The Best Places to Eat On and Around Sugarloaf Mountain this Ski Season

Get pumped all you ski bums and boarder babes, ski season is rapidly approaching! Chilly rides up the mountain and toasty hot cocoa pit stops in the lodge will be here before we know it. As I’m sure you all know, a day trip to Sugarloaf entails way more than the trips up and down the mountain. In normal years, it means everything from bumming it up with local ski enthusiasts to exploring the local shops to munching on mozzarella sticks at random gas stations on the way. Even though this ski season won’t be the same as most, it will still have so many exciting, COVID safe experiences to offer. Here are some of my favorite places to stop for a bite during this COVID-19 friendly ski season. 

  1. 1. The Bag and Kettle

    The Bag and Kettle is a great option for on-mountain in or out dining. It’s located near the base lodge for easy access during a busy ski day! They offer takeout options for a more COVID safe dining experience with fair prices and a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere. The Bag and Kettle is known for its great pub food, especially for its classic namesake, The Bag Burger. This specialty sandwich is arguably the tastiest patty in the Carrabassett Valley. It’s a classic ground beef burger with melted cheese on top. They also serve Portland Pie pizza! The downside to this mountainside restaurant is their lack of vegetarian options. However, they do have some pretty cool merchandise featuring Uncle Al, their old owner. 

  2. 2. D’Ellie’s Bakery and Deli

    This is a great spot for a quick and delicious meal. D’Ellie’s has a wide range of sandwich and deli options with Sugarloaf themed names from basic paninis to complicated cold cuts. They offer both takeout and sit down seating. It is a good option if you’re in a hurry and looking for a COVID safe experience. They pride themselves on only using healthy, fresh ingredients. 

  3. 3. Sugarloaf Inn

    The Sugarloaf Inn, although more expensive than the other options on the list, always provides a pleasant and personal meal experience. It is located at the bottom of the bunny hill, called the Birches, and features classic pub cuisine. Its large windows both show off the gorgeous view of the trails and allow for brilliant natural light throughout the dining area. It also has a pool table and arcade games downstairs. These great indoor options mean it might be best experienced in a post-COVID world, but, for now, we can get excited to use these amenities in the future and enjoy their delicious take out this season!

  4. 4. Rolling Fatties

    This spectacular burrito place is my personal favorite near and around the ‘Loaf. It’s the perfect place for hungry college students looking to munch after a long day on the mountain. It’s about 15 minutes, or 10 miles, away from the base of the mountain, making for a great place to stop on the drive back. They have delicious burritos and bowls with a variety of exciting ingredients and themed names. Their merch is also super popular with fun and unique designs on beanies, t-shirts, and hoodies. While the food is absolutely delicious, my favorite part about Rolling Fatties is the welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great place to meet new, interesting ski junkies and mountain enthusiasts. Chances are you’ll run into a few Colby students there as well. 

  5. 5. Orange Cat Cafe

    The Orange Cat Cafe is located in Kingsfield, ME, about 15 minutes away from the mountain. Its giant sign of an orange cat is right on the road from Colby to Sugarloaf and nearly impossible to miss. They offer a variety of sandwiches with an emphasis on healthy, environmentally sustainable eating options. Unfortunately, as part of their response to COVID-19, they have shut down their panini press and switched to wraps and sandwiches only. However, their wraps are delicious! My favorite thing on the menu is a specialty wrap called the Grateful Wrap. Named after the Grateful Dead, this wrap is like Thanksgiving on a plate. It’s filled with turkey, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, and just enough horseradish. Plus, if you’re lucky enough, you might even see the infamous Orange Cat! Andy Blake, a longtime Sugarloaf regular and my roommate, describes the Orange Cat as “my FAVORITE place!” 

  6. 6. The Rack

    The Rack is a great local spot a couple of minutes from the mountain. The restaurant is owned by Seth Wescott, an American snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist in snowboardcross. Wescott helped pioneer the sport and, born and raised in Kingsfield, calls Sugarloaf his home mountain! The Rack sports this local pride well and uses it to create a youthful, warm atmosphere. During a regular season, the Rack is always packed with young locals and travelers. Despite the realities of COVID-19 preventing the same atmosphere, for now, the Rack is still the perfect place to get some delicious BBQ style food. 

Remember to stay COVID safe while enjoying and supporting these local spots!