This season, 2021-22, Vermont Ski + Ride took a page from our sister publication, Vermont Sports, and sent out the Black Diamond Reader Survey. The survey asked readers to rate the best ski areas in Vermont in 14 categories, including Best Overall, Best to Avoid Crowds, Best Snowmaking/Grooming, Toughest Trail, Best Ski Bar, Best Ski Town and more. (Scroll down for links to all categories.)
Here’s what readers said was the BEST ON-MOUNTAIN DINING
Vermont has so many great options for on-mountain dining – with fare that goes well beyond chicken fingers and burgers— that it was hard to name a clear-cut winner in this category. The single restaurant with the highest number of votes was Killington’s Peak Lodge. The sprawling, cafeteria-style restaurant serves just about everything from the classic Robie Farms burger to homemade mac and cheese from its chef-served pasta bar. Its bar offers beer, wine and specialty cocktails like a fully-loaded Bloody Mary. Other Killington favorites include the more intimate and elegant Ledgewood Yurt with sit-down service and the Jerk Shack.
Stowe’s Cliff House, an elegant smaller restaurant at the top of the gondola also earned plenty of votes and rave reviews. With stunning views, table service and farm-fresh fare, it is a long-time favorite. Stowe’s other summit restaurant, the Octagon (famous for its breakfast sandwiches made with fresh arugula and grilled onions) also earned votes.
But the most votes for one resort went to Sugarbush. Rumbles, the stunning post-and-beam table-service restaurant at the base of Lincoln Peak, serves dishes such as local pork chops with parsnip puree and ahi tuna tartare. People also raved about candlelit ski-to dinners at Allyn’s Lodge, and the gourmet grilled cheese (consider one made with Vermont Creamery goat cheese, Cold Hollow Cider and fig compote and sauteed onions) served at Walt’s at the Glen House at Mt. Ellen. Other on-mountain favorites at Sugarbush included the legendary Parisian-style bistro Chez Henri, where Henri Borel, now 94, has served fondue and escargots, steak frites and roast duck to skiers and celebrity diners since 1964. For drinks and pub fare, folks also named the Wunderbar and Castlerock Pub.
Other top contenders included Smuggler’s Notch’s Hearth & Candle which also caters candle-lit dinners at the Top of the Notch cabin on the mountain.
1. Sugarbush, 2. Killington, 3. Stowe, 4. Stratton, 5. Smuggler’s Notch.
Opening photo: Chocolate cake at Rumble’s at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak. Courtesy photo.