Vail is a cosmopolitan and upscale place and its array of restaurants reflects this. Virtually every cuisine is available and standards are high, but most places are expensive, especially by UK standards. Each of the base areas has its fair share of good places to eat and drink.
However, mountain restaurants are limited, with only a couple of table service options – self-service is the norm.
For more Vail inspiration, check out our guides to the best resort accommodations and après ski.
On the mountain
Located near Patrol Headquarters, atop the Mountaintop and Northwood Express lifts, Buffalo’s little log cabin is very busy inside and out. It serves a limited but good-value self-service menu – specialties include buffalo burgers and buffalo chilli.
Contact: 00 1 970 754 8245
Loggia of the two moose
This huge self-service restaurant sits atop the Sourdough lift on the ridge between the Front Side of Vail Mountain and the Back Bowls. Chalet style with picture windows, lots of wood and beams and a very high ceiling Two Elk is replenished every day. Food is freshly cooked at food stations serving pasta, pizza, burgers, burritos, salads, and soup or chili.
Contact: 00 1 970 754 8245
At the base of the Look Ma ride in Mid-Vail, The 10th serves up the best tableside dining on the mountain. Built in a chalet style with large windows, it takes its name from the 10th Mountain Division, in which Vail’s founders fought during World War II. As well as a large light and airy dining room, it has a cozy bar and lounge area with armchairs, fireplace and terrace. An expansive menu includes elk chili, mushroom sandwiches, Wagyu beef burgers, and lobster ravioli.
Contact: 00 1 970 754 4800; www.vail.com
A Vail institution since 1974, these days the Alpenrose’s menu features German favorites not typically found at American resorts. Expect hearty goulash, dumplings, Kässpätzle and traditional Alpine desserts like palatschinken (Austrian crêpes) and apple strudel.
Serving up classic “Modern American” cuisine, Sweet Basil offers dishes like Alaskan halibut pistou with snap peas, asparagus, wild onions, and cherry tomatoes; duck breast with braised peach, peppers, chanterelles and miso caramel; and saffron seafood linguine. Expect high quality cooking and presentation. In addition to the spacious dining room (refurbished 2021/22) there is a busy bar with high stools.
Located in the luxury Solaris Residences development in the village of Vail, Matsuhisa is part of a chain of upscale restaurants owned by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and serves delicious and inventive Japanese fusion cuisine. Signature dishes include yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, black cod miso, and whitefish tiradito, all served in a dining room with stone floors and walls and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of Vail Mountain.