Vail is a charming, walkable mountain town that's home to some of Colorado's most delicious dishes.
For a guided foodie excursion, Vail Valley Food Tours takes visitors on a three-hour walking tour of the village for tastings at some of the best restaurants in town. This is ideal for visitors who just can't decide on a single restaurant and want to get an overall sense of Vail's dining scene. If you don't have time for a tour, you can always explore some fan-favorite restaurants on your own.
This French restaurant downtown, located very close to the Colorado Snow Sports Hall of Fame, has won many awards, and it's famous for its 40-page long wine menu. If you're visiting in the winter, make sure to warm up with the French onion soup with braised beef short ribs and truffle cheese. And at any time of year, the Rocky Mountain trout meuniere, served with Colorado creamer potatoes, is the perfect way to fuse French cooking with local ingredients.
Four Seasons' flagship steakhouse is where lounge meets luxury. Located within the massive Four Seasons Hotel north of Gore Creek, Flame is all about the steak. Try the 35-day dry-aged bison rib eye and drool-inducing, family-style appetizers, like mashed potatoes that take comfort food to a new level. For dessert, order the doughnuts or pop upstairs to the Four Seasons' Remedy Bar and order the award-winning hot chocolate.
For good Japanese food and a sophisticated atmosphere, Matsuhisa is the place to go. Located in the village center, near Vail Brewing Company, this restaurant is easy to get to when exploring downtown Vail. Grab a seat at the counter and you'll have views of the mountain while you delight in the restaurant's signature yellowtail jalapeño sashimi. Don't overlook the large selection of sake, served both hot and warm.
Just downstairs from the well-known Sweet Basil restaurant on Gore Creek Drive, Mountain Standard is a more relaxed and playful relative that features an open kitchen, where you can watch chefs prepare your meal. Start with wood-grilled artichokes, Spanish octopus, or some bourbon-bacon duck liver mousse. The Mountain Standard also has a raw bar with oyster shooters or a vodka-cured king salmon. For a no-fail dinner, the corned pork shank is the restaurant owner's favorite.
This is five-star dining at its finest, most innovative, and hardest to reach. First, you'll need to take the Eagle Bahn gondola and then follow the slopes down to the cabin, which is near the top of Vail Mountain. In the summer, you can go by horseback, on foot, or by four-wheel drive, but if there's snow on the ground, you'll need to take a snowcat. Reservations are required and hours are limited, so make sure you do your homework before you set out on your physical and culinary adventure.