A Foodie Extravaganza (24 hrs) Vancouver to Whistler
We know how to adventure in Whistler, but all those adventures make us pretty damn hungry.
Which is probably why Whistler has become a foodie paradise over the last few decades. Whistler now boasts everything from fresh, vegan snacks, to five-course fine dining and a whole world in between. Whistler’s restaurants are world-class. They benefit from an abundance of fresh, local, organic ingredients, and chefs from around the world whose expertise and experience creates unique, memorable meals all over town.
You don’t even need to wait until you get to Whistler to start sampling the best local food. The ultimate foodie road trip starts in Vancouver, takes in the unbeatable sights of the Sea to Sky highway, and ends with a very full stomach. We reckon we’ve done a pretty good job of creating an itinerary to help you plan your trip. But honestly, there’s so much to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong with this trip. So take our advice, put your own spin on it, and enjoy the best of Whistler’s food scene.
But First …Coffee in Britannia Beach!
You left Vancouver early, and you can’t stop yawning. But don’t worry: your first stop is in Britannia Beach, just 40 minutes north of Vancouver. And here there’s delicious coffee and jaw-dropping views that will keep you wide away from now on.
- Galileo Coffee Company
Galileo Coffee is served far and wide along the Sea to Sky Corridor. And it’s made right here, in Britannia Beach. Housed in a beautiful old home on the water, the artisanal cafe roasts all their coffee on site. They specialize in small-batch roasting, and you can watch them at work while you sip on one of their locally-inspired blends. Or take in the incredible views of the Howe Sound, the waves lapping at the shore and the snowcapped peaks soaring above you.
Breakfast in Squamish
Next stop up the highway is Squamish – famous as the adventure capital of Canada. As well as world-class mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking, you can also find world-class brunch here. Fill up on food here, then take the morning to explore the site of the Sea to Sky corridor before arriving in Whistler.
- Zephyr Cafe
A favourite among locals and visitors alike, the Zephyr Cafe in downtown Squamish is a true community cafe. There’s plenty of vegan and gluten-free dishes to choose from here, and everything is good for you. For a light breakfast, grab their Greenhouse smoothie. Or for something more substantial, try the Standing Rock: local eggs, veggies and goats cheese piled on top of European rye bread and pesto.
- The Watershed Grill
Another restaurant that locals love is the Watershed Grill. Their location on the banks of the Squamish River is one great reason to visit. But their brilliant brunch menu is the real reason to stay. The French Toast topped with raspberry, caramel and whipped cream is always a winner. For a savoury option, we always choose the Eggs Benedict (they even have a veggie option available!).
Lunch in Function Junction
From Squamish, you’ll be treated to some of the best views in the country as you cruise up the highway. But as you arrive in Whistler, don’t make the mistake of driving past Function Junction. Our little-known (but awesome) neighbourhood is becoming one of the coolest places to hang out in Whistler.
Aside from the fact that we’re there (reason enough to come and say hi), it’s packed with independent local businesses, cafes and restaurants that deserve a visit. Grab lunch here and get a feel for the locals’ side of Whistler.
- Forged Axe Throwing
Alright, we don’t actually serve food. But we can help you work up an appetite. Come and try your hand at the newest sport that’s taking Canada by storm: axe throwing. With a hatchet in hand, some friendly competition, and some expert instruction, you might just discover a talent you never knew you had. And we can guarantee you’ll be ready for lunch by the time you’ve claimed victory over your pals.
- Functional Pie
New kids on the block Functional Pie have been making waves in Whistler lately. Their New York-inspired pan pizzas are hand-crafted from the finest, fresh ingredients. Meat lovers will devour “The Butcher”, piled high with four types of authentic Italian sausages. And vegans will rejoice over the “Vegan Mos Def”, the most legit vegan pizza we’ve ever tasted.
- Green Moustache
If you’re looking for a lunch that’s healthy as well as delicious, stop by the Green Moustache. Their creative dishes are all organic, plant-based and gluten-free. They’re also tasty as. The Buddha Bowl is our favourite for when we’re looking to load up on fresh veggies. Or opt for the Cozy Veggie Stew on those chilly winter days.
- Whistler Brewing Company
Of course, you should stop by Whistler Brewing to taste their fantastic local beers. But don’t overlook their kitchen while you’re there. For a start, they serve a dish called “Nachos as Big as Your Face” – enough said. We also love their German-style Pretzel for a quick snack or the Brewer’s Beef Dip for a rich, hearty lunch.
Beer in the Village
You’ll need to work up an appetite again before heading out for dinner. So after strolling through Whistler village and soaking up the atmosphere, head to one of our favourite pubs to sample the best local brews.
With a reputation as the coolest apres spot in Whistler, Handlebar is a quirky spot with a killer beer menu. The tiny, hip bar at the base of Blackcomb mountain is sure to have some unique taps for you to try. Their beer menu rotates regularly, and always features the best local and BC craft breweries. Handlebar also has a lot of happy hours, so hang around and you’ll grab some great deals.
- Hunter Gather
Fast becoming a go-to option for dinner in Whistler, Hunter Gather is also a great spot to sample the best local beer. They always offer the latest and tastiest brews from Coast Mountain Brewing (down the road in Function Junction). But they also do their research and hand-pick great beers from all over the province. And if you do get hungry, grab a plate of their banging Smashed Pemberton Potatoes to fill the hole.
On a sunny day in Whistler, the Brewhouse patio is the place to be. Sitting in the sun in Olympic Plaza, sipping craft beer brewed on site, you’ll feel pretty content. Their handcrafted beers offer something for everyone, from light, fresh lagers to old-school brown ales. Make sure to stop by, because you can’t buy their beers anywhere else in town.
Dinner in Whistler
Onto the serious stuff: it’s dinnertime. This is where Whistler really lives up to its foodie reputation. There are countless options for a satisfying dinner in Whistler. But you’re here for the ultimate dining experience. So here’s our top three, can’t-miss Whistler restaurants for foodies.
You can’t talk about Whistler restaurants without talking about Araxi. It’s consistently been named the Best Fine Dining in Whistler for eight years, and with good reason. Specializing in seafood, the oysters are a must for anyone dining here. Follow up with Diver Caught Scallops or a Pepper Crusted Venison Loin. And try to save some room for their selection of artisanal cheeses too.
- Il Caminetto
The best of Italian cuisine, five minutes from the ski slope. Il Caminetto blend local flavours with traditional Italian style, to create a memorable, contemporary menu. And they pair it all with a carefully selected, Italian-inspired wine menu. The food menu changes with the seasons, but their fresh pasta is always delicious, and you can’t go wrong with any of their seafood dishes.
Basalt Wine and Salumeria offers is another artisanal, locally-focused Whistler restaurant that deserves a visit. Their cheese and charcuterie menu offers enough to satisfy most, blending the best of BC with world-famous cuts. But you’ll also want to sample their dinner menu, which is packed with the finest ingredients and creative, carefully-designed dishes.
Cocktail in Whistler
By now, you should be well and truly stuffed. So now to wash it all down with Whistler’s best liquid dishes. There’s plenty of choices for an after-dinner cocktail in Whistler: here’s some that we love.
- Bar Oso
Araxi’s little brother, Bar Oso excels at Spanish-inspired tapas, handcrafted cocktails and a friendly, lively atmosphere. Try one of their six gin and tonics, including craft BC gins you’ll find in few other places. Of course, their Sangria is by far the best in Whistler too. But the one not to miss is the Oso Sour: bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and chartreuse, all topped with maple candied bacon.
- Mallard Lounge
Nestled in the Fairmont Chateau in Upper Village, the Mallard Lounge is a classy yet relaxed place to enjoy a post-dinner drink. They pride themselves on the skills of their master mixologists, and their martinis are famous around town. And while you’re here, try one of the seasonal creations, inspired by the rhythms of ski-town life: like the warming Milk and Honey in the depths of winter.
- Cure Lounge at Nita Lake Lodge
If you’re heading back to Creekside tonight, make sure to stop by the Cure Lounge. Their craft cocktail menu is extensive and they’re not afraid to play with fun flavours. Right now they’re offering Schrute’s Farm, made with el dorado, winter spice, lemon and (you guessed it) beet foam. We’re also big fans of the Better With Butter, a spiced rum cocktail made with butter syrup and a toasted marshmallow!
Breakfast Before Hitting the Road
After a good night’s sleep, the time to leave Whistler might come all too soon. Hopefully, you’ve packed in some of the best things to do in Whistler in 24 hours. But don’t disappear before grabbing breakfast at a Whistler restaurant. We’re good at brunch in Whistler: so good that we wrote a whole guide just for brunch. But for a quick breakfast in Whistler before hitting the road, some of our favourites are:
- Gone Eatery
This casual little cafe is beloved by locals. Gone Eatery is nestled next to the grocery store and is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite before heading back to Vancouver. Their avocado toast is on point. And we also love the Breakfast Roll, packed with bacon, egg, cheese, tomato, green and mayo. If you feel like you’ve overindulged a little since arriving in Whistler, go healthy with the delicious Overnight Oats instead.
- Dubb Linh Gate
If you’ve got time to sit down for breakfast, head over to the infamous Dubb Linh Gate. As well as some of the best apres in Whistler, they’ve also got some of the best breakfast. The Traditional Fry Up is a go-to classic, with sausage, bacon, egg, black pudding and pub spuds. Another Canadian crowd-pleaser is the fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes topped with berry compote, maple syrup and whipped cream.
Vancouver to Whistler – A foodie’s dream road trip
Honestly, we’ve barely scratched the surface of Whistler’s restaurant scene. For every place we’ve shown off, there’s five more just as great. So once you’ve got a taste of what Whistler has to offer, maybe next time you can stay longer and sample even more. A true foodie could keep themselves satisfied for weeks on end in Whistler. And the best part is, if you pair all the indulgent meals with some serious adventure, you don’t even need to feel guilty about it!