Gunnison-Crested Butte is home to great restaurants, from casual spots to fancy fine dining. A local community of beer geeks, organic fiends, and wine connoisseurs ensures that we have a scene to appease any foodie. We also really like a great cheeseburger and fries and have plenty of places to grab one made of locally-raised beef, including two great spots that you’ll find in gas stations.
Crested Butte Restaurants and Dining
The majority of Crested Butte’s restaurants line both sides of Elk Avenue from 5th Street all the way to the zero block past 1st. If you can’t get a reservation at one, you can always stroll down the street to the next until something else sparks your interest. That being said, if you’re here during a busy week, pick a few out from the dining directory and call to make a reservation, especially if you have a large group or kiddos who won’t want to wait.
During the summer and fall seasons, patios are the preferred place to post up for an afternoon after a morning filled with activity. The après bike scene in CB is as big as the après ski scene in most mountain towns. You’ll find sweaty, happy people recounting tales of stoke from our 750+ miles of singletrack trails. Bikers love good beer and there is no shortage of locations to quench your thirst.
Venturing off Elk may require a few extra steps, or pedal strokes on your bike, but it will also reward you with everything from southern skillet-fried chicken, to two outstanding classic French restaurants, to Nepalese, to a cocktail bar tucked into a restored old miner’s cabin. Breakfast places tucked into quiet corners and hidden alleys offer a delicious way to start the day.
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Mt. Crested Butte Restaurants and Dining
Mt. Crested Butte has fewer restaurants than Crested Butte, but it packs a punch with quality. To find the gems, head to the base area on Crested Butte Mountain. You’ll find a wine bar featuring small plates, what may be the best après ski bar in the world, great outdoor decks and patios, and spots that hit every price point.
During the ski season and even the summer, things hum along at a quick pace and everything is open and shaking. During the off-seasons in the spring and fall, it gets much quieter as the number of visitors shrink and the locals take off for sandy beaches. Enough places are still open that you can grab a bite without having to take the bus into Crested Butte, but we won’t blame you if you do.
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Almont is home to a couple of great restaurants in the summer months. You’ll find casual food and décor and friendly, warm service. The Almont Resort keeps their bar and restaurant open all year long. It’s a great place to stay during the winter months before catching the bus up to Crested Butte Mountain to go skiing.
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Gunnison is home to a wide variety of restaurants, too. Classic diners, coffee shops, Asian, Nepalese, sushi, and what may be the highest number of great pizzerias per capita you’ll find on the entire Western Slope of Colorado. We haven’t actually fact-checked that statement, but it sure feels true.
Gunnison is a great place for a casual bite to eat at prices that are noticeably lower than you’ll find in a typical resort town in Colorado. You could be perfectly happy eating at a different restaurant every night for a week-long visit. The only hard part will be resisting the urge to return to your favorites night after night.
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Gunnison-Crested Butte Local Food Scene
On top of all of our other great restaurants, we have a local food and drink scene that is growing every year. Restaurants throughout the Gunnison Valley grow their own vegetables or work closely with local farmers to offer fresh, seasonal menus. A rum distillery in Crested Butte mixes mountain spring water with Louisiana sugar cane to make award-winning rum; their Platino even won best white rum at the World Rum Awards in 2015. Breweries craft tasty beer. Multiple cafes roast their own coffee beans. The pride of place that Gunnison Valley residents have had since the 1880s spills over into food and drink, resulting in delicious local fare for everyone to enjoy.
During the summer months, we have two farmer’s markets. Gunnison’s is on Saturdays and Crested Butte’s is on Sundays. Check our event calendar to see if the market will be going on during your visit. It’s a great place for a late breakfast or lunch and an even better spot to pick up the finest Western Slope produce when it’s in season. Late June and early July is cherry season, but the real prize is Paonia Peaches in late August and early September. Delicious!
Culinary tourism is an active and growing part of the visitor landscape in Gunnison County, and it’s one you won’t want to miss out on during your next visit to Gunnison-Crested Butte. More and more we have events celebrating our food, wine, beer, and spirits including a new event in 2016 that pairs food from Top Chef Master Hugh Acheson with the music of Pianist Peter Dugan and Violinist Charles Yang. Tickets to these food events often sell out quickly, so it’s worth buying your tickets in advance!
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