the freshest Ocean Wise seafood. Hungry carnivores have seven different choices of steak available to them, plus a lamb and duck option. For everyone else, there are four seafood options and one vegetarian selection, but previous diners have reported that the kitchen is more than happy to prepare something special in the very unlikely scenario that there’s nothing on the menu that’s quite right for you.
Signature dish: Pemberton Meadows Dry Aged Rib Eye, cooked exactly how you like it and cut tableside. Pair it with one of the most popular sides: the garlic-creamed spinach and kale or the roasted local carrots in ginger cashew butter.
Red Door Bistro
Where: 2129 Lake Placid Road
The scene: Combining classic French cuisine with a West Coast flair, Red Door Bistro specialises in old school cooking prepared in an open stainless steel kitchen and served up in funky, retro bistro surroundings. The dark cedar wood, plush leather seating and understated modern lighting create the perfect blend of contemporary coolness and sophisticated class which flows into the cuisine. Popular French favourites, such as duck confit, bouillabaisse and crème brulée, are peppered throughout the menu and rub shoulders with more local bistro-style dishes, like Quebec foie gras and BC ling cod. The menu is tweaked every month or so and new specials are added every day, but the two most popular dishes (bouillabaisse and duck confit spring rolls) are so highly in demand that they always feature on the menu. The wine list is surprisingly extensive for a small bistro, with a huge selection of local and international labels.
Signature dish: West coast bouillabaisse: Dungeness crab, prawns, mussels, scallops and fresh fish served in a broth of saffron, fennel and tomato, dressed with a pepper aioli and paired with crostini.
Rim Rock Café & Oyster Bar
Where: 2117 Whistler Road
The scene: Offering fine dining in a casual yet elegant atmosphere, Rim Rock Café & Oyster Bar consistently fills the top spot when it comes to the best restaurants in Whistler and it’s easy to see why. With everything from fresh-from-the-ocean seafood like mussels, salmon and tuna to generous plates full of roast lamb, duck and grilled steaks, this restaurant is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, no matter how particular the diners’ tastes are. Despite the incredible variety, the focus at this gourmet venue is definitely on the oysters. Topped with all kinds of delights, from champagne mignonette to vodka and crème fraiche, the delicate seafood is seasoned and flavoured perfectly so as to be entirely complementary and never overpowering. To accompany such a wide range of food, there’s an equally varied choice of wines, currently around 320 labels, from all over the world, stored in climate-controlled cellars for the perfect sip every time.
Signature dish: Rimrock Mixed Grill: beef fillet, lamb chop, venison medallion and béarnaise sauce.
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