If you came to Vail to ski, chances are that you will eat not far from your last run—maybe on the top of the mountain or down at the base. There is a variety of upscale dining and greasy carbs just about everywhere. Be sure to check the Vail Daily newspaper for two-for-one specials at many local restaurants.
Larkspur (458 Vail Valley Dr., 970/479-8050, www.larkspurvail.com, Tues.–Sat. 6–9 p.m., $27–45) is an outstanding restaurant right in the heart of things at the base of the Golden Peak Ski Area. The lunch and dinner menus change weekly based on the availability of seasonal ingredients for making this creative cuisine. During ski season, the same owner runs the neighboring Market with fresh sandwiches, pastries, and coffee starting with breakfast.
If you do want to drive, Larkspur’s owner has also started Larkburger (Edwards Village Center, by post office, 970/926-9336, www.larkburger.com, $5–7), which is like a gourmet In-n-Out Burger. I just have one thing to say: truffle fries. It’s worth the 15-minute drive from Vail.
The Red Lion Inn (304 Bridge St., 970/476-7676, www.theredlion.com, daily 11 a.m.–close, $10–27) is a local institution in a bit of a time warp. They are open for lunch and dinner serving burgers, barbecue, and salads, all in ample portions.
Ignore the not-so-glamorous setting and dig into some mouth-watering tangy barbecue at Moe’s Original BBQ (675 W. Lionshead Circle, 970/479-7888, www.moesoriginalbbq.com, Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., $8–12), which relocated to Vail from Alabama.
Vendetta’s Italian Restaurant (225 Wall St., 970/476-1305, www.vendetta.com, daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.) has affordable pizza and a nice patio for dining outside in the summer.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition