Whitefish Mountain Resort Food and Nightlife Review
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Whitefish Montana is one of the country’s best ski towns, an authentic western village with brick sidewalks and frontier style shops lining the small downtown grid. Beyond the few blocks of fun streets, loom the Big Mountain of Whitefish Mountain Resort. In downtown Whitefish, population 6,000, brew pubs, coffee shops, BBQ and Burger joints, and even sushi are among your Montana options – amid art galleries, antique and western wear shops. There are more dining options at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the ski village, 8 scenic miles up the well-maintained swerving access road (watch for deer) from the town of Whitefish.
Top Place to eat and drink in downtown Whitefish
Great Northern Brewing Company is the ultimate ski town bar. A long bar serves local Montana beer and PBRs, cheap drinks, in a friendly local setting. Pool tables and plenty of TVs provide entertainment if people-watching isn’t enough. Pub fare like burgers make up the affordable menu at this cool watering hole in Whitefish.
Wasabi and the Ginger Grill serves surprisingly good sushi in this Montana ski town. A cozy restaurant with an open concept kitchen jams with fresh sushi rolls in many delicious varieties. Order anything with Pacific salmon and bacon…a brilliant combination. We asked Chef owner Phil, how he gets such fresh fish in the mountains of Montana – he said the fish arrive daily the same way skiers do – on planes, roads, you get the picture.
Logans at Grouse Mountain Lodge is just a mile out of Whitefish downtown. The Lodge lobby is historic and grand. Bear, moose and big horn sheep adorn the walls and a huge fireplace crackles as you head into Logans. Sit in the cozy bar area by the fire, après ski drinks are a deal until 6 pm - $3 wine and local micro brews. The Pacific Northwest salmon is delicious, so is the French Onion soup.
The Boat Club at the Lodge at Whitefish is the loveliest dining spot in Flathead Valley, just outside town on your way to the ski mountain. The Lodge is 4 star, 5 diamond, from the roaring fireplace outside as you enter, to valet parking and the grand lobby with a giant Black Bear and beautiful wood work throughout. Dining at the Lodge is alpine elegance. The waterfront bar has a friendly atmosphere and pub fare, glass doors opening to a deck on Whitefish Lake. The more formal dining room has lake views as well, hence the Boat Club name, and an extensive menu of Montanan fare - elk, prime steaks, and bison. Try the Elk Meatballs and the Wagyu Meatloaf. The Boat Club is your special night out while in Whitefish, or more casual late lunch and après ski with entertainment – maybe even a bonus of deer walking out on the frozen lake or a spectacular sunset reflected on the ice.
Casey’s is a cool bar and burger joint in downtown Whitefish, cowboy casual, beer and bbq is the theme. Have a brew and chat with a local ski bum about your epic ski run in Hellroaring Basin today. Live music is often the case weekends at Casey.
Montana Coffee Traders is THE place for breakfast in Whitefish in the heart of town. A delicious coffee menu, plus freshly baked scones, breakfast sandwiches and burritos make up the fun affordable menu (so much better than Starbucks). Have it to go on your way to the slopes or sit down and enjoy the authentic mercantile style café - with free Wi-Fi if you need to get your internet and coffee fix.
Top Places to eat and drink at Whitefish Mountain Resort Village
Café Kandahar in the Whitefish Village is truly special, one of the top restaurants in Montana, with James Beard, nominated Chef Andy Blanton who gets very creative with native elk, lamb, bison, and Kobe beef. Kandahar’s tasting menu, paired perfectly with regional wines, is a feast from Foie Gras and Duck Prosciutto to Elk Carpaccio, and Lamb, and a decadent chocolate trio climax. The setting and service are as sublime as the cuisine at Café Kandahar. Arrive early at Kandahar Lodge for a drink in Kandahar’s cozy Snug Bar or the sumptuous fireplace lobby.
Hellroaring Saloon in the Chalet at Whitefish Village is ski in ski out and so classic. This historic 1949 building, just above Chair 1 and 2, is now a happening ski bar – and the best bet for table service lunch, and après ski or casual dinner on the slopes. Hellroaring is famous for their homemade soup & half sandwich daily lunch special. Great ski memorabilia covers the Saloon walls. Local skiers like to sit at the bar, but the back tables have a view of the lakes below Whitefish’s Big Mountain.
The Bierstube at Whitefish Village is among the best of western après ski bars. The locals come out in droves for the weekly Wednesday Frabert to find out who wins the "clod of the week" award. Ski Patrol donate free beer and one “lucky” skier or snowboarder with the biggest goof up of the week has to drink a 32 oz draft to the cheers and jeers of fellow ski bums. Bierstube is a rockin’ rustic ski bar open daily, dating back to 1963. Don’t be surprised to see costumed characters, beer guzzling Yeti and the Prime Minister, along all of the ski patrol team (the "you fall, we haul" team) to be there. Bierstube is also a steakhouse – but we confess - like the locals- we just came for the free beer at Frabert. Whitefish Mountain Resort has considered building a hotel in the Stube’s location, so go there while the legacy and the current location stands.
The Summit House gets honorable mention as to the highest restaurant in Northwest Montana. At the top of Whitefish’s Big Mountain, 6,817’, the Summit House offers spectacular scenery of the glowing white peaks of Glacier National Park, and the Flathead Valley lakes below, with a complete, remodel to the lodge for winter 2015-16. We only wish Whitefish offered table service dining for such a top notch Summit setting. The bar is the best seat in the Summit House, or grab a window table while you enjoy cafeteria style fare.