For the majority of skiers, skiing itself is only part of the equation determining where we’d like to end up after packing our cars for the weekend. Of course, there is an elite class of diehard skiers who care more about snow density and vertical drop than anything else — the ones who are unwilling to duck into the lodge for a 15-minute beer break during a powder day. But even they enjoy a good bar for a beer and a bite to eat at some point, even if it isn’t until the lifts stop spinning (or after their post-lift evening skin).
And when it comes to a good bar meal after a hearty day on the slopes, there really is only one food that matters — the wings. Every bar serves them, but only a few do it well.
To help narrow it down, we took an informal online poll to determine some of the best wings in New England ski country. So when there are no storms to chase, know there always will be wings.
— Delaney’s Hole in the Wall, North Conway, N.H. | Delaney’s, located within walking distance of North Conway Village, is a local hot spot for crispy, sizable and delicious buffalo wings. The establishment’s selection of local beers isn’t bad either, and there is an entirely separate menu devoted to sushi.
— Zenbarn, Waterbury Center, Vt. | In addition to its wings, which come with a choice of BBQ, buffalo, dry rub or even a CBD-infused garlic parmesan, Zenbarn serves up some of the state’s finest microbrews and has an extensive and progressive cocktail menu (think Gin and Chronic, which features a hemp syrup).
— Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, Vt. | Located in downtown Waterbury, this southern-style BBQ joint serves up some of the best smoked wings around, available with a dry rub or hot sauce. Oh, and Pro Pig also brews its own beer.
— The Olde Forge Restaurant, Lanesboro, Mass. | If you’re heading to Jiminy Peak for some laps, be sure to stop into the Olde Forge Restaurant and take your pick of original, hot, “Buff Orpington” or traditional buffalo wings.
— Matterhorn, Stowe, Vt. | The Matterhorn is a renowned aprés bar in one of the Northeast’s top ski towns and serves up a great selection of wings. Choose from buffalo, chipotle BBQ or sweet chili Thai sauces.
— Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery, North Conway, N.H. | The Moat is another North Conway hot spot, specializing in BBQ and beer — about all you need to cap off a day of skiing at one of the Mount Washington Valley’s resorts or backcountry ski zones. The wings are crispy and juicy, and the beer doesn’t stop flowing.
— Butcher Burger, Bethel, Maine | The recently opened Butcher Burger, located just minutes from Sunday River, has a casual atmosphere and a wide selection of meat and vegetarian burger-based sandwiches. But while you’re there, munching on one of the joint’s interesting sandwiches like the poutine burger, make sure to get an order of the bone-in wings, available as chipotle buffalo or BBQ.