Ketchum is a small town in the Sun Valley alpine skiing area and can be considered a gateway to the world renowned Bald Mountain Ski slopes and Idaho’s majestic Sawtooth National Forest. Ketchum and the Sun Valley first became popular as the seasonal home of America’s rich and famous, a tradition started by no other than Ernest Hemingway, whose final resting place is located in Ketchum’s cemetery. We check out the top ten places to dine if you ever find yourself in this beautiful corner of the world.
BigWood Bar and Grill
Bar, Restaurant, American, Seafood, Mediterranean, Peruvian
Enjoy seafood mountain style at BigWood. This restaurant offers spectacular views of the Bald Mountain, the Boulders and Galena Peak. The food is superb with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by a subtle Latin kick. Considering the location and nearby world class fishing spots, it is definitely recommended that you try their excellent trout specials. For an excellent finish try the Peruvian crab ‘Causa’ which is known to be quite wonderful. If you are looking for a serene and beautiful spot for lunch or dinner, then there really is no better place in Ketchum than Bigwood.
The Cellar Pub is a great all-round restaurant in the Ketchum Sun Valley area. The clientele is lively and you can get both great food and a varied selection of drinks served right to your table. The premises are located in the cellar adding to the relaxed pub atmosphere. The Cellar is a great place to visit when you are too late to get a reservation at some of the other, occasionally, busy restaurants in town. The prices are good and there are plenty of flat screens TVs around to relax and enjoy some live sports. The bar itself has a rustic atmosphere and the walls are decorated with pleasing ski memorabilia and equipment, offering plenty to admire when sitting down for a meal.
Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, Vegetarian, $$$
This is a great choice for people looking for a contemporary bar and grill experience. Cornerstone is located on the main street of Ketchum and attracts customers with its upscale atmosphere, great cocktail menu and exposed brick walls. The food is delicious with specialities such as elk burger and generous desert portions. The restaurant has three floors, each with its own unique visual touch. Cornerstone is also great for vegetarians as the special dishes are some of the most colorful and well presented in the Valley.
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One of the finest places to have your lunch or dinner in Ketchum, Cristina’s has a reputation for being a gourmet restaurant. Cristina, the owner and chef, prepares all her dishes with love and attention, ensuring that all guests have a pleasant and a memorable experience. When dining here you can really feel her dedication, as even simple dishes are bursting with flavor. Cristina’s is also a bakery, so you can come early to grab your morning loaf or some delicious pastries. Be sure to book a table on the patio during summer as it can get crowded and a bit balmy inside.
As one of the best pizzerias in the region, the pizzas here are predictably wonderful with the classic woodfire special always a good bet for hungry skiers. Enoteca also offers a diverse selection of other Italian dishes just as favorable as their tasty pizzas, especially the lamb. Another big draw for Enoteca is their drinks selection, apart from a wide variety of craft beers the restaurant also serves local Split Rail wines which are a must try for wine enthusiast. Be sure to make reservations when visiting during ski season.
The one and only independent bookstore in Ketchum also has an admirable cafe. Iconoclast is a wonderful place to enjoy some fine pastries with a warming chai latte. There is nothing quite like sitting among shelves of books and enjoying a warm beverage on a cold day. The atmosphere of Iconoclast is really welcoming and you will definitely feel relaxed when bringing your business here while also supporting local writers. Iconoclast is a community bookshop and aims to promote emerging authors in the Ketchum Sun Valley area, so be sure to pick up a book or two from the region’s writers.
One of the most highly rated restaurants in Ketchum, The Kneadery has a lovely cabin atmosphere. The dining area is decorated with various vintage memorabilia, signs and contraptions from Ketchum’s historical past. The Kneadery probably offers the region’s best rustic home style cooking. The portions are generous, appetizing and wholesome. All meals use locally sourced ingredients like home baked bread, farmstead eggs, seasonal fruits and top quality meats. The breakfast at Kneadery should not be missed if heading for a long day on the Bald Mountain.
Perry’s is a wonderful sandwich spot during the day and a great dinner option for the evening. A favorite among many locals, Perry’s offers a no fuss service and great filling food. The sandwiches are their specialty and you can get all meals as takeaways if so inclined. The atmosphere is very friendly as the restaurant is run and staffed by the owners Keith and Paula. The sandwiches are large and the service is fast considering the amount of orders. More importantly, Perry’s is one of the more budget friendly and cordial places to fill up when in Ketchum.
A delightful restaurant in Ketchum, Pioneer Saloon recreates the authentic cowboy experience right in the heart of town. The Pioneer is must visit spot for dinner when visiting the Sun Valley area, the walls are adorned with curious artifacts from Ketchum’s past, all with an unique story to tell. The restaurant doesn’t offer reservations so it might be difficult to get a seat as soon as you walk in, although this should not discourage you, as the Pioneer Saloon has the best steaks and ribs in the region. Well worth the short wait for a table.
A wonderful option for an après-ski meal right in the heart of Ketchum. The Sawtooth Club can get busy but is divided between two floors with upstairs accepting reservations and downstairs only for open seating. This venue is also perfect for late diners as the dining room is open til late. Sawtooth is a great one stop restaurant, offering both a classy meal experience and also catering for a more casual clientele. If you are unsure where to head for dinner while in Ketchum, then The Sawtooth is a great place to start.