An Insider's Mountain West
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A Restaurant Worker’s Guide to Telluride
The idyllic mountain town of Telluride, Colorado is an outdoor playground for a wide gamut of people, some of them famous, most of them not. While the town and its satellite Mountain Village are full of overpriced eateries, if you know what the townies know you can have a memorable meal at a great value. Here is a former local restaurant worker’s guide to dining in Telluride. And as a friendly reminder from this former restaurant worker: even if you’re dining on a budget, always tip your server.
Caravan: Hidden between old buildings from Telluride’s mining past, this Middle Eastern food truck serves up flavorful food and offers a lovely outdoor dining patio. For $16 get a shish kebab plate with two sides: tabouli and falafel are favorites.
Cosmopolitan: While this fine-dining restaurant features pricey meals in the evening, their happy hour is surprisingly affordable and a good way to indulge without shelling out too much. Sushi rolls and appetizers are all around $10 from 4-5 pm, Cosmos and glasses of house wine are $7. Happy hour is first come first served at the bar and in the lobby.
Baked in Telluride: Just off the main street, in a building that also serves as an art gallery, is Baked in Telluride. BIT is the best place in town to pick up a pastry, get a sandwich on house-made bread to carry with you on an outdoor adventure, or enjoy an après-ski pizza. Gluten-free options are also available.
221 South Oak: Vegetarians will certainly get the most bang for their buck at charming 221 South Oak. The full vegetarian menu features things like vegan Camembert, mushroom ravioli, and crispy tofu.
Wok of Joy: This year, Wok of Joy transitioned from being Telluride’s most popular food cart to a brick and mortar takeout joint. Pick up hearty pad thai and a curry of the day, or select another item from the limited menu. Not only do Wok of Joy’s simple (but expertly prepared) Thai dishes outshine the fusion fare of the town’s other Thai restaurant, but they also come at about half the cost.
Altezza at the Peaks: There is something for everyone on the menu at Altezza, but food is not this restaurant’s main draw. Come for happy hour (in the past it’s been from 4-6 or 5-7, it changes each season) and watch the sun set over the San Juans. This restaurant, which is part of the Peaks resort in Mountain Village, offers some of the best views to be found in the area and a year-round heated patio. 🏔
More Food Reading:
Sugar yesterday, rum today in Barbados.
Making do at grocery stores: “It puts a challenge, for example, on making every kind of pizza you want: The pineapple and ham pizza, we’ve decided not to make.”
This is the best use of a restaurant listicle I’ve ever seen: the spots where a disgraced city councilmember conducted his crimes.
I’m off to Utah for a bit and I cannot wait to hit up these dirty soda shops. I know why they exist but I still feel like I’m missing something.
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This newsletter is edited by Katherine Spiers, host of the podcast Smart Mouth.
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