One of Colorado’s best-known and most massive ski resorts, Vail looks like a storybook version of a mountain town, where European-style cafes line cobblestone streets, with vistas of towering evergreen trees in the distance. While most visitors head to Vail for outdoor adventures, it’s also a choice destination for luxury hotels and sprawling second homes. Vail Village itself offers a lively dining scene, featuring a mix of gourmet gems and laid-back local haunts. But those heading to the Gore Range of the Rocky Mountains should also keep in mind that the Vail Valley encompasses the nearby towns of Minturn, Avon, Beaver Creek, and Edwards, which dot I-70 and collectively boast some of the best alpine dining options anywhere at altitude.
Update July 2021: Eagle County has officially lifted all local health orders around COVID-19, but ever-changing statewide orders remain in place. Individual businesses will still have the authority to enforce mask wearing at their own discretion. Vail Resorts expects the summer season to be back in full swing, with a busy calendar of concerts and festivals making a much-anticipated return.
The following is an updated take on the Vail Valley dining scene, highlighting beloved, locally owned bistros and elevated, enduring classics — all of which should be applauded (and amply tipped) for surviving the devastating effects of the pandemic.
Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Eagle County website or official state resources.
Katie Shapiro is a freelance cannabis and travel journalist who lives life at its highest and writes about it from her home base in Aspen. She is a senior contributor for Forbes and High Country columnist for the Aspen Times, with other work appearing in the Denver Post, Modern Luxury, Curbed, Thrillist, and more.Read More