Folks say food at ski hills isn’t great and is overpriced, and I would disagree on both counts when it comes to the food at Sunshine. That having been said, there are better things to eat on the mountain, and better places to eat them, if you know the “insider scoop”. Since my job is to give you that, I asked my friend Steve Novak, Food and Beverage Manager with Aramark on the mountain, to let me publish the “F&B Cheat Sheet” for Sunshine that is provided to us SnowHosts.
Before I offer that, there are 2 things of note:
- As I type this, Sunshine has 1,800 seats available in all the restaurants on the whole mountain combined. Come here on a busy holiday Saturday, with 6,000+ folks visiting, and you realize that every seat on the mountain has to turn over 4 or more times just to feed people lunch — even if they bring their own. This is why I send people to Creekside for lunch, and why getting a real day lodge at Goat’s Eye matters.
- All the food and beverages at Sunshine come up on the Gondola (including beer kegs). All the garbage and recycling when you’re done eating goes down the Gondola. This is why the food isn’t cheap, though I still don’t think it overpriced for what you get. For instance, the butter chicken in the Alpine Grill is better than, and cheaper than, the butter chicken in the Indian restaurant in Canmore.
Sunshine focuses on food quality, and offers gluten free and vegetarian options in every place to eat.
And so, I hand my blog over to Steve:
Thanks, Derek, for the invitation!
At Sunshine, we pride ourselves in our ability to meet any dietary requirement. Any guest only needs to ask out team and we will accommodate. We are happy to do it! Here’s a summary of where you can eat on the mountain, and the kind of offerings there.
Creekside First Tracks: Formerly known as “Grab and Go” offers a full Starbucks beverage offering as well as fresh baked muffins, cookies and other treats. My favorite is the Cream Cheese Brownie. New this year is our brand new Espresso maker making a wonderful coffee! Opens at 7:30am – 6:00pm
Creekside Restaurant: A bit of everything, but we focus on the pizzas. These are hand tossed and cooked in our forno over. All the food is inspired by meals you might enjoy at home. Après on the weekends is quite busy since we have our live entertainer playing and singing from 3:30 – 6:00 both Saturday and Sunday. We do happy hour 7 nights a week at Creekside with specials on Draft and daily food specials.
Goat’s Eye Gardens: Our mid-mountain getaway! Licensed for alcohol sales and featuring cafeteria staples like burgers, hot dogs, pizza and chicken fingers, we also have some comfort foods like burritos, fish and chips, pulled pork, spaghetti and a fantastic gourmet grilled cheese. Opens at 8am – 4pm
Trapper’s in the OSL: Trapper’s is the hub in the Village. We have 320 seating in Trapper’s and it opens from 11:00 onwards. Trapper’s menu can be best described as a bit of road house and diner. My favorite at Trapper’s is the Reuben Sandwich on toasted Rye with Sauerkraut. Nachos are the most popular item at Trapper’s. We have 6 beers on tap. Trapper’s is also open at night for guests and staff alike. During busy time of the year we open the kitchen for dinner service (over the Christmas break, Family Day and Easter). Great wings at Trapper’s. We smoke all of our own meats at Trapper’s with the exception of the Montreal Smoked Meat. We in-house smoke our pork, chicken and ribs that we use in our menu. The upstairs portion of Trappers, called Bruno’s, is open on weekends and holidays, providing additional seating with the same menu.
In The Daylodge:
Burger Co. features a line-up of great 6 oz burgers and fresh cut fries from Kennebec potatoes (the best you can use because of their sugar and starch content). Opens at 10:30 – 4pm
Alpine Grill has a little of everything. Pizza, fresh made-to-order Curries, Vietnamese Pho noodle soup, Burritos and grill favorites. It’s good to know that the curries are gluten free. My faves here are the Pho and the Burrito. These are both great value and great quality. The burritos are filled and rolled to order. We smoke the pork and beef in our smoker. We sell coconut water and Naked Juices. These juices are 100% fruit and veggie smoothies. They are selling great and taste great! Opens at 8am – 4:30
Lookout Lounge: Located on the 3rd floor of the Daylodge building, features a smaller menu for quick service. Wings, nachos, a fantastic crunchy chicken sandwich (my recommendation) as well as salads and pizzas. We have a new hand formed elk burger this year that is fantastic! Great views make this a great place to hang out. Half of this room is used for large groups. Quite often, when a lunch is included for a group it will be in the Lookout. Opens at 11:00-3:00
Java Express is located on the main floor of the Daylodge and serves up Starbucks coffees. Open from 8am – 4 daily.
In The Sunshine Mountain Lodge:
Chimney Corner: located in the Sunshine Mountain Lodge is a 160 seat full service restaurant that features a varied menu. All of the items on our Chimney Corner menu are made in house by our culinary team. We do not use premade products. We bake our own focaccia bread, bake our own desserts. I recommend the Chicken Club, the smoked meat sandwich, the Winter salad with Arugula and beet, and any dessert but especially the Crème Brulee Cheesecake. The Chimney Corner is open daily, 3 meals per day from 7:30am – 10:00pm and is open to the public.
Eagle’s Nest Dining Room is open evenings only from 5:30 till 10:30. This is our higher end dining option for hotel guests and was recently renovated this past year. I don’t call it fine dining but prefer finer dining. There is a higher standard of service in the Eagle’s Nest. We have a Canadian theme featuring locally sourced proteins, for example, our lamb rack is sourced from Sungold Farms located near Innisfill Alberta. All of our steaks are Alberta AAA and are hand cut. I always recommend the Lamb Rack and the Beef Tenderloin.
Java Lift in the SML, located across from front desk is our busiest coffee shop on resort. We feature the Starbucks coffee program as well as food options. We launched our crepe program 4 seasons ago now and it’s very popular. You can also get breakfast sandwiches in the mornings and baked goodies throughout the day. This location is licensed for alcohol service. Java has one of the best values in my opinion. We sell both sweet and savoury crepes. This is a great place to grab a quick and easy breakfast or lunch and a coffee.
- First Tracks: Cream Cheese Brownies
- Creekside: Chicken and Mushroom pizza, add Jalapeno Peppers
- Goat’s Eye: Burrito
- Trapper’s: Smoked Brisket Sandwich
- Burger Co.: Jalapeno Burger, fries (because they are fresh cut)
- Alpine: Butter Chicken!
- Chimney Corner: Winter Salad with Beets, Chicken Focaccia Club, Smoked Meat Sandwich
- Eagle’s Nest: Beef Tenderloin, Lamb Rack
- Java Lift: Chai Latte with skim Milk and a Nutella and Banana Crepe
Since Steve picked, here’s The Ryder Report’s Picks:
- First Tracks: Breakfast Bagel
- Creekside: Pulled pork or smoked meat panini (the smoked meat one comes with an awesome pickle slice)
- Goat’s Eye: Greek Rotini Pasta Salad
- Alpine Grill: Butter Chicken (I think it’s the best tasting dish on the whole mountain). Fresh, in-house made, killer baked cookies (which you can also get at Java Lift)
- Chimney Corner: Fish & chips (better than the Georgetown in Canmore), Mac & Cheese, Mushroom Flatbread
- Java Lift: Black Forest Crepe
It it were up to me:
- I eat at Chimney Corner assuming the hill isn’t such a zoo that I can’t get in. Awesome food, beautiful atmosphere, a Rickard’s Red (on tap) and I’m a happy camper.
- If I’m in a hurry, it’s the Alpine Grill for the butter chicken or the pho.
- If I’m in a hurry on a quiet day, it’s the crepes and a glass of wine at Java Lift.
- If it’s crowded on the hill, I ride the Goat all morning then head down the ski out at lunch to Creekside for one of the paninis and a Granville Island IPA (on tap).
Hope that’s useful! Feel free to comment with your favourite food at Sunshine!