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The town of Silver Plume is a must-stop for pre- or post-weekend cocktails
Bread Bar/Facebook

16 Mountain Stopovers for Your Next Colorado Road Trip

Only the best eating and drinking for intrepid travelers

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The town of Silver Plume is a must-stop for pre- or post-weekend cocktails
| Bread Bar/Facebook

Weather, traffic, construction, tourists — they all come into play when road tripping from Denver into the mountains. Luckily for Coloradans and visitors, these re-fueling options dot the way, making the journey taste just as good as the destination.

Starting just outside Denver, ending as far as Grand Junction, on the way to distant ski resorts, and well into the mountains, these 16 bars, breweries, distilleries, and restaurants are worth the pull-off. They serve hand pies, tacos, barbecue, cocktails, even coursed backcountry dinners.

Have another favorite mountain stopover? Send us a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bin 707 Foodbar

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225 N 5th St #105
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(970) 243-4543
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The first restaurant of chef Josh Niernberg’s Grand Junction empire (see also a food truck, Taco Party, and Dinner Party), Bin 707 is our farthest west destination for all-day seasonal fare from beet and chicory salads to butter and radishes and striped bass with caviar and potato waffles. Road trip passengers can order a house cocktail or whiskey flight before heading on to Utah.

Bin 707 Foodbar [official]

2. Provisions at the Barbershop

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616 Clinton St
Ridgway, CO 81432
(970) 626-9861
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The last stop before Telluride, Ridgway is a surprising little food destination all its own. Among the many options in this walkable town is Provisions Cafe, located in an 1894 barbershop. Amie Minnick, a longtime Telluride private chef to the stars, now runs this unassuming restaurant. She serves brunch Wednesdays to Sundays and dinner Thursdays to Saturdays. Start with local coffee and breakfast hash.

Provisions/Facebook

3. Taqueria El Nopal

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2902 South Glen Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-7311
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For lunch or dinner, diners heading toward Aspen should stop in this relaxed Glenwood Springs restaurant that serves some of the very best Mexican food in Colorado. Don't miss the carne asada tacos, pozole, and pupusas.

4. Casey Brewing and Blending LLC

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3421 Grand Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 230-9691
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Also in Glenwood Springs, Casey Brewing is a stop to plan ahead of time — the taproom only opens for drinkers who purchase tickets to access intimate group tasting sessions. These are offered Thursdays to Sundays on the first and third weekends of the month only. But those who snag them can learn about blending in the barrel cellar, and try beers like oak barrel-aged apricot farmhouse ale and blackberry whiskey sour.

Casey Brewing/Facebook

5. Woody Creek Distillers

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60 Sunset Dr
Basalt, CO 81621
(970) 279-5110
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Located between Carbondale and Aspen, and just down the road from its own potato farm, Woody Creek makes some of the best spirits in the state. Drinkers pulling off in this industrial enclave can taste distiller Dave Matthews’ now-famous potato vodka, his floral and citrus-forward gin, and a taproom-only High Rye whiskey.

Woody Creek/Facebook

6. Minturn Saloon

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146 Main St.
Minturn, CO 81645
(970) 827-5954
Visit Website

Just beyond Vail, the former mining town of Minturn maintains its historic Saloon, where clandestine drinking and gambling date back to 1901. Flair and margaritas are the main reasons to visit, but a mixed grill for dinner is a more filling option. And après ski hour is popular for those skiing the Minturn Mile.

Minturn Saloon/Facebook

7. Tennessee Pass Cookhouse

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(719) 486-8114
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Way off the beaten path, between Cooper ski area and Leadville, this yurt restaurant is accessible by backcountry hike in the summer or scenic snowshoe walk in the winter. Reservations are required for lunch and a four-course dinner ($89 for the latter, gear and headlamps included). Once inside, diners are greeted by a wood stove and candlelight. Entrees include Colorado lamb, grilled elk, and stuffed pheasant.

Tennessee Pass [official]

8. Treeline Kitchen

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615 a Harrison Ave
Leadville, CO 80461
(719) 293-2200
Visit Website

On down to Leadville, Treeline is a newer addition to the country’s highest elevation food scene. It opens daily for happy hour and dinner and serves a comforting new American food menu alongside an extensive wine list and winter cocktails. Come warmer weather, the rooftop patio is a nice perch overlooking this historic city.

Dominique Taylor/Treeline Kitchen

9. The Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar

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412 E Main St
Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 966-5544
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Colorado’s best craft beer bar is lantern-lit and hiding inside this 1880s-era Buena Vista town jailhouse. There’s only room for 10 well-selected taps featuring beers from Colorado and beyond (see currently breweries such as Aspen, Weldwerks, Melvin, and Logsdon). Seating is equally cozy, and the bathrooms are their own adventure off the back patio.

The Jailhouse [official]

10. Hungry Moose Caboose

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38539 US-285
Jefferson, CO 80456

A summers-only spot, the drive here is worth it just for a cheeseburger. This side-of-the-road pit stop offers a classic American creation at a cheap price and best washed down with a milkshake. Pro tip: If you need to use the bathroom, be sure to bring some quarters.

Yelp

11. Plume Coffee Bar

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855 Main St
Silver Plume, CO 80476

Silver Plume’s latest addition is this mountain minimalist coffee bar in the old Knights of Pythias building. Weekends only, find pour-overs and espresso drinks as well as local breakfast burritos and morning pastries.

Plume Coffee Bar [official]

12. Bread Bar

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1010 Main St
Silver Plume, CO 80476
(720) 722-7323
Visit Website

Down the road from the coffee shop is this old-timey cocktail bar that started Silver Plume’s ongoing hipsterization and garnered a cult following for its drinks served in a vintage-chic setting (the word “bread” on the back of the former bakery building worked wonders). It’s only open Fridays to Sundays, and visitors should plan ahead to arrive on live music nights — they can be magical — as well as for food and craft goods pop-ups.

Bread Bar/Facebook

13. The Shaggy Sheep

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50455 US Hwy 285
Grant, CO 80448
(719) 836-8845
Visit Website

Open Thursday through Sunday in the winter and through Monday come summer, this “casual mountain cookhouse” is a pleasant surprise along Highway 285. A previously Denver-based couple (he, a chef, she, a produce purveyor) run the cabin restaurant, serving pan-seared fish, spinach and kale salad, and short rib sandwiches. A lounge area offers beer, wine, and cocktails.

The Shaggy Sheep [official]

14. Westbound & Down Brewery/The Buffalo

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1617 Miner St
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
(720) 502-3121
Visit Website

Winter or summer, this modern brewery and restaurant is a breath of fresh air just 40 minutes up I-70. Brewed on the premises, the beers are a great compliment to Southern-influenced dishes. Highlights include the fried chicken and biscuits.

Westbound & Down/Facebook

15. Smokin Yard's BBQ

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2736 Colorado Blvd
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
(303) 567-9273
Visit Website

For some of Colorado's finest barbecue on the road, Smokin Yard's offers platters of pulled pork, ribs, and whole chickens, as well as not-to-be-forgotten savory sides, such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and collard greens.

16. Tip Top Savory Pies

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105 N Public Rd
Lafayette, CO 80026

Lafayette’s newest eatery is cupboard sized and serving handheld pies that make for perfect portable road trip snacking. The New Zealand-inspired treats come in all savory varieties — mincemeat, steak and cheese, mushrooms and beer, cauliflower tikka masala. They’re selling for now on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only.

Tip Top Savory Pies [official]

1. Bin 707 Foodbar

225 N 5th St #105, Grand Junction, CO 81501
Bin 707 Foodbar [official]

The first restaurant of chef Josh Niernberg’s Grand Junction empire (see also a food truck, Taco Party, and Dinner Party), Bin 707 is our farthest west destination for all-day seasonal fare from beet and chicory salads to butter and radishes and striped bass with caviar and potato waffles. Road trip passengers can order a house cocktail or whiskey flight before heading on to Utah.

225 N 5th St #105
Grand Junction, CO 81501

2. Provisions at the Barbershop

616 Clinton St, Ridgway, CO 81432
Provisions/Facebook

The last stop before Telluride, Ridgway is a surprising little food destination all its own. Among the many options in this walkable town is Provisions Cafe, located in an 1894 barbershop. Amie Minnick, a longtime Telluride private chef to the stars, now runs this unassuming restaurant. She serves brunch Wednesdays to Sundays and dinner Thursdays to Saturdays. Start with local coffee and breakfast hash.

616 Clinton St
Ridgway, CO 81432

3. Taqueria El Nopal

2902 South Glen Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

For lunch or dinner, diners heading toward Aspen should stop in this relaxed Glenwood Springs restaurant that serves some of the very best Mexican food in Colorado. Don't miss the carne asada tacos, pozole, and pupusas.

2902 South Glen Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

4. Casey Brewing and Blending LLC

3421 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Casey Brewing/Facebook

Also in Glenwood Springs, Casey Brewing is a stop to plan ahead of time — the taproom only opens for drinkers who purchase tickets to access intimate group tasting sessions. These are offered Thursdays to Sundays on the first and third weekends of the month only. But those who snag them can learn about blending in the barrel cellar, and try beers like oak barrel-aged apricot farmhouse ale and blackberry whiskey sour.

3421 Grand Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

5. Woody Creek Distillers

60 Sunset Dr, Basalt, CO 81621
Woody Creek/Facebook

Located between Carbondale and Aspen, and just down the road from its own potato farm, Woody Creek makes some of the best spirits in the state. Drinkers pulling off in this industrial enclave can taste distiller Dave Matthews’ now-famous potato vodka, his floral and citrus-forward gin, and a taproom-only High Rye whiskey.

60 Sunset Dr
Basalt, CO 81621

6. Minturn Saloon

146 Main St., Minturn, CO 81645
Minturn Saloon/Facebook

Just beyond Vail, the former mining town of Minturn maintains its historic Saloon, where clandestine drinking and gambling date back to 1901. Flair and margaritas are the main reasons to visit, but a mixed grill for dinner is a more filling option. And après ski hour is popular for those skiing the Minturn Mile.

146 Main St.
Minturn, CO 81645

7. Tennessee Pass Cookhouse

Leadville, CO 80461
Tennessee Pass [official]

Way off the beaten path, between Cooper ski area and Leadville, this yurt restaurant is accessible by backcountry hike in the summer or scenic snowshoe walk in the winter. Reservations are required for lunch and a four-course dinner ($89 for the latter, gear and headlamps included). Once inside, diners are greeted by a wood stove and candlelight. Entrees include Colorado lamb, grilled elk, and stuffed pheasant.

8. Treeline Kitchen

615 a Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461
Dominique Taylor/Treeline Kitchen

On down to Leadville, Treeline is a newer addition to the country’s highest elevation food scene. It opens daily for happy hour and dinner and serves a comforting new American food menu alongside an extensive wine list and winter cocktails. Come warmer weather, the rooftop patio is a nice perch overlooking this historic city.

615 a Harrison Ave
Leadville, CO 80461

9. The Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar

412 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
The Jailhouse [official]

Colorado’s best craft beer bar is lantern-lit and hiding inside this 1880s-era Buena Vista town jailhouse. There’s only room for 10 well-selected taps featuring beers from Colorado and beyond (see currently breweries such as Aspen, Weldwerks, Melvin, and Logsdon). Seating is equally cozy, and the bathrooms are their own adventure off the back patio.

412 E Main St
Buena Vista, CO 81211

10. Hungry Moose Caboose

38539 US-285, Jefferson, CO 80456
Yelp

A summers-only spot, the drive here is worth it just for a cheeseburger. This side-of-the-road pit stop offers a classic American creation at a cheap price and best washed down with a milkshake. Pro tip: If you need to use the bathroom, be sure to bring some quarters.

38539 US-285
Jefferson, CO 80456

11. Plume Coffee Bar

855 Main St, Silver Plume, CO 80476
Plume Coffee Bar [official]

Silver Plume’s latest addition is this mountain minimalist coffee bar in the old Knights of Pythias building. Weekends only, find pour-overs and espresso drinks as well as local breakfast burritos and morning pastries.

855 Main St
Silver Plume, CO 80476

12. Bread Bar

1010 Main St, Silver Plume, CO 80476
Bread Bar/Facebook

Down the road from the coffee shop is this old-timey cocktail bar that started Silver Plume’s ongoing hipsterization and garnered a cult following for its drinks served in a vintage-chic setting (the word “bread” on the back of the former bakery building worked wonders). It’s only open Fridays to Sundays, and visitors should plan ahead to arrive on live music nights — they can be magical — as well as for food and craft goods pop-ups.

1010 Main St
Silver Plume, CO 80476

13. The Shaggy Sheep

50455 US Hwy 285, Grant, CO 80448
The Shaggy Sheep [official]

Open Thursday through Sunday in the winter and through Monday come summer, this “casual mountain cookhouse” is a pleasant surprise along Highway 285. A previously Denver-based couple (he, a chef, she, a produce purveyor) run the cabin restaurant, serving pan-seared fish, spinach and kale salad, and short rib sandwiches. A lounge area offers beer, wine, and cocktails.

50455 US Hwy 285
Grant, CO 80448

14. Westbound & Down Brewery/The Buffalo

1617 Miner St, Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Westbound & Down/Facebook

Winter or summer, this modern brewery and restaurant is a breath of fresh air just 40 minutes up I-70. Brewed on the premises, the beers are a great compliment to Southern-influenced dishes. Highlights include the fried chicken and biscuits.

1617 Miner St
Idaho Springs, CO 80452

15. Smokin Yard's BBQ

2736 Colorado Blvd, Idaho Springs, CO 80452

For some of Colorado's finest barbecue on the road, Smokin Yard's offers platters of pulled pork, ribs, and whole chickens, as well as not-to-be-forgotten savory sides, such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and collard greens.

2736 Colorado Blvd
Idaho Springs, CO 80452

Related Maps

16. Tip Top Savory Pies

105 N Public Rd, Lafayette, CO 80026
Tip Top Savory Pies [official]

Lafayette’s newest eatery is cupboard sized and serving handheld pies that make for perfect portable road trip snacking. The New Zealand-inspired treats come in all savory varieties — mincemeat, steak and cheese, mushrooms and beer, cauliflower tikka masala. They’re selling for now on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only.

105 N Public Rd
Lafayette, CO 80026

Related Maps