Good eats On The Road
It's worth sharing some good - and some not so good - dining experiences we encounter on our travels throughout Colorado and adjacent states. We're not looking for epicurean dining events - just solid cooking, nice portions, and decent service.
Ole Bakery Cafe in Cedaredge on the way up highway 65 to Grand Mesa. On the North end of town this local's favorite has a terrific deck beside Surface Creek for outdoor dining. Good quick, friendly priced breakfasts with great service.
Village Smithy in Carbondale. In the middle of old town, it's a long time popular breakfast spot. Opens early. Wonderful menu - wide variety and good specials. Somewhat pricier, but portions are nicely sized - as in just right. Revisited 10/03/05 with somewhat less favorable results. Service was spotty and the kitchen's quality was not up to our first go around. Still worth trying.
Warm Springs Cafe in Saratoga, Wyoming. Another popular local's and tourist stop. Located on the banks of the North Platte, it offers pleasant breakfasts and lunches without pretentiousness and at reasonable prices. At lunch time, the "black & blue" burger will put hair on your chest (yes, you too girls). If weather permits, take your meal on the deck outside by the river.
Wolcott Yacht Club. Funky little outdoor-under-the-trees spot at the junction of old highway 6 and 133 on the eagle River in the town of Wolcott. Very popular in summer months for lunch. Try to arrive before 11:30 if possible to get a seat in the shade.
Betty's Bakery and Cafe. Terrific breakfast spot just off the Granby Canal between Shadow Mountain and Granby Lakes. Great value for all variety of breakfasts. A diced ham & sausage gravy biscuit plate was outstanding as was a standard breakfast of eggs, toast, ham slice, and Betty's special potatoes. Seems to be the local's favorite. Year 2008 note. We tried to get in the place this summer, but it was on the market (real estate). Maybe some problems here now.
Quarter Circle Restaurant. Another absolute don't miss breakfast place - this time in Gunnison. We searched all over town a couple of times for a decent looking meal stop and finally wandered into this one. It's on U.S. 50 in the middle of the business section. The incentive was a group of pick 'em up trucks parked in front which suggested this was a local's haven. Food that filled the plate but left the eater wanting more when finished. Beautifully cooked over easy eggs and huevos rancheros. (Summer of 2008 note. They were short of help. Food was still good, but service stunk.)
K's Dairy Delite. A burger shop in Buena Vista we've visited for many years. In fact I find it difficult to drive through the town without checking in for my #1 special without bacon. Similar to Wild Bill's in Leadville.
County Bounty: Nice breakfast spot on highway 50 in Salida. Very pleasant and helpful wait staff. The Florentine vegetarian benedict was outstanding.
Laughing Ladies: Strange name for a restaurant with simple furnishings and a wonderfully creative menu, again in Salida. Decent prices, a limited, but interesting wine list, and excellent food preparation made for a very nice evening. Highly recommended. (In 2009 noticed that the place was for sale, so if it's changed hands, all bets are off.)
Mountain Lyon Cafe: Located in the 1st Interstate Motel complex in Silverthorne. I've personally always had wonderful breakfasts here - a couple that I regarded as perfect - and I am really picky. Compliments don't get higher than that.
Burrito Express: A tiny, mostly takeout, but with a few seats, restaurant in Rangely, Colorado. We stopped by looking for a smallish, quick burrito and ended up eating a huge burrito and platter of huevos. While we wouldn't call the quality out of this world, the quantities were enormous and there was nothing on the menu over $5 in price. Where else in the world can you find values like that in May of 2007?
Regis Cafe: A really out-of-the-way, hard-to-find BUT WORTH IT breakfast & lunch spot in Red Lodge, MT. Popeye omelet and anything else on this off-the-main-drag funky restaurant is worth having. Sit out back on a sunny weekend day.
Red Lodge Cafe: On the main drag through town again in Red Lodge, MT. Go here for a massive all American breakfast of any type and mingle with the local cowboys and cowgirls.
Redstone, Colorado for breakfast. For some reason this quaint little tourist town just doesn't wake up in the morning. The Redstone Inn doesn't get it either. If you stay in town and sleep in late, maybe there's hope for a meal. Otherwise, go elsewhere - as down to Carbondale (see Village Smithy above.). Note in the summer of 2009 we did find a decent breakfast spot opening at around 8:00 at the west end of town. Can't recall the name of the restaurant though.
The Really Ugly
Ben's Cafe in Green River, Utah. Also sometime known as "Bruce's." We used to enjoy this local's spot when we needed a pick me up after a few days at Lake Powell. The last breakfast we had there (the place is under new ownership) was almost indescribably awful. Go anywhere else in this town but here.