If you're heading to Vail, CO, you are in for some good eatin'! We love trying new restaurants and there's no shortage of fine dining and casual rustic spots to choose from! If you're looking for more Vail information, check out my full Vail Summer Guide.
For any of these, reservations are recommended, if not required. I highly recommend booking a reservation about one month in advance for weekends or special events/holidays. We had a little flexibility because we were in town during the week, so we were able to grab some last minute spots. Don't wait, though!
Photos of each restaurant are *above* the restaurant name and description.
This was one of our favorite restaurants in Vail! We went for brunch, and loved it. I mean, check out that Huckleberry Bacon French Toast! FT is always my brunch go-to and I've had some excellent dishes before, so I was nervous to try it, but WOW it did not disappoint! I'm pretty sure I cleaned my plate! Adam had their special - a fried chicken/fried avo croissant sandwich! Vintage had all the French bistro vibes, and I was in brunch heaven!
We had a reservation and while we were waiting to be seated, the woman in line behind me bypassed us and went up to hostess and demanded a table on the patio because they had their dog with them and so they *had* to sit outside. I was in shock - she was so rude to the staff!! The hostess handled it so well and said "I don't know if we'll be able to make the patio happen, but actually our restaurant is dog-friendly, so that's no problem." I wanted to turn around to the rude woman be say "look lady, it's August in Colorado, everyone wants to sit on the patio!!!" but I didn't. ;) Ha! When the hostess walked us to our table, she said "thank you for being so pleasant!" and we shared a look. LOL so this is your reminder to be kind to the staff, make a reservation, and know that restaurants are busy and they can't always accommodate requests even though they want to!
Italian night! This was our favorite dinner in Vail. Neither of us can pin point exactly why, but overall it was a great experience. *and* we even sat at the bar...not even a table! Waitstaff was excellent, service was excellent, everything we ate was fantastic. During warm months, I recommend a table on the patio, overlooking Vail's main drag and Vail Mountain!
I had basically the spaghetti and meatballs- Tagliatelle con Polpettine - I know so basic, but it just sounded so good after a long day of hiking, so I went for it. It was amazinggg. They made it taste so light and fresh, probably because they use Pivetti flour straight from Italy and make the pasta fresh each day! So good. Also, we had their focaccia bread, and it was simple and delicious!
We sat on the patio and made friends with our neighboring table! Overall, everything was great; for the price, I would have rather gone to La Nonna again. Controversial opinion!! La Tour is a restaurant that I think I saw on every travel site and guide that I looked at before our trip, so I know people love it, but also think it's just a cute spot and maybe not quite worth the hype? We went for dinner, so a lunch experience could have been different. This is definitely a great place to eat, but if you have to make a choice, maybe skip it in favor of one of these other picks. Our food was good, but not like wow amazing. I would go back but only if I had already been to my favorites!
I had the Chicken Paillard and Adam had a white fish dish. Our dessert was probably the best part of the meal - flaming creme brulee! Actually, we might just go back for drinks and dessert!
Great lunch spot! We knew we wanted pizza after our big hike day (7 hours of hiking!) and Pazzo's hit the spot for a late lunch! We have some great specialty pizza places in Dallas that I love (shout-out Eno's and Cane Rosso) and Pazzo's is definitely average pizza, but there's something about pizza after a day on the mountain that hits the spot, so I'll still recommend it. Grab a table on the sidewalk or balcony (where we sat) so you can people watch! Great lunch spot to relax! This photo is "dead Rhonda after hiking all day!!"
THE LITTLE DINER
Greattt breakfast spot! This one is in Lionshead Village, right next to Vail Village (both considered Vail) and you can easily walk between the two or take a 5 minute free bus ride that goes in between the villages. I recommend siting at the bar because you can watch them cook the food and it's fun to see what they're making...and it helps you decide what to order! Everything looked so good, but I think we both ordered the Farmer's Breakfast or whatever their version of the "grand slam" is and got a variety of things...of course I upgraded to a chocolate chip pancake for $1 and yesss it was worth it! So good!
This was probably the number one recommended restaurant on guides that I saw before our trip. We went for dinner, and had a nice time, but I think your table location determines your experience. The interior of the restaurant isn't anything special, so request a table on the front or back patio for a pedestrian-street view (above photo) or creek view. I would actually recommend Sweet Basil's sister restaurant instead! (Mountain Standard). Sweet Basil is another restaurant that was good food, but maybe there are others that we would prefer for different vibes. ;) I'll also say that we were some of the youngest people in the restaurant, so that could be something to think about too!
We ate here for lunch and we really enjoyed it! This is the sister restaurant to Sweet Basil and not quite as highly rated, but when I go back to Vail, I would choose it over Sweet Basil! It's slightly less expensive, but the food was just as good! It's actually underneath Sweet Basil and overlooks the creek on the back side or the road. Felt slightly more casual, but I enjoyed it more. We were grabbing lunch on our way out of town, so we split a bacon cheeseburger and salad, and it really was a great burger. I love a burger, so that might be part of it!
This was another restaurant I saw on a lot of guides prior to our trip. Everything looked great, but we only went in for a drink. We didn't have enough meals to eat at all the restaurants we wanted to!
The restaurant is inside the Sonnenalp Hotel (super cute!) and I think it's best features are it's large patio and hearty food. It was raining when we visited so we sat inside, but I think the patio is the move! These two photos above aren't great, but I wanted to show you the vibes, so pleas enjoy the poor quality photo of a random table of people next to the bar. ;)
The Sonnenalp has a higher end restaurant and a coffee shop that were both being renovated during our trip, so I wasn't able to visit them, but would bet they are worth visiting when they reopen.
JOE'S FAMOUS DELI
Must-visit before a day on the mountain! Grab a breakfast burrito to stay warm and fill up before your adventure! We were both surprised at how delicious our burrito was from this hole in the wall spot! Burrito, bagel, coffee and you're all set! I don't know what else to say about Joe's, except that we'll be back in the winter before hitting the slopes!
I know, I know, not a restaurant, but it's the cutest ice cream spot in town! I love ice cream and was pleased to find Sundae right next to Austria Haus, the hotel we stayed at! Everything is made in-house and the line out the door told me I was in the right place!
Shoot me a DM or tag me when you visit Vail! I hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as I did! :)