Less than a decade ago, Revelstoke was a sleepy little town in interior British Columbia, known for long winters, deep snow and incredible snowmobiling. In 2007 however, with the opening of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Revy, as it is affectionately called, became a world-class ski destination that could lay claim to the most lift-served vertical in North America—5,620 feet—as well as resort-side cat- and heli-skiing operations.
Since then, this small, former mining and railroad settlement has become a powder-fueled boom town and bustling crossroads of global ski culture, with luxury travelers, pro skiers and classic ski bums pouring in at greater numbers every season. Yet slow, smart growth has underlined both the town and the resort’s approach.
Over the last few years, some charming and truly quality additions to Revelstoke dining and nightlife have expanded the amenities offered, without skipping a beat in the local hum or losing any of Revy’s historic local charm and character along the way.
Below we have rounded up a few don’t-miss stars of the new scene, from simply stellar coffee to the best late night party so that you don’t have to waste time experimenting between Revelstoke powder days.
The Modern Café, 212 Mackenizie Avenue, Revelstoke, BC 250.837.6886
Anyone who can’t start their day—much less ski powder and pillows all day long—without a serious cup of coffee must stop by the Modern when in Revelstoke. Situated in a prime location in the middle of the historic downtown, the Modern offers fabulous coffee, espresso and divine hot chocolate for skiers on the way to the ski hill. Boasting a warm, friendly interior, the Modern bustles from open to close every day as a gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
Apart from artsy décor on the walls, the front of the Modern offers a wall of glass: huge windows that provide light and a great view to people-watch or simply observe the latest snowstorm accumulating. With Wifi in the shop, people are welcome to sit inside and warm-up with a hot drink or as do as the locals do: just stop in and grab a coffee on the way to the day’s snowy adventures.
The cheery green and and white facade of the Modern is always a welcome early morning sight.
Copyright: The Modern Café
La Baguette, 607 Victoria Road, Revelstoke, and the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Revelstoke, BC, 250.837.3755
La Baguette is a favorite local eatery with the Revelstoke ski crowd, with a downtown location as well as two outposts, one right at the base of the ski resort and one on-slope, with an emphasis on breakfast. This little French bistro specializes in fresh baked breads, offering organic, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Among La Baguette’s offerings are what many locals and visitors consider the most delicious breakfast wraps and bagels anywhere; perfect fuel for a big day on the massive Revelstoke slopes. The shop is so popular that you may find you have to wait in line at the breakfast counter, but the reward is worth the wait: you’ll find yourself with a new go-to, stopping in day after day to sample more of La Baguette’s carefully crafted breakfast offerings—they too have fabulous coffee options—as well as lunch fare.
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An overwhelming display of deliciousness: breakfast wraps ready for skiers to grab and dash.
Copyright: J Antoniuk for RMR
3. APRES SKI
The Rockford Bar, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, 250.837.7160
Parked just at the base of the resort in the Sutton Place Hotel, the Rockford is the go-to spot for the ski crowd when the lifts close, with everything from fantastic cocktails to beers and plenty of apres snacks.
Although it can be noisy and bustling, the Rockford never quite gets overwhelming thanks to the clever design of the space. The interior is bright and modern and combines a luxe feel with a distinctly unpretentious and fun vibe. A long, sleek, open bar offers plenty of seating, along with lounge-like booths and communal tables. Artsy fireplaces scattered around the interior boost the cozy factor, making it a perfect place to recharge after pounding 5,000 feet of vertical all day long.
Rockford: Exterior sign beckons skiers off the hill.
Copyright: Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Kawakubo Sushi-Sake-Steak, 109 1st Street East, Revelstoke, BC 250.837.2467
After he ventured out from his homeland in Japan, Chef Shinji Kawakubo chose Revelstoke as his new community—a small mountain town in which to improve his English and pursue his dream of opening a restaurant. In return, Revelstoke residents and destination visitors continually choose his restaurant as one of the best places in town to dine. A gem of Japanese culture tucked along Revelstoke’s snowy streets, Kawakubo Sushi-Sake-Steak attracts crowds of Japanese cuisine lovers who pack in nightly for fabulous food and the festive atmosphere.
The two-story restaurant has traditional décor and a ground floor seating plan with tables and a sushi bar. Upstairs are unique private karaoke-equipped dining rooms that can seat large parties of people, complete with individual karaoke setups to make sure there is never a dull moment during dinner. With something for sushi connoisseurs, families or high-energy groups out for some sake-fueled musical fun, Kawakubo offers a memorable experience in Revelstoke.
In Japan, Kawakubo was granted the rare and prestigious "Japanese Cooking License," a typically understated honor.
Copyright: Kawakubo Japanese Restaurant
5. BARS ON THE MELLOW SIDE
Benoît’s Wine Bar, 107 2nd Street East, Revelstoke, BC 250.837.6606
This cozy wine bar opened in 2005 as the culmination of a partnership betweeen Benoit Doucet, who emigrated from France in 2002, and Canadian Kayle Robson. Benoit and Robson artfully combined the rustic edge of mountain culture with a relaxed, French-inspired ambience where people can enjoy fine wines and light bites in Revelstoke.
The extensive wine bar is carefully curated by the owners, and the kitchen offers small plates to complement wine tastings such as nuts and olives, cheese plates or a simple half baguette. Benoits also offers live music fairly often. If the rowdier side of ski town nightlife simply isn’t your thing, or a mellow night is in order, Benoits offers the perfect destination to settle in for a quality bottle of wine and good conversation.
6. BARS TO GET ROWDY
The Village Idiot Bar & Grill, 306 Mackenzie Avenue, Revelstoke, B.C 250-837-6240
If the name didn’t give it away clearly enough, the Village Idiot is a fun place where (almost) anything goes in the name of a good time. Wooden ceilings and floors are flanked by red walls decorated with ski memorabilia, which have definitely seen their share of festive evenings. TV screens scattered about run ski porn to keep the off-slope stoke as high as possible.
The bar scene caters to the high energy ski crowd, and large, stout wooden tables and chairs are plentiful in the space, serviced by a friendly waitstaff that is all too happy to make sure no patron is ever without a drink.
The walls and furniture are adorned with—or constructed of, in the case of some chairs—pieces of old skis, and the whole Village Idiot vibe is that of a classic, good times, rough-and-tumble ski bar that will happily see you and your friends into the wee hours of the morning.