By Kim Fuller Published in the Denver Post
Let’s be real: The journey to and from Denver on Interstate 70 can be pretty frustrating if you’re dealing with traffic or weather, so it’s best to plan on some great food and drink breaks along the way.
If you’re heading out for a mountain getaway or coming home from a grand adventure, here are some establishments where memorable meals are made and the drinks hit the spot — from west of Denver to the Utah border.
193 Gore Creek Dr., Vail
This legendary Vail restaurant celebrated 40 years this year, though nothing about this establishment feels tired. The sincere hospitality and renowned food keeps generations of locals and visitors coming back to this contemporary mountain bistro, serving lunch and dinner specialties like king crab spring rolls and Snake River Wagyu filet. The menu changes seasonally, so guests can always count on a fresh and delicious experience.
82 E. Beaver Creek Blvd.
Bavaria doesn’t feel so far away here. Prosit is a German-style beer hall serving imported drafts and authentic sausages. A stein of the Hofbrau Munchen dunkel with a elk-jalapeno-cheddar sausage is the perfect après-adventure order. Pair it with a freshly baked Bavarian pretzel and Austrian liptauer cheese.
Avon: 82 E. Beaver Creek Blvd., 970-949-7730, einprositavon.com
Frisco: 313 Main St., 970-668-3688, Facebook
60 Rail Road Ave, Minturn
Three words: homemade green chile. This mountain diner is just two miles off the highway in the small town of Minturn, and while the space and name have stayed intact for decades, the restaurant was recently renovated and now is one of the best breakfast destinations in the Vail Valley. Try the Huevos Rancheros with the aforementioned green chile.
1010 Main St., Silver Plume
If Front Rangers already know Bread Bar, it might be because its owners (including Colorado Sen. Stephen Fenberg) take turns commuting up to open the bar and bartend on the weekends at this cool cocktail hangout. Every drink is named after a memorable Silver Plume local who once was: the Clifford Griffin, for example, is made with rye whiskey, Colorado amaro, lemon and a red-wine float, and honors a former mine owner who played violin from a perch above town and literally dug his own grave. If you’re hungry, Bread Bar is now offering pot pies from Denver’s The Long I Pie, if you can get one before they’re gone.
401 E Main St., Frisco
Breakfast and lunch in Frisco can be found a few minutes off the highway, at Bread + Salt on Main Street. Seasonal scrambles please veggie lovers, and you can’t go wrong with the Classic Benny.
4 Park Ave, Empire, CO 80438
Drivers exit the highway and pass through the town of Empire when they’re coming or going from Winter Park, but those who stop in for a full meal or slice of pie à la mode at Jenny’s Restaurant often rave about this quaint spot. They don’t have a website, but word of mouth and a convenient location keeps the seats at Jenny full throughout the year.
1617 Miner St, Idaho Springs
Westbound & Down has made Idaho Springs a great craft food and beer stop. The Den’Var Pils is a refreshing yet full-flavored choice on draft, but only order the barrel-aged German Macarthur’s Scotch Ale if you’re a passenger on this trip, because it’s packing a big ABV. Snack on the Buffalo Chicken Nachos, topped with a blue-cheese slaw, or pair a brew with house-made bratwurst on a bed of braised red cabbage.
56 Edwards Village Blvd., Unit 120, Edwards
This gem just opened in 2017 and has already established itself as the new community hang out. Stop in early for a farm breakfast and an order of monkey bread to share, or come for an afternoon pick-me-up with a tumeric latte. Wine, beer and cocktails are also available at the bar, and a full selection of grab-and-go prepared food, a produce section and homemade bread can make road trips more manageable.
500 U.S. 6, Gypsum
It’s kind of a secret, but not for long. In Gypsum, across from the high school and in a big orange food trailer, Trigo Food by owner and chef Rodrigo Gastelum has the best street tacos on I-70. Try his barbacoa and carne asada tacos, and the pork green chile.
330 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs
If you’re on the west side of Glenwood Canyon, The Pullman is a must-stop. Located just a block from The Hotel Denver on Seventh Street, the eatery prides itself on refined American comfort food, drawing its dish inspiration from seasonal ingredients — served with a dash of decadence. Snacks like pickled bacon deviled eggs with maple gastrique draw attention, along with well-done classics like The Pullman grass-fed burger.
200 Peach Ave., Palisade
Everything you can drink is in Palisade, and it’s made there, too. From wine to cider to spirits and beer, this town’s offerings invites guests to drink up and stay awhile (maybe even overnight). Wineries tend to be the draw here, but don’t miss Palisade Brewing Company for a Dirty Hippie dark American wheat and a platter of house-smoked pulled-pork nachos. During harvest season, be sure to grab peaches at a roadside stand on your way out of town.