Learning to ski or snowboard at an early age is the perfect way to help young children instill a love for winter. Exploring the slopes helps kids build self-confidence, meet new friends and develop a lifelong affinity for the outdoors.
Ski and snowboard families relish in refueling and there may be no better place to find great grub than in and around ski resorts. Vermont restaurants were sourcing locally before it was a thing, have access to some of the worlds best libations, and downright adore feeding hungry skiers and riders. Here the Mamas talk about their favorite places to grab a bite when skiing with the family in Vermont. Check out our top family dining spots for skiers and riders.
Killington’s Peak Lodge
At Killington Resort, one of your best bets for a great family meal is just a gondola ride away. Peak Lodge offers not just great ski area food – it has great food, period. Using locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, this cafeteria-style restaurant offers made-to-order sandwiches, pastas, and grilled entrees.
On our September visit, my family sampled cream of mushroom soup that was chock full of delicious sliced mushrooms; a fantastic Cuban sandwich with remoulade sauce (yum!); a ham, egg, and spicy ketchup burrito; and a local angus cheeseburger with a side of hand-cut fries. Everything was delicious and there wasn’t even a whiff of ski area cafeteria grease.
The lodge also has a full bar serving local beers and craft cocktails (bonus – check out the device charging station at the end of the bar). And on winter weekends and holidays, get up early and enjoy made-to-order omelets.
The lodge is open summer, fall, and winter and offers dinner on some summer weekends. The weather was pretty socked in the day my family and I visited, so all we could see were clouds. But on a clear winter day, the views from this restaurant at 4241 feet are spectacular. Since it’s just steps away from the gondola, even non-skiers can enjoy a ride up and a lovely meal.
– Mara Gorman
Epic Restaurant at Okemo Mountain Resort
My favorite mountain lunch spot is Okemo Mountain Resort’s Epic restaurant. Epic is slopeside dining that blends an upscale atmosphere with a laid back vibe complete with wet snow boots, matted hat hair, and helmets resting at diners’ feet. The bright airiness of the space combined with the central fire and cozy bar can make it tough to leave on a cold day.
Epic is located at the base of the Solitude lift, at the convergence of trails of all levels. This is an easy restaurant to ski to and just about anyone in your group can meet you for lunch, even if they’re not skiing. If you’re staying at the Solitude area of the resort you can drive right up to the restaurant, or take Okemo’s courtesy shuttle if staying at Jackson Gore Lodge or other resort areas.
The menu puts an artisanal, fusion twist on typical pub fare. Try the barbecued duck Quesadilla with a series of small plates for a delicious way to fill up without feeling overly stuffed. As with most slope side dining, Epic carries a great selection of local and craft beers to quench your thirst.
Want to have a truly memorable meal at Okemo’s Epic restaurant? Make a reservation to take Okemo’s snowcat to the restaurant for a unique Vermont experience.
-Adrienne Veglia Mazeau
Solstice Restaurant at Stowe Mountain Lodge
Solstice Restaurant at the Stowe Mountain Lodge showcases farm fresh products from all over Vermont. Patrons will find food that is is both refined yet casual, just what you might expect at an upscale ski resort. In the mornings choose food from the a full buffet breakfast or order something tasty like Nutella French toast a-la-carte from the menu. For dinner try the Stowe Mountain Lodge Burger or the decadent Lobster Bisque. After your meal enjoy a nightcap next door at the Hourglass Lounge or if it is warm enough sit out on the terrace and enjoy the bonfire.
– Dana Freeman
The Marsh Tavern, Manchester Village, Vermont
The historic Equinox Resort & Spa in Manchester may be one of Vermont’s oldest and most luxurious lodging properties, but it’s still very much a family-friendly place. The Marsh Tavern opened in 1769 and is the historic heart of the hotel. After a day on the slopes at nearby Bromley Mountain, families will feel right at home at the cozy Marsh Tavern, which features plenty of seating, an attentive staff and kid-friendly menu. The kids’ menu at The Marsh (and the adjacent Chop House) includes wagon wheel mac and cheese, chicken fingers, crust-less peanut butter and jelly, cheeseburgers and pizza. For adults, the seared scallops with Hen of the Woods mushroom, chorizo and pumpkin butter are packed with flavor, and you can’t go wrong with the braised lamb shank or seed crusted halibut. In the warmer months, dine with your family outdoors on the front steps of the historic hotel and soak up glorious views of one of Vermont’s prettiest villages.
James Moore Tavern, Bolton Valley
Après ski pub grub doesn’t get much better—or more affordable—than the fantastic fare you’ll find at Bolton Valley’s James Moore Tavern. Even though we had a full kitchen in our family suite, we found ourselves having dinner at Bolton’s welcoming on-site restaurant each night of our visit—our waitress even knew all our names by the end of our stay. My husband and I nursed our beers by the fireplace—there are usually at least 15 brews on draft, most of them local—while our girls played darts. On Wednesday through Saturday, diners can watch the night skiers coming down the mountain through the Tavern’s large windows and we loved doing just that over a heaping plate of Bolton’s famous Duck Fries. And Friday evenings kick off the ever-popular Late Night at Bolton with live music and beer specials making the James Moore Tavern the place to be.
– Gina Vercesi
Win Vermont Treat and Lift Tickets
Tell us about your top Vermont post-ski dining experiences in the comments or on Facebook and be entered to win Vermont maple syrup and 4 lift tickets to Killington! Winners will be drawn on 12/23/15.