Here’s how to savor Colorado’s seasonal bounty, from dining at Vail restaurants to stocking up on produce at Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show.
The foundation for some of Colorado’s tastiest dishes come from the state’s farms and ranches, which produce the freshest fruits, vegetables and proteins year-round. Depending on the season, that can include ingredients such as juicy tomatoes, buttery squash, plump cherries and beautifully marbled beef and bison. Ready for a bite? Here are four ways to seek out farm-to-table flavors in Vail during your visit.
1. Dine at farm-to-table restaurants in Vail celebrating Colorado-sourced ingredients.
Some of the best restaurants in Vail are dedicated to using as many local and sustainably farmed and ranched ingredients as possible. Pop into the Slope Room at Gravity Haus Vail to sear your own Centennial State wagyu on a hot stone or dig into a rack of local lamb paired with alpine-cheese-infused gnocchi mac and cheese with black truffle. You can also reserve a table at Sweet Basil for English pea lasagna layered with melty Parmesan fonduta and venison loin with crispy sunchokes; or head to Mountain Standard for juicy rotisserie chicken with sweet-potato hash browns and a salad comprised of lettuce from a Vail Valley farm.
For a meal with a view, get a table at Up the Creek Bar and Grill, which has served seasonal-forward cuisine on the banks of Gore Creek since 1988. Try one of the restaurant’s meat-free specialties like home-made quinoa cake served with sautéed veggies and local feta cheese. If you’re seeking early-day sips, head to Two Arrows Coffee for oh-so-smooth lattes, cortados and macchiatos infused with single-origin beans from nearby Color Coffee Roasters. Find more ideas for Vail restaurants and drinkeries.
2. Visit the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show.
No trip to Vail in the summer or fall would be complete without a trip (or two) to the local farmers market. The long-running event — a hot spot to sample local cuisine — takes place on Sundays from mid-June through early October along East Meadow Drive. At the open-air bazaar, attendees can check out more than 145 vendors selling just-picked produce; craft condiments such as pickles, salad dressing and hot sauce; and ready-to-eat snacks and sweets, from dried fruits and popcorn to pastries to sandwiches. You can also shop for non-edible treads such as home goods, accessories, clothing and more.
3. Grab a seat at the Farm-to-Table dinner series.
Buying tickets to a Farm-to-Table supper, hosted by the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show, is another way to savor homegrown cuisine amid the high country’s spectacular mountain scenery. At the meals, chefs from Vail and across the state and country come together to whip up multi-course meals with ingredients sourced from nearby farms, ranches and other purveyors. Dinners feature elevated salads, mains made with locally sourced meats and desserts centered around seasonal fruits, all of which are complemented by well-curated wine and beer pairings. Check the calendar for dates and reserve your tickets (seating is limited).
4. Bring Colorado’s farm-to-table flavors into your Vail vacation rental.
Those who love to cook are in luck: It’s easy to whip up a feast in your vacation rental or condo, particularly if you book a place to stay with a fully equipped kitchen or outdoor grill. To produce your own farm-to-table eats, stock up on ingredients — from greens to mushrooms to responsibly raised steaks and chops and small-batch cheeses — at the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show. Then start your day with Benedicts topped with fresh poached eggs or pancakes crowned with super-sweet peaches or plums. And build your own dinner spreads with easy-to-execute dishes such as pesto pasta, beet-and-goat-cheese salad or burgers with all the fixings.
Craft beverage lovers can also kick whatever they make up a notch with a selection of Vail-made drinks such as whiskey sours or Manhattans infused with 10th Mountain spirits or Vail Brewing Co.‘s Gore Creek IPAs or Snow Angel Belgian Blondes. Also don’t forget to buy snacks from the farmers market — items such as wild-game beef jerky, trail mix and roasted nuts are the perfect fuel for all your hiking and biking adventures.
• Enjoy the best of Vail restaurants with patios.
• Find a list of Vail’s signature culinary events.
• See a list of Vail breweries and bars serving Colorado beer.
• Peruse the insider’s guide to Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show.