What We Love Now
Portobello Market & Fresh Bakery
at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler
There’s just the right amount of pork-crackling crunch served on a Portobello pork porchetta sandwich, one of the many mouth-watering deli-counter options at this Upper Village lunch spot at which a meal isn’t complete without a decadent maple cream doughnut for dessert. However, a multimillion-dollar renovation last fall means that the palate-pleasing no longer stops in the afternoon. It’s now an ideal location for that sunny après session where you can sip on a locally brewed beer, small-batch gin and tonic, or a B.C. wine, either on the Portobello patio or perched on a stool at the new Watering Hole Bar.
While you relax, cooks buzz in the animated open kitchen where two antique-style Miwe Wenz 1919 ovens shipped directly from Europe enjoy a place of pride. As well, an open-flame rotisserie and smoker are key pieces of equipment behind Executive Chef Isabel Chung’s new smokehouse dinner menu that includes smoked brisket and prime rib, spiced pork ribs and slow-cooked turkey wings. The style is relaxed mountain chic with farm-style long tables and exposed brickwork matched with black-and-white photography of iconic Whistler scenes. If you want to take a little of that “chic” home, head to their market-style retail section where you’ll find locally made products ranging from organic balms to woven blankets, hand-stitched leather satchels to fragrant candles, beautifully packaged candies to elegant spreads — perfect for gifts or as your own holiday mementos.
604-938-8000 | fairmont.com/whistler
The Fitzsimmons Pub
Lovingly called “The Fitz,” this pub is a cozy spot where locals, beer nerds and couch potatoes converge. Decked out with comfy sofas, communal board games and a new patio, this is the perfect place to sip a craft beer, fresh-pressed cider, or Insta-worthy cocktail. When you enter, look straight ahead at the colourful chalkboard that lists what’s currently on tap. If you don’t know your Fuggles from your Warlocks, Daydreamer IPA from your Magic Lake Porter, ask for a sample of whatever looks good or opt for a taster tray. The team here is passionate about beer and the eight rotating taps highlight local brewers and festival award-winners that they’re eager to tell you about.
With the summer sun in full force, the après hike/bike fruity options like the Fuggles and Warlock Strawberry Wit, Steel and Oak Roselle and Coast Mountain Brewing Juice Box Wit are popular choices. They also have 10+ ciders including their favourites the Nomad Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Cider and Salt Spring Island Bitter Orange & Rosemary Apple Cider, a Sangria that comes packed full of fresh fruits from the local Farmers’ Market, and a Caesar that satisfies that after-action salt craving with a huge slab of beef jerky. Open daily from 2 p.m., this locals’ favourite gets busy, especially if there’s a tap takeover, quiz night, or a regular is celebrating a birthday. Be prepared to try something new, share a table, and join an impromptu game of Scrabble.
604-935-3489 | fitzsimmonspub.com
Aura Restaurant at Nita Lake Lodge
A herd of deer leaps at you as you enter the newly renovated Aura Restaurant. Caught in mid-gallop, the sculpture by artist Rachel Denny evokes a sense of movement and playfulness that has spread through the restaurant, from the open-concept kitchen to the cocktail list. Uniquely located on the shores of Nita Lake, Aura has one of the best views and patios in Whistler. Add to this a thoughtful and innovative menu, beautifully crafted cocktails and stunning artwork and you have a meal to remember. Executive Chef James Olberg combines his strong knowledge of French culinary techniques with a deep love of West Coast ingredients. The yellowfin tuna and Kuterra salmon poke have just the right amount of sweet and salty tang, and the Italian burrata served with basil and heirloom tomatoes picked fresh from the restaurant’s rooftop garden is firm and creamy. The three-hour braised short rib simply melts in your mouth and is a must-try — whatever the weather — along with the custard-bliss of their crack-perfect crème brûlée. Look out for their decadent Sunday brunch buffet and on select holiday Sundays, their signature seafood buffet that overflows with lobster, mussels, snow crab and chilled prawns, and the monthly “Sip & Savour Winemakers Dinners,” which showcase B.C. wines expertly paired with a four-course menu. It’s this eye for detail and willingness to innovate that makes dining here an experience — one that has an interactive element if you want a cocktail. Aptly named “Riddles,” the new summer cocktail list uses the ingredients to get you guessing.
604-966-5700 | nitalakelodge.com/dining
Shred — A Creative Salad Kitchen
Eating your veggies has never been so tempting. The vibrant purples and pinks of shredded beets, varied greens of lettuce, spinach and kale, and the oranges of marinated root vegetables are your palate to play with as you build your own salad. Allowing people to pick and choose is all part of the fun, and a key part of the concept at Shred, where they encourage you to try something new. This is the time to experiment with pea shoots, vegan ranch dressing, Japanese rice wraps and almond butter cups. Stainless-steel warmers hold freshly made soups and curries, glass mason jars are filled with smoothies (seven flavours) and baskets hold treats sweetened with dates and honey. In the mornings this is an ideal place to grab an acai protein bowl and freshly pressed juice for breakfast on the go, or to relax in the sunshine.
Shred is a new addition to the variety of eateries along Main Street, which is fast becoming known as Whistler’s foodie row. The owners are locals who saw a need for more healthy eating options and wanted to find an accessible way to encourage people to go for greens. Designed to be a one-stop shop for affordable, healthy eating, Shred offers options for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. New for this summer, they’ve added protein coffees and bulletproof iced coffee to the menu to cater to active locals and resort guests.
604-962-1173 | facebook.com/shredwhistler