Whether you’re hitting the Utah spot for Champagne powder, Sundance, or both, Park City is a big-time Angeleno getaway. On top of the area’s always-great restaurants, bars, and mountains, this year it’s now also home to the largest ski resort in the US thanks to the merger of The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR). The new resort, Park City (yeah, the name confuses us, too), is a gargantuan 7,300 acres, which is more than twice the size of Mammoth and includes 16 on-mountain dining locations. And with Sundance coming up soon, now is the right time to get to know our favorite spots to eat, drink, and play.
HOW TO GET THERE
Getting to Park City is easy for Angelenos, thanks to direct flights from both LAX and BUR. Flight time is about two hours and direct flights for a long weekend often cost less than $200. The SLC airport rarely has the delays that plague many small-town ski airports (Mammoth, cough, cough). Getting from the airport to Park City takes about 35 minutes and the town itself is walkable, so renting a vehicle is unnecessary. Either take the brand new uberSKI -- all of these cars have ski racks and 4WD -- or schedule a ride with Canyon Transportation.
At this date-or-group-friendly place, you can pile your plate high with AYCE poke, ahi, king crab legs, chilled shellfish, prime rib, and roast duck for $68 (yeah, if you want cheap... you’re in the wrong place). Two types of oysters are also available and they are not the Rocky Mountain variety. If you see the homemade dessert, grab Deer Valley’s chocolate snowball (flourless chocolate cake covered in snow-looking whipped cream), because they go fast. Open Thursday through Sunday for dinner.
A chic location in the heart of Main St, Yuki’s got great sushi -- and co-owner and semi-professional ski bum, Matt Baydala, may also tell you about some untracked powder stashes. Try the dry-aged bluefin toro from Spain and do battle with the Bruce Lee Roy, Green Hornet, and Mr. Miyagi rolls. Need to warm up? Go for the pork ramen. And the specials are outstanding -- let Baydala order for you, and you won’t be disappointed.
Start with the bacon jam and cheddar chive biscuits and continue the carb carnival with the short rib grilled cheese sourdough bites. Sides? Cauliflower and broccoli as well as lobster mac 'n cheese. Want to keep going? Head downstairs to the subterranean bar that often has a DJ on duty -- and always has great cocktails.
Two things that rarely meet: affordability and ski-town food. The salsa bar at this taqueria includes about 20 varieties, made daily. Vegetarians and omnivores alike should check out the California burrito. Carnitas, fish tacos, and the taco salad are also recommended at this no-frills spot.
Good Karma’s known for its unusual breakfasts: check out the Punjabi eggs masala or the Locals’ Favourite, which comes with buttermilk pancakes or house-made challah French toast, two eggs, and two slices of bacon. The homemade chai is also insane. For lunch, start with the South Indian winter squash soup and follow with the Bollywood burrito or the curry du jour.
You can’t go wrong with the Buffalo chicken sandwich at this post-powder fave. The burgers are substantial ⅔-pounders and the beer is cheap: even good pints are $3.50. Before you leave, make sure to get an Insta in front of the floor-to-ceiling wall of beer cans. As a bonus, it’s open late.
As this place is a (no kidding!) farm-to-table joint, warm up with the harvest soup and follow it with the Koosharem steelhead trout or buffalo burger. Save room for the Slide Ridge honey cake and simple and perfect donuts.
If you’re lucky enough to come on the right night (check the calendar sooner rather than later, and consider the VIP packages), you’ll get good music in an intimate setting at this speakeasy. Forget the Red Bull and vodka and go for the Russian Breakfast (Smirnoff vodka, cold-brew coffee, Frosted Flakes-infused almond milk) or Weird Science (Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 151, Galliano, lemon juice, house-made orgeat , blackberries, Angostura bitters, absinthe).
Saddle up to the bar at this local distillery and sit in a piece of history (a bar stool built from the Great Salt Lake trestle bridge from 1904) and order a tasting flight of Utah-made whiskey, a Dead Man’s Boots, or a whiskey lemonade that’s spicy and perfect for winter. For dinner, check out one of the dining rooms that drip with cowboy aesthetic. Still thirsty? Start singing, “Show me the way to the next whiskey bar” and take the short walk to the No Name Saloon. Pro tip: it’s consistently busy, so try to go at off-peak hours.
This beer and whiskey dive, which boasts a mine-shack vibe, has been “Helping people forget their names since 1903.” Keep it simple with a Bud and a Jack or go local with Polygamy Porter on nitro draft. Hungry? Get the bison burger or buffalo nachos to share. And even in the winter, the heated rooftop deck that overlooks Main St is killer.
As upscale as the Utah Jazz is jazz-less, the Stein’s Bloody and Moscow mule are both great. Want beer? There are plenty of Utah brews. Conduct a double IPA taste-test by double fisting a Red Rock Elephino and Squatters Hop Rising. Or go with the Epic Brainless (Belgian). Hungry? The daily skier’s buffet for lunch is amazing.
Thanks to the recent merger of two resorts, Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort, the newly named behemoth, Park City, is the largest resort in the country with a gargantuan 7,300 skiable acres, more than 300 trails, 38 lifts, seven terrain parks, 14 bowls, six natural half pipes, one super pipe, and one mini pipe. The new-for-this-winter Quicksilver Gondola connects the two peaks. The 8.5-minute ride will give you an insanely beautiful view and it's a great time to apply some sun block. Squirrel style.
Practically a skiers’ country club, Deer Valley regularly nabs awards for grooming: there’s corduroy as far as the eye can see. And the service is probably the best in the ski industry. Want to snowboard? No dice: sliding sideways is banned here. Ski here over big weekends, since Deer Valley only sells a limited number of tickets per day, lines are minimal even during holidays.
The 2002 Winter Olympics put Utah on the map and the Utah Olympic Park will bring you back to Romney’s greatest accomplishment, second only to his tax return. Here, you and two friends can ride with a pro bobsledder, zip line, or get some tubing in. But who are we kidding? Bobsledding is the obvious move here. Take 15 turns down an icy track.
Window shop, and Instagram street art's anonymous rock star on Main St
If Norman Rockwell painted a classic ski town's Main St, it would look a lot like Park City. Most of the town’s shopping and dining spots are located on this stretch that’s about 6,900ft above sea level. And there are even a couple of Banksys, one in the garage at the Cunningham Building and another at the Java Cow building.
With a dozen lanes for the skiing and riding masses and four private lanes, Jupiter Bowl is a good place to wear some comfortable shoes after being in uncomfy boots all day. There’s also an arcade and billiards, a tailgate menu, and plenty of TVs playing sports and ski movies.
High West Distillery moved all of its distilling, barreling, bottling, and packaging production to Blue Sky Ranch this year. Just 15 minutes outside of Park City, it’s a great place to visit for a tour (reservations recommended), grab a meal, or shoot some guns. Wanna throw a lasso? You can also play cowboy for the day.
About 25 minutes outside Downtown Park City, this naturally occurring subterranean pool is geothermal heated. You can soak, swim, scuba, practice yoga, or go stand-up paddleboarding.
Trade in the skis and explore the region on a snowmobile
Make a reservation with Summit Meadows Adventures, and they’ll pick you up at your lodging and drive you to Brown Canyon, which is about 15 minutes away. There, you’ll have access to 7,000 acres. Tours are one, two, or three hours. And get ready to fall in love: snowmobiling is ridiculously fun, even for beginners.
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Stephen Krcmar is a former East Coaster who now splits his time between Mammoth Lakes, California and Los Angeles. Part city mouse and part country mountain mouse, he’s written about the outdoors, gear, and the best drinking competition on the planet for outlets like Outside, Men’s Journal, Maxim, and The New York Times.
At the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet, for $68, you can eat as much AYCE poke, ahi, king crab legs, chilled shellfish, prime rib, and roast duck as your heart desires. It's not cheap, but hey, maybe if you eat enough food, it could be cost-effective.
Fresh, local food served in a cozy setting with a killer cocktail list? Sounds like the perfect aprés situation to me. Try Fletcher's bacon jam and cheddar chive biscuits or lobster mac and cheese, you won't regret it.
With 20 varieties of salsa, all made daily, we're already in love with El Chubasco, plus its relatively cheap compared to the money holes that are ski-town restaurants. Check out the carnitas, fish tacos and taco salad for a good time.
Pizza is essential post-powder, and Davanza's is a great spot to hit. Not only do they serve excellent pies, but the menu offers up burgers, tacos, cheesesteaks and so much more. So even if you have a friend who doesn't like pizza (lol okay), they'll have plenty of other options at Davanza's.
This eclectic New American spot presents fine dining at its best; the dishes are creative (try the Japanese waygu paired with marrow and a seven minute egg), tasty, and best of all, surprisingly unpretentious.
This swanky craft cocktail lounge serves up smooth libations alongside nightly live jazz, R&B, rock, electronic, and world music. What could be better than sipping on spirits in a spot as lush as this?
Giddy on up to this saloon, which also happens to be Utah’s first distillery since the 1870s. Soak up the dozens of small batch ryes, whiskeys, and vodkas with delicious Western-inspired grub at the onsite restaurant.
This is the place to be if you hold a special torch (get it?) for the Olympics. Built as a competition venue for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, you can indulge your Olympic fantasies in this nearly 400-acre park that now serves as a competition and training ground. Watch athletes in training, visit the Alf Engen Ski History Museum and the 2002 Eccles Winter Olympic Museum, or race down the track in a bobsled yourself.
Just 15 minutes outside Park City, High West Distillery at Blue Sky Ranch is basically just an adult playground. You can tour the distillery and try different types of whiskey, grab a great meal, shoot some guns and even learn how to lasso (yes they offer cowboy lessons).