A Foodie's Guide to Vail
Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
There are many wonderful activities available to do in Vail—skiing, hiking and shopping, just to name a few. However, I must confess, I visit Vail to eat.
Vail is, without a doubt, a foodie town and because the bar for good food has been set high for a while now, it’s hard to find a bad meal here.
Spring is the prime time to experience the restaurant scene in Vail. Many of the eateries offer incredible savings throughout May and into June. It’s not uncommon to find deals such as half-off all entrees or surf and turf dinners for $24.
Vail’s dining scene isn’t cheap, so visiting in spring is a good way to eat in Vail without breaking your bank.
Several years ago, we discovered Terra Bistro, a 23-year Vail Village tradition that’s popular with locals and visitors. This restaurant has been doing the “farm-to-table” thing long before it was trendy. Their website even includes a list of their local farm partners.
This April, we made sure we reserved dinner at Terra Bistro, and again, the experience was extraordinary. We started with porcini crusted scallops served with dashi, king trumpet mushrooms, toasted sesame oil and green onions. This appetizer is absolutely divine.
Salmon from Terra Bistro
As an entree, I chose the pan-seared salmon with XO sauce served with sugar snap peas, bell pepper stir-fry and yuzu sticky rice. As someone who grew up in the Seattle area, I’m picky about my fish and this meal was delicious.
Ryan got the rabbit ravioli which was savory, rich and truly unique. He ate every bite with gusto.
Stop by Terra Bistro before the end of June and get 50 percent off all entrees.
Moe's Original BBQ
If you’re staying in Lionshead (west of Vail Village), an excellent spot for a good and affordable meal is Moe’s Original BBQ. The brand has grown exponentially since three Alabama boys opened the Vail barbecue joint in 2005. Today, they have stores are all over Colorado and beyond, but for the original Moe’s experience, visit the Vail restaurant.
Hint: The catfish isn’t on the menu at Moe’s in Vail, but it’s available if you ask and you should. Ryan declared it to be the best catfish he’s ever eaten.
Truffle fries from Expert Burger
A new place in the Vail, but not the Vail Valley, is Expert Burger (their original store is in nearby Eagle). We stopped in here for an afternoon snack of truffle fries and enjoyed them on our condo patio at Vail Spa.
"Dutch Baby" at the Little Diner
For breakfast in Vail, no one beats The Little Diner. Ryan was ecstatic to discover an authentic pannekoeken on the menu. This is also known as a “Dutch Baby” or German pancake.
With only diner-style seating, this place is tiny and you’ll likely have a wait, but it will be worth it. Please note that The Little Diner is seasonally closed in May and reopens on June 2.
Forgot to pack booze for your Vail vacation? We had a great experience buying wine at Lionshead Liquor Store where the owner helped us pick out the perfect bottle of red that went well with our truffle fries. They also have the best bloody Mary section I’ve ever seen.