While you might know this Canadian mountain town as a ski resort and winter destination, the months of summer are proving just as popular with those in the know. Words by Rachael Hopwood
Regarded by many as a foodie paradise, world-renowned chefs utilize a bounty of seasonal ingredients to serve up an array of colourful and delicious dishes. Here’s our guide to the best places to eat and our pick of the top summer activities to work off all that tasty food.
Best for Breakfast
The Wildflower, Fairmont Chateau, Upper Village
The Wildflower is the perfect place to kickstart a new day in Whistler. Whether you choose to dine indoors near one of the bright sunny windows or opt for the garden patio, expect an impressive range from light bites to a full-on alpine breakfast buffet with an omelette station, smoothie station, and carved meats.
Riverside Cafe, Mons
If your kind of breakfast is the kind where your orange juice is squeezed right in front of you, check out this incredible breakfast spot. Whether you’re craving something sweet or savoury, Riverside has something for you. Paige’s Wonder Waffle is a dish popular with the locals, consisting of one half topped with eggs benny and the other with fruit compote and whipped cream. Delicious!
Best for Brunch
Fifi’s Bistro, Upper Village
Head to Fifi’s from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and check out delicious brunch options each created using local, organic ingredients. The chefs here use ethically raised meats whenever possible and there’s also a selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes on offer. On a warm summer morning, dine on their sunny patio overlooking the Blackcomb Gondola and Upper Village Stroll.
Crepe Montagne, Whistler Village
For a little taste of France, head to Crepe Montagne. Choose from sweet and savoury crepes, eggs benedict, or omelettes all enjoyed in a cosy atmosphere. This little gem proves particularly popular on weekends but the wait for a table is totally worth it.
Purebread, Function Junction & Whistler Village
Purebread started life as a family bakery and has expanded to become one of the most popular spots in Whistler for those with a sweet tooth. With locations in Whistler Village next to Olympic Plaza and Function Junction, you’ll be sure to hit a line up of folks looking to satisfy a sweet tooth. A slice of their lemon raspberry loaf is a summer essential.
Portobello, Fairmont Chateau, Upper Village
Another gem located along the Upper Village stroll in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is Portobello. Their signature doughnuts speak for themselves and the maple bacon or creme brulee are a little taste of Canadian heaven. This venue has lots of space both inside and out so is great for larger groups.
Best for Dinner
Meat eaters will love the hearty Pullman pulled pork sandwich or finger-licking-good chicken shawarma. The health-conscious are well catered for and their Pemberton bowl consists of local beets and crisped organic veggies. There’s a rotating selection of BC taps too and these guys know a thing or two about craft beer. The patio at Hunter Gather opens in late spring and the rustic tables are perfect for enjoying an evening meal after a day of adventure.
Whistler’s iconic Italian restaurant Il Caminetto is right up there with the very best dining options in town. As you’d expect, the pasta dishes are particularly popular and while the menu changes often, the tuna, with charred octopus, tomato fondue rapini and Gigante beans comes highly recommended. While this is one of Whistler’s most upmarket restaurants, visit in either of the shoulder seasons (May – June, or October – November) and lap up one of their killer deals.
Harajuku Izakaya is just a short hop from the main square, and the quick, tapas-style Japanese food is the perfect way to round off an evening. With cozy nooks for couples, or large booths for groups, you’ll be assured an authentic taste of Japan. Favourites include their popcorn calamari, breaded deep-fried Brie cheese and chicken karaage.
Earls patio looks over the village stroll and is an ideal location for a drink after a day of hiking or biking. Their patio is one of the last to catch the rays as the sun goes down for the day and there’s an array of patio heaters for chillier evenings. The menu here is impressive and delicious and the chilli chicken and wontons to start, followed by their salmon zen bowl is a very tasty and healthy option. Dine here on a Tuesday when bottles of wine are half price!
WORK IT OFF…
Whistler is an adventurer’s paradise in summer too, and after all that tasty and indulgent food, it’s time to take advantage of these awesome activities to work it all off.
Try axe throwing: Over at Function Junction you’ll find the award-winning Forged Axe Throwing. Hailed as one of the best things to do in Whistler, axe throwing is a rapidly growing sport and party activity, and sinking an elusive bullseye is oh-so-satisfying. Luckily for you, the friendly team at Forged will help get you started and even teach you trick shots along the way.
Hiking & biking: Summer in Whistler means having access to the many alpine trails now free from snow. While there’s a trail for every level of fitness, it’s best to opt for a Whistler guided hike to enjoy the insight of a local and stay safe in the wilderness.
Mountain biking in Whistler is equally popular, and you’ll be able to hire a bike from a number of places in the village.
Whitewater rafting: The wild waters of British Columbia present the ultimate challenge for the adventurer. Grab a paddle and rip through the challenging Class 1 to Class 4 rapids, riding out the turbulent and pristine rivers during this exhilarating Whistler whitewater rafting adventure.
Ziplining: Zipline tours in Whistler are one of the best ways to see the stunning mountain vista and old growth forests from a different perspective. This invigorating high-wire flight is sure to thrill and delight, as you swing and swoop your way down Cougar Mountain.
Getting there: Flights from London to Vancouver operate daily and an additional direct service from Manchester to Vancouver will operate this summer. From Vancouver International Airport, Whistler is a two-hour drive along the stunning Sea to Sky Highway. Frequent shuttles operate daily from the terminal building.