Travel

The Park City & Deer Valley Guide

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Skiing in Utah certainly has its draws: wide-open terrain, more bluebird days than we can count, and some seriously good, consistent powder. (Case in point: This January alone, Deer Valley had already received more than 294 inches.) Another draw is the proximity to the airport—New Yorkers can be on the mountain by 1pm, and West Coasters can carve turns before lunch. And now, thanks to an alliance with mountain behemoth Vail Resorts, which owns Beaver Creek, Vail, Heavenly, and more, it seems that Park City, the laid-back mining town that many have known (and loved) for years, is finally getting the attention it deserves. The biggest news is that Park City Mountain Resort has merged with neighboring Canyons, resulting in a 7,300-acre mountain complete with a high-speed gondola called Quicksilver, as well as a handful of new on-mountain upgrades. The town itself continues to thrive, with new restaurants, shops, and even a performance venue popping up on Main Street.

350 Main

350 Main St., Park City | 435.649.3140

Located right in town, 350 Main has been a Park City dinner spot for more than two decades. They are big on local ingredients, and even draw a bit from their own urban garden. Notable on the main menu: the gluten-free fried chicken with apple jam, buttermilk mashed potatoes, kale, and carrots. The bar here has a separate tapas-only menu if you aren't looking for a full meal. Also of note: 350 Main has a few different substantial private dining options, including a fireside terrace space and an interior dining room that can seat up to fifty-five.

Adolph’s

1500 Kearns Blvd., Park City | 435.649.7177

Opened by Chef Adolph Imboden thirty years ago, this namesake restaurant has long been a part of the Park City fabric—it's the kind of a place that has photographs of past notable guests hanging on the walls of the dining room. The menu is a mix of European—with an emphasis on Swiss dishes—and American classics. The shrimp scampi is an unexpectedly smart choice.

Bistro 412

412 Main St., Park City | 435.649.8211

For an easy lunch, head to Bistro 412, a sweet little French spot on Main Street. The crôque-madame is perfect for pepping up tired littles, and they make delicious, rich mountain-dining staples, like a bison burger and Idaho Wagyu burger, for those with heartier appetites. During warmer months, the outdoor patio is great for people-watching.

Burgers & Bourbon

9100 Marsac Ave., Deer Valley | 435.604.1300

With wraparound views of the Empire Express chairlift at the base of Deer Valley Mountain, Burgers & Bourbon is the kind of place that hits the spot after a day on the slopes. Burgers are obviously the thing to order; there are thirteen types on the menu, ranging from a wild turkey burger served with green goddess dressing to blackened ahi tuna with Asian slaw. (Since you’re going for it, you might as well order the trio of fries.) They deliver on the bourbon as well: There are over 200 types of bourbons and whiskeys, or you can opt for the local flight, three kinds of whiskey from local favorite High West Distillery.

Chimayo

368 Main St., Park City | 435.649.6222

Chef Arturo Flores cut his teeth working for beloved local restaurateur Bill White before joining the team at Chimayo over a decade ago. Chimayo has become something of an institution in town, and Flores and his team keep things exciting by using seasonal ingredients and riffing on classic Southwestern cuisine. Of particular note: the guacamole Azteca, served with snow crab, stuffed avocado and roasted vegetables and Tierra + Mar fajitas, a happy mix of kobe steak, jumbo shrimp, and pico de gallo. The overall aesthetic feels equally transforming—there’s Mexican tile flooring, washed brick walls, and woven throw pillows throughout the space. When it comes to cocktails, just ask your server to keep the house’s signature Chimayo Margarita coming.

Fireside Dining

9200 Marsac Ave., Deer Valley | 435.645.6632

Upper mountain's Empire Canyon Lodge serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday until early April. It's a hearty, four-course, set-price menu—cheese, cured meats, stews, roasted leg of lamb, Swiss dishes like rösti potatoes—served from their stone fireplaces. You also have the option of adding some outdoor adventure to your dinner: with a snowshoe trek before, or you can arrange for a horse-drawn sleigh ride there.

Firewood

306 Main St., Park City | 435.252.9900

In local son John Murcko's latest project, you'll find a high-ceilinged, industrial space where the center of the action is the open kitchen—and a dining room that is separated from the kitchen by a wall of vintage-schoolhouse-style windows. Over an open flame, Murcko cooks up everything from grilled oysters and ember-roasted cauliflower to pecan-grilled scallops with pea risotto. The frequently-changing menu sources its ingredients from local purveyors like Beehive Cheese, Bear Lake Beef, and Slide Ridge Honey. There’s an intimate 8-seat private room, dubbed the Chef’s Library, which is full of Murcko's favorite cookbooks, just to the right of the kitchen. (He may even pop his head in and say hi while you're dining.) Inquire about the beautiful, reclaimed wooden dining tables and your server will likely tell you they were hand-hewn by Chef himself at his cabin in Southern Utah. Cap off the night with a Smoke Show (High West Rendezvous Rye, charred blood orange, bitters, and rosemary) cocktail at the Nickel Bar downstairs.

Grappa

151 Main St., Park City | 435.645.0636

The best thing about this cozy Italian spot is their sweet little patio, which is best experienced in the summer, under the twinkle lights they string between the building and the surrounding trees. The menu is classic Italian—hearty meat dishes and generous pastas that are blessedly filling after a long day of hiking or biking. In winter months, the fondue (why not?) and grappa's homemade wild mushroom soup are satisfyingly warm, as is the candlelit dining room.

Handle

136 Heber Ave., Park City | 435.602.1155

The seasonally driven menu and lively atmosphere are two of the biggest draws to this unassuming spot, located in a strip mall just a block off the action on Main Street. Chef Briar Handly (formerly of Talisker on Main) serves up fresh twists on American classics in the form of shareable plates with ingredients sourced from neighboring Colorado, Idaho, and of course, Utah. An easy-to-navigate menu is divided into four parts: bites, cold, hot, and hearty. Crowd pleasers include the Rattlesnake cocktail, buffalo-style cauliflower (their brilliant, veggie-based take on wings), and smoked trout sausage, based on a recipe from Handly’s grandmother. Regulars wax poetic about the Caramel Budino with Chex toppings—they’re not wrong. Photographs courtesy of Kerri Fukui for cityhomeCOLLECTIVE

Riverhorse

540 Main St., Park City | 435.649.3536

One of the more upscale spots in town, Riverhorse is great for a special occasion, white-tablecloth kind of meal: The old-school menu features a few cuts of steak, local rainbow trout, scallops, and vegetable-heavy side dishes that change with the season. The second-floor patio overlooks Main Street and makes a great hangout come warm summer evenings. (The cocktail list is wonderful, too.) They've also got pleasant, blessedly subtle live music most nights year-round.

Royal Street Café

7600 Royal St., Deer Valley | 435.645.6724

This casual go-to does cozy food with mid-mountain views. Part of Silver Lake Lodge, it's below Bald Mountain—in the winter, you can watch skiers coming down the slope for lunch; in summer, it's mountain bikers. On a warm day, you'll find people sprawled out picnic-style on the field in front of the restaurant, or playing some lawn games (cornhole, anyone?). There's usually a bit of a wait for a table, but the superb people-watching is an easy way to pass the time.

Snake Creek Grill

650 W. 100 S., Heber City | 435.654.2133

One benefit of Snake Creek Grill's location—twenty-plus minutes outside of Park City—is that it is decidedly not touristy. The food is so excellent, it truly feels like you've found a hidden gem. Located in Heber Old Town (formerly Heber Creeper Railway Village), Snake Creek is set up like a three-floor, Old Western-style saloon. The menu has crowd-pleasing variety, but we recommend the ribs; they really are outstanding.

The Eating Establishment

317 Main St., Park City | 435.649.8284

Eating Establishment holds the distinction of being the oldest restaurant in town (it first opened in 1972); consequently, the vibe is a little more low-key than some of the other restaurants on Main Street, with a cozy fireplace in the back and a diner-style menu that serves breakfast all day long. When new ownership bought the place last year, they upgraded it with a new bar (which serves excellent cocktails), so it's a good après spot, too. Any time of day, the classic order is the Miner's Dawn Skillet: a mix of potatoes, onions, and cheese, topped with over-easy eggs, which has been on the menu since the '70s. As the restaurant's official saying goes: They're not good because they're old, they're old because they're good.

Windy Ridge Café

1250 Iron Horse Dr., Park City | 435.647.0880

Situated down the road from Main Street (and, fortunately, far enough away from its chaos), Windy Ridge feels like a true local's place. They bill themselves as a destination for comfort food, and the menu has plenty of fried favorites like popcorn shrimp and onion rings, plus hearty post-ski dishes like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and roasted chicken with mashed potatoes; their southwest corn chowder is famous. Good to know: They do prepared dinners for families of four, which can be clutch when you're renting, or if you have your own place.

Yukiyama Sushi

586 Main St., Park City | 435.649.6293

Yukiyama flies their fish in fresh, so everything behind their quaint sushi bar is just as good as what you'd find on the coast. That said, the menu is also rounded out with warming udon and ramen, plus some Korean dishes, like a bibimbap-style rice bowl and a Kimchee ramen, which are just what the doctor ordered after a cold day on the mountain. The sake menu is excellent, too.