Many people know of Telluride as one of the best skiing destinations in Colorado. And while skiing is certainly the top attraction here, the town has more surprises to offer, including fantastic cuisines you wouldn’t expect to find thousands of feet above sea level.
To get the full Telluride experience, a food crawl is a must. Here are some of the best restaurants you should include in your itinerary:
Along See Forever Trail just below the top of Lift 14
At 11,966 feet, Alpino Vino is the highest-altitude fine dining restaurant in North America. This small chalet seats only 26 people inside and features a multi-level deck where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Wilson Range. The rustic ambience is truly reminiscent of the restaurants found on the Alps of Northern Italy, which are also the inspiration for its cuisine. No reservations are needed for lunch – you can drop in straight from navigating the See Forever trail and have a luxurious break from a day of skiing. For dinner, you need to book a table in advance to enjoy a 5-course tasting menu. The dinner fee includes transportation via an enclosed snow coach.
231 W. Colorado Avenue
New Sheridan Hotel’s signature restaurant is considered one of the best in Telluride. It is also among the most popular, drawing the largest dinner crowds in the downtown area. People come to this classic-style steakhouse for its excellent selection of USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood, and daily specials. It is also well-known for its collection of the finest wines in the world, as well as the sumptuous breakfast fare.
Station San Sophia at the top of the gondola
Allred’s is Telluride’s flagship restaurant, and it is nothing short of amazing. Located at the Station San Sophia gondola stop halfway from Telluride to Mountain Village, Allred’s is everyone’s favorite place to be at sunset. The views of the box canyon from this country-style restaurant are simply unparalleled. The five-course dinner menu features seasonal dishes using ingredients mostly sourced in Colorado, with the Elk carpaccio and Colorado lamb standing out as absolute must-tries. The restaurant also features a bar where you can find a wide selection of wines as well as handcrafted cocktails.
Brown Dog Pizza
110 E. Colorado Avenue
If it’s casual dining you want, your top choices should include Brown Dog Pizza. Watch a Patriots game on one of the large screen TVs above the bar while you enjoy award-winning Detroit and New York-style pizza. Brown Dog’s Brooklyn Bridge Pizza won 1st place at the 2014 International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas, while their Parma Italia was the champion at the 2015 Pizza World Championships in Parma, Italy. The restaurant’s pastas and sandwiches are also not to be missed.
Caravan Middle Eastern Food
123 E. Colorado Avenue
Authentic Middle Eastern food is probably something you wouldn’t expect to find in a small Colorado mountain town, but that’s exactly what you get at Caravan. Serving falafel, hummus, lamb kofka, and other cuisine classics, this food truck is a most welcome addition to Telluride’s diverse food scene. It’s stationed at the patio of La Cocina de Luz, a popular Mexican restaurant where you can also bring and enjoy your Caravan order.
221 South Oak
221 S. Oak Street
Housed in its namesake historic home, 221 South Oak is the perfect choice for date night or a small intimate gathering. The vintage setting offers a subtle contrast to the contemporary menu that seamlessly combines the chef’s eclectic influences, including classic Southern, New Orleans, Napa, and French cuisines. Top menu choices include the homemade sausages, the Rocky Mountain trout, and game dishes like the Grilled Elk Chop and Bone-in Buffalo Ribeye.
301 W. San Juan Avenue
One of Telluride’s most beloved restaurants, Cosmopolitan can be found in the Hotel Columbia just across the street from the gondola base. Featuring the chef’s distinct interpretation of classic American and international dishes, Cosmopolitan is the go-to place for great seafood, steaks, lamb, pork, and even vegetarian food. It includes a bar that serves wines on tap and features a wide selection of the best wines from around the world.
Cindybread Artisan Bakery
168 Society Drive
Cindybread is the perfect place for breakfast and brunch at Telluride. Serving sandwiches, soups, pastries, and salads, it also includes an espresso bar where you can get the perfect joe to start your day right. They make their own bread, which they use in their fully-stacked sandwiches. And don’t miss their artisan cookies and desserts – they’re definitely worth the scenic trek to this cozy mountain destination.