The best way to unwind after a day filled with fresh air and sunshine, no matter the season? Watching the sun sink behind the mountains from dozens of outdoor restaurant decks. We’ve highlighted our favorite open-air patios throughout the villages, but it’s just the starting point — explore these Vail restaurants and more during your stay.
Vail Village Restaurants
Pepi’s — Pepi’s deck, with its large orange umbrellas, is one of the most iconic spots in Vail all year long. Situated in a prime location to see and be seen by all passing by, opt for maximum afternoon sun and some schnitzel at this legendary Bavarian favorite, where authentic German, Swiss and Austrian fare for lunch or dinner make it a tried-and-true Vail dining experience. Reservations recommended for dinner.
The Red Lion — At the top of Bridge Street, another Vail institution serves a huge and famous plate of nachos and other post-recreation bites. Time it right and you’ll be able to tap your feet to some live music as you sample local brews on tap and enjoy a parade of people watching. No reservations.
Up the Creek — Along the banks of burbling Gore Creek, Vail’s only truly creekside patio serves seasonal mountain-town favorites like pan-roasted trout, braised short rib and bison tenderloin. Be sure to enjoy a signature cocktail — we’re partial to the Pineapple Kicker with jalapeño-infused tequila in the winter to warm things up and the Cucumber Cooler with St. Germain and mint syrup to cool things down in the summer. Reservations recommended for dinner.
El Segundo — With a deck juuuust close enough to hear the singsong ripples of Gore Creek, this energetic taqueria and tequila bar’s menu runs the gamut between modern Mexican, Asian fusion and beyond. If you can sit for a spell, settle in for a tequila flight. With more than 100 on the menu, you’re sure to find something new to wet your whistle. Reservations recommended for dinner.
Sweet Basil — This modern American restaurant in the heart of Vail features an outdoor patio surrounded by lush flower boxes in the summer and magical white lights in the winter. The menu features imaginative seasonal cuisine — if they’re on the menu consider gobbling up the pork-belly miso ramen, lamb-tenderloin tartare and the goat-cheese and buttermilk cheesecake with beet raisins, trout roe and dill. Reservations recommended.
Mountain Standard — Find yourself on the welcoming patio of Mountain Standard, where most of the menu items are prepared over an open wood fire. Ingredients are sourced as close to the Rockies as possible and shine in dishes like wood-roasted bone marrow with blood-orange aperol marmalade and the Colorado Angus New York steak with brown-ale glaze, barbecue kohlrabi, mushrooms and onions. Reservations recommended.
Fall Line Kitchen & Cocktails — Self-described as serving “upleveled mountain cuisine,” you’re sure to agree you’ve leveled up when you nab a spot on Fall Line’s Bridge Street patio. A fun 1960s vibe accompanies your short-rib burger, elk sausage or Power Salad (designed to get you back on the trail, as long as that’s not accompanied by too many Fall Line Margs). Reservations recommended.
Alpenrose — Have you enjoyed alpine splendor if you didn’t snack on raclette and fondue in a Bavarian-style setting? We think not and recommend doing so on Alpenrose’s delightful patio or inside one of their cozy dining gondolas. Truly feel that European warmth with traditional apfelstrudel or dapfnudel dumplings. Reservations recommended.
The Bully Ranch — Surrounded by aspen trees and flower boxes, this patio is a scenic shelter for enjoying comforting Waygu or wild-boar burgers, Colorado trout with jalapeño chimichurri and buffalo-sausage flatbreads along with a famous — and stout — mudslides. Reservations recommended for dinner.
Los Amigos Taqueria & Bar — Mountain views grace one of the village’s sunniest decks, at the base of Gondola One. Soak in the rays alongside a Wapiti Sunrise marg with coconut-and-sour mix while you snack on tasty tacos, tostadas and chili rellenos — you can even keep an eye on the kids playing at Pirate Ship Park from this vantage point. No reservations.
Lionshead Village Restaurants
Garfinkel’s — Garfinkels’ expansive, primo-location deck overlooks Vail Mountain and the Eagle Bahn gondola and serves up a party atmosphere pretty much all day. It’s a convenient stop for time-tested favorites like mozz sticks, buffalo chicken wraps, burgers and more before or after a mountain adventure. No reservations.
Vail Chophouse — Located at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Chair 8, the Chophouse offers sunshine and often-live music of longtime local musicians. Here you can enjoy a charcuterie board, chicken lollichops, the perfect wedge salad, a Chophouse Mountain Burger or classic chophouse filets, lamb chops, New York strips and ribeyes. Reservations recommended for dinner.
Tavern on the Square — Catch live bands and peak-peak views just steps from the Eagle Bahn gondola. Diners praise the mother of all breakfast buffets, bacon-bison burgers, elk tenderloin and the atmosphere wafting from the crackling fire pit. No reservations.
Bart & Yeti’s — Pub-goers have been putting their feet up on Bart & Yeti’s patio for decades. This little Vail bar-and-eats joint is a laid-back staple for burgers, ribs, wings, barbecue and beer with good prices and a friendly staff ready with local tips. No reservations.
Golden Peak Restaurant
The Fitz — Sitting just above the creek, the patio at The Fitz is the perfect pre- or post-show hang near the beloved Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Surrounded by trees and flowers, here you can share Asian Brussels, pulled-pork poutine, Bavarian pretzels and a Fitz Fashioned cocktail with your concert companions. Reservations recommended for dinner and/or pre- and post-show.
Beyond the Vail Village Core
The Grill on the Gore — Located in the Vail Golf Clubhouse and open to the public, the grill’s Gore-mountain-range views are the real show stopper. But since we get hungry even when there are stellar views, we also appreciate soups, salads, sandwiches and Colorado beers. No reservations needed.
Gessner — Sun yourself while overlooking Gore Creek, the Grand Hyatt’s pool and a plate piled high with breakfast-buffet staples. For dinner, everything from Arctic char to butternut-squash-and-chorizo ravioli satisfy hungry adventurers. Reservations recommended.
Westside Cafe — In West Vail, the Westside patio lures folks to its tables for tastes from its Colorado-sourced menu, including bacon-wrapped bison meatloaf, whiskey-marinated pork loin, a crispy pork-belly bowl and “world-famous big-ass bloodys,” including one with bacon-infused vodka. Reservations recommended.