First of all, What is Après Ski?
Après Ski or after ski is a traditional and celebrated part of ski cultures
For those not in the know, Après ski or after ski, takes place between the last hour of the mountain and is open (about 2-3 PM) and lasts until early dinner time (about 5-6 PM). Après staples normally include beer, boozy warmers, and heavy snacks (think deep-fried and cheese-y) as a reward for a hard day on the slopes.
During these hours, it is normal to stay in your mountain gear, which creates a laid-back and carefree fun to it all. Originally started in the French Alps, the culture has spread to ski resorts throughout the world.
Naturally, we have adopted it as our own here in the Canadian Coastal Mountains and have lovingly given it our own twist. In almost every bar, pub, and restaurant in the Whistler Village, you can find special offerings specifically for Après. However, not all Après are created equally! Read this guide to find the right Après atmosphere for your trip to Whistler.
Best for…Aprés in Creekside
This Iconic spot is Whistler’s OG watering hole. Take a step back in time to the lore & legend that helped establish the resort we know and love today. Rumored to be named after Dusty, a stuffed horse that rode into Whistler in 1979 in the back of a pick-up. He was placed in the bar, and for almost a decade, watched over the regulars as they partied the nights away. Today, you can find tourists and locals alike enjoying this venue.
Located at the base of the brand new Creekside Gondola, Dusty’s is known for their amazing Caesar’s and smoking BBQ. They often feature rocking live music and shows.
Not only is it the oldest pub in town, but it also boasts Whistler’s largest & sunniest patio. It’s worth the trip to Creekside.
Best for… a party
The Longhorn Saloon
It would be impossible to talk about Après in Whistler without mentioning the Longhorn. Legendary for a reason, no one else in town (or the country for that matter) throws an Après party better than they do.
There are “champagne showers” shot out of special water guns over the crowd, lots of sparklers, and dancing on the reinforced steel chairs. The setup has evolved over the year to resemble that of a small music festival; live DJs, smoke, lights, fire, sparklers, loud professional speakers… it’s all there!
The party is not one to be missed for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind experience. World-famous, tables and space book out so be sure to book in advance and expect to pay a premium for drinks, entry, and food.
If you’re into understated elegance or anything low-key, you may have to give this a miss. It’s also important to note this is NOT family friendly and minors (under 19) are not allowed in the venue for Après hours
Best for… families
Many venues in town do not allow for minors during or after Après hours. The alcohol flows and the music gets loud which isn’t the best environment for kids. There are a handful of places in Whistler that welcome families with open arms and Earl’s is one of them.
With a diverse menu and a familiar feel, Earl’s is a great option for the whole family. The dining room has lots of space for larger groups and offers high chairs. An easy & breezy choice for families and adults alike.
High Mountain Brew Co. (Brewhouse)
Looking to try something different?
Check out High Mountain Brew Co. (formerly Brewhouse).
Whistler’s only micro-brewery is a great spot for the whole family. Adults will enjoy the brewed in-house beer and pool tables. Enjoy a wide selection of crowd-pleasing food, including house-made pizzas, lots of share plants, and sandwiches.
The large space is perfect for groups. They’re very happy to accommodate families and young ones. Located next to the family’s favorite Olympic Plaza, which offers skating, sledding, and a kid’s play park.
Best for… a sophisticated cocktail
Rated number 36 out of 100 for top bars in Canada, Raven Room has been making waves with creative and inspired cocktail offerings.
A constantly evolving menu means you’ll likely find something new with each visit. A very trendy interior might make you feel like you’re in a hip metropolitan area, rather than a mountain town. It’s only when you look out the windows to the stunning Alpine
The small plate menu is perfect for sharing with friends and is lighter than some other options on this list. Raven room is a great spot to try something elevated and new, in a setting that’s perfect for anyone looking for sophistication.
If you’re looking to impress your friends (or be impressed yourself) I would highly recommend checking out this spot.
Best for… live music
Dubh Linn Gate
Your typical Irish Pub, Dubh Linn Gate has been beloved by locals and tourists for years. They have a fabulous patio located right beside the Excelerator Gondola with heaters and a large fire pit to keep you warm and cozy. Dubh Linn Gate offers a robust beer list and pub favorites with a twist.
If you’re looking for a fun and laid-back atmosphere, look no further. Dubh Linn Gate offer’s an array of live music almost every day. It’s often a delightful duet of classic Irish pub music with fiddle and guitar, but they also will put on local rock cover bands and acoustic acts.
Perfect for pubgoers & music lovers!
Best for… out of the village dining
Looking to get out of the village?
Table 19 in Nicholas North Golf Club is the perfect escape. Offering incredible views of the mountains and Green Lake, the stylish and modern restaurant provides a perfect setting.
Enjoy Après favorites including cheese fondue, pizza, charcuterie, and more. A fabulous selection of seasonal cocktails and wine will be sure to satisfy all tastes.
Best for… meeting the locals
Rocky Mountain Underground (RMU)
Part bar, part ski shop- does it get more Whistler than this? Located in the Upper Village, RMU is a ski company that handcrafts its own award-winning sticks in the basement of this cool bar.
The menu offers fun and easy Après classics including chili, burgers, and flatbread. They feature a great collection of local beer & wine and seasonally crafted cocktails.
Both the front patio and intimate bar have a personal and welcoming vibe. The staff is very happy to share their recommendations for both the menu as well as the mountain.
Best for… Upscale Aprés
The famous Vancouver Steak and Seafood restaurant has a fabulous location in Whistler. Joe Fortes’s is the spot for great Seafood and a sophisticated atmosphere.
If you’re into champagne and oysters, you’ll love their menu. A large selection of raw and local eats, including seafood towers lends itself to those with refined tastes. Despite the excellent wine list and curated offerings, the atmosphere is not stuffy. In fact, you’ll often find a fun crowd in for the Après in the bar section.
The excellent Happy Hour menu is not to be missed and offers fabulous value, including $1 an ounce house wine.
Find Joe Fortes on the ground level of the Executive Suites Hotel.
Best for… cheap & cheerful eats
El Furniture Warehouse
Lovingly referred to as “furnies” by locals, El Furniture Warehouse offers simply unbeatable prices on their menu. In fact, all food items are under $10. A steal for a resort town! The atmosphere is that of a dive bar, with tastefully tacky decor, very loud music, and dim lights.
There are daily specials for select drinks which can also keep the cost down for those on a budget.
While families are allowed in daytime hours, I would advise them to avoid after 5 PM as the crowd can be rowdy & the music can be loud and explicit.
Best for… watching sports
Brandy’s (The Keg)
Located on the ground floor of The Keg. Brandy’s has large screens (and lots of them) for sports fans. They will feature whatever the “big game” of the day is and are open to requests, within reason.
The bar offers an excellent selection of cocktails and as the kitchen is shared with The Keg, patrons can enjoy the same great steakhouse menu.
The only bar (above ground & not a club) is open. until 2:00 AM you can keep enjoying all night long.
Best for… location, location, location
Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC)
It doesn’t get more convenient than the GLC. Located at the side of Whistler Mountain & on top of the Whistler Gondola, GLC is in the thick of the action. The convenient ski-in access makes it an Après favorite.
A large heated outdoor patio with lovely fire pit lounges overlooks the village stroll. With coverage from the elements, you can enjoy it year-round.
The menu caterers to all tastes and dietary needs with gastro pub-inspired fare. Kids are welcome during daytime hours which is great for families!
Be sure to check it out!