The ski community of Vail, Colorado, was originally developed in the 1950s and remains pedestrian-friendly in its layout. There are over 200 restaurants in the Vail Valley; the cuisines range from standard American fare to fine European-style dining, so there is a restaurant that will suit everyone’s taste buds. The following are five of the best restaurants in Vail, Colorado.
Off the Larkspur lift
Beaver Creek Village, P.O. Box 915, Beaver Creek, CO 81620
Beano’s is one of the priciest restaurants in and around Vail, but if you can afford it, you get what you pay for. Prices for the five-course meal are around $109 per person, not including tax, gratuity, or alcoholic beverages. This charming, spacious former hunting lodge can be reached on horseback or by shuttle in the summer and by open-air sleigh ride in the winter. Diners are serenaded with live music while they eat, and the courses include gourmet offerings such as pan-seared pheasant breast with cabin-made pheasant agnolotti, wilted spinach, and parmesan pan sauce, or try the mustard-crusted ruby red trout with evo forked Yukon Gold potatoes and lemon sage nage. Everything that is on the menu is heavenly, and it should be for the price.
Top of Eagle Bahn Gondola at Eagle’s Nest
Vail Mountain, Vail, CO 81657
This restaurant offers fine American cuisine directly on the mountain. Take the gondola ride up for a breathtaking view, and start your meal off with some steamed mussels. Follow that up with the ancho-crusted butcher steak, which is a tender shoulder cut with crispy polenta, sauteed kale, and bleu brie cheese sauce for under $40.
100 E. Meadows Drive, Vail, CO 81657
This restaurant offers authentic Italian dishes. Start your meal off with an appetizer of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus baked with mozzarella and tomato sauce for $12.50. Dinner entrees are sizeable portions, many large enough for two, such as the “Bistecca Fiorentina,” which is a 28-oz grilled porterhouse with spinach and lemon for $39.50, or the truffle gnocchi with butter and sage for $22.50.
Base of gondola in Lionshead, Vail, CO 81658
While almost all of Vail’s restaurants’ are on the pricey side, this restaurant has a blend of modest and higher-priced menu items while retaining top quality for all of their fare. Try one of their many salads for under $10 or enjoy one of their special plates, such as the Chef Didi’s Grostl, which features a traditional recipe from chef Didi Mader that contains pan-seared potatoes, onions, and slow-cooked beef mixed with a secret family blend of spices and garnished with kraut salad and chopped parsley for just $11.99. If you are not concerned about your dining dollars, then by all means try the 12 oz. dry-aged bone-in filet mignon for $56 or the Chophouse burger and Dom Perignon, served with French fries. This 10 oz. certified Angus beef burger is $275.
Westside Cafe & Market
Adjacent to the Holiday Inn
2211 N. Frontage Road, West Vail, CO 81657
This restaurant is very budget-friendly in a casual dining atmosphere. It serves breakfast items all day, as well as lunch and dinner fare, and even though the prices are very reasonable compared to many of the other restaurants in Vail, all of the food is still great. For breakfast, you must try their special: Cap’n Crunch French Toast! This is a fresh-baked demi baguette dipped in a secret batter and rolled in crushed Cap’n Crunch with your choice of breakfast meat for $8.95. For lunch or dinner, you will love their take on traditional fajitas that contain marinated steak or chicken with peppers, onions, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guacamole, and grated cheese, served with warm flour tortillas for $13.95. While this dish is normally considered an appetizer, you will also enjoy their take on the traditional French fry, truffle French fries. These crispy French fries are tossed with truffle oil and topped with shaved parmesan cheese and a creamy parmesan dipping sauce all for a reasonable $6.95.
There are many other restaurants in the Vail area, but based on food quality, these are five of the best.