Here's a great read from Christies International regarding the best restaurants in the ski towns of Colorado- Telluride included. We have some of the best dining in the country on a per capita level.....enjoy. I'm hungry!
Breathtaking vistas and fantastic slopes have been western Colorado's top attractions for years — now its epicurean delights are also tempting visitors to the region
This month, the annual Food & Wine Classic returns to Aspen, Colorado. A veritable who’s who and what’s hot in the culinary world,more the event is a feast of tastings, demonstrations, and seminars for the most discerning foodies in America and beyond. And, aside from the delectable treats on offer at the Classic, Aspen has more than a handful of haunts that should be on your hit list if you’re planning a visit.
Specialty cocktails at the plush J-Bar at Hotel Jerome are the perfect way to kick off an evening — sup an Old Fashioned and pretend you’re in the Old West (cowboy boots optional). Meanwhile, polished Element 47, named after the silver mining history of the town and its service style, has dinner options ranging from dry-aged duck breast to butter-poached lobster — fortified by a choice of more than 20,000 wines from its cellar.
But it’s not just Aspen catering to the gourmet hunters out there. Further afield and across western Colorado, the food and drink scene is going from strength to strength, making it worth your while to take a mini foodie road trip through the Centennial State.
Traveling south into Gunnison County, visit Crested Butte for your daily caffeine fix and the delicious coffee that awaits at First Ascent Coffee Roasters. The store produces small-batch coffee on site as well as its own nut milks and syrups from scratch — resulting in a more superior latte than you are probably used to. Fine dining comes with a French twist at Soupçon — a charming bistro fusing the best of US and Gallic cuisines. Think satisfying slow-braised lamb shank and unusual marmalade crème brûlée. Django’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, on the other hand, offers innovative tapas-style small plates and an impressive wine list in intimate surroundings.
Reconnecting with Highway 133 for a few hours and heading west will take you straight into the North Fork Valley with its plentiful vineyards, orchards, and farms of Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford. Wine, organic brandy, and hard cider are all waiting to be sampled in the valley. Try Azura Cellars & Gallery for something a little different.
Somewhere taking full advantage of all the produce North Fork has to offer is the remarkable Smith Fork Ranch in Crawford. Making the plentiful local produce a central focus on all menus, the ranch also benefits from its own on-site organic garden. Truly embracing the farm-to-table ethos has resulted in a constantly changing menu that remains innovative throughout the year. Guests are invited to take part in foraging experiences, cooking classes, and wine tastings.
A trip south to Telluride should factor in a stop-off at the picturesque hamlet of Ouray. Here you can step back in time to the carefully restored Victoriana of the St Elmo Hotel and home of Italian-inspired Bon Ton Restaurant. Boasting an extensive, award-winning wine list and specializing in martinis, Bon Ton offers an elegant experience that will make you believe you are in Europe.
Allred’s is open to skiers during the winter season for an hour every afternoon.
And finally we arrive in Telluride. Arguably one of Colorado’s hottest ski spots, this canyon town also has some exceptional gourmet offerings. For a meal with the best view in — or rather above — town, a short ride on the free gondola will take you up the mountain to the remarkable Allred’s Restaurant. Priding itself on locally sourced produce, including sustainable elk, the menu is varied, inviting, and perfectly supported by the signature cocktails.
To satisfy your palate a little closer to sea level, a visit to Cosmopolitan is a must for fish lovers: its signature seafood stew is a welcome change from game-focused menus elsewhere. Craft cocktails and a very popular happy hour in which to enjoy them make this a favorite for locals and visitors alike. For those who like to learn while they eat, 221 South Oak offers appetizer cooking classes and wine pairing with chef Eliza Gavin, while vegetarians are extensively catered for with a full meat-free menu alongside the regular substantial dinner menu.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve worked up an appetite on the slopes, Colorado has a vast array of interesting and creative food outlets to please even the most refined palates — only a few of which are covered here. So once you’ve successfully eaten your way from Aspen to Telluride, rest assured, plenty of other discoveries await.