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Where to Eat in Vail – a food and dining guide

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Vail cuisine is nothing if not innovative. There’s succulent seafood, all these miles from the ocean, as well as rich meats and steaks, which makes for a unique surf ’n’ turf scene in the mountains. The resort villages of Vail and Lionshead are packed with restaurants, ranging from gourmet establishments to fast food joints. You won’t starve at ski level either, with bistros at each of the ski areas, serving up warming, hearty fare.
Typical dishes

 

 

Among Vail’s many contemporary American classics, the buffalo burger is a local favorite worth tasting, and it makes the perfect quick snack on the ski slopes.

Vail Village

 

Mix a healthy portion of Asian fusion cuisine with gourmet French dining, add a little Alaskan seafood, sprinkle liberally with cool bars, and you have Vail Village. For elegant Japanese dining, Osaki Sushi leads the field, with melt-in-the-mouth fish dressed with aromatic herbs and punchy spices. It’s a tiny place, so book ahead and be prepared to fight for elbow-room. For cuisine with more of a native flavor, try Terra Bistro, which does all kinds of creative things to locally-sourced ingredients, with a focus on superb meat and fish.

 

• Osaki Sushi, 100 E Meadow Drive, Vail; Tel: +1 970 4760 977

Terra Bistro, 352 E Meadow Drive, Vail; Tel: +1 970 4766 836

 

Lionshead Village

 

Entertainment-focused Lionshead Village is more down-to-earth in its dining. Here, you’ll find family-friendly grills, pizzerias, and casual taverns in abundance. After a spin on Lionshead Ice Rink, refuel at Blue Moose Pizza. With large slices and generous toppings, you won’t go hungry, and you can people-watch from the patio. For a more upmarket dinner, head to Montauk Seafood Grill, which combines sophisticated fish dishes with a casual ambiance. Afterwards, you’ll find several lively pubs in the vicinity to drink and mingle.

 

• Blue Moose Pizza, 675 W Lionshead Cir, Vail; Tel: +1 970 4768 666

Montauk Seafood Grill, 549 E Lionshead Cir, Vail; Tel: +1 970 4762 601

 

Mid-Vail

 

Whether you’re cruising the slopes around Gondola One, or pulling stunts at Adventure Ridge, you want casual restaurants close at hand so that you can zoom in and refuel. Luckily, Vail thought of that, so there’s a cheerful selection of bistros and BBQs at the mid-mountain level. Bistro Fourteen is both child and adult friendly, with a great value kids’ menu and a full bar. To kick off après-ski with style, end your skiing day in The 10th, a chic restaurant at Gondola One which serves up a classy, modern take on traditional alpine cuisine.

 

• Bistro Fourteen, Eagle's Nest, Vail Mountain, Vail; Tel: +1 970 7544 530

The 10th, Top of Gondola One, Mid Vail; Tel: +1 970 7541 010

 

Mountain Top

 

You’ll be eating on top of the world at Vail’s highest restaurants – some are 2 miles above sea level. Close to the Back Bowls ski area you can warm your cockles with a bowl of steaming buffalo stew at Buffalo’s Restaurant after smashing up the slopes. For a truly magical mountain dinner, you’ll need to hop aboard a snowcat to reach the Game Creek Restaurant. With contemporary fusion dishes and a superb wine list, it’s a high end experience to add sparkle to your Vail vacation.

 

• Buffalo’s Restaurant, Top of lifts 4, 5 & 11, Vail Mountain, Vail (Winter season)

Game Creek Restaurant, Game Creek, Vail Mountain, Vail; Tel: +1 970 7544 275