Best Après Ski on the Powder Highway

After yet another great day on the slopes at any of the resorts on the Powder Highway in southeast British Columbia, the last thing you want to do is make boring evening choices. Do we eat fast-food, do we order in, do we just starve until breakfast? None of the above!

We checked in with a famous local who knows exactly where you should be stopping for the après ski fuel.

Sage McBride, of the internationally known Fernie band, Shred Kelly has performed and boarded at many of the Powder Highway resorts and towns. “I see a lot of food go by and am always trying what’s on the menu,” says McBride. Here are some of her suggestions.

Golden, Home to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Photo: Abby Cooper

You can’t get to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort without driving through Golden. The town has a great cross-section of food and entertainment.

“Golden has a great town vibe. It has a great mix of locals, regular ski-crowd and tourists taking in the beauty of the town. You really feel the sense of community that exists here. For great breakfast wraps or curry for dinner, try Jita’s Café in the heart of town. For live music you have to stop in at The Rockwater. They have live music and jam nights to go along with a great menu,” says McBride

For fine dining in Golden head for Eleven22. You will fall in love with the fresh buns that start every meal. For a great cuppa joe for the highway, take your go-mug to Bacchus Books and Café on old main street.

For après ski at Kicking Horse, you have to stop at the top and enjoy a brew or cocktail at the bar in Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. A meal in itself is the #Instaham. The top of this Caesar is loaded with a meal of pepperoni, cheddar cubes, pickles and anything else the bartender can add to the skewer.

Fernie, home to Fernie Alpine Resort

Photo: Abby Cooper

“Fernie has such a beautiful downtown core and so many incredible people who live there which make it such a great place to live and visit. There are non-stop events happening in town and at the ski hill which make it such a vibrant community. I love calling Fernie home. Come for Fernie Stoke Fest, (March 24) Griz Days, or Fernival (closing weekend),” says McBride.

After a day of skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort, check out the live music in town. Head to The Northern, or The Royal for great live bands and DJs. The Brickhouse has a weekly jam night every Thursday and that’s where Shred Kelly got their start. The Griz Bar up at the resort is a great après bar and has live music from 3-6 p.m. on weekends.

For food, McBride suggests Nevados for the best sushi she has ever had and the Curry Bowl for delicious food and a killer beer list. She also strongly suggests putting the cross-country skis on and trekking into Island Lake Lodge for lunch.

Kimberley Alpine Resort

Kimberley Alpine Resort
Photo: Abby Cooper

“Kimberley seems like it’s the new cool town to be. Every time I go back there is a new business, restaurant or community event. It is really thriving right now, and I’m always keen to visit to check out what’s new there. It seems like a really great town to live in or visit,” says McBride.

You don’t have to leave the Kimberley ski resort to find a great après ski vibe. Stemwinder at the base of the slopes has great music and après food. If you do take the short drive into town the must-do restaurant is Pedal and Tap right in the middle of town. You can’t miss it, there are bikes everywhere. The food choices are healthy both in ingredients and volume.

Red Mountain, located in Rossland

Red Mountain Resort
Photo: Doc Pow

“I love the community of Rossland. Blizzard Fest or Carnival is the greatest time to visit. The whole town comes alive. There’s so much to do and is such a great time to dance, ski, drink at the outdoor ice bar, eat pancakes and celebrate the magic of Rossland,” says McBride.

Start your day with a killer cup of coffee from Alpine Grind Coffeehouse. After a day on the slopes at RED Mountain après ski food, take a walk into either the Flying Steamshovel for great food and live music or to Mook Thai.

Nelson, Home to Whitewater Ski Resort

Whitewater ski resort has great music on an outdoor stage during the Beach Party Weekend at the end of the season. As for food, “Whitewater is the best ski resort food in the world. Their Whitewater Cookbooks are amazing! The Glory Bowl. Yum!” says McBride.

Whitewater calls the very unique community of Nelson home, know for its eclectic shops and the characters that keep it funky.

“Nelson is such a vibrant and artistic community to stay in. Aside from skiing it’s great to check out the stores, delicious food, The Co-op grocery store, nightlife and scenery,” says McBride.

For live music you must check out the Spiritbar. McBride says when Shred Kelly isn’t on tour, they will drive down from Fernie to Nelson to take in the incredible artists they bring in. They like to stop for the deep fried avocado taco at Cantina Del Centro. For your morning cup of caffeine, you need to stop at Oso Negro. The breakfast buns are great for starting the day, too.

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