When you are visiting a new place, the best way to experience it and find the best spots, is to ask a local. Obviously locals will have different hangouts to those on holiday. I was once asked by a holiday maker where the best local places to go were, and it got me thinking of posting a locals guide to Whistler. So here are my top ‘local’ places to visit.
Best Burger. I am slightly biased because I worked here, but I do think that Splitz Grill have the best burgers in town – and some of the most amazing staff! With Splitz you get to decide what you want on your burger, creating it just how you like it – think a slightly more upmarket subway, for burgers. You choose what meat you would like from lamb to bison, or for vegetarians the lentil burger is awesome (ask for it deep fried). You then head down the line and choose from a range of toppings. The yam fries are also really good. Splitz in on Main street, close to the Marketplace Square.
Best Food on a Budget. Ask any local and guaranteed they will have eaten at El Furniture Warehouse (Furnies). They have food on offer for just $5, and do specials like Wings Wednesday making it even cheaper. The place also has a great vibe, with snowboard movies and great tunes in the background, you will always find locals chilling out in here. Funnies is on the main stroll, head left in the main entrance to the village, walk over the bridge and it is on the left.
Best Breakfast. Stonesedge has by far one of the best breakfasts in town. Their goats cheese and tomato eggs benny is amazing, and the best hangover cure. Out of the way a little bit from the main stroll, head right straight after the grocery store from the entrance to the village and it is on the left opposite Tapleys. A lot of locals have casual drinks here and will often be sat at the bar. They also have a lovely patio and the restaurant is decorated really well.
Best Bar. One of my favourite bars is The Beacon (formerly Cittas). With a prime spot in town, straight ahead as you enter the village, this bar is a great place to sit on the patio and people watch. Host to friendly barman George, this is a great bar to have a few casual drinks. It is not too pricey and has a great chilled out vibe, which is nice when the other bars are busy and noisy.
Best Patio. Longhorns has the best patio by far, however because of its spot overlooking the bottom of the ski hill it gets incredibly busy, and can also be incredibly loud. Their prices are also quite high. If you want to sit and watch the skiers and snowboarders coming off the mountain but Longhorns is packed, head over to Blacks across the way. It usually isn’t too busy, and if you sit upstairs you have great views of the mountain. GLC also has a great patio right on the bottom of the hill, but again gets pretty busy – they do amazing nachos though!
Best Bar Prices. You will always find locals either starting their night, or carrying it on after pre-drinks, or having a cheeky one before work, at Three Below. They do highballs for $6.95 and three shots for $14. Located in the Village Cinema downstairs, they also have cheap deals on food, although I would probably stick with the drinks.
Best Photo Op. In the summer one of my favourite spots in halfway up the Tin Pants trail at Lost Lake. There is a look out with a bench, with a great view of the mountains. Not just this, but there is also a small one tree at the lookout, where people have hung a variety of decorations. I love the idea that so many people have come and left belongings and trinkets on this tree. In the winter grab your board and ride the Peak Chair to the top of Whistler Mountain, where there is an Inukshuk just waiting for you and your camera.
Best Apres. I believe I have mentioned this before, but Swedish Apres at Cinnamon Bear goes off! Locals ski off the mountain and head to Cinny Bear to hear live music and drink jugs. I have heard they will be bringing back this year, and if they do it is definitely worth a visit. Get there early!
Best Locals Night. This is a tricky one because there are so many! So I’m going to change it to Best Locals Nights! Each nightclub hosts a locals night and each one will be packed with locals drinking the night away (or other recreational activities). Monday head to Maxx Fish, Tuesday head to Tommy Africa’s, Wednesday head to Moe Joes and Thursday head to Garfinkels. Moes local night is actually Sunday where they have a glow party, but Wednesday they host ‘Live in The House’ (think trumpets and drums), I prefer Wednesday over Sunday.
Best Activity. Depending when you go will depend on what you can do. For summer I would recommend Zip Lining, if nothing more than for the view. It is a breathtaking trip in between the trees and looking out over the mountains. In the winter I would suggest snowmobiling.
Best Live Music. More recently, Sunday nights at Tapleys played host to local band Neverland nights. They are a great band, and create an awesome atmosphere wherever they play. Sundays get super busy if they are on so get down there early to grab a table. Also on a Sunday is Crystal Lounge Jam Night, where random musicians get up and ‘jam’ together live. It is really great to watch and listen.
Best Free Activity. In the summer the hikes and lakes are amazing. Also on a Sunday in the summer, the Upper Village plays host to a farmers market, usually with some live music. If you want a bit of exercise, head to Lululemon in the village on a Sunday morning and take a free yoga class!
Best Pizza. Fat Tony’s is the pizza place every local goes to. Open until late, many a drunk local can be seen stumbling into Fat Tony’s after the club closes. Get the beef and blue cheese pizza, the locals swear by it. Turn right as you go past the grocery store in the main village and it is on the left behind Buffalo Bills.
I’m sure there are so many more locals spots that I will think of after I publish this blog post, so I may add some more on. But hopefully this will give you a few things to do to live like a local, even if it is only for a few days.