9 Best Restaurants in Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs and Northwest Colorado

Aurum Food and Wine

$$$$ Fodor's choice
Situated along the Yampa River, with an expansive deck and couch seating that juts out over the water, Aurum serves seasonal modern American fare made from locally sourced ingredients. Inside, the pretty space features dark woods, lots of fresh flowers, and expansive windows to showcase the view. The connected bar and lounge offers comfy seating and happy hour drink and appetizer specials.

Cafe Diva

$$$$ Fodor's choice

A pretty, egg-yolk-yellow but unfussy dining room is an ideal backdrop for fresh, locally sourced modern American dishes. The menu lists a significant number of vegan and gluten-free options that put some effort into their creation, such as quinoa risotto with butternut squash and mushroom jus. Meat eaters will be happy here, too, though: venison and beef tenderloins are lightly sauced (Cabernet veal demiglace, say) and treated to savory sides. The well-varied wine list starts off with a dozen by-the-glass options you won't see elsewhere, and the savvy staff is excited to share their picks as well as entice guests to try something new. It's easy to choose only from the small-plate selections and make a meal of it, but don't forget about the Mexican-spiced chocolate mousse and gingerbread ice cream sandwiches waiting at the end.

1855 Ski Time Sq. Dr., Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, USA
970-871–0508
Known For
  • by-the-glass wine list
  • venison tenderloin
  • elegant atmosphere that's not fussy
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential

Harwigs

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Steamboat's most intimate restaurant is in a building that once housed Harwig's Saddlery and Western Wear, but it's open only one night a week, for a Friday-night four-course prix-fixe menu with optional wine pairings. The classic French cuisine, with subtle Asian influences, is well crafted, and the menu changes monthly. There are two dining rooms, one that is more formal, and the other casual. The innovative duck and seafood dishes are highlights as are the fresh oysters on the half shell. But the menu takes a back seat to the admirable wine list: owner Jamie Jenny is a collector whose wine cellar contains more than 10,000 bottles, and you can order more than 40 wines by the glass. 

911 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, USA
970-879–1919
Known For
  • wine cellar with more than 10,000 bottles
  • happy-hour martinis
  • poached lobster
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sat.--Thur. No lunch, Reservations essential

Recommended Fodor's Video

Laundry Kitchen and Cocktails

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Small plates are the way to go in this convivial, casual setting, which was indeed the Steamboat Laundry from 1910 to 1977 but now serves tasty modern American bites such as fried shoestring potatoes served with black pepper aioli and pork belly on cast-iron biscuits with blueberry-fig jam. The dining room is rustic and cozy—exposed brick and original wood—and the service is spot-on. House-cured meats and hand-crafted cocktails are also specialties. If you show up without reservations, the spacious bar is just as good, with its high-top tables and the roomy bar itself; the impeccable service spills over into this area, too.

Carl's Tavern

$$$$

Named after Karl Hovelsen, the Norwegian ski jumper who brought the sport to Colorado in the early 1900s and who also lent his name to Steamboat's Howelsen Hill, this modern tavern serves updated takes on comfort food, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and as many items produced in-house as possible. Local favorites include buffalo meat loaf, three-cheese mac and cheese, and lemon icebox pie, but it's also tough to pass up the prime rib or the banana-chocolate bread pudding.

700 Yampa Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, USA
970-761–2060
Known For
  • half-price happy hour
  • Monday night prime rib
  • well-crafted cocktails
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Mon.--Wed., Reservations essential

Creekside Café and Grill

$$

This café's hearty breakfasts and lunches, which are crafted to get folks through a day of skiing or biking, are served in a casual atmosphere that's family—and group—friendly. The most popular item on the menu, and for good reason, is the roster of four eggs Benedict choices, including the "Cowboy Downhill," with smoked beef brisket, chargrilled onions, and pickled jalapeños. On nice days, ask to sit on the patio next to pretty Soda Creek. In season the place is usually jam-packed. Everything on the great kids' menu is $9.

131 11th St., Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, USA
970-879–4925
Known For
  • bustling atmosphere
  • rotating local art
  • family friendliness with a great kids' menu
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner, Reservations essential

Johnny B. Good's Diner

$$

Between the appealing kids' menu and the memorabilia that suggests Elvis has not left the building, Johnny's is all about fun and family. Breakfast (until 2 pm), lunch, and dinner are served daily, and they are all budget minded and large portioned. The menu is mostly what you'd expect—comfort food like meat loaf and mashed potatoes, burgers, milkshakes, and biscuits and gravy—but they also do an above-average rib eye and some tasty Mexican, as well as a popular list of hot "dawgs." A pie happy hour happens from 3 to 5 pm daily, with $2 off slices.

La Montaña

$$$

This Southwestern and Tex-Mex establishment is among Steamboat's most popular restaurants, and with good reason. The kitchen incorporates indigenous specialties into the traditional menu. Among the standouts are sunflower seed–crusted tuna with a margarita beurre blanc, enchiladas layered with Monterey Jack and goat cheese and roasted peppers, and buffalo loin crusted with pecan nuts and bourbon cream sauce. Excellent (read; strong) margaritas, and the light, cinnamon-spicy Mexican twist on bananas Foster is a worthy finale.

Riggio's

$$$

In a dramatic industrial space, this Italian eatery evokes the Old Country with tapestries, murals, and landscape photos. The menu includes tasty pizzas (with toppings such as goat cheese and clams) and pasta dishes (the lobster and basil gnocchi with potatoes and artichokes is superb). Standards such as manicotti, chicken cacciatore, and saltimbocca are also well prepared, but one of the best dishes is the Capo, with sea scallops and prawns in tomato cream sauce over penne. Try the house salad with Gorgonzola vinaigrette.