There are a dozen or so on-mountain or base-of-mountain dining options to choose from. These tend to be busy at peak times so ideally eat lunch early or late, especially at weekends when the crowds arrive from Denver.
The Marketplace at Eagle's Nest (+1 (970) 754 8245) is a busy cafeteria that features a pasta bar, soup and salad bar, deli counter, wraps, baked potatoes and grilled items.
The Mid Vail building has expanded over the years and now contains four restaurants together at the base of Chairs 3 (the Wildwood lift) and 4 (Mountaintop Express) and top of the Vista Bahn gondolaThere’s a big range of food here but pizza is a popular choice.
The Two Elk Restaurant (+1 (970) 754 8245) is Vail’s leading mountain’s restaurant, located en route to Blue Sky Basin and near the top of Chairs 14, 17, 21, and 36: 11,220 feet up. Here you’ll find a good choice of food to satisfy your appetite.
Bistro Fourteen (+1 (970) 754 4530) is one of the newer places that has a usually good table-service option at the top of the gondola at Eagle’s Nest.
For a special on-mountain dining experience try the Game Creek Club (+1 (970) 754 4275) located in Game Creek Bowl and accessed only by luxury snowcat.
Restaurants In Town
There are 80 to choose from in the valley in all varieties, for all budgets; you won’t go hungry here. At the filling-and-lively end try The Bully Ranch in the Sonnenalpwhich has been a ‘local favourite for 25 years.” It’s a Colorado dining experience meaning big plates of meat, particularly prime aged beef and barbecue ribs. Or for pizza head for the popular Vendettas (291 Bridge St; +1 (970) 476-5070). You can also find Chinese, Japanese and Mexican options to name but a few.
There are plenty of fine dining choices to cater for Vail’s well-heeled guests. Most of these are located within the top class hotels. For example Centre V is a French-themed restaurant within the Arrabelle at Vail Square, where you can enjoy crispy roasted striped bass and venison loin au poivre. Other classy joints include Ludwig’s (in the Sonnenalp) or Wildflower in The Lodge at Vail
There are about a dozen food retailers in Vail, spread throughout the valley.
Safeway (2131 N Frontage Rd W, +1 (970) 476 3561) is one of the major grocery retailers in the valley and The City Market Food and Pharmacy (2109 N Frontage Rd W (+1 (970) 476 1017) is a full-service grocery store, pharmacy, florist and bakery.
There is also the small General Store in Lionshead (610 W Lionshead Cir.; +1 (970) 476 3223).
In West Vail there’s a 7-Eleven (2271 N Frontage Rd.; +1 (970) 476 8128) selling fresh food and all other grocery products and an Alpine Wines and Spirits (2109 N Frontage Rd; +1 (970) 476 8116) which sells alcoholic drink. However West Vail Liquor Mart (2151 N Frontage Rd, +1 (970) 476 2675) claims to have Vail Valley's largest beer, wine and spirits retail store.