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Estes Park, Colorado, is a beautiful summer resort town that is known as the headquarters of the Rocky Mountain National Park. And it is also known for its fabulous restaurants. If you are visiting and need some suggestions for places to try, check out this listing of 14 Best Restaurants in Estes Park, CO.
Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew – Estes Park
$$ | (970) 577-7427 | WEBSITE
Nothing goes together better than hot, tasty barbecue and a nice cold brew. At Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew in Estes Park, you get the best of both! Smokin’ Dave’s was named one of the Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America by the National Barbecue News.
Not sure what to try? You can start with the Bubba-Que Wings, Smokin’ Sliders, or try the Hoggin’ Combo and get a little of everything. Platters include Carolina Pulled Pork, Texas Beef Basket, and St. Louis Pork Ribs. Finish it all off with a slice of the Kentucky Bourbon Pecan pie!
$ | (970) 586-8483 | WEBSITE
If you ever want to just skip the meal and head straight to dessert, the Munchin House is the place to go! They have been serving up the best in sweets for the last 50 years! They have 40 handcrafted ice cream flavors that can be scooped into a waffle cone, made into a shake, or a sundae.
Try some of their fair trade, organic espresso, hot chocolate, chai, coffee, tea, or cider if you are looking to warm up. And don’t forget some homemade fudge to go with that!
$$ | (970) 586-0272 | WEBSITE
Notchtop serves up THE best breakfast in Estes Park. Jason’s Signature Biscuits and Gravy comes with two eggs and home-fried potatoes.
The Mummy Mountain Hash is a mouthwatering 6 ounces of black Angus New York Strip steak with red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes topped with pepperjack cheese and served with two eggs and toast.
If you are trying to eat a little lighter, Notchtop has five oatmeal dishes; each served with fresh fruit. They also have Mexican-inspired dishes like the Mount Chiquita Tacos – yum!
Seasoned – An American Bistro
$$ | (970) 586-9000 | WEBSITE
Talk about farm-fresh! Seasoned – An American Bistro is owned by Chef Rob Corey and is one of Estes Park’s best fine dining restaurants. Brunch offerings include granola parfait, a citrus bowl, Georgia’s eggs, and the Bistro Benedict.
Drinks include French press coffee, fruit juices, or pair a Mimosa or Bloody Mary with your brunch. For the bistro dinner plates, you may want to try the pan-seared scallops, the Black Angus Rib-eye, Buffaloburgerloaf, or the Shrimp and Pig “Surf & Turf.”
Bird & Jim
$$ | (970) 586-9832 | WEBSITE
Bird & Jim uses local farmers and ranchers for their dishes to create an ingredient-driven restaurant. Appetizers include fresh potato chips with onion dip, Portobello fries, and a Charcuterie and cheese plate.
Are you craving a juicy burger? Check out the Mountain Jim burger with natural beef, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, mixed greens, and green peppercorn aioli on a potato roll.
Entress include the exotic Carnivore with elk tenderloin, a lamb t-bone, and bbq buffalo flank. On a lighter note, you may want to try the arugula & radicchio salad with miso roasted pineapple and dried figs.
$$ | (970) 586-3330 | WEBSITE
Mama Rose’s serves the best Italian food in the area. Ger her yummy ricotta rollup appetizer, each of the three comes with a different sauce. You’ll find all the traditional Italian favorites on the menu – spaghetti with meat sauce, Fettucine Alfredo, lasagna, chicken parmesan, and ravioli.
All pasta dishes come with garlic bread, and you can add a house salad for a little extra. And there are plenty of options for vegetarians, including vegetarian lasagna, angry eggplant, and portabello mushroom ravioli. Mama also has six different dishes for the little ones.
Cascades Restaurant and Lounge
$$$ | (970) 577-4000 | WEBSITE
If you are a Stephen King fan, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to dine at the Cascades Restaurant and Lounge in the historic Stanley Hotel. Dine indoors or on the patio, which has a great view of the cascades waterfall.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The grilled elk loin, filet mignon, and Colorado game meatloaf is sure to make your mouth water! The lounge offers the finest cocktails and whiskeys as well as an incredible wine list.
Rock Inn Mountain Tavern
$$$ | (970) 586-4116 | WEBSITE
Rock Inn Mountain Tavern started as a sandwich shop at the base of the Rocky Mountain National Park in 1937. It’s still a great stop for those visiting the mountain range.
The chefs consider the planet and your health while still serving the best hot comfort food in a comfortable setting which often includes the best Colorado band music. Try the Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped dates) or the elk sausage plate if you just want a quick bite.
Get the fresh salmon bowl, southwest chicken, or the Happy Cow (ground beef with mushrooms and bucatini noodles). The bison meatballs are homemade and delicious!
Twin Owls Steakhouse
$$$ | (970) 586-9344 | WEBSITE
Twin Owls Steakhouse, located in the Taharaa Mountain Lodge, is one of the best dining experiences in Estes Park. While overlooking the valley, start out with the elk kabob, burrata Caprese, or lump crab and sweet corn salsa.
Those looking for a light meal might want to try the roasted beet salad or steakhouse wedge salad. But, meat lovers will want to hit the grill with steaks like the flat iron, New York strip, or elk sirloin – all topped with herb butter.
Available sides include broccolini, sauteed mushrooms, and crispy fried fingerlings. There’s also prime rib, diver sea scallops, and rock of lamb. Twin Owls Steakhouse has it all, no matter what you are looking for.
The Post Chicken & Beer
$$ | (970) 287-5001 | WEBSITE
Looking for comfort food like your grandmother used to serve you? Chef Brett Smith does this (you may have seen him featured in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives). Share the crispy thigh fries, chicken chicharrones, or brussel sprouts with sweet & spicy peppers.
There are chicken entrees like the fried half bird, and chicken and waffle supreme. But, if you are a family that loves chicken, check out the Family Love, which is a whole bird with two large sides and four biscuits.
Need to feed more than four? Order the Big Bubba Love, which feeds 6-8 people. There’s also “Not Chicken” menu items for those craving meatloaf, salmon, or a burger.
Big Horn Restaurant
$$ | (970) 586-2792 | WEBSITE
If you are looking for a hearty breakfast, you must visit the Big Horn Restaurant! Ask for the breakfast burrito, fluffy pancakes, or eggs benedict, and your stomach will be happy!
Come in at lunchtime and you might want to check out the pulled work sandwich (with fries), the elk burger, or the Philly chicken sandwich. If you have a big appetite, try the country-fried steak, Rocky Mountain trout, or smothered chicken. Each comes with a soup or salad bar.
Wild Rose Restaurant
$$ | (970) 586-2806 | WEBSITE
The Wild Rose Restaurant offers a variety of different types of dishes. You may want to try the Wild Rose wings or the smoked trout dip to start. If you are in the mood for some German food, try the Home Made Sauerbraten (German-style pot roast) or the German Jagerschnitzel (veal).
There are several fish and steak entrees, but their burgers are thick and juicy. Don’t forget the chocolate overload cake for dessert. And, as an added bonus, the Wild Rose Restaurant is dog-friendly.
Antonio’s Real New York Pizza
$$ | (970) 586-7275 | WEBSITE
Is it possible to get a good pie in Estes Park? Yes, if you go to Antonio’s Real New York Pizza! The owner is from NY, so he knows his way around a pizza. You can even grab a pizza, calzone, pasta dish, or sandwich/hero to go.
Alright, are you trying to diet? Then grab an Italian antipasto, mozzarella Caprese, or house salad. You can even get a fresh New York bagel made with Antonio’s special recipe.
Ed’s Cantina & Grill
$$ | (970) 586-2919 | WEBSITE
Ed’s Cantina & Grill gives you fresh, local, and homemade Mexican food with a flare. Begin with the guacamole and homemade salsa before moving on to an appetizing entree like Caritas, fish, bison, falafel, steak, chicken, or fish tacos.
Or, try a chicken Fajita or barbacoa bowl. Specials include carne masada gf, Cajun-style shrimp, chile Relleno, and vegetable enchiladas.
$$ | (970) 480-8872 | WEBSITE
Lonigna’s bills itself as “An Irish pub with attitude,” and it offers that up through its food, drinks, and music. The grill pub menu includes such favorites as Cajun popcorn shrimp, prime rib sliders, Irish nachos (with potato chips), Irish mac & cheese, pub fish tacos, and shepherd’s pie.
If you are brave, try some Bear Droppings – don’t worry, it’s only cheese curds. During happy hour, the chef’s appetizers are only $6.
$$ | (970) 586-6962 | WEBSITE
Hunter’s Chophouse is only open for dinner, but when you go, you will be glad you did! The wild game brats sampler features brats made of smoked buffalo, jalapeno elk, apricot boar, and pheasant. Truffle fries are served with garlic aioli.
The luscious beef rib eye is smothered in herb butter and comes with a loaded baked potato and veggies. Other mouthwatering entrees include bison Oscar sirloin, elk chops and shrimp, and braised St. Louis apricot BBQ ribs. You won’t leave Hunter’s hungry!
China Garden Asian Grill
$$ | (970) 586-2488 | WEBSITE
Those looking for great Asian food must go to China Garden Asian Grill. The lunch menu is served from 11 am to 2:30 pm. Each dish – such as chicken with garlic sauce, basil shrimp, or Mongolian beef – comes with an egg roll and fried or steamed rice.
You might want to choose the China Garden spicy eggplant, sweet & sour pork, mango tango (chicken, shrimp, and fresh mango), or Panang curry for dinner. They also offer traditional Chinese soups – miso, egg drop, and hot and sour.
Whether you are new to the area or a local, looking for a quick meal or a romantic dinner, this listing of 14 Best Restaurants in Estes Park, CO, can help you find the best of whatever you want for lunch or dinner.