Vail Colorado skiing is epic, like their
Epic Pass and Epic Mix have
branded in our ski brains. Here’s some food for thought… Skiing Vail’s 5,200
acres , riding Vail’s 31 lifts you are going work up an appetite and a thirst by
last chair. Let’s talk après ski… where to go after crushing cord on Riva Ridge,
or finding freshies in the Back Bowls and Pete’s Blue Sky Basin. Here are our favorite places for après ski and mountain dining at Vail.
The on mountain lodges at Vail are beautiful for highly scenic ski to lunches,
unfortunately there’s just one with sit down service that’s worthy of our
top 10 mountain lodges for
ski lunch. Most of Vail’s eateries are in spectacular post & beam lodges-
with cafeteria style dining – Two Elk being the most dramatic
mountain top lodge with very good fare and selection, just steep prices for no
table service. Its so incongruous to pay top dollar for a school tray of food in
a spectacular setting - but the food is good, mostly locally sourced, so is the
view – I wish Vail had more on mountain restaurants, I just hate ski boots and
carrying trays – bad combo platter. Buffalo's and Wildwood
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 with a
sophisticated bar and a grand dining room. There are deluxe lockers to store
your ski boots, helmets and stuff to make lunch more leisurely and less
cluttered. Slip off your ski boots into comfy slippers, sink into a leather
chair, sip wine and watch the skiers go by as you savor a great lunch in this
grand lodge. The bar at the 10th is cool too, they even have a phone charging
station if your mobile needs juice too.
After skiing, head to the Zermatt-style village, and Vail’s pedestrian Bridge
Street. Vail Village is 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 right by the Gondola One with
margaritas by the pitcher, nachos and a picture perfect view of skiers
descending their last run. Los Amigos is also 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 best hotels like Lodge at Vail.
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.
The George is a dive ski bar near the covered bridge on
beautiful Bridge Street – its where he locals go – we’re not sure why, no view,
nothing fancy, just a very ski bum living room atmosphere.
Vail Brewing Co has earned a rep for exceptional local beer
hand crafted, brewed and served in their original Eagle Vail brewery. Vail
Brewing Co in Eagle Vail is a great brew pub with a cool environment, next door
to a weed shop (excuse me, marijuana dispensary) Vail’s best - Native Roots, and
a food truck parked outside for après ski munchies. VBC has live music typically
Thursday through the weekend. Vail Brewing Co also has a
satellite Vail Village beer tasting room, with beer flights, and occasional live
music and a great slope and ice rink view from the 2nd floor location at
At Lions Head, Vail’s other ski in ski out village,
Garfinkle’s has a great deck for sunny days, a casual ski bar vibe and
great views of the ski slopes of Simba and Born Free – classic Vail trails.
The Minturn Saloon is old school hip and happening in Minturn
between Vail and Beaver Creek, the Saloon is typically full of skier that
schussed the Minturn Mile “OB” out of bounds to here for beer. Enjoy the classic
ski posters and pictures on the old barn walls, with a pitcher of margs or beer,
and enjoy the 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 special 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, on mountain, C
House and The Chop House both offer happy hour right at the base of the
Centennial. Sip Champagne, enjoy oysters or nachos and view the skier descend
their last turns on thr slopes… life is good – not exactly roughing it as Beaver
Creeks slogan says.
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.