Whistler is an incredible winter and summer destination. In the winter, it has some of the most spectacular ski and snowboarding in the world. As anyone knows who does either of these sports, they are not budget-friendly! Then, in the summer, there is so much to do in Whistler, your biggest problem will be narrowing down your list in the time that you have. From zip-lining, cross country and downhill biking, or riding the gondolas to the peak of the mountains (just to name a few), it will be hard to choose what to do first.
If you want to do EVERYTHING, you may need to find ways to save a bit of money here and there. That’s way I decided to write this blog. We have been skiing and snowboarding in Whistler for over two decades, not to mention spending most of our summers in Whistler. For a family, especially one with four kids, this has been pretty expensive at times. So, I know why people come here on vacation and love it. And, I also know that Whistler can be a tough place on any budget.
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Affordable Whistler Restaurants
One obvious answer for where you can save a little bit of money is food. There are many exceptional restaurants in Whistler. Some are very expensive but they offer some of the best service and fine dining that you will find anywhere in the world. My husband and I often treat ourselves to these experiences and truly treasure them. For four of my favourites, please refer to Whistler Fine Dining: My Four Favourites.
However, Whistler also has some excellent inexpensive restaurants which we have also regularly enjoyed over the years.
How do I define inexpensive? Where you can go and eat for less than $15 USD per person. Now, let’s be realistic about this! You are not going to get five star service or ambience in most of these Whistler restaurants. Odds are table service will be rare, but not unheard of and seating may be a little tight. However, I have eaten at every single one of these Whistler restaurants and have walked away with a good meal, a full stomach and some cash left in my wallet.
For those with children, all of these Whistler restaurants would work. However, if you need a high chair or booster seat, you may need to contact the restaurant to see what they offer. Finally, some of these restaurants have a liquor license while others do not. If that is important to you, please double check before you go.
Whistler Village does have fast food like a Macdonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). These choices would obviously be inexpensive, but do not fit my definition of quality food. Accordingly, you will not find them on this list, but are available if you choose.
Remember any photos below with menus and food prices are in Canadian dollars. The exchange rate is constantly changing but if you reduce the price by approximately 30%, you will get the ballpark cost of the food in US dollars.
Whistler Restaurants in Whistler Village only
These Whistler restaurants are all located in Whistler Village. There are other worthy affordable restaurants elsewhere, but for the purposes of this article, I have only focused on Whistler Village restaurants. I will list them in geographic order from the Market Place parking lot (where the IGA and liquor store are located) to the base of Whistler Mountain. In essence, from one end of the pedestrian walking zone to the other.
Pasta Lupina is an Italian restaurant with a simple menu that focuses on pasta. This is one of the Whistler restaurants where you can find table service although it does not accept reservations. In addition, Pasta Lupina offers alcohol, although it is a basic beer and wine menu.
Pasta Lupina has a relaxed casual vibe. In fact, the dining room shares its space with its deli counter. The deli offers fresh uncooked pasta, pasta sauces and pizza dough for home cooking and its website provides recipes and cooking instructions. If you have a kitchen in your accommodation and want a relaxing night at home, I’d recommend picking up Pasta Lupina’s delicious ingredients and cooking there. Whether you decide to eat at Pasta Lupina or cook one of its meals at home, this Whistler Village restaurant would be a fantastic choice after an active day on the mountains.
La Cantina is a popular Mexican restaurant that offers enormous servings of authentic Mexican cuisine. Add in a frozen margarita or two, and you may never want to leave La Cantina. This is one of the Whistler Village restaurants that offers modified table service. Order at La Cantina’s bar and then, find a seat, relax and your food will be served. Seating at La Cantina is on bar stools, some with your own table while others are side by side along a counter top. In the summer, La Cantina offers a large patio. All year round, La Cantina is a busy, bustling eating establishment that is very well priced.
Fresh St. Market
This is a bit of a cheat! Fresh St. Market is not a restaurant but the largest supermarket in Whistler. I am including it because Fresh St. Market has a large prepared food section with high quality food at very reasonable prices. There isn’t any seating so everything is takeout. If you are heading up the mountain to ski or bike, or going on a picnic, I would highly recommend stopping by Fresh St. Market. You can save a lot of money by pre-purchasing sandwiches and snacks for your day. There are also a lot of hot food choices for lunch or dinner. In British Columbia, alcohol is not sold in grocery stores. However, the liquor store is across the parking lot from Fresh St. Marketplace.
El Furniture Warehouse
Out of all the Whistler restaurants on my list, El Furniture Warehouse offers the best “complete” package. Every food item on the menu is priced at $5.95 CAD or around $4.75 USD. In addition, El Furniture Warehouse offers a full bar with reasonably priced alcoholic beverages. There is lots of seating inside and a lovely patio outside. As an added bonus, El Furniture Warehouse is located on a corner overlooking the pedestrian zone for excellent people watching. In the summer, street performers are often found just outside. As you can imagine, El Furniture Warehouse is a popular spot.
Avalanche Pizza is definitely one of the more casual Whistler restaurants that I am recommending. It is centrally located in the middle of the walking zone. Like most pizza restaurants, Avalanche Pizza is self serve. You can purchase by the slice or order a whole pizza. Seating at Avalanche Pizza is offered both inside and on the patio. At $3.50 CAD per slice (or $2.75 USD), this Whistler restaurant is a good option for a quick, easy and delicious meal.
Gone Eatery is a casual, yet wholesome restaurant tucked away inside the book store. It is self serve but with lots of inside seating. The menu is filled with homemade and nutritious comfort food designed to fill you up. Gone Eatery is a longtime locals’ favourite and would be an excellent choice for those looking for quality healthy food at very reasonable prices.
Zog’s is my cheekiest recommendation of all the Whistler restaurants on my list. Zog’s menu is largely hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. I know…not quite the type of food that your mom and dad would hope for you! However, the food is really good. I feel that everyone should swing by Zog’s at some point and treat themselves to something from this menu. Most notably, if you have always wanted to try poutine, one of the yummiest “Canadian” dishes out there, then Zog’s is a “must” destination for you! From my list of recommended Whistler restaurants, Zog’s is the closest one to the gondolas at the base of Whistler Mountain. Even better, Zog’s is completely outdoors and open all year long.
Accommodation For Your Time In Whistler
For the best accommodation near Whistler Village, I would highly recommend searching below in booking.com and using the amazing interactive map to find your ideal location at the best prices.
There are a lot of phenomenal Whistler restaurants with impressive menus and excellent service. However, many of them come with expensive prices. Are these Whistler restaurants worth the cost? Absolutely! My husband and I have spent decades eating in Whistler, often treating ourselves to the delicious food and amazing service offered.
However, that is not the only way to eat in Whistler. Everyone can have a great meal here, even if you are on a budget. You might have to sacrifice table service or candlelights, but you won’t have to sacrificedelicious tasting food or a full stomach.
f you are interested in other articles about Whistler, please see the list below:
For dining options:
- Whistler Restaurants: A Local’s Guide To 8 Affordable Choices
- Whistler Treats: 5 Amazing Places To Wreck Your Diet
- Fine dining in Whistler: My Four Favourites
For summer activities:
- Whistler Summer: A Local’s Guide To The 10 Best Things To Do;
- 4 Whistler Summer Activities That Make You Go Wow!
For winter activities:
- Whistler Winter: A Local’s Guide To The Best Things To Do
- Whistler Blackcomb: A Local’s Guide To An Epic Ski Day
For Indoor activities:
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