The Only Thing Better Than Shredding in Park City Is Eating at Its Mouth-watering Restaurants (Video)
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Jessica Miller knows she’s got a good thing going on. As the communications manager for Park City Mountain and Midwest Resorts, Miller not only gets to live in one of the most picturesque communities in the country, but she also gets to ski down her favorite mountain almost every day, all in the name of work. Oh, and one more thing: She has first dibs on some highly coveted doughnuts.
In late December, just before the clock struck midnight on the new year, I paid a visit to Park City for a little ski adventure. However, what I found was a mountain that offered so much more than a trip up and down a chair lift.
“It’s a choose your own adventure mountain,” Miller said as we geared up in the main lodge for a day on the slopes.
We went over all the normal stuff one does when discussing a mountain resort. Things like its skiable terrain (which is 7,300 acres), its highest elevation (10,000 feet), and its annual snowfall (about 365 inches in total). However, when chatting with Miller I learned something new: Park City Mountain has one hell of a dining scene.
In fact, on the map she whipped out from her ski jacket, Miller showed me that Park City has more than 16 restaurants stretching across the mountain that each come with their own distinct menus and vibe.
That includes three restaurants at the Park City Mountain Village: Legacy Lodge, Jupiter Java, and Legends. It also includes the four restaurants at the Canyons Village base area: The Farm, Murdock’s, Umbrella Bar, and Red Tail Grill. Plus eight on-mountain restaurants: Mid-Mountain Lodge, Miners Camp, Summit House, Tombstone BBQ, Redpine Lodge, Legacy Lodge, Lookout Cabin, and Cloud Dine. (There are also two additional on-mountain restaurants that are operated privately: the Viking Yurt and Snowed Inn.)
“With more than 16 restaurants across 7,300 acres, each with their own imaginative, signature menus and executive chefs, Park City Mountain is committed to being the industry leader in on-mountain dining,” Miller says. “We are constantly looking for innovative ways to reimagine and elevate the resort dining experience and focus on variety, quality, and creativity when choosing restaurants and menu items.”
There is one timeless treat that the mountain need not innovate, but rather, simply make more of. And that is the allegedly divine doughnuts served up at Cloud Dine, the restaurant that sits atop the Wasatch Range ridgeline, just off the DreamCatcher Express. And I say allegedly because I never actually got to taste one for myself. That’s because these doughnuts — the result of the collaboration between Greg Hansen and Chris Durfee, who are now the Exec Chefs of Red Pine Lodge and Lookout Cabin — are so good people purposefully plan their mornings on the mountain just to get one before they run out. I checked in every morning during my travels by 10 a.m. and every day those sweet suckers were gone.
“I actually really love the traditional glazed," Miller says, rubbing in my pain at having to live a doughnut-free life. "Warm, gooey, sweet and satisfying after a few early-morning runs.”
But, the fact that I couldn’t even get my hands on one speaks volumes of just how delicious all the food on the mountain really is, and just how dedicated the entire team is to filling up our bellies.
“Feeding hungry skiers and snowboarders on the mountain has changed quite a bit in recent years,” Alex Malmborg, the Executive Chef for Park City Mountain Dining, shared via email. “Today’s skiers and riders want variety; they want healthy options to choose from and are more and more often looking for vegetarian options. I try to make sure that the menus for each of our on-mountain restaurants are unique and different from each other while catering to both meat-eaters and vegetarians.”
On the mountain, I did at least get to try an absolutely scrumptious Buddha bowl at the newly revamped Mid-Mountain Lodge. It felt like a surprising choice to offer up something as sophisticated as a bowl filled with brown rice, toasted kale, roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and peanut-miso sauce. Though, that could be because I grew up only eating peanut butter sandwiches while skiing (even a bread bowl filled with chili was a luxurious treat).
My skiing partner went for an even more adventurous on-mountain option: the restaurant’s poke bowl. Being from Los Angeles I’m a bit of a poke snob, however, after taking a bite I realized Park City could go toe-to-toe with LA’s offerings any day.
While the menus at Park City evolve, a few standout items remain perennial favorites including those doughnuts at Cloud Dine (I’m still bitter about this), the fondue at Lookout Cabin, the delicious tuna poke bowl at Mid-Mountain Lodge, and the Mediterranean gyros at Miner’s Camp.
“Even in the midst of a long winter, we want to serve fresh, beautiful food,” Miller says.
Beyond the food, there is also a stunning amount of skiing and riding to be had. Our four-day adventure on the mountain felt like it wasn’t even close to enough to scratch the surface of what Park City Mountain has to offer. If you want to make the most of your time there try and book either a ski lesson (for beginners to advanced) or book a peak-to-peak guide to see it all.
And, while planning a trip, try to think about your days on the mountains in regions. Spend one day just skiing around the colony, which happens to weave through a neighborhood of mega-mansions often rented out by people like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. Then, spend another day skiing at The Canyons, and another skiing at Park City Mountain Village.
Just know, you’ll never go hungry.
“My favorite part of feeding hungry skiers and riders,” Malmborg says, “is to see them leave our restaurants feeling full, completely satisfied, and ready to keep shredding.”
How to Ride:
Where to Stay:
The Waldorf Astoria Park City sits just five minutes from the downtown area but still makes you feel a world away. The hotel is a masterclass in modern luxury, offering up both comfort and fun with its ski valets and ski butlers who will help you with all your mountain needs. It also happens to have seriously tasty food offerings at its restaurant, Powder, which focuses on sustainable, elevated comfort foods.
Park City’s newest private residences are bringing elevated alpine living to everyone. The Apex Residences are home to some seriously sophisticated ski-through access homes located right in Canyons Village at Park City Mountain. Apex Residences Park City offers unparalleled access, and plenty of room for even large groups to stretch out.
Where to Dine Off-mountain:
The Farm wasn’t named one of “Utah’s 25 Best Restaurants” for nothing. Inside, diners can dig into rustic and refined dishes that highlight all the best local ingredients Utah has to offer.
Five5eeds may be an Australian import but it feels wholly at home in Park City. The breakfast and lunch spot serves up heaping helpings of avocado toast, chicken and waffles, steel-cut oats, and basically anything else you’d ever want to eat to feel nourished for your day.
Where to Apres-Ski:
If you don’t visit the High West Salon you didn’t really visit Park City. The bar, located in historic downtown, can be skied to right from the mountain. In the winter it offers patrons warmth by the fire on its outdoor patio and even serves up some tasty spiked cider. Book reservations inside well in advance.
Located just steps away from the Village stage, visitors can grab a tasty Apres-ski refreshment at Umbrella Bar. Grab a beer or a craft cocktail, kick off your boots, and totally unwind.