Toasty Coffee Shops in 5 Unusual Wintry Ski Towns

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Feb 22, 2015 / 0 comments

While we love our Michigan winters, there are so many wonderful places to play in the outdoors, all around the world. Here, we’ve discovered some unusual ski towns – and some mighty fine coffee, to go with. Take a look…

we’ve discovered some unusual ski towns – and some mighty fine coffee, to go with. Take a look…. From Toasty Coffee Shops in 5 Unusual Wintry Ski Towns

flickr cc: Jann Kuusisaari, adapted by Wandering Educators

Courchevel, France

There are four towns, actually, in Courchevel, located in the French Alps. Previously named with numbers (for height), the Three Valleys skiing is renowned worldwide. There are many lovely ski chalets in Courchevel, so you can hop right on the slopes to your heart’s delight.

Courchevel, France

Wikimedia Commons: Nikgrech

Located near the top, at Courchevel 1650 ski resort, the Bel Air Courchevel 1650 isn’t a coffeshop, per se, but  a restaurant that knows coffee (and hot chocolate). You don’t need to ski here – it’s at the gondola’s arrival point – so everyone can come enjoy – both skiers and non-skiers alike. The views are incredible! Reservations a must.

Bel Air Courchevel.

Photo Bel Air Courchevel

Courchevel, France

Courchevel (France) 1850. Flickr cc: Guy Moll

Levi, Finland

Head NORTH (yes, you heard right) of the Arctic Circle to find the largest downhill ski area in Finland. Levi is located in Finnish Lapland, so watch for reindeer, and try the local cuisine. If you’re skiing there, you’re likely to see the Northern Lights (an added benefit).

The Coffee House Levi is located in the Break Sokos Hotel. Here, you can find coffee, tea, other beverages; pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Coffee House Levi, Finland

Photo Coffee House Levi

Also stop at Café Tanja, which is named after the 1st World Cup Winner at Levi, Tanja Poutianinen.

Levi, Finland.
flickr cc: Patrik Jones

Downtown Levi, Finland.

downtown Levi, flickr cc: Jann Kuusisaari

Whistler, BC, Canada

While you’re in Whistler, BC, skiing the dual mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb, be sure to take time to warm up at Mount Currie Coffee. There are two locations, in Pemberton and on Whistler’s Main Street. Voted Best Coffee (this season, Whistler) and Best Latte (Pemberton, 7 years running!), this independent coffeeshop is a favorite with everyone. Load up on a variety of coffee, tea, London fog, hot chocolate, steamers, chai, smoothies, affogato, or even a Canadiano – latte with a shot of maple syrup (swoon). Try the food, which is locally sourced.


Wikimedia Commons: OOroyOo

Whistler Village from the Blackcomb Peak-2-Peak Gondola terminal.

Whistler Village from the Blackcomb Peak-2-Peak Gondola terminal. Wikimedia Commons: Mogodore

Alyeska, Alaska, USA

Did you know that just 60km from Anchorage lies Alaska’s best ski resort? Located at the base of the Chugach Mountains, Alyeska has runs for both beginners and experts (who will also love the heli and cat skiing). Alyeska is known for its Slush Cup, where people in costumes ski down and try to cross a 90 foot pool of (one suspects icy cold) water. There are two great coffee shops here in the town of Girdwood – both worth visiting.
Alyeska Slush Cup.

Alyeska Slush Cup.
Alyeska Slush Cup.

Flickr cc: Frank Kovalchek

Check out the Grind, which is family-owned and run, and has fresh, small batch-roasted organic fair trade coffee.  Also offers light snacks.

The Grind, Alyeska, Girdwood, Alaska

Photo The Grind

And check out Java Haus at Alyeska Resort, also a family-run business with locally roasted coffee. Try the Alaska chai! Also serving organic and fair trade coffee, tea, espresso, hot chocolate, etc., and a full menu.
View of Girdwood, Alaska from Mt. Alyeska.

View of Girdwood, Alaska from Mt. Alyeska. Wikimedia Commons: Nathan Searles

Niseko, Japan

Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, Niseko has six ski areas - and one of the snowiest ski towns around the world. It’s said that snow falls constantly from December through the February here on Mount Yotei. There are also back-country ski areas, for those who desire a little more wilderness.

Need caffeine? Be sure to hit up JoJo’s Café and Restaurant, located in the NAC (Niseko Adventure Center). Also serving burgers and other western food.

Jojo's Cafe, Niseko, Japan.

JoJo's Cafe, NAC, Niseko, Japan

Flickr cc: MIKI Yoshihito

Niseko Grand-Hirafu Lift Ticket Office.

Niseko Grand-Hirafu Lift Ticket Office. Wikimedia Commons: Oga


When you hit the slopes, where is your favorite coffee shop?