Best of Vail Valley: Dining Out |

Best of Vail Valley: Dining Out

The best restaurants for a night on the town, as voted by Vail Daily readers

Grouse Mountain Grill is a reader favorite for fine dining in Beaver Creek.
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The Vail Valley is world-renowned for its fine dining options, and offers a wide variety of establishments for date nights, family nights and nights on the town.

Below are the best restaurants in the valley for an evening out, as voted by Vail Daily readers in our 2021 Best of Vail survey.

Best Fine Dining (Vail)

Vail’s charming villages offer a wide variety of fine dining options. In this year’s competition, readers went with three staples that are synonymous with the scene that they helped create.

Sweet Basil is often a reader’s choice, and with good reason: their food and elegance have made them a consistent top-tier competitor in this category for over a decade.

These days, it’s hard to talk about Sweet Basil without mentioning Mountain Standard, which was formed in 2012 by the same team. Mountain Standard is a must for foodies in Vail.

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Matsuhisa’s new-style Japanese cuisine has been stunning Vail guests and residents since 2011.
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And you can’t talk about fine dining in Vail without mentioning Matsuhisa, whose name speaks for itself. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s new-style Japanese cuisine is world-renowned, and his namesake restaurant has been stunning Vail guests and residents since 2011.

Best Fine Dining (Beaver Creek)

Beaver Creek provides a refined approach to just about everything, the fine dining scene included.

Splendido at the Chateau’s new American cuisine offers delightful selections and wine pairings to be enjoyed in a lovely setting. The restaurant opened in 1992, and in 2016 Brian Ackerman, the chef de cuisine, took over as executive chef-owner. Book a yurt for an intimate dining experience.

Mirabelle also dabbles in the unique by using a year-round greenhouse installed behind the restaurant to provide the freshest produce possible to their guests. At Mirabelle, farm-to-table is a year-round concept, even in the high Rockies.

The Mirabelle restaurant in Beaver Creek uses fresh produce sourced from its on-site greenhouse.
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Grouse Mountain Grill not only claims a spot as a favorite among readers, it is also backed with 25 years’ worth of AAA Four Diamond Awards and also holds the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Best Fine Dining (Avon/Eagle/EagleVail/Edwards/Gypsum/Minturn)

There’s more fine dining in our valley than what you see in the resort villages. Eagle County has a large pool of talented chefs upvalley and downvalley who have laid down roots with independently-owned establishments that have become culinary staples.

The Assembly in Eagle has been making noise in the fine dining scene since it first opened in 2020. One year later, that little restaurant in Eagle has proven to be a mighty contender, with an eye-popping seasonal menu that dazzles in both looks and flavor.

In Edwards, Juniper is the reader’s choice for fine dining. Owner Doug Abel and Executive Chef de Cuisine Santos Macias’ joint vision of new American cuisine blossomed in the Riverwalk in 2002 and has held its stature as one of the finest dining establishments our valley has to offer.

Juniper in Edwards has maintained its status as a top fine dining establishment in the valley for decades.
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Keep heading upvalley, and Vin48 is the reader’s choice in Avon for fine dining, with its extensive wine list, tantalizing small plates and classy atmosphere. Vin48 is great for romantic dinners as well as small parties in their rentable upstairs area.

Best Romantic Date Spot

Ti Amo means “I love you” in Italian, so right from the start the love vibe can be found at Ristorante Ti Amo in EagleVail. It’s been a local favorite since 1995, but many visitors have caught on to this authentic Northern Italian eatery. Now there is even more Ti Amo to love, with a second location near City Market in Eagle.

Ti Amo provides the ideal setting and cuisine for a romantic date.
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Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries and first dates all feel natural at Juniper Restaurant in Edwards. Its white table cloths, warm atmosphere and cozy tables for two are perfect for sharing with someone special. The friendly staff can pair wine with your dining selections. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!

The Assembly in Eagle is a relative newcomer to the restaurant scene, but its short history is impressive. Established in 2020, its already received the 2021 Emerging Business of the Year from the Vail Valley Partnership as well as earning top honors from readers of the Vail Daily in this contest. Come hungry, there are so many creative items to share.

Best Family Restaurant

Romantic meals for two are swell, but most of the time the family’s in tow. Vail Daily readers picked these tried-and-true favorites as the best spots to take the whole family.

Bully Ranch, in the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village, is legendary as a casual gathering place. The rustic décor gives an Old West feel, and the food is hearty. If it’s sunny, find a place on the patio and watch the world go by, Vail style.

In Edwards, Etown also has a great patio and great food for everyone to enjoy. You’ll find burgers, sandwiches and similar family-friendly fare. Try the sweet potato tots for something familiar but a bit different.

Etown in Edwards serves family-friendly fare.
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Downvalley, Eagle’s Boneyard restaurant also has a delightful patio. There’s ample parking for either bicycles or family SUVs, and the Italian dishes, pizzas and burgers are sure to satisfy.

Best Patio

For all of the valley’s sun-soaked days, enjoy a bite or a sip at one of the best patios the community has to offer.

In Lionshead Village, Garfinkel’s offers fresh drinks and tasty bites, all with a view of the slopes. This Vail favorite has a laid-back atmosphere where friends and family can sit around a picnic table and take in the sights.

In Eagle, you’ll find Bonfire Brewing, which has a patio that stretches along Second Street. Enjoy microbrews from the taproom, games, live music, food trucks and more. They even have – you guessed it – a bonfire.*

Gather around a charcuterie board with a glass of wine and enjoy a nice view at Drunken Goat in Edwards. Whether you’re there for lunch, dinner or happy hour, the artisan cheese shop and wine bar patio offers cozy ambiance.

*Bonfire Brewing is closed until future notice.

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