Ah, Park City, Utah. Skiing, Sundance, site of some of 2002’s Winter Olympic events (they’ll never let that go, so it’s best to always include that history). The former mining town is a classic destination with a strong food scene: if you aren’t eating at Park City restaurants, then you aren’t doing Park City right. Finish off a morning on the slopes, film screening or stroll down Main Street with a bite at one of Park City’s best restaurants. Your belly will thank you.
Yuki Yama Sushi
Yuki Yama is good sushi without that “we make really good sushi, so we must be elegant and trendy” vibe. Here, you can have a beer with your maki … not that there’s anything wrong with sake, especially since the selection here is solid. A potential downside: the sushi bar is smack dab in front of a TV, on which a game or race is always playing. For a more intimate experience, go for one of the secluded tables in the back.
Yuki Yama’s great strength is creative appetizers, like the wagyu beef tataki, which you get to cook yourself on a sizzling Himalayan salt block. For something a little less novel but still tasty, go for the lamb lollipops or the hamachi carpaccio. And no matter what kind of sushi you’re into, you have to order a Millipede roll.
Silver King Coffee
Maybe it’s technically not a restaurant, but this independent drive-through coffee shop might just be the most adorable place in town. Aside from great coffee and espresso drinks, Silver King serves smoothies and juices at decent prices. Every drink order comes with a complimentary chocolate-covered espresso bean, which you’ll indulge in gladly. Silver King Coffee also has a selection of sweet and savory pastries (many of which are vegan or gluten free), including a cheese and spinach scone and a pumpkin muffin that tastes like fall.
PRIME Steak House and Piano Bar
You’re burning a ton of energy on the slopes, so you totally deserve a nice steak. PRIME may be a chain, but that doesn’t denote the quality of their food. Anything with the word PRIME in the description is going to be good, but there is no way you can go wrong with a steak. That is some excellent quality beef tailored just to your liking in an 1800 degree broiler. The outside has a nice thin crust thanks to the use of Kosher salt and pepper, and the steak itself sings in your mouth like butter. Yeah, get a steak.
Make sure to get a few family-style side dishes, like the sauteed asparagus (hey, a vegetable) or the sinfully caloric creamed spinach. If you want to at least pretend you’re healthy, opt for a salad as an appetizer. The wedge is a classic (and huge, so split it with your neighbor), and the beet and goat cheese salad is chilled and beautiful.
A few years ago, a super nice St. Regis hotel opened right next to Deer Valley Ski Resort, and with it came a luxurious restaurant and fantastic bar. First, a note. Any venue associated with a ski resort is going to be pricey. At least the food here is worth it: Deer Valley knows how to fix an appetite, and as the current swankiest extension, the St. Regis has the best stuff.
Chances are you’re looking for an apres ski attitude with some edge, so head to the bar, where you can pair your cocktail with a reasonably sized pot of fondue or a heaping plate of fries topped with garlic and parsley. If carbs are no concern, then go with the veal bolognese, which is easily one of the best items on J&G’s menu. Then, dessert: wash down your brownie with a mug of hot chocolate or a cider-and-cinnamon hot toddy, or sneak downstairs to make s’mores with the kids.
Steps away from the Sundance headquarters, Handle opened in December 2014. That being said, the gastropub is still getting the hang of things, including the drink selection and service—but the food is worth it. Come here in a pack. Handle’s vibe is shared plates, with creative appetizers such as buffalo-wing style cauliflower and trout sausage. Standout entrees include the bone-in ribeye and succulent fried chicken, which you really must order.
Wasatch Brew Pub
Utah may not have the best liquor laws, but at least the state has good beer. Wasatch has brews with clever names like Evolution Amber Ale and Polygamy Porter and a brewpub in Park City, where you can drink a few pints and eat junk food until 10:00 p.m. And, if you’ve never had a bison burger, order one here … trust us.
Purple Sage is the idealization of what we like to think of as American cuisine. Most of the food here takes on a Southwest-meets-South vibe, strategizing ingredients like cornmeal, green peppers and collard greens. Purple Sage is continuously regarded as one of the best restaurants in Park City, and for good reason: the cocktails are impeccable (Go with a High West Smash); the staff is friendly and very willing to give recommendations; and the atmosphere is lovely, with a desert mural dominating a side of the restaurant and a hanging cloth between every booth.
And with food, it’s hard to mess up here. Standout entrees include the meatloaf, pork chop and roasted duck. If you have any lactose issues, proceed with caution: Purple Sage’s menu can get heavy on cream.
Sarra Sedghi is a freelancer based in Athens, Ga.