Much like all the experiences on tap on a Crested Butte ski trip, the eclectic mining town’s dining scene is quite distinct. Only in Crested Butte are there multiple options for pairing adventurous activities with dining. Do you like earning your dinner? Perfect. You can get some exercise while uphill skinning or cross-country skiing en route to your dining destination. But it doesn’t stop there. If your palate is adventurous, you’ll be pleased with colorful Elk Avenue’s array of international, unique restaurants. Truly, within a charming seven-block span you can find sushi, Indian/Nepalese, gourmet pizza like you’ve never had, Thai, fine French-American food, Mexican, farm-to-table dining and much more.
Magic Meadows Yurt Dinner Experience
Combining cross-country skiing, stunning views and adventurous dining in a cozy yurt, the Magic Meadows Yurt Dinner Experience is an evening you won’t soon forget–whether you’re a seasoned Nordic skier or newbie. The yurt is owned by the Crested Butte Nordic Council, located on 2nd and Whiterock, which is accessible by the free town shuttle. Trail passes, equipment rentals, five-course dinner, live music and libations are included, and if you need help selecting equipment or navigating the one-mile, groomed route to the yurt, guides are on hand to assist. Plus, this isn’t just any dinner, Chef Tim Eggelhof prepares a gourmet five-course feast and specialty cocktails are provided from Crested Butte’s own Montanya Distillery and Elevation Beer Company. Wine and non-alcoholic drinks are available, too.
Uley’s Cabin & Sleigh Ride Dinners
Uley’s Cabin. | Photo: CBMR
Located just beneath the Twister Lift, Uley’s Cabin is neatly tucked on Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and provides discerning diners with high-brow lunch options in a charming cabin, perfectly bedecked in rustic, mountain decor, daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cuisine has a definite French focus with Colorado flair in its game dishes and local ingredients. It’s also an iconic spot for on-mountain, après-ski thanks to its famous Ice Bar. Sip alpine classics, like Peppermint Schnapps and hot chocolate, while you watch skiers whizz by.
In addition, Uley’s Cabin hosts snowcat-accessed, sleigh-ride dinners Wednesdays to Sundays—as well as additional days around the holidays. Cozy blankets ensure that everyone is nice and warm as they take in the snowy mountain scenery and starlit skies. Reservations required.
Inside Scoop: Uley’s was established, named, designed and decorated in memory of Uley Sheer, a miner and moonshiner who lived in a small cabin on Forest Hill area of Crested Butte.
Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks
The Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks is Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s newest addition and has quickly become a favorite spot to enjoy epic views and unique
dining. Located at the top of Painter Boy, the Umbrella Bar offers an Alpine-inspired experience. Weather dependent, the yurt’s retractable roof lets sun worshippers take in the warm, Colorado rays, while they enjoy a refreshing beer, glass of wine or cocktail from the full bar paired with European classics, like sausages and sauerkraut, fondue and cheese boards. There’s also grab-n-go options for powder days!
If you’re lucky enough to have your Crested Butte ski vacation coincide with a full moon, be sure to plan on experiencing the Full Moon at Ten Peaks. After a self-guided skin or snowshoe tour up the designated uphill route to Ten Peaks, which takes about 45 minutes, enjoy an unforgettable moonlit dinner with the glowing Elk Mountains in the background. The tickets, which are $40 per adult, include a buffet dinner of fondue, salad, soup or chili, dessert and one glass of wine or beer. Scarpa and SkiTrab Uphill Demos are available (9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) for those wanting to experience skinning.
Historic Elk Avenue Restaurants
First Ascent Coffee Roasters & Mountain Oven Organic Bakery
Located at the end of Elk Avenue, at 21 Elk Avenue, First Ascent Coffee and Mountain Oven Organic Bakery is not your typical coffee shop. Housed in a charming, well-preserved mining-era home, First Ascent & Mountain Oven marry the highest-quality, Fair Trade coffee on the market and cutting-edge roasting and brewing processes with wholesome, handmade and organic sourdough breads, pastries and desserts. If you’re a breakfast foodie, this is a spot not to be missed.
Supper at Sunflower
Located at 214 Elk Avenue, Supper at Sunflower is culinary co-op that offers an inviting and intimate dining experience. Chef Kalon Wall, along with co-owners Chris and Natalie Phillips, bring farm-fresh dining to the Crested Butte community and visitors. The interior of Sunflower is constructed of recycled barn wood and provides a cozy, rustique atmosphere for dining, which seats approximately 32 guests. Another lovely aspect of dining at the Sunflower is that the kitchen set up like an exhibition kitchen, so diners get to watch the chef’s work their magic.
A visit to Crested Butte would not be complete without at least one meal at the Secret Stash, located 303 Elk Avenue. Voted the “Best Pizza in Crested Butte” every year since the funky pizzeria opened their doors in 2002, the Secret Stash is the spot you have to go to if you’re just going out for one meal in downtown Crested Butte. Featuring international, bohemian decor collected from the owners’ world travels, the atmosphere in Secret Stash is just as eclectic as its pizza menu. With pies like the MacDaddy (hamburger meat, cheese, lettuce and pickles) and Spicy Thai Wais (yes, it’s an Asian-inspired pizza), the Secret Stash is just one of those places that you’ll remember (and crave) for years to come.
A top spot for affordable food-on-the-go, Teocali Tamale, located at 311 Elk Avenue, serves up burritos, tacos, tamales and their famous margaritas. Just don’t come earlier than noon on a powder day, as they’ll be closed and out enjoying the fun, too.
Soupçon, a French-American bistro, is located 127 Elk Avenue in the “exceptionally cute miners cabin covered in snow and Christmas lights.” The No. 1 restaurant for fine dining in Crested Butte, Soupçon is intimate and cozy, and seating is limited, so be sure to make advanced reservations.
Located on 425 Elk Avenue, the Ginger Café offers pan-Asian delights. Specializing in Indian and Thai cuisines, the Ginger Café serves up plates ranging from Pad Thai and curries to Colorado Lamb and soups. Don’t miss the exotic, Asian-inspired cocktail menu.
Serving incredible sushi, sashimi, rolls and meats made robata-style, the Japanese art of grilling, Lil’s Sushi, located upstairs at 321 Elk Avenue, has something to please just about everyone.
Perfect for a social gathering over food and drinks, Bonez, at 130 Elk Avenue, features a lot of communal high-top seating. Combine with Dia De Los Muertos art, inspired by Jose Posada, and a deep taco and tequila menu and you’ve one awesome hangout.
A long-time Crested Butte staple, Sherpa Cafe will please Nepali and Indian foodies and those with a sense of adventure, as the restaurant owners display their rich Sherpa history and appreciation with pictures and books. Youou can even arrange a Himalayan excursion while you nosh on their fresh naan breads and authentic, perfectly spiced curries.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.