If I could ski all day and night, I would. But, at some point, the boots have to come off and glasses must be raised to cheers a great day on the slopes. Which raises the question: where can I wet my whistle at Solitude? I’m glad you asked. Après ski is almost as much fun as skiing itself — almost.
I admit that I am totally biased, but I dare you to prove this statement wrong: the Thirsty Squirrel is the best après ski bar in Utah. I’ll say it louder for those in the back: THE THIRSTY SQUIRREL IS THE BEST APRÈS SKI BAR IN UTAH.
Located in the slopeside Solitude Village, just a few steps past the bottom of the Apex Express chairlift, the Squirrel has everything. A fully-stocked bar (my favorite spirit being the locally-distilled High West whiskey), along with several signature cocktails, is certain to offer your flavor. Add to that shuffleboard, TVs to catch up on the big game, and a pool table. Elobw up next to friendly locals and strike up an easy conversation. Or buy a beer for patrollers hanging out after their shift and ask where the powder stashes are. There are patrol dogs, who are cute as can be, especially when one hops onto a bar stool (the same move the pups use to get on a chairlift). And the inimitable bar manager, Ketti, skillfully ensures no glass goes empty while tending to a full bar.
Plus, the Squirrel has great food — don’t miss the Kobe beef dog, the Bavarian pretzel, baked brie, or my favorite, the turkey chili nachos! And, of course, tons of local craft beer options are on tap and in bottles. A coffee-infused stout, Epic Brewing’s Son of A Baptist is a great option on a winter afternoon. A quick reminder on Utah laws: draft beer and many domestic bottles are limited at 4% alcohol. If you’re after high-octane brews, look for full strength/heavy beers on the menu or ask the bartender. I could write an entire post just on the Squirrel — it’s the best après ski bar in Utah. Don’t @ me.
Skiers who parked at Moonbeam Center (the main parking area) naturally gravitate to Argenta, and therefore many a “best ski day ever” has been celebrated at this locale. Conveniently situated on the upper level of Moonbeam Lodge, literally steps from the ski racks, you can’t miss Argenta. Serving a wide variety of tap and domestic bottles/cans, there’s no excuse to not have at least one celebratory round of suds before heading down the canyon (assuming you are not the one driving, of course).
I bet you didn’t know this one. Tucked away inside The Inn at Solitude (that’s the large, red building located slopeside in The Village) and adjacent to Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning St. Bernard's restaurant, relax while enjoying a varied selection of fine wine, a full bar including local and imported beers, and creative appetizers. If you’re on a ski date, or just prefer something a bit more laid-back, Library Bar is the right call.
Solitude’s flagship restaurant has a really cool après ski option, which is equally as perfect whether you are waiting for a table or just want to have a round or two before (or after) dinner. Look left just inside the entrance to get a glimpse of this cozy nook, where you can order food or drinks from the full menu. I’ve often stopped in here on cold days for a boozy coffee drink and some nosh before heading back out on the slopes. My go-to is the Bees Knees: locally distilled Jack Rabbit gin, lemon, honey, and club soda make for a classic and refreshing combo. The food options here really run the gamut: from the poke bowl to bison burgers and flatbread pizzas, you can’t go wrong with any order.
One of the joys of spring skiing is a cold one in the sunshine. Whether you find yourself at the base near Apex Express or mid-mountain, grab a tall boy, pop the goggles up, and soak in some rays at either Last Chance Lodge or the mid-mountain Roundhouse. I often bring along a ball cap and sunglasses in my jacket for such moments on warm days, and you should, too.
Food options at the Roundhouse are some of the best on-mountain in Utah, such as a chicken pot pie that overflows a large plate, and the entire Himalayan menu. Order the platter and taste several options, and do not miss the curry fries. Fair warning: they are addictive (and wash down well with a cold beer)!
Après ski doesn’t always have to mean alcoholic libations, and obviously not for the kiddos. Enter Stone Haus Pizzeria & Creamery and their selection of ice cream, hot cocoa, and coffee drinks. It’s never too cold for ice cream — just ask the closest child if they would like a few scoops.