The Definitive Guide to the Dining Scene at Alta
Alta is one of the world’s last remaining ski-only resorts, and its traditional vibe and fresh pow keep skiers coming back season after season. While you won’t find night clubs or a bumping all-night party scene, Alta does deliver in the dining and drinking department. From a quick breakfast to start the day to fine dining on the mountain, Alta has lots of options for skiers looking for good food and drink to make their experience even more pleasurable. Here’s a quick look at some of the food experiences to keep in mind when spending the day at Alta.
Watson Café at Watson Shelter
Before calling it a day, satisfy your hunger on slopes at Watson Café. Take in views of Mount Superior and Mount Baldy paired with a Utah microbrew while dining on the outdoor deck, or inside the bright, window-filled space. If you’re a carnivore, don’t miss the 100 percent grass-fed Utah beef hamburger that’s been voted Utah’s best. Pair it with crispy French fries to fill you up after a long ski day. Note that the Shelter’s only open until 3:30 p.m. so this is just an après option for early birds—for the rest, make it a stop for lunch.
Saloon at Goldminer’s Daughter
Encounter Alta’s rowdy après crowds at the Goldminer’s Daughter Saloon, an upstairs base area bar famous for its fresh-made pizzas and heaping plates of nachos. When you’re real hungry, the Supreme Lift Pizza topped with tomato sauce, tons of gooey cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, roasted red peppers, and red onion really hits the spot.
Wash it down with a $3 PBR, or fork out the extra $2.50 for local craft beer favorites like Squatters Hoppy Pils, Moab Brewery’s Over-the-top Hefeweizen, or Bohemian’s Viennese Amber Lager. Once you’re full, stretch out on the comfy couches, warm up beside four fireplaces, or challenge some locals to a game of pool.
Fine Dining at Shallow Shaft
Taste Alta’s fanciest fare at this classic establishment that’s celebrating its 50th winter season. Take the enclosed staircase up to the intimate dining room and snag a table overlooking Little Cottonwood Canyon for a colorful sunset view with a mountain backdrop. Don’t worry about dressing for dinner, your ski sweater is perfect attire for this mountain meal. Start with a meat and cheese plate or house-smoked trout cakes to fend off the après-ski munchies then class up your après with a glass of wine from their highly regarded list. For entrees, choose from inventive options like wild sockeye salmon paired with pureed sunchokes or buffalo tenderloin with red wine au jus. The ricotta gnocchi with butternut squash is a hearty favorite amongst vegetarians.
Upscale Collins Grill at Watson Shelter
Located on the mountain near the Collins Lift on the third floor of the Watson Shelter, the Collins Grill features a full-service, European-style menu, complete with wine and spirits. If you’re looking for a sit-down lunch on the mountain, this is one of your best options. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., you can enjoy a wide variety of chef-created options that are far from the traditional ski fare. You’ll find lots of locally sourced meat and organic items on the menu, a sampling of which include free-range beef, elk, and all-natural lamb. The chefs have frequent specials and the menu changes to reflect what’s in season, but a sample menu includes small plate items like grilled asparagus wrapped in capicola, butternut squash latkes, and spicy lamb skewers. For entrees, you might try the daily savory tarte, or the grilled Utah trout. Reservations are recommended between noon and 2 p.m., especially on weekends and holidays, and a private dining room—which accommodates up to 40—is available to book for meetings and other gatherings.
Breakfast at the Albion Grill
Want to start the day on the right note? Sit down for breakfast at the Albion Grill, located in the Albion Day Lodge near the Sunnyside and Albion lifts. This cafeteria-style restaurant is known for its sunny outdoor deck and all-day dining options. You couldn’t get a more convenient option to fuel up and get on the mountain. You’ll find breakfast staples like eggs cooked to order, breakfast burritos, pancakes and bacon—plus fresh homemade pastries and muffins.
Scenic Deck Lunches at Alf’s
When you want a good meal—but don’t want to miss out on too much skiing time—Alf’s is the choice for a lunch break. Located on the mountain near the Supreme and Sugarloaf Lifts, Alf’s features both indoor and outdoor seating with scenic views of Albion Basin and Devil’s Castle. The menu offers well-made grilled fare like hamburgers, chicken, and bratwurst. Skiers can also choose from hearty soups and chilis. In the building, you’ll find antique skis and other memorabilia on display from the Alf Engen Ski Museum, along with photos chronicling the history of skiing in the region. Relax with one of the Uinta craft beers that are on tap, or get a shot of caffeine with gourmet coffee from the Salt Lake Roasting Company. No matter what you decide to eat, you’ll enjoy one of the more impressive views of the mountain—and you’ll be back out on your skis in no time.
Written by Jenny Willden for RootsRated Media in partnership with Alta.