19 Best Restaurants in Steamboat Springs and Northwest Colorado, 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
Known For
  • by-the-glass wine list
  • venison tenderloin
  • elegant atmosphere that's not fussy
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential


$$$$ 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
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

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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.

Pablo's Pizza

$ Fodor's choice

Drawing inspiration from Pablo Picasso's artwork, the pizzas at this funky joint make for a diverse palette of flavors and fun. Specialties include creations such as Popeye's Passion (featuring spinach and "olive oyl") or Dracula's Nemesis (studded with roasted garlic). For kids, they even serve a mac-and-cheese pizza. With brick walls covered only by eclectic local paintings, Pablo's can get loud when busy. They pour local wines by the glass and Palisade Brewery beer and root beer by the bottle.


$$$$ Fodor's choice

A low-key farmhouse atmosphere, friendly and gracious service, and a frequently changing menu of creative Mediterranean dishes make Pêche a destination restaurant, particularly in this part of the state where fine dining is harder to come by. Menu staples include Moroccan lamb, which comes prepared as meatballs alongside dishes of accoutrements such as chutney, chopped nuts, and grilled lemon halves, as well as burrata with charred figs and a sourdough boule baked fresh for each table. The small, rotating selection of wines has been thoughtfully chosen to work with the meals. In warm months, the little patio is an inviting place to people-watch.

Slice o' Life Bakery

$ Fodor's choice

Aromatic goodies are baked with whole grains and fresh local fruits at this down-home-style bakery known around the region for its melt-in-your-mouth pastries, "jamocha" brownies, and fresh-fruit cobblers. Owners Tim and Mary Lincoln have made their fruitcakes craveable commodities, studding them with fresh Palisade peaches and mailing them around the country (in fact, they do lots of great things with peaches, including pie). Cold sandwiches and fresh-baked bread are also available.

105 W. 3rd St., Palisade, CO, 81526, USA
Known For
  • good coffee
  • famous peach fruitcakes and raspberry cinnamon rolls
  • creative sandwich combinations
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No dinner, Reservations not accepted

BedRock Depot


New batches of homemade ice cream show up almost every day at this roadside shop, where the walls are a gallery for the owners' photography and artwork. The shop sells fresh sandwiches—including a terrific roast beef on house-baked rolls—and specialty coffees, bottled root beer, cream soda, and ginger ale. The Depot's immaculate restroom makes for one of the most pleasant pit stops on the long drive ahead.

214 W. Brontosaurus Blvd., Dinosaur, CO, 81610, USA
Known For
  • "Mochasaurus" coffee
  • convivial atmosphere
  • kitschy souvenir gift shop
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed. and Thurs. No dinner, Reservations not accepted

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
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
Known For
  • bustling atmosphere
  • rotating local art
  • family friendliness with a great kids' menu
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner, Reservations essential

Dos Hombres


Casual and colorful, Dos Hombres serves the usual variety of combination platters and Mexican specialties, and loads up the plates for low prices. The fajitas and enchiladas are particularly well made, with quality meats and a noticeable lack of grease, and they have an unusually large menu of interesting salads (check out the Cancun version, with pineapple and fried tortilla strips). Service is snappy and friendly, and the staff is accommodating to kids. The margaritas and cervezas are inexpensive, too—they're half-price during the weekday three-hour happy hour and all day Tuesday.

421 Brach Dr., Grand Junction, CO, 81501, USA
Known For
  • sangria brunch
  • freshly fried, salt-free chips
  • margarita happy hour
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations not accepted

Fiesta Guadalajara Restaurant


Authentic and family friendly, this Mexican restaurant serves good food in huge portions. Try the chiles rellenos, super nachos, and especially the Chile Colorado: fork-tender beef simmered in a savory red-pepper sauce. The appetizer combo plate is a meal in itself, and to feed an army, order Fiesta Fajitas. There's a second location in Grand Junction.

Gino's Neighborhood Pizzeria and Grill


The staff is friendly and the pizzas are excellent, thin-crust, and "Philly style," which means they also offer that town's famous stromboli with the same thin, crispy crust. If you'd rather have pasta, the jumbo beef ravioli is a local favorite. An exposition kitchen means lots of give-and-take between the dining room and the family that runs the place, and they still have the large, foliage-lined patio with its backyard feel.

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.

Massadona Tavern and Steak House


A restaurant and bar, Massadona is small, homey, and rustic, with a smattering of Western decor items and a mixture of tables and booths. It's also a casual, inviting, and relaxing place to stop after a day of digging around in dinosaur dirt, even if it's kind of in the middle of nowhere (20 minutes east of Dinosaur and a half-hour drive from the monument). The inexpensive steaks go down well with a cocktail (also reasonably priced). They also do excellent breaded shrimp, good burgers (try the bacon cheeseburger), fish-and-chips, and classic Reubens.

22926 U.S. 40, Dinosaur, CO, 81610, USA
Known For
  • bacon cheeseburger
  • weekly fish taco special
  • friendly owners
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch weekdays, Reservations not accepted



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.

Rudy's Pizzeria


This establishment serves excellent thick-crust pizza that is heavy on toppings and cheese (so beware ordering extra). The Oktoberfest pizza, with sauerkraut, sausage, and onion, sounds odd but is outstanding—like an enormous, cheesy bratwurst.

The Winery


This is the place for that big night out and other special occasions in the area. The menu isn't terribly adventuresome, but the kitchen does turn out fresh-fish specials and top-notch steak, chicken, prime rib, and shrimp in simple, flavorful sauces. The decor is awash in stained glass, wood beams, exposed brick, and hanging plants, with dark nooks and crannies and ends of aging barrels as art, all of which combine for an intimate atmosphere. The real draw is for wine fans who want to try a more obscure bottle from the extensive, domestic-heavy roster.

642 Main St., Grand Junction, CO, 81501, USA
Known For
  • obscure, rare wines
  • top-notch steak
  • inviting wood-lined bar
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential