A Guide to Our Favorite Places to Eat in Smaller Colorado Mountain Towns

If you frequent Colorado’s mountain towns you know it can be hard to find great food. We’ve experienced the same problems and spent a long time finding the hidden gems in some of the state’s less frequently traveled mountain towns. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites so you can do your favorite mountain activities without sacrificing a delicious meal.

Buena Vista

The Olive Food Truck

The Olive Food Truck. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 324 E Main St, Buena Vista

When: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The Lowdown: In the heart of Buena Vista you’ll find some of the best gyros and falafel around. Stop at the Olive Food Truck for quick service, delicious Mediterranean food and a lively outdoor atmosphere.


Jailhouse Beer Bar

Photo Courtesy of The Jailhouse on Facebook

Where: 412 E Main St, Buena Vista

When: Monday – Saturday 4 – 10 p.m.

The Lowdown: As the name conveys, The Jailhouse is a craft beer and wine bar located in Buena Vista’s old jailhouse. You can see evidence from the structure’s past in the old stone walls and rustic decor that give off an old western vibe. The bar serves carefully selected craft beers and wines from around the world along with elevated small bites to make it the perfect pre-dinner stop when in town.

House Rock Kitchen

Photo courtesy of House Rock Kitchen.

Where: 421 E Main St, Buena Vista

When: Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: House Rock features fresh, seasonal and local ingredients in a fast-casual setting. The restaurant’s goal is to make healthy eating fun and it does it by serving protein packed bowls, burritos, burgers and sandwiches. The outdoor courtyard boasts plenty of seating along with a gaming area and spectacular views of Mount Princeton.


Moonlight Pizza

Moonlight Pizza. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 242 F St, Salida

When: Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Lowdown: Moonlight Pizza makes fresh pizza dough daily, brews its beers in house and donates 10% of every Monday’s sales to community organizations. Enjoy some drinks on the patio, enjoy the sunset and stay awhile.


Sweetie’s. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 124 F St, Salida

When: Daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Lowdown: Local favorite — Sweetie’s — offers over 60 original artisan sandwiches, pastries, seasonal salads and soups. The bread is baked fresh daily along with the pastries that include a fudge brownie, grasshopper bar, gingerbread moonpie and over a dozen flavors of cookies.

50 Burger

Fifty Burger

Photo Courtesy of Fifty Burger on Facebook

Where: 445 E Hwy 50, Salida

When: Daily 12 – 7 p.m.

The Lowdown: 50 Burger creates custom-blended brisket burgers, turkey burgers, grilled chicken, fresh fish, salads and sandwiches using high-quality ingredients. Pair your dish with one of the craft beers, wines or seasonal cocktails and finish it off with a boozy shake to complete your meal.

Idaho Springs

Westbound & Down

Where: 1617 Miner Street, Idaho Springs

When: Wednesday – Monday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: The Idaho Springs brewpub offers a large selection of beers brewed in house to enjoy alongside a burger, sandwich, wrap, salad or fried chicken. It also serves wine, spirits and specialty cocktails to appeal to every guest making it the perfect stop on the way back to the Front Range.

Smokin’ Yards

Smokin’ Yards sandwich. Photo by Brittany Werges

Where: 2736 Colorado Blvd, Idaho Springs

When: Daily 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Lowdown: Smokin’ Yards offers BBQ utilizing styles borrowed from around the country to bring guests what it calls “high elevation BBQ.” The Idaho Springs restaurant is located along Clear Creek river making the perfect backdrop to enjoy your plate after a day in the mountains.


Cabin Creek Brewing

Cabin Creek Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Cabin Creek Brewing on Facebook

Where: 577 22nd St, Georgetown

When: Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: Cabin Creek is a new brewpub located on the Georgetown Lake lagoon serving craft beer, burgers, sandwiches and pizza. Providing a new lake house experience to visitors and locals alike, Cabin Creek is a great place to stop while exploring the many hiking and biking trails in the area.



Vinny's Frisco

Photo Courtesy of Vinny’s on Facebook

Where: 310 Main St, Frisco

When: Currently serving takeout through sister restaurant Frisco Prime Thursday – Sunday 3 – 8 p.m.

The Lowdown: Vinny’s is Summit County’s classic fine dining restaurant. Serving classic entrees such as Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped, Basil Rubbed Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, Slow Braised Superior Farms Lamb Shank and Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg Confit you’re sure to find a rich and delicious meal to enjoy.

Bird Craft @ Outer Range Brewing

Outer Range Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Outer Range Brewing on Facebook

Where: 182 Lusher Ct, Frisco

When: Daily 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Lowdown: Outer Range just expanded its taproom to include food from Bird Craft — a new concept from chef Chris Schmidt — coffee and pastries from Mountain Dweller Coffee Roasters and great views from the rooftop. It’s the perfect spot to relax with a hazy IPA or Belgian ale to help wash down a Thai fried chicken sandwich after a long day of adventuring.


The Craftsman

Craftsman Vail

Photo Courtesy of Craftsman on Facebook

Where: 0056 Edwards Village Blvd. #120, Edwards

When: Daily 12 – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: Craftsman is another restaurant from chef Chris Schmidt that merges the quality of fine dining with artisan sandwiches. Think BLTs with smoked pork belly and tempura-fried squash blossoms stuffed with pimento cheese and accented with sweet pepper jelly. You definitely won’t leave hungry.

Hovey & Harrison

Hovey & Harrison

Photo Courtesy of Hovey & Harrison on Facebook

Where: 0056 Edwards Village Blvd. #120, Edwards

When: Daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Lowdown: Whether running in to grab a cup of coffee on the way to a high elevation hike or ordering off the cafe menu and enjoying a glass of wine after your day of exploring Hovey & Harrison has a variety of local, seasonally inspired foods for any occasion.

Grand Lake

Sagebrush BBQ & Grill

Sagebrush BBQ

Photo Courtesy of Sagebrush BBQ & Grill on Facebook

Where: 1101 Grand Ave, Grand Lake

When: Sunday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Lowdown: You won’t leave Sagebrush without making a couple new friends and getting some solid recommendations for your stay. In addition to the friendly atmosphere, you’ll be able to enjoy BBQ, fresh salads, steaks, cocktails and more.


Tennessee Pass Cafe

Tennessee Pass Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Pass Cafe on Facebook

Where: 222 Harrison Ave, Leadville

When: Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: The Tennessee Pass Cafe was designed for the modern adventurer. The cafe uses local, organic ingredients to create a plate that will satisfy anyone after a long day of exploring. Enjoy dishes ranging from salads to burgers to gnocchi and everything in between that will satisfy everyone from the casual hiker to a Leadville 100 finisher.

Glenwood Springs

Slope & Hatch

Slope & Hatch. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 208 7th St, Glenwood Springs

When: Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: Slope & Hatch is the go-to spot in Glenwood Springs for street tacos and hot dogs. Occasionally serving up tortas and other specials, the food is scratch-made and the perfect meal after a long day or hiking – or soaking in the hot springs.


Landmark Cafe at The Way Home

The Way Home. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 689 Main St, Carbondale

When: Daily 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Lowdown: The cafe is situated in The Way Home – a boutique hotel with only two guest rooms in Carbondale. The Landmark Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch but also features a special Saturday “Brunch & Beats” from 12 to 3 p.m. as well as “Farm Stand Friday” from 3 to 8 p.m. with live music beginning at 6 p.m. You can get fresh-baked treats, salads, sandwiches and pizzas along with beer, wine and liquor at this local gem.

Village Smithy’s

Village Smithy. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 26 S. 3rd St, Carbondale

When: Daily 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Lowdown: Village Smithy’s has been a Carbondale icon and gathering place since it’s opening in 1975. Serving classic breakfast items like huevos rancheros, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, waffles and scrambles you’ll surely be satisfied for wherever your day takes you.


Slow Groovin’ BBQ

Slow Groovin' BBQ

Photo Courtesy of Slow Groovin’ BBQ on Facebook

Where: 101 W 1st St, Marble

When: Daily 12 – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: Slow Groovin’ is on a mission to help you appreciate the important things in life: family, nature, community and BBQ. It invites you to kick back and enjoy some ridiculously good BBQ in a town that transports you back in time.


BLT & Taqueria

BLT Taqueria. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 130 Basalt Center Cir, Basalt

When: Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Lowdown: As the name implies, you can get a variety of BLTs and tacos including the traditional Good Ol’ Boy, Daysi Duke – that includes cheddar and BBQ sauce – and Trifecta – a BLT with turkey, salami, provolone, avocado and dijon. The diverse menu also includes plenty of tacos.

Capitol Creek Brewery

Capitol Creek Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Capitol Creek Brewery on Facebook

Where: 371 Market St, Basalt

When: Monday – Friday 3 – 9 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Lowdown: Capitol Creek has a refreshingly diverse menu including curry, tikka masala, a lamb gyro and quinoa burger. The beers also range from pilsners to lagers to stouts to IPAs and even a rice ale that pairs perfectly with the Asian-inspired dishes.

Crested Butte

Secret Stash Pizza

Secret Stash Pizza

Photo Courtesy of Secret Stash Pizza on Facebook

Where: 303 Elk Ave, Crested Butte

When: Daily 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: There are many restaurants where you can get pizza in Crested Butte but none as eclectic as Secret Stash. Upon walking in you’ll notice the Buddha statues, beads, tapestries and other types of artwork covering the walls and the upbeat, loud atmosphere of locals and visitors getting their pizza fix. All pizzas are made to order and definitely worth the wait.


The Dive

The Dive Gunnison

Photo Courtesy of The Dive on Facebook

Where: 213 W Tomichi St, Gunnison

When: Wednesday – Friday 12 – 7 p.m. and Saturday 4 – 7 p.m.

The Lowdown: The Dive is located right off Gunnison’s historic downtown in a small, industrial pub-like setting strung with bicycle-themed art and an indoor food truck. The restaurant serves creative, homemade food that will surprise and delight you, boasts a signature drink menu featuring a variety of whiskey and bourbon and has many Colorado beers on tap.

Winter Park

Fraser Valley Hot Dog

Fraser Valley Hot Dog

Photo Courtesy of Fraser Valley Hot Dog on Instagram

Where: 78927 US-40, Winter Park

When: Daily 12 p.m. – close

The Lowdown: Great quality, gourmet hot dogs that you can enjoy on the patio or in Hideaway Park Brewery right next door. All dogs are made with 100% beef, steamed, grilled and served on a poppyseed bun.