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People often ask us, “where do you like to eat here in Estes Park?” Some are more direct: “what are the best Estes Park restaurants?

This list is in no way exclusive, or complete — and best is a matter of preference of course — there’s just too many great places with delicious food here to count. But our staff is eager to share some of our favorites!

These places are among those “where the locals go,” so do us a favor… let’s keep this just between us so we can still get a seat… okay?

If you’re looking for beverages to enjoy or what the nightlife here has to offer, check out our guide on the best bars and breweries in Estes Park.


Dinner only blend of hand-crafted, hearty comfort food with a health and environmentally conscious twist. Start with Happy Hour from 4 to 6 with BOGO house beer and wine & a wooden nickel to keep you coming back. All the appetizers are fabulous — but you won’t get Devils on Horseback or Spicy Corn Dip anywhere else! Salads are fresh and generous. Add one of eight protein choices to make it a meal. Get creative with a hand-rolled pizza, build your own bowl or enjoy half a dozen amazing entrées. Sit outdoors on a warm night or indoors with two wood stoves on a cold day.
  • 1.7 mi. from Windcliff
  • 1675 CO-66, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $$
  • Tavern
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Elevations Eatery and Bar is Estes Park's newest concept by seasoned and experienced local restauranteur Bishwa Lama who operates multiple concepts in the Estes Valley. With Elevations, Bishwa and chef curate an assortment of recipes and ingredients to provide an assortment of high-end gastro inspirations from Elk Stew, Truffle Avohummus, Beetroot and Orange Salad, Beef Shortrib, Bison and Elk Burgers and their twist on popular sandwiches. Their bar offers inspired cocktails and taps of local breweries. Set right in the heart of "main street Estes Park" (153 E Elkhorn Ave), Elevations is open 7 days a week year-round.
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Lunch and dinner is served at this modern mountain farm-to-table restaurant — from an ingredient-driven kitchen run by chef Ethan Brown. Friends, owners, and fellow climbers Melissa Strong and John Witmer (also the most talented sommelier in Northern Colorado) offer Colorado-style cuisine. The seasonal menu is constantly evolving and is sourced from the Front Range of Colorado and beyond.

Menus are influenced by an artisan approach to cooking, the ardent nature of our neighbors, and local farms. Chef Ethan’s cooking philosophy revolves around sustainable and healthy eating. Our staff recommends EVERYTHING.

Start in the bar with the “smoked Manhattan” and take your time with the very lengthy wine list, numerous regional beers on tap or mixed drinks from Estes Park’s most friendly and talented bartending staff: say hi to Marin, Scotty, Sarah and Charlie when you visit!
  • 3.1 mi. from Windcliff
  • 915 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $$-$$$
  • Colorado Cuisine
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What to eat after you hike? Smokin’ Daves serves up casual lunch and dinner eats that are guaranteed to satisfy that post-hike hankering. Named the “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America!”

Our staff recommends the Bubba-Que Wings (smoked, THEN fried & tossed with your choice of sauces,) the Eggeriffic Burger, Not So Teenie Wahini, Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich, or the Southern Catfish!

All the sides are memorable too – especially the green beans! Dozens of regional beers are on tap, but you should start with Dave’s own pilsner (brewed by Oskar Blues in Lyons.)
  • 3.3 mi. from Windcliff
  • 820 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $$
  • BBQ
  • Walk-in wait list
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Perfect family hot spot! Poppy’s provides lunch & dinner dining in an easygoing riverfront location. Estes Park’s friendliest restaurateur Rob Peiper offers quality, inspired build-your-own & specialty pies as well as sandwiches & a large beer selection… plus a patio. We love the Thai lettuce boats, Razor-thin onion rings, Rocky Mountain Pizza, and any of their special salads. If cream of celery is the soup of the day – be sure to grab a bowl!
  • 3.5 mi. from Windcliff
  • 342 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $-$$
  • 3.5 mi
  • Casual
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Claire’s is an unpretentious, welcoming breakfast and lunch eatery offering classic American mains such as BBQ, burgers, and trout. Oh, and the best Eggs Benedict in town. Try the Crab Cake Benedict, Cuban Benedict or “The Big Breakfast.” Kyle recommends the Bacon Bloody Mary, Short Smoked Salmon or Chicken Fried Steak as well.
  • 3.5 mi. from Windcliff
  • 225 Park Ln, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $$
  • American
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Ed’s serves cuisine from Central Mexico — with a custom Colorado twist! Start happy hour early, because the bar fills quickly with a great mix of locals and tourists all clamoring for Ed’s signature avocado margaritas. Temper your buzz with our favorites: bison tacos, fish tacos, chimichangas, chile rellenos, a torta… or if you’re feeling brave: the 14’er burrito!
  • 3.6 mi. from Windcliff
  • 390 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $$
  • Co-Mex
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Hand tossed, real New York pizza right here in Colorado and spot on point!

Superlatives can’t overstate the quality, taste and authenticity of passionate owner Anthony DeSouza’s pizza! With a 118-year lineage in NYC, 4th generation New Yorker Anthony and his wife – also a 4th generation Italian-American from NY – turn out these classic dishes classics right here in Estes Park. Their oven is a custom made PizzaMaster 943 from Sweden. It holds 24 large (18″) pies at the same time. The kitchen is open and visible from the dining room. Seating capacity for 200 and a fantastic bar top things off.
  • 5.9 mi. from Windcliff
  • 1560 Big Thompson Ave., Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $
  • Pizza
  • Order online or call to place an order. Walk-in or pick-up only.
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Small chef-owned and operated seasonal bistro offering daily farm-to-table menu. Inviting and relaxed atmosphere. We cannot recommend specific dishes because they change every evening, but everything is fantastic! Courses offered include snacks, appetizers, entrees, dessert, and after dinner drinks including espresso drinks.
  • 4.4 mi. from Windcliff
  • 205 Park Ln, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • $$-$$$
  • Intimate
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