Vail Colorado skiing is epic, like their
Epic Pass and Epic Mix ski
tracking app. Food for thought: Skiing Vail’s 5,200
acres, riding Vail’s 31 lifts, you work up an appetite and a thirst by
last chair. Let’s talk après ski… where to go after ripping Riva Ridge,
or finding powder at Pete’s Blue Sky Basin.
Our favorite Après Ski and Mountain Dining at Vail:
Vail's mountain lodges are beautiful for highly scenic ski to lunches,
however only two offer sit down service for our
top 10 mountain lodges for
ski lunch. Most of Vail’s eateries are spectacular post & beam lodges
but cafeteria style dining – Two Elk being the most dramatic
mountaintop lodge with very good fare and selection, just steep prices for no
table service. Its incongruous to pay top dollar for a school tray of food in a
spectacular setting. Buffalo's
serve BBQ cafe style food in a cozy setting with grand views of the Back Bowls.
The 10th Mountain Lodge is Vail’s best on mountain table
service option – this beautiful lodge is located at Mid Vail has a
sophisticated bar and outdoor patio, and a grand dining room. Store
your ski boots in the deluxe lockers, don slippers, for a leisurely less
cluttered lunch in a leather
chair, sip wine and watch the skiers go by as you savor a great lunch, pricey
but posh in this
grand lodge. There's even a phone charging
station if your mobile needs juice too. Bistro 14 atop the
Eagle Bahn gondola from Lionshead is more casual, great fare, and good views
Vail Village has the Best Apres Ski and great lunches and dining just steps from
Gondola One. Stroll the Zermatt-style village along pedestrian Bridge
Street, its an alpine postcard with chalet roofs, chic ski boutiques
like Gorsuch, Pepi’s Sport and Golden Bear, and après ski bars that rock with
live music as skiers pour off the mountain ready to party in their ski boots.
First stop - Los Amigos is by Gondola One with
margaritas by the pitcher, nachos and a picture perfect view of skiers
descending their last run. Los Amigos is a great ski in lunch, affordable,
yummy Mexican fare and you are steps to the gondola for more skiing after
Red Lion is a Vail institution for après ski, with live music,
and a great location overlooking Vail’s pedestrian walkway, near the swank shops
and ski slopes.
Elways at the Lodge at Vail
has a great happy hour in the pedestrian Vail village, $7 drinks and small
plates in honor of owner QB John Elway #7. Tackle the 7 burger.
Pepi’s is a classic Austrian pub and guesthouse, home to one of
Vail’s original settlers Pepi Gramschammer. Pepi’s often has a musician playing
après ski in the pub. Its convivial and cozy.
Vendetta’s nearby is a Vail institution, casual comfort food – pizza
and pasta. This is where Ski Patrol go after sweep for their beers. Its not
fancy but the food is good, well priced and the conversation is fun. Vendetta’s
terrace overlooks Vail village -perfect for sunny lunch and après ski.
Terra Bistro at Vail Mountain Lodge has fabulous atmosphere and
a fun happy hour every day après ski with tasty small plates, specially priced
wines, beers, plus craft cocktails. The bartenders offer excellent service and
Sweet Basil is Vail’s top restaurants, go here for a top notch
lunch or dinner and savor the best local fare (not inexpensive but excellent).
Or visit sister restaurant Mountain Standard below and overlooking Gore Creek
for its eclectic local cuisine menu.
White Bison alsooverlooks Gore Creek, with a
great après ski happy hour, often live music and a swank atmosphere – furry
blankets, leather couches, mod art…modeled after its sister property The
Plumpjack at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe.
The George is a dive ski bar near the Bridge Street covered bridge – its where
the locals go – we’re not sure why, no view,
nothing fancy, just a ski bum living room atmosphere, cheap eats and
drinks - oh - that's why!
Vail Brewing Co crafts exceptional local beer
served in their original Eagle Vail brewery and their VBC Tasting Room at
Solaris. Both have a cool vibe and frequent entertainment, the VBC in Eagle Vail
has a weed shop (excuse me, marijuana dispensary) and a food truck parked
outside for après ski munchies. The VBC Tasting room in Vail village has a great
slope and ice rink view.
At Lionshead, Vail’s other ski in ski out village,
Garfinkle’s has a great deck for sunny days, a casual ski bar
atmosphere and views of Lionshead ski trails Simba and Born Free. The food is
pleasantly affordable and plentiful, not fancy, in this pricey ski town.
Bart & Yeti's in the heart of Lionshead is super casual, with music and
a local following for après ski.
The Minturn Saloon is old school hip and happening in Minturn
between Vail and Beaver Creek, the Saloon is typically full of skier that
skied here on the Minturn Mile “OB” out of bounds for beer. Enjoy the classic
ski posters and pictures on the old barn walls, with a pitcher of margaritas or beer,
free chips and salsa at après ski happy hour.
Avon is Beaver Creek’s base village town, less pricey than
being up slope side at The Beav. Happy Hours rock in Avon. Vin 48 is a chic bar with a great happy hour daily til 6:30pm,
with wine beer and cocktails deals plus Chef's small plates all under $10. The
cuisine at Vin48 is delicious and the vibe is cool.
Blue Plate next door has a chic glowing bar, an open kitchen,
and half price tapas plus $5 wines, and deals on beer for happy hour, aka après
ski. The Blue Plate Chef is New England raised, so he loves calamari, mussels,
and frog legs specials. What’s nice about the vicinity of Vin48 and Blue Plate
is if one is full, go next door, both happy hours are great deals in beautiful
At Beaver Creek, C
House and The Chop House both offer happy hour right at the base of the
Centennial Gondola. Sip Champagne, enjoy oysters or beer and nachos with views of skiers descending
their last run on Beav's beautifully groomed slopes… life is good – not exactly roughing it as Beaver
Creeks slogan says. Downt the escalator to he ice rink, Hooked has great seafood
for lunch and après ski.
You can also ski over to Bachelor Gulch Ritz Carlton and enjoy
après ski on their outdoor deck, often with live music, on inside the Great Room
of the magnificent Timber Lodge that is the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch at
Edwards is East of Vail and Avon, with a very fun River
Walk downtown, all decorated and welcoming to shoppers and foodies
alike. Main Street Grille is in the heart of it all, the bar is
usually brimming with locals- after work or après ski - always a good indicator.
Main Street Grill has a fantastic affordable happy hour, drinks, burgers, tacos
and nachos all well under $10. Next door is more upscale dining at
Juniper. Edwards also has the popular Gashouse.