Destinations

Best Restaurants in Vail: Embracing the Rich Flavors of Colorado Rockies

Vail has been the pinnacle of winter luxury for decades. The resort town with dazzling ski slopes, tall snow-covered pine and spruce trees that look so majestic through the windows of fireplace-warmed luxury hotel lounges, and first-class offerings throughout does not compromise on quality in anything, and certainly not when it comes to great dining. After a day spent on the slopes, nothing is better than a mouthwatering meal in the company of family, friends and newly-made acquaintances. We have picked 5 amazing restaurants that you will not want to miss during your stay in Vail – let’s take a closer look!

Gessner

Part of Hotel Talisa, Gessner is its fantastic restaurant celebrating the culinary heritage of the Colorado Rockies and the Alps. Spacious and welcoming while still allowing for an intimate experience, Gessner offers rich flavors and exquisite ingredients masterfully cooked to perfection. Popular both with residents staying at Talisa and other hotels, reservations are highly-encouraged, if you want to be guaranteed a table. Maultaschen soup with Berkshire pork and Angus beef dumplings delivers continental flavors and warmth while the kale & romaine salad is perfectly nutritions but a much lighter starter. Bison burger or the pan-seared duck breast with a juniper berry wine reduction are both unforgettable and indulgent.

Leonora

At the very heart of Vail, part of the luxurious Sebastian resort, Leonora brings only the finest, locally-sourced organic ingredients to the equation in its smart, elegant, and timeless dinner setting. Inspired by the French Alps, Spanish Pyrenees, and Colorado Rockies, Leonora creates a fantastic tapas, crudo and alpine bistro fare. Holidays in Vail are all about spending quality time with friends and family, thus the cheese and charcuterie boards are a must for any table. House-made and locally-cured meats are beautifully rich in flavor and delicate texture. Elk tartare, skirt steak with Yukon mash, roasted local trout all bring regional flavors that you’re not likely to find elsewhere to the table.

Mountain Standard

Offering more relaxed dining in a rustic yet modern tavern-style setting, Mountain Standard is a Vail favorite thus reservations are a must. Mountain Standard is all about embracing cooking methods that are in line with the more traditional way of living – just what you would expect from a Colorado mountain resort, if you ask us. Most dishes are prepared over open and live wood-fire. Embracing bold and honest flavors loved by generations while focusing on the purest ingredients in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond, it is guaranteed to bring you back to some well-appreciated nostalgia. Start with wood-roasted bone marrow or coal roasted olives before moving on to Rocky Mountain trout served with slow-cooked parsnips and apple puree or coffee and cocoa-rubbed quail. While the setting is relaxed, the dishes pack a punch.

Sweet Basil

Buzzing hotspot for new American dining, Sweet Basil boasts a modern and creative flair at the very heart of Vail Valley. Expect to be greeted by some of the most attentive and warm staff who will ensure that your evening is filled only with the best experiences no matter how big or small your group is. The menu is beautifully compact proving that you don’t need a lot to serve the best. From foie gras to crispy pork cheeks, fried olives, and chestnut buccatini, choose any of the fantastic starters and your meal will be off to a great start. And while all of the mains are equally enticing, we’re not going to lie – the real luminary is the Wagyu flat iron with caramelized onion mousse, baby turnips, Yorkshire pudding, juniper, and pine. While the dishes are nothing short of upscale, the atmosphere is unpretentious yet elegant.

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.

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