Big Sky Best Dining and Après Ski

Big Sky Resort in Montana is home to some of the biggest skiing in America, with 5,800 acres, big steeps & beautiufl scenery, it’s a top ski destination for a family ski vacation. The lodging at Big Sky is plentiful, from the posh on mountain Summit Hotel, to nearby Huntley Lodge and Shoshone, to condos and private ski homes along the trails at Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peaks. To complete your Big Sky ski trip, here are our top Picks for après ski and dining.

Best Big Sky Area Dining:

Buck’s T4 is everything you would expect from a Montana steak house. A complimentary shuttle will transport you to Buck’s, a 15 minute ride down from Big Sky (keep a look out for big horn sheep on the roadside). Buck’s classic 1946 hunting lodge offers cozy booths or tables by the big fireplace. A super friendly team of Montanans greet you and describe the extensive menu. The post and beam ranch walls are adorned by elk, bear, and bison. Much of this local game is also featured on the menu. Montana raised hand cut Wagyu steaks, bison, elk, red deer, lamb, duck and local trout are thoughtfully prepared with hearty sides like garlic mashed potatoes and corn grits.

Buck’s T4 also has an inviting bar serving pub fare like their Bodacious Waygu Beef burgers. Montana draft beers and an impressive wine list featuring California and Columbia River selections accompany beautiful, big portions at Buck’s T4. Save room to share a warm chocolate chip cookie served in a skillet (you will burn it off skiing Lone Peak the next day). Buck’s is family owned and operated, classic Montana fare in a cozy ranch. Be sure to dine at Buck’s T4 during your ski week at Big Sky.

Lone Mountain Ranch is a gorgeous slice of Montana, it’s a 1915 dude ranch  with upscale western dining at The Horn and Cantle, and classic cabins dotting the immense property. A long grand drive through log arches just off the Big Sky access road leads you to this magical setting with sparkling trees.

An apres ski cocktail in Lone Mountain Ranch’s Saloon by the fireplace is a great start to the evening, perhaps sipping a Flannel Shirt or a Saw Mill while enjoying live local entertainment. For dinner, settle into the Horn and Cantle’s grand dining room under antler chandeliers by a soaring fieldstone fire. Dinner choices include elk, pheasant, bison, duck and trout.  Lone Mountain Ranch also offers horse-drawn sleigh ride dinners to a yurt! See our review of Lone Mountain Ranch, including Nordic skiing on their extensive trails.

Lone Peak Brewery in the Meadows is Big Sky’s best beer and bar. A classic pub atmosphere, and amazing locally brewed beers on tap are ideal for causal apres ski fare. Rick is Begium-raised, a master brewer, passionate about his place and his pours – Nordic Blond to Steep & Deep. The Loft upstairs is home to fun events, music to Maine lobster and Alaskan crab feasts.

Best Big Sky On Mountain Lunch Spots:

Take the Ram Charger lift to Everett’s 8800, named for Boyne Resorts’ founder and the elevation of this grand mountain lodge. Since Big Sky bought Spanish Peaks, this beautiful on mountain log cabin is open for ski in lunch or a drink at the grand bar with spectacular views of Lone Peak. Crepes, Swiss Rosti potatoes and warm apple strudel bring a taste of Europe to the Montana mountains. Evenings, ride the Ramcharger lift up in the moonlight for a special menu in this magnificent mountaintop setting, reservations required. You may get a snowcat ride back to the base!

If you get an invite to the Moonlight Lodge, go to this  spectacular private lodge by the Iron Horse Quad on the Moonlight side of Big Sky – its a sight to behold, mountain goats climb the immense river stone fireplace, and a big bronze bear is perched fireside by inviting leather couches. Burgers, soups and pub fare are served alongside the stunning views of mountainside mansions at Moonlight Basin, towering above is Lone Peak, and the Challenger steeps.

Black Kettle Burritos is atop the swifty lift. This tiny hut jams, cranking out delicious tacos, burritos and miexican bowls, If its sunny, the outdoor deck is the place to be.

Shedhorn Grill serves burgers in paradise, grilled outside, amid views of Lone Peaks steeps. This independent yurt by Shedhorn Lift has simple satisfying menu, Waygu and Bison burgers, sausages too. The homemade cookies are heaven too.

Big Sky Lunch in the Village:

Lunch at The Peaks in the Summit Hotel at Big Sky offers daily buffet specials. The view of the slopes will tempt you back out for more calorie burning on Ramcharger.

The Carabiner Bar in the Summit Hotel serves lunch and après ski cocktails in casual cowboy style. Saddle up to a cowhide bar stool, or settle into one of the leather couches by the fire and you will ease right into après ski, in other words – you are done for the day. On sunny afternoons, the outdoor couches around firepits are the perfect place to soak up views of Lone Peak while sipping a Montana brew. Carabiner’s pub menu offers burgers, buffalo empanadas and the like.

Andiamo in Big Sky’s Village Center serves ski in ski out Tuscan lunch specials, and delicious Italian dinners, but with no windows or view of the slopes, so slide off your ski boots and enjoy La Docle Vita.

Montana Jacks serves southwestern fare, in a casual cowboy bar setting in the Mountain Mall. A big pile of nachos and a view of skiers coming and going will keep you fueled for an afternoon of skiing Swifty and Ram Charger, or a trip up the Tram to the Dictator Chutes. Après ski, you will find drinks deals and entertainement

The Madison Base Village at Moonlight Basin, just above the Six Shooter chairlift, serves lunch in a yurt – though once inside the cozy café style Headwaters Grill, you soon forget it’s a temporary structure.

Best Big Sky Places for Dinner:
The Summit Hotel Peaks Restaurant
serves dinner – all with a fantastic view of the outdoor heated pool and the ski slopes. Next door within the Summit Hotel is The Carabiner Bar, great for après ski drinks and entertainment.

Andiamo’s is a whimsically decorated restaurant serving Tuscan Italian in the Village Center building. In the Mountain Mall are Montana Jacks serving southwestern, and Hummers, plus a bustling grocery store with deli, beer and wine. The ski in ski out Cabin Restaurant has a cozy post and beam atmosphere and serves local cuisine – attached to the Arrowhead building. Scissorbill’s Saloon – next door – is where the local go, for pub fare, drinks and music.
Indulge in Swiss style fondue at Fondue Stube, a traditional cheese fondue restaurant in the Huntley Hotel, where you will also find Chet’s Bar & Grill – named for Big Sky’s founder, news anchor Chet Huntley.

Big Sky Best Bets for Dinner:
Buck’s T4
Lone Mountain Ranch’s Sleigh Ride Dinner
Lone Peak Brewery
Andiamo in Village Center
Everetts 8800 reached by Ramcharger chair at night, snowcat ride down
The Cabin

Best Après Ski at Big Sky:
The Carabiner Bar in the Summit Hotel is the perfect corner spot with great mountain views, cowhide barstools and cozy leather couches by the fireplace. Most afternoons there is live music entertainment – a guitarist or small band. Pub fare with a Montana theme is served and local Montana microbrews are on tap.

Montana Jacks has live bands on weekends and holidays, with a very causal come in ski boots or whatever vibe.

See our Big Sky Ski Review