Best Restaurants in Telluride: Western-Inspired Cuisine with San Juan Mountain Views

With its history steeped in the mining business, Telluride has grown to be one of the most prominent winter destinations both in the United States and the whole world. Located in a glorious box canyon surrounded by forested hillsides and snow-capped peaks, Telluride attracts adventure seekers and outdoor lovers from all over the world all year long. However, there is no denying it – winter is the time when Telluride shines the brightest. Divided between the town of Telluride and the Mountain Village (which are connected by a free gondola ride), there is both historic charm and modern-day mountain luxury to be found here. Not only are there fantastic properties to stay at during your time in Telluride, but the wide range of culinary delights also delivers remarkable and unforgettable sensations. From modern American to Asian fusion, and classic French – there is something for everyone.

221 South Oak Bistro

For years, 221 South Oak Bistro has been a favorite both for Telluride newcomers and patrons returning year after year. Renowned as Telluride’s one of the most intimate dining locations, this restaurant is infused with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, historic charm, uncompromising quality, and above all else – phenomenal food and splendid service. Led by Colorado’s celebrity chef Eliza Gavin, 221 South Oak Bistro combines fresh local ingredients with an impeccable attention to detail when preparing each dish. Prime cuts of beef, locally-sourced game, poultry, and fish, as well as an extensive vegetarian menu – not a single detail is skipped. Colorado Lamb T-bones and Rocky Mountain Trout are long-time favorites, while Ancho Marinated Boar with Masa Cake and Pork Belly will deliver a much-appreciated culinary surprise.

Chop House

Located at the historic New Sheridan Hotel, everything about Chop House is classic Telluride. A long-time favorite of both locals and returning visitors, Chop House has a very particular charm that keeps you coming back for more. It is present both in the classic-style interior, the warm and welcoming service, as well as the food, which – and yes, we dare say – is unbelievable. You will not need to think twice about returning for the best steak in town, and the use of local ingredients is truly worth mentioning. Chop House’s executive chef Brian Batten skillfully combines new American dining with the French technical execution. Best cuts of Western game and bison are complemented by a tailor-made wine list with the finest US and French wines. Embroidered velvet seating, coffered ceiling with 1940s-inspired fixtures, white tablecloths – the chic dining scene is beautifully classic yet unpretentious, and you can easily spend hours here with fantastic food, swapping stories with friends about a day on the slopes.

La Marmotte

Not only one of the oldest buildings in Telluride but also one of the most charming ones – the old 19th-century ice house has been skillfully turned into a classic French restaurant, which offers some of the best dining experiences in Southwest Colorado. Seasonal French cuisine at La Marmotte is accompanied by white linens and candlelit atmosphere – both warm and welcoming. Each dish is finished with a classic French touch and everything on the menu goes hand in hand with the mountain setting. Warming Mussel and Red Curry Chowder and delicate yet rich Roasted Red Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Wontons are only a couple of the fantastic appetizers and the mains follow suit – local Lamb Shank, Red Wine-Braised Chicken, Grilled Hanger Steak, and Slow-Baked Wild Striped Sea Bass are not to be missed.


True to its name, Cosmopolitan is certainly one of the more inventive dining locations in Telluride while still staying true to its roots and surroundings. Located within the Hotel Columbia, Cosmopolitan has long been known as one of Telluride’s go-to places for fine dining, where traditional flavors are seasoned with a cosmopolitan flair. From Colorado Angus and Lamb to Hawaiian Swordfish and Asian-inspired vegetable Ramen, the menu is concise yet encompasses an array of flavor profiles. The Lobster Corndogs are one of the most unique creations here and will please the more adventurous patrons.

Altezza at the Peaks

Blessed with, potentially, the best view in Telluride, Altezza at the Peaks offers casual dining with a panoramic scenery all around. Open for breakfast, lunch, apres ski as well as dinner, Altezza offers a fine selection of meals made from locally-sourced ingredients. Perfect for larger groups and families as there are some amazing starter plates for sharing – Artisan Salumi & Cheese Board, Smoked Hummus, and Grilled Artichoke. There is a wide selection of various main dishes – from family-friendly options like Meatballs & Spaghetti and Lemon Rosemary Chicken to more refined Sage Rubbed 10oz Flat Iron Steak with Yukon Mash and Herb Crusted Elk Medallions that pay an homage to the mountainous surroundings. The awe-inspiring views can be enjoyed both from the inside of the restaurant as well as its outdoor deck.

Lauma Breeze

Ever since reading In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne in her childhood, Lauma has been fascinated by all things travel. From sailing as well as exploring nature inland to continuously being fascinated by cities and cultures worldwide, she conveys her passion and inquisitive nature in writing.

Send this to a friend