Where to score some of the best foodie deals in Eagle County

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily
A bartender serves up happy hour special at Terra Bistro.
Eleanor Nesbit | |

in the mountains, nothing beats some foodie fun after a full day of sunshine and adventure. Happy hours all over the valley bring in the best of both taste and value, so they offer the perfect chance to try out a new restaurant or to hit your favorite go-to.

Plus, if you hit the bars and patios early for some light eats and refreshing drinks, you’ll still leave some room in your day for an eyeful of an alpenglow-laced sunset.

Zino Ristorante — Edwards

Happy hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily in the bar-lounge area.

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“Happy hour just makes the day,” said Guiseppe Bosco, owner and general manager of Zino Ristorante in Edwards. “Guests don’t always want to have dinner, and sometimes they just want to keep it casual, so this time is perfect.”

Zino hosts its happy hour in the bar and lounge area, with some of the best dishes and drinks on the menu at a price that really pleases.

“We like to highlight our signature dishes at a discounted price,” Bosco said. “People just love our burrata, and they love the mussels, so we are discounting those items and others at the bar, and it makes a lot of people happy.”

Select craft cocktails, house wines and drafts are discounted, too, including a tall glass of glistening Prosecco.

And don’t forget about the pizzas. Six different styles of pies are available at reduced prices for happy hour — they go for $10 to $13 for an entire platter of gourmet crust and toppings. Try the peach and prosciutto, topped with three creamy cheeses and a savory balsamic sauce.

Tuesdays are especially a treat with Zino’s Mussel Madness. A step beyond happy hour, it is when the mussels dish is offered at $6.50 all night long from any seat in the house or on the patio.

✴ Terra Bistro — Vail

“Appy Hour” every night from 5 to 6 p.m. in the bar area.

Half-price appetizers are definitely a good reason to head to Terra Bistro for an evening bite after a full day, or before a summer show at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. “Appy Hour” is not only clever in its title, it’s also a year-round Vail staple for locals and visitors.

“It’s a great atmosphere in here,” said sous chef Carl Swihart. “We offer nutrient-dense food, and guests like how we try to focus on organic and locally grown and sustainable practices.”

Delicious and nourishing appetizers like the Vitality Salad with crispy prosciutto, house sprouted quinoa in lettuce cups, ahi tartar and the smoked trout terra caesar are all available for less than $10 during Appy Hour.

Small bites like deviled eggs with candied bacon and pickled beets, as well as grilled cheese cubes and kale chips, are offered on the bar menu, and handcrafted drinks like the Velvet Elvis, made with Colorado vodka, elderflower liquor and hard grape soda are not discounted, but still taste pretty special.

Appy Hour is only offered in the bar area, so get there on the early end to snag a seat.

“We end up filling the bar,” Swihart said. “Especially right now during the dance festival — it is always busy before and after. This is a perfect place to stop before going to the show.”

✴ Vin48 — Avon

Happy hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily in wine bar and the patio.

The post-workday crowd hits vin48 with force throughout the weekday evenings and helps residents and visitors slide with ease into the weekend. Happy hour offers $8 select small plates, $5 daily selections of a glass of white, red or rose wine, $3 premium drafts and $5 wells.

“Usually the bar and the patio fill up,” said owner Collin Baugh. “We get a good turnout.”

Baugh recommended the house smoked Skuna Bay salmon small plate, a delicious piece of fish served on potato latkes with creme fraiche and garden-fresh chives. Get one small plate or lots to share. Colorado goat is served with house naan bread and a feta salad, succulent with a braising sauce to top off the greek-style dish.

✴ La Tour — Vail

Happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. daily.

if La Tour’s patio in the heart of Vail Village isn’t enough to entice you in on a summer afternoon, then its happy hour menu should definitely do the trick.

The hibachi barbecue oysters at $2 a piece are a luscious and savory snack, especially when they are paired with the daily bubbles, cocktail or wine selection for $6 or the daily draft for $3.50. A more classic palate will love fresh oysters on the half shell, and the truffle popcorn holds its own as a fun and flavorful eat.

Eat Drink Inc. trifecta — Edwards

Happy hours at dish, Tacorico and Eat! Drink!.

Any evening that starts with $2 tacos is sure to be a good one. Tacorico offers any taco on its menu for $2, Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 5 p.m. There are no drink specials, but the margaritas are top shelf and just $6.

Head next door to Eat! Drink! for $5 glasses of Muse wine and $10 three-cheese plates, offered from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. The wine bottle and cheese wheel selections here are very impressive, so you may want to do a little cheese and cellar shopping, too.

Finally, dish brings in “the happiest hour” just upstairs from Tacorico and Eat! Drink!.

“In between all three locations, you can have an extensive dine around for dollars,” said Pollyanna Forster, owner of the establishments.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily, $5 dish’s happiest hour drinks include housemade sangria, a greyhound, glasses of house wine or a draft beer selection. Happiest hour eats at dish, also $5, include dishes like spring asparagus wrapped in pancetta with a grated hen’s egg, buffalo jalapeno bratwurst with housemade sauerkraut and grain mustard, mussels with saffron cream sauce and chorizo, and Brussels sprouts with an Asian sweet, sour, salty sauce and crisped rice.

✴ Hooked — Beaver Creek

Happy hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily, plus some afternoon delights.

It’s hard to beat half off, especially when you can get it on sushi rolls of your choice and hot sake at Hooked Restaurant in Beaver Creek. If you’re hungry early, get to know the secret of the locals.

“From 1:50 to about 4:30 p.m. this summer, it’s basically a locals happy hour,” said Aaron Robinson, dining room manager. “There are people who know about it, but we don’t really tell people about it. Mostly it’s a lot of regulars who come in for a snack and a cold beer in the afternoon.”

The daily dose of specials is what the restaurant calls “time to get hooked up,” featuring a $1.50 “daily hook up,” $2 Coors draft and $2 cans of Imperial, $3 Fat Tire and Lava Lake Wit draft, sloppy Joe sliders, two-piece sashimi or nigiri or a Paulaner Oktoberfest bottle, $4 select four-piece sushi rolls and $5 for 10 ounces of hot sake, two oysters on a half shell or a glass of house wine.

“The $4 rolls highlight tastes that would normally cost $16 on a regular dinner menu,” Robinson said. “There are really great deals and lighter fare in the middle of the day here, which is great if you want a quick bite in the afternoon.”

Robinson said the restaurant does fill up quickly when Beaver Creek is hopping on the weekends or before a show at the Vilar Performing Art Center.

“It really depends what there is going on in town,” he said. “On Sundays, it can be totally slammed in here.”

✴ The Rose — Edwards

Happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily.

If you have never been to The Rose to try bar manager Mark Summers’ libation station, head on in and belly up.

“I do about five different crafted cocktails, which aren’t on the regular list, for $6 each at happy hour,” Summers said. “And then we do $5 house wines, $2 PBR and $5 wells.”

There are no food specials during happy hour, but Summers said the food is pretty much priced that way anyway. The avocado fries served with aioli have been raved about since The Rose opened last year, so they are definitely worth a try. Follow those with some street-style tacos and a French macaroon.

The Rose hasn’t been too crowded for happy hour, Summers said, perhaps because there are a lot of afternoon and evening options in Edwards. Head on in to see what Summers is crafting behind the bar, since there is no doubt that it’s worth a stop to try some of his $6 drinks.

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