10 Best On-Mountain Restaurants

With day lift-ticket prices surpassing $200, ski and snowboard areas have upped the quality of their high-country cuisine for food lovers. Forget burgers and hot dogs… Resorts now serve on-piste repasts such as Kobe-beef chili and grilled venison in elegant, sit-down settings.

Several of these restaurants have gondolas (small enclosed cable cars), so non-skiers/boarders can lunch and ogle the scenery. After a meal at one of these top restaurants, you’ll feel like an Olympics champ on your afternoon runs.

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant
Kicking Horse, B.C., Canada
Set at 7,700 feet, this is the highest restaurant in Canada. Honoring B.C.’s heritage, decor centers on a Native-style eagle mask carved from a single piece of 500-year-old red cedar. The menu showcases dishes such as truffle fries, crab salad, and an array of gourmet burgers, from veggie to salmon and bison. Two swank suites adjoining the restaurant offer overnight mountaintop retreat. [250-439-5425; gondola access. Lunch entrées $16 to $21.]

Sun Valley Resort

The Roundhouse
Sun Valley, Idaho
Featured in the Sun Valley Serenade film starring Sonja Heine, The Roundhouse (opened 1939) is America’s first on-mountain restaurant. Inside, a four-sided stone fireplace beckons with cozy warmth; outdoors, the spacious deck overlooks Ketchum, the former mining town where Ernest Hemingway lived (and died). Flavorful choices include steak frites and a lobster roll tinged with lemon aioli and Old Bay seasoning. [208-622-2012; gondola access. Lunch entrées $19 to $35.]

Alpenglow Stube
Keystone, Colorado

Ben Lindbloom/Vail Resorts

Swap your ski boots for comfy sheepskin slippers at this chic Bavarian-style chalet poised at 11,444 feet atop North Peak. Douglas fir beams and a copper-trimmed kitchen enhance alpine ambience. Guests select from entrées such as scallops with a sweet-potato brûlée or wagyu beef with corn soufflé. More than 600 labels beckon on the wine list. [800-354-4386; gondola access. Lunch entrées $30 to $45.]

Peter Schroeder

Crystal Hut
WhistlerBlackcomb, B.C., Canada
“Fully loaded” never tasted better than at Blackcomb’s cozy log cabin that’s famous for Belgian waffles. Top them with maple syrup, melted chocolate, berries, whipped cream–or (recommended) all of the above, plus bacon too if you’re feeling indulgent. If you’re eating on the outside deck, enjoy the antics of the sociable Whiskey Jack birds that beg for tidbits. [800-766-0449; Waffles $15 to $18.]

Park City Mountain

Lookout Cabin
Park City Mountain, Utah
Keep watch on the Wasatch Range from this ridgeline restaurant where a glass-paneled deck leaves nothing between you and the drop-dead vistas. Start off with southwestern-style poutine topped with ancho-chile beef gravy and jalapeño cheese curds, then hunker into honey-and-stout braised beef short ribs or lighten up with a grilled salmon and spinach salad. [435-615-2892; Lunch entrées $19 to $29.]

Crystal Mountain Resort

Summit House Restaurant
Crystal Mountain, Washington
“The mountain’s out today,” Seattleites say on clear days when Mount Rainier looms in full, 14,410-foot glory. And that snow-cone peak looks close enough to touch from this aerie with a wood-burning fireplace and antler chandeliers. Fresh, local ingredients star in dishes such as fried oysters or the catch of the day—salmon and halibut make good choices. [360-663-3085; gondola access. Lunch entrées $14 to $28.]

Larry Pierce/Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat, Colorado
Named for a 1916 Norwegian ski-jump champion, casually chic Ragnar’s celebrates the Scandinavians who helped establish skiing in Steamboat Springs in the early 1900s. Set mid-mountain near the popular (and generally sunny) “o-clock runs,” the restaurant features Nordic dishes such as fiske suppe (seafood chowder) and köttbullar (meatballs) plus salads, schnitzel, and burgers. [800-922-2722; Lunch entrées $17 to $24.]

Stowe Mountain Resort

Cliff House
Stowe, Vermont
Crowning the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield, the restaurant showcases snowy panoramas sweeping from Vermont to New York, New Hampshire, and Quebec. The Regional America cuisine comes with New England flair, including a warming corn chowder, pan-seared Atlantic sea scallops, burgers with applewood-smoked bacon, and—of course—Vermont cheeses. [802-253-3665; gondola access. Lunch entrées $16 to $23.]

Peter Schroeder

Ten 3
Sandia Peak, New Mexico
Named for its 10,300-foot elevation, the new Ten 3 (opened summer 2019) overlooks Albuqueque and the Rio Grande Valley. Lunch is terrific (try the green-chile pork stew) but for maximum scenic oomph, opt for an early après-ski dinner. City lights twinkle while the orange-red sunset recalls colors in a Georgia O’Keeffe landscape. The best menu choices tingle with New Mexico flavors, such as the mole-braised beef short rib. [505-764-8363; access by chairlift or the panoramic Sandia Peak tramway. Lunch entrées $14 to $18; dinner entrées $28 to $50.

Peter Schroeder

Solitude, Utah
Lunch like a Sherpa at the midmountain Roundhouse, rebuilt in airy modernesque style after a 2016 blaze. The Himalayan-inspired menu highlights Nepalese curries (more subtle than their Indian counterparts) such as butter chicken, with vegetarian options like saag paneer (spinach and cheese). Curries are warming but don’t weigh you down, keeping you spry for the steeps of Honeycomb Canyon. Homebodies can opt for Wasatch favorites including burgers and chicken pot pie. [801-534-1400; Lunch entrées $10 to $12.]

— Risa Wyatt