Whistler's New Noodle Shops

1. Ohyama Ramen

@whentheyfindus    | courtesy Ohyama Ramen

@whentheyfindus | courtesy Ohyama Ramen

Authentic ramen's hot and steamy heyday in happening Vancouver has finally spilled over to Whistler with the December 2017 debut of Ohyama Ramen. The new Whistler eatery builds its brothy, Japanese-style bowls on a deeply flavored house-made soup stock—and good stock is the key differentiator between so-so ramen and ramen that rocks. Ohyama's bowls, which start at C$11.95, are topped with BBQ pork belly and scallions, and come with a choice of additional broth seasonings for another 50 cents. Some twenty topping add-ons include crispy fried Brussels sprouts, garlic chips, Shiitake mushrooms, kimchi, greens, Bulletproof-style dollops of butter and seasoned boiled eggs with perfectly runny yolks. For vegans, a creamy ramen bowl with kale noodles, tofu and an array of vegetable toppings starts at C$12.95. Other menu items include pork gyoza, mushroom gyoza, chicken karaage and chashu donburi, priced from C$6 to C$8. Find Ohyama Ramen just off the beaten path near the center of Whistler Village, next to Harajuku Izakaya in the Royal Bank Building, alongside the Whistler Conference Centre. Eat in or get it to go. Either way, slurping is highly encouraged. www.ohyamaramen.com

2. Main Street Noodles

Main Street Noodles is located in Whistler’s “Fast Food Alley.”  © Ski Travel Go

Main Street Noodles is located in Whistler’s “Fast Food Alley.” © Ski Travel Go

Main Street Noodles, which opened in November 2017, sizzles up Asian-inspired creations modeled on signature dishes from China (like chow mein and kung pao), Thailand (pad thai and red curry), Indonesia (soy-sesame-garlic fried rice and a peanut-coconut satay bowl), Vietnam (Pho-style soup) and Mongolia (crispy chili beef). Bowls start at C$11. Protein add-ons (like boar bacon, tofu, pork belly, shrimp and egg) run C$3 to $6. Five spice levels range from mild to "kick ur ass." For gluten-free eaters, bowls can be built on a base of rice noodles (or straight-up plain rice) tossed with either the tamarind-based pad thai or peanut-coconut satay sauces. Find Main Street Noodles at the north end of Whistler Village, in what locals call "Fast Food Alley," around the corner from the big Marketplace IGA supermarket on... you guessed it... Main Street. www.mainstnoodles.com

3. Samurai Creekside

Samurai Sushi long has been Whistler locals' favorite place to indulge Japanese food cravings for cheap. The mini-chain's three locations—one at Nesters, one in Creekside and one in Squamish—dish fresh fare at a fair price, including an array of clearly-marked options for both vegetarian and gluten-free eaters. What's new for winter 2017 is that Samurai's newly reopened Creekside location is focusing its menu on noodles. From opening to close, they are ladling out all-day udon soup (thick wheat noodles in a mild kakejiru broth, sprinkled with scallions and topped with various add-ons). From 3 pm onward, they are serving ramen. And, yes, Samurai Creekside will continue to offer sushi, but is eliminating a few other menu items to focus on noodles. Meanwhile, the Samurai at Nesters (north of the main village) is focusing on sushi, sashimi, donburi, tempura and wraps—but will offer no noodle bowls. All of which means that tucking into Samurai’s udon or ramen requires a trip to the Creekside location, located a three-minute walk from Whistler Blackcomb's Creekside gondola, in an off-the-main-drag commercial building hidden on Innsbruck Drive. Udon starts at C$6. Ramen starts at C$13. Eat in—or call ahead and take those noodle bowls and sushi rolls to go. www.whistlersamuraisushi.com

Typical Udon Noodles  Smokefish | Dreamstime

Typical Udon Noodles Smokefish | Dreamstime

Salt Lake City: 4 Downtown Hotel Picks for Skiers + Snowboarders

Best Places to Stay in Downtown Salt Lake City while Skiing + Riding Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude.

No other North American city offers big mountain skiing so excellent in such close proximity to the downtown core.  Steve Greenwood | courtesy Visit Salt Lake

No other North American city offers big mountain skiing so excellent in such close proximity to the downtown core. Steve Greenwood | courtesy Visit Salt Lake

The Ski City Super Pass includes Alta, Snowbird, Solitude—and moments like this one at Brighton.  Steve Lloyd | courtesy Visit Salt Lake

The Ski City Super Pass includes Alta, Snowbird, Solitude—and moments like this one at Brighton. Steve Lloyd | courtesy Visit Salt Lake

Salt Lake City's mix of urban dynamism and easy-access skiing is one-of-a-kind: No other North American city this lively offers skiing and snowboarding this good located so close to a downtown hub buzzing with so many diversions. And, values for skiers and boarders can be hard to beat. There are some 17,350 hotel rooms in the region, many of which cost a tiny fraction of the nightly price at most ski destinations yet are within ready reach of Alta, Brighton, Solitude or Snowbird. Meanwhile, abundant lift pass deals make it easy to pay less—sometimes much less—than the full US$ 85 - US$ 129 sticker price for an adult, single-day lift ticket at those mountains. Start by checking your ski jacket pocket: If you’ve got a Mountain Collective Pass, it includes two days each at Alta and Snowbird. If you’ve got an Ikon Pass, it covers Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. If you don’t have one of those passes, you can still get great deals. Both Ski Utah and Visit Salt Lake offer great lift ticket values, at prices that are guaranteed to be less than the walk-up ticket window price. Go to this Ski Utah link and this Ski City link. Which leaves only one tough question: With so many hotel rooms, how do you know where to put up your feet after a great day riding Alta, Brighton, Solitude or Snowbird? Here are four hotel picks. Click any item below for more details.

Austen Diamond Photography | courtesy Visit Salt Lake

Austen Diamond Photography | courtesy Visit Salt Lake