Best Restaurants

We love to eat, and have been either the servers or patrons of nearly all the restaurants in Estes Park.  From our humble point of view, the following restaurants and cafes are the Bestest of Estes:

Best Rooftop Dining, Mexican food, and Margaritas:

Chelito’s Mexican Restaurant:

Smack in downtown Estes Park, this cozy rooftop Mexican restaurant is THE place for enjoying Estes Park’s gorgeous summers while sipping contentedly on a Mango Margarita.  Excellent Chimichanga’s too!

Chelito’s: Best Mexican food in town, best rooftop dining

Best Steak, Best Service:

Twin Owls Steakhouse

Nestled in front of the Lumpy Ridge mountains, Twin Owls Steakhouse is the BEST place for a great steak.  Our favorite is the Filet MacGregor – the most tender (and please….don’t ruin this with anything over medium cook temp!) and juicy steak we’ve ever had.  Layered over a balsamic demi-glaze, and topped with pistachio and blue cheese bearnaise sauce, this is the best thing to ever happen to a steer.   So delicious!   They also have an excellent Ruby Red Trout that is to die for!  Great service too.  Be sure to call ahead for reservations – especially in the summer.  970-586-9344

Make Online Reservations

Best Soups & Salads (and Pies too!):

The Baldpate Inn:

This historic Bed & Breakfast offers lunches and dinners from Mid May to Mid October (closed during winter), as well as hosting the world’s largest key collection – keys from all over the world hang in their “key room”, with labeled tags as to where and when they are from.  The collection boasts over 20,000 keys including examples from the Pentagon, Westminster Abby, Mozart’s wine cellar, and even Frankenstein’s castle to name a few.  Leave your own key and story behind it to add to their collection!

The cuisine is a buffet of daily homemade soups, salads, breads and pies – the owner, Lois Smith’s delicious family recipes! We love the Chocolate Cream pie, and the Swedish Apple – YUM!  Their honey-wheat cream cheese bread is amazing as well.  Reservations are recommended (970-586-6151).

To top it all off, the Baldpate Inn is nestled just 7 miles South of Estes Park on HWY 7 (the Peak to Peak), within a short walk of the Lily Lake trail and Twin Sisters Trailhead.   May we suggest a morning hike, followed by a quaint lunch at the Baldpate?  Gorgeous views from their dining room of the Estes valley!  Lodging there as well – no phones or TV’s in the rooms = a real getaway.

Best Place to Chill Out:

Kind Coffee:

This eco-friendly, locally owned coffee roastery and coffee shop is the perfect place to meet friends, or simply slump into a cozy spot on the couch and take a quiet moment to sip a cappucino.  Sun spills in on all sides of this darling cafe to warm you on a chilly day! Located on the East end of Elkhorn Ave., next to Ed’s Cantina.

Best Place to Watch the Game:

Ed’s Cantina

Enjoy tasty Margaritas, happy hour specials, and great food while watching the game at Ed’s Cantina’s lively bar scene.   Always smiling faces and great service!

390 East Elkhorn Ave.
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
phone 970.586.2919

Best Ambiance:

The Cascades at The Stanley Hotel:

This ultra-cool restaurant and bar is the perfect place to meet for drinks & dinner.  The restaurant itself has the same rustic elegance of the hotel, with a beautiful bar area for casual drinks & appetizers.  The staff are friendly and accommodating, and the food is among the best in town.  We had the most unforgettable homemade tirimisu that left us speechless in a savory nirvana.  The lamb was out of this world as well!  There is a large deck with cozy chairs on the front of the hotel that looks out over Estes Park, and the Continental Divide -  this is the perfect place for a glass of wine with friends.  The prices match the outstanding ambiance….but it’s worth it!

Best Vibe:

The Rock Inn:

The Rock Inn has an authentic Colorado feel to it – a log cabin style with a bluegrass flair.  This restaurant and tavern is the perfect place for a casual meal, a drink at the bar, or just to enjoy some live music.  Perfect for any season – patio seating for summer, and a cozy wood burning fireplace inside to sip drinks around during winter.  We love their Spicy Corn Dip appetizer – totally yummy!

Great food, quintessential Colorado atmosphere - perfect gathering place for friends!

Best Downtown Dining:

Orlando’s Steakhouse:

Located in Downtown Estes Park above world-famous Wheel Bar, Orlando’s Steakhouse caters to romantic couples dinners, as well as small groups.  They specialize in quality and simply and perfectly prepared steaks, lobster, and seafood.   They feature both regional and California wines, as well as local brews from Boulder and Ft. Collins. The service matches the high quality of food, which makes Orlando’s Steakhouse the best place for dinner in Downtown Estes Park.

Call for reservations: (970) 586-6121

Best Asian:

Nepal’s Cafe:

Scrumptious Indian cuisine – perfect portion sizes, consistently great quality and service.  Delicious sweet Chai!  We highly recommend the Chicken Tikka Masala with cheese Naan, so good! Located in downtown Estes Park, by Subway.

Cafe De Pho Thai:

One of Estes Park’s newcomers – it has quickly earned itself a high recommendation from Estes Park locals!  We’ve been to Thailand and have eaten quite a lot of Thai food.  Cafe De Pho Thai has an extremely authentic Thai curry – perfectly spiced.  Definitely a restaurant to try while you’re in Estes Park!  Located by the post office.

225 W. Riverside Dr. (at Ivy St.), Estes Park, Colorado 80517. (970) 577-0682


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