Mountain Restaurants

Taos Mountain Restaurants

Taos’ mountain restaurants are first class and decidedly European. From the world famous Bavarian high atop the resort to the deck at the Hotel St. Bernard at its base, few ski areas can match the charm and culinary prowess of Taos’ on mountain dining.

Taos Mountain Restaurants 660X260

In Taos Ski Valley, the gastronomic emphasis is romantic. Whatever a skier may fancy from enchiladas to  wienerchnitzel, Taos gets it right. To make your trip even more memorable, plan to lunch on the deck at the Hotel St. Bernard on any sunny day. Almost as old as the ski area itself, the Hotel St. Bernard was founded by eccentric Frenchman Jean Mayer in the late 1950’s. Its deck overlooking the base area is one of the best ski lunches in North America. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and burritos are the typical fare along with cold beer and a stirring view. Picnic table style benchs are available on the main deck as well as a three-tiered bench where tired skiers enjoy libations while soaking in the rich Taos sunshine. Downstairs and inside from the deck – via either the perilously marked “Experts Only” steep stairs or the “Intermediate” cut around – the St. Bernard offers a light waitress-served lunch. Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to be staying at the St. Bernard for the week, you’ll enjoy a full multicourse culinary extravangza each day, but visitors for the day are limited to the “express lunch” of sandwiches and soup and left to gawk at the platters whizzing by destined for hotel guests.

Elsewhere in the main base village, there are a handful of lunchtime rendezvous eateries in the pizza and cafeteria mold. Rhoda’s Restaurant, located slopeside in the Resort Center and open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm is the main base area cafeteria. Fare is a mix of typical American ski lodge cuisine (hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, etc.) and New Mexican food. Try some of the local specialties such as burritos smothered in either red or green chiles. On the outside deck you can watch skiers coming down the legendary expert slope – Al’s Run.

Upstairs from Rhoda’s is the Martini Tree Bar. Named for Taos’ founder Ernie Blake’s propensity for hiding mixed cocktails in trees around the resort as a way of pepping up timid skiers in his ski school, the Martini Tree is the place for apres-ski in Taos. Recently updated yet still retaining its old charm, the Martini Tree features a mix of craft beers, cocktails and snacks amidst a sea of Taos’ memorabilia. Elsewhere in the main base area skiers can find all types of food from casual through to fine dining, and from New Mexican through to French cuisine. Tenderfoot Katie’s is the place for a quick, economical breakfast or lunch.

Up on the mountain itself, Taos also does not disappoint. The Bavarian, pictured above, is a beautiful setting for lunch or a leisurely German-style apres ski. So authentically Bavarian that one would be forgiven for mistaking it for Garmisch, the Bavarian is one of North America’s standout on mountain restaurants. Set in a beautiful nook at the bottom of Chair 4, the beautiful wooden structure was actually built in Bavarian before being disassembled, shipped to American and reassembled. On sunny days its deck is as packed as the St. Bernard, but offers dirndl-clad waitress service and 1L draft beers served in giant glass steins. Famous for its goulasch, Jagerschnitzel and “Bav Dog” bratwurst, many a skier has been lured into a lunch after which he did not ski. The giant-sized portions of spatzle and pretzels are also a popular choice to share amongst a large table. However, no meal at the Bavarian would be complete without a sampling of the Apfelstrudel with ice cream and whipped cream (“mit Schlag” as the Germans would say). If the beer, the pretzels, or the Bav Dog haven’t done you in, this marvelous apple studel just might.

A few other on mountain eateries also merit a mention. The Whistlestop Café is located at the base of Chair 6 lift and is a good place to meet friends, get a coffee, a slice of pizza, or a bowl of soup without descending back to the village. Over at Chair 4 near the Bavarian is the Phoenix Grill, a handy spot for enjoying lunch-and the outdoor deck is a good place to soak up the sun. Fare at the Phoenix Grill is similar to Rhoda’s. Nearby the Black Diamond Espresso hut offers warm beverages perfect for a cold day. We particularly approve of the Mexican Mocha, made with cinnamon and vanilla extract.



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