Tourists travel to Vail in the Eagle County of Colorado every year for wintertime trips at the renowned Vail Ski Resort, which boasts the largest mountain in the state. In peak season, the town swells from its population of about 5,000 full-time residents to include the hundreds of thousands of people that visit each year. To accommodate visitors, there is an abundance of restaurants with many offering happy hours and après ski menus to appeal to tourists who have spent the day on the mountain. There are steakhouses and American eateries aplenty and enough dining options to keep you full your whole vacation in this resort town. So if you aren’t sure where to eat in Vail, check out this guide to discover 9 can’t-miss Vail restaurants!
The Little Diner
If you’re looking for an all-day diner breakfast, head to Vail’s legendary Little Diner. Reviews have given it 4.5 stars and the coveted #2 spot on Tripadvisor. Everything on the menu comes from family restaurants and is made 100% from scratch using quality local ingredients – not quite your average diner! Order the Hangover Helper Wrap with home fries or cheesy grits or try the Chunky Monkey Crepe. Be sure to sit at the classic diner-style counter with red, cushy stools while you watch your breaky being made in the open kitchen to get the full experience!
This sweet little French brasserie-style restaurant is well known for its champagne brunch and dinner menus. We highly recommend the brunch, which runs from Friday through Monday. Pair items like Huckleberry Bacon French Toast, Breakfast Bruschetta, or Southwestern Benedict with a mimosa (or three!) or one of the four variations of a bloody mary. If the weather is nice, opt for the patio brunch where you can sit outside in the sunshine under teal umbrellas on adorable vintage-inspired wicker chairs.
If you’re thinking about dinner, start with the house-cured charcuterie or baked brie with strawberry compote, blueberry gastrique, and toasted pistachio. For your mains, you can’t go wrong with the steak fries and truffle fries! Just be sure to make a reservation during peak season if you’ve got your heart set on Vintage.
If you’re looking to relax while you dine, check out this rustic tavern complete with dark leather booths and large bright windows. Most of their cooking is done over an open and live-fire giving the restaurant a type of primal energy about it. Dinner items like the Rocky Mountain Trout and Rotisserie Piri Piri Chicken are packed with bold, honest flavors or opt for the raw bar, which is filled with fresh seafood (despite being in a landlocked state). They’re known for their outstanding hospitality, as well as a beautiful view of Gore Creek.
The Rose is a Vail Valley bistro with a trendy Main Street location, focusing on local ingredients and craft cocktails. The decor is clean and quirky with brightly colored yarn-striped antelope and deer hanging on the crisp white walls. The food is incredible, as are the prices, making this a great lunch or dinner spot with menu items like the Taco Del Dia and Buddha Bowl. This Vail restaurant is everything you could want in a cozy bistro, whether you’re wanting a quick lunch or to celebrate a monumental moment in your life.
Expect modern mountain cuisine at this Vail restaurant and wine bar located only minutes from the ski resorts. In warmer temperatures, the floor-to-ceiling glass doors open up the indoor dining area to the patio with spectacular views of Beaver Creek. Their drink menu is extensive, with 40 wines available by the glass, as well as 30 beers, 50 whiskeys, and 100 spirits. Chef Charles Hayes designs seasonal menus that change a few times a year to highlight ingredients from the region.
Self-described as having “Led Zeppelin and Misfits on the hi-fi. Burgers and Bahn Mis on the menu,” The Craftsman offers exceptional counter-service with Colorado craft beers, an open kitchen, and innovative small plates and sandwiches. Choose from a long and creative list including items like Crispy Avocado with green goddess sauce and Green Chile Philly with shaved ribeye, hatch green chile, griddled onions, and melty cheese on a hoagie. Top off your meal with a bourbon root beer float, which is tasty as it sounds. They’ve also got a great kids’ menu with inexpensive meals ranging from $5-9, making this the perfect family restaurant in Vail.
The Remedy Bar
This trendy bar is located inside of Vail’s Four Seasons Resort and perfect for an après ski complete with their award-winning “Haute Chocolate – melted Swiss chocolate, marshmallow, chantilly creme, and optional Baileys, Jameson, or Wonderment. The menu also has a variety of edible options including local charcuterie, spicy jackfruit tacos (perfect for vegans or vegetarians), and a drool-worthy Wagyu beef and elk chili. They also often have live music which adds some extra liveliness to this cozy. Also on the property is Flame, a high-end steakhouse that costs a pretty penny to eat at with juicy steaks that run upwards of $120 USD.
This isn’t the American chain restaurant that’s popular for its quarter and half-chicken dinners and accompanying sauce, though they share a name. At this beloved fine-dining spot you’ll be seated in a room completely decked out in wood (walls, chairs – you name it!) and red accents. Order authentic classics like the breaded schnitzel or cheese fondue for the table complete with potatoes, vegetables, and crusty bread for dipping. Be sure to order something with cheese in it, as all of their fromage is actually imported from Switzerland!
Rated the #1 restaurant in Vail by Tripadvisor, this award-winning European restaurant is located as part of the Sonnenalp resort and hotel. This same resort is home to Ludwig’s Breakfast, another high-ranking eatery considered the “best breakfast in Vail” for its huge breakfast buffet and bottomless coffee!
Vail Ale House
If you’re just as concerned about what the bar serves as what the food tastes like, hit up the Vail Ale House. With 20 local beers on tap and a decent list of craft cocktails like the Spicy Pear Martini and Moonshine Mule, you won’t go thirsty here. Stop in for a happy hour, which runs Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, if you like a good deal. Otherwise, order from their large bar menu with classic items like chicken pot pie and the bison burger. You can’t go wrong at this Vail restaurant!