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Heading out for a snow sports adventure this winter but worried that, after a long day on the slopes, you’ll be stuck with yet another mediocre veggie burger for dinner? Not at these veggie-friendly ski towns. Here are six locales with enough delicious vegetarian and vegan options to fuel all your skiing adventures.
The Best Ski Town Dining for Vegetarians and Vegans
Whistler, British Columbia
North America’s largest ski resort has plenty of vegan and vegetarian on-mountain dining, thanks to Whistler Blackcomb’s vegetarian executive chef Wolfgang Sterr. He created the resort’s first on-mountain vegetarian restaurant, Raven’s Nest, on Whistler Mountain, and Blackcomb Mountain has several vegetarian and vegan options at Rendezvous Lodge. The Green Moustache was Whistler’s first vegan cafe when it opened in 2013, and BReD by Ed is another great vegan spot to power up before hitting the slopes. You’ll want to pre-order loaves of sourdough and cinnamon rolls online to skip the long lines. Check into newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Whistler for a sumptuous stay, and dedicated vegan menu at Braidwood Tavern. Plus, Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts are aggressively pursuing ambitious sustainability goals of zero net emissions, zero waste to the landfill and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat by 2030.
Park City, Utah
Australians love Park City, and there are several great Aussie coffee shops in town like Five5eeds and Harvest with hearty vegan breakfasts. Pick up local bean-to-bar dark chocolate from Ritual Chocolate for the perfect chairlift snack. End your day at Handle with bourbon blistered Brussels sprouts, chili-glazed cauliflower, and mushroom bolognese bucatini. Just a couple blocks away on Main Street, Riverhorse on Main has a great wine cellar and separate vegetarian menu with options like sweet and sour tofu bites and wild mushroom fricassee. Stay at 12-room boutique hotel Washington School House Hotel where the private chef will happily cook up complimentary vegan breakfasts and après-ski snacks for all guests. Executive chef Ryan Fyre can even craft a vegan 10-course tasting menu with smoled seaweed caviar, curry pie, and Sichuan local mushrooms for those craving a personalized fine dining experience.
There are tasty and thoughtful vegetarian options at most restaurants in Aspen and several specialize in vegetarian fare. Spring Cafe is a great pick for a healthy breakfast or lunch while Pyramid Bistro focuses on ‘nutritarian’ cuisine and claims to be the healthiest restaurant in Aspen, with farro risotto, lemongrass tofu stir-fry and avocado chocolate mousse for dessert. Bear Den has a number of tasty veggie options on their all-day menu too, including a pastrami-spiced beet vegetarian Reuben sandwich. If you’re staying at a condo, Peace Town offers vegan catering and private chefs, and the five-star service at The Little Nell includes world-class vegan and vegetarian fine dining at Element 47.
Colorado’s local favorite mountain town is super veggie-friendly. There’s cold-pressed juice, smoothies, grab-and-go wraps and energy ball snacks at LoLo Juice and veggie sandwiches and salads at Amazing Grace, along with a very good vegan chocolate chip cookie. Warm up with rice noodle soup in veggie broth at Pho Real and Pho On Main or chow down on plant-based, gluten-free Neapolitan pizza at Piante. Bangkok Happy Bowl and BoLD have ample vegetarian options too, if you’re in the mood for Thai or Mediterranean cuisine. Gravity Haus is the most eco-conscious and forward-thinking hotel in town, including zero emission, zero waste Ethiopian coffee at Unravel Coffee.
Nourish Bistro has led the way for vegetarian cuisine in Banff since opening in 2005 with 27-ingredient nachos, wild mushroom ravioli and a housemade lentil and legume burger that even carnivores can’t get enough of. Nesters Market has a great selection of vegan-friendly groceries and Wildflour Bakery has great pastries and fresh-baked granola bars that make great ski snacks. Park Distillery is one of the hottest restaurants in Banff and they have a dedicated vegan menu for food and cocktails. Fairmont Banff Springs even serves a vegan version of their famous afternoon tea menu upon request.
Big Sky, Montana
Montana’s largest ski resort takes sustainability seriously, including carbon-free energy lift operations since March 2020 and a plan to reach net zero emissions by 2030. Big Sky Resort also offers vegetarian and vegan options at all on-mountain restaurants including the backcountry yurt dinner. In town, Niesko Ramen has a heartwarming vegan shiro miso broth with bok choy, nori and tofu and Lotus Pad has lots of vegetarian Thai dishes. For a quick bite to go, customize a vegetarian wrap or sandwich at Wrap Shack or Hungry Moose Market & Deli. Lone Peak Brewery has heaping veggie bowls, nachos, and salads to pair with a pint.