Whistler’s Food District beckons gourmet travellers
Summertime is the best time to check out the eats on Main Street
I was invited to a “Summit Summer” retreat with Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel & Spa and was introduced to some neighbouring restaurants in an area I often forget.
The area is a bit nameless, but recently it has been referred to as “Main Street”, or in the past perhaps “Whistler’s Food District”. So it’s kind of surprising I overlook it.
It actually has a lot of affordable and independent eateries though, which is nice when many restaurants in the village tend to have “resort pricing”. It’s kind of expected, but if you’re not there for destination dining, there are alternatives.
Here are three Main Street restaurants worth trying.
Elements Tapas Bar
I’m not just saying this because it’s associated with the hotel. I actually came here on my own time and dime last year and had a pleasant experience. It’s been wining “Best Tapas Bar” every year since 2005 and I always hear locals rave about it. So far I’ve only tried their brunch and I recommend the honey ham and brie stuffed french toast, which is a sight for the eyes (best shared), and corn fritters topped with pancetta, spinach, poached eggs, and hollandaise. The brunch menu isn’t set up as tapas though and the portions are big enough as mains, so just beware and bring a big appetite.
It’s relatively new and it fills a void in Whistler as a casual cold pressed juice, smoothie, and live food bar. They use 100 per cent organic ingredients and have quickly become known for their “cheesy nutritional yeast” salad dressing, even though owner Nicolette Richer let’s inquiring customers know it’s just the recipe from the Hollyhock cookbook. The dressing doesn’t have the greatest name and I’m no health-nut, but I loved it. It has miso like qualities, but there is no miso.
I call it the “L’Abattoir” of Whistler (one of Vancouver’s most beloved “Euro-Canadian” restaurants). I was a fan of Alta Bistro since my first visit a couple years ago, and I wish I had more chances to go back. It doesn’t get foot traffic and it’s still a bit “undiscovered” and is a hidden gem in the most honest sense. It’s sophisticated and seasonal food and cocktails with reasonable prices for the caliber of somewhat upscale dining – not fine dining. Try their killer elk tartare. I still dream about it.
There’s still a good month of summer left, so seize it up in Whistler… and savour it!