Durango, Colorado, nestled in the heart of the picturesque Animas River Valley, is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a culinary delight. From charming downtown eateries to hidden gems in the surrounding area, there’s a wealth of options to satisfy your taste buds. In this guide, we’ll take you on a gastronomic journey through the best restaurants in Durango, highlighting the diverse flavors that make this southwestern town a foodie’s paradise.
Downtown Durango Restaurants
1. The Ore House
- Website: The Ore House
The Ore House is an iconic steakhouse in Durango, offering a rustic yet upscale dining experience. Known for its perfectly aged steaks and extensive wine list, it’s a must-visit for carnivores. Don’t miss their Durango bison tenderloin.
2. Eolus Bar & Dining
- Website: Eolus Bar & Dining
Eolus Bar & Dining is an elegant restaurant with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, ensuring the freshest flavors in dishes like their Colorado lamb and organic vegetable offerings. With its upscale ambiance, it’s an excellent choice for a special evening out.
3. El Moro Spirits & Tavern
- Website: El Moro Spirits & Tavern
This historic tavern combines southwestern flavors with craft cocktails. Try their green chili mac ‘n’ cheese or the famous El Moro burger. It’s a fantastic spot for lunch or dinner with a dash of local history. You can dine indoors in a cozy atmosphere or on the patio while enjoying the scenic views.
4. Carver Brewing Co.
- Website: Carver Brewing Co.
Carver Brewing Co. is a downtown gem known for its craft beers and inventive pub fare. Enjoy their wood-fired pizzas with unique toppings or hearty sandwiches. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great choice for a casual meal with friends.
Best Restaurants in Durango, Colorado
1. Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
- Website: Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
Seasons is known for its wood-fired rotisserie cooking and a diverse menu featuring dishes like roasted duck, fresh seafood, and inventive salads. The cozy atmosphere and extensive wine list make it perfect for a special night out. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone or simply looking for a memorable dining experience, Seasons delivers.
2. Steamworks Brewing Company
- Website: Steamworks Brewing Company
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Steamworks Brewing Company is a must-visit. Pair their award-winning brews with dishes like their blackened chicken Alfredo or bison meatloaf. The outdoor patio is a great spot in the warmer months, offering a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy your meal. With a constantly evolving beer menu, you’ll always find something new to try.
3. Nini’s Taqueria
- Website: Nini’s Taqueria
Craving Mexican cuisine? Nini’s Taqueria offers mouthwatering tacos, burritos, and homemade salsas. It’s a local favorite for its authentic flavors and affordable prices. The vibrant decor and friendly staff create a lively atmosphere that adds to the overall dining experience. Whether you’re in the mood for carne asada or a vegetarian burrito, Nini’s has you covered.
4. Cyprus Café
- Website: Cyprus Café
Cyprus Café is known for its Mediterranean-inspired dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Try their lamb kebabs or vegetarian moussaka in a cozy, art-filled setting. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in its menu, with an emphasis on organic and seasonal produce. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a taste of the Mediterranean in the heart of Durango.
5. Fired Up Pizzeria
- Website: Fired Up Pizzeria
Fired Up Pizzeria crafts wood-fired pizzas with creative toppings and offers an extensive selection of craft beers. It’s a casual spot suitable for families and groups, making it an ideal choice for a relaxed meal after a day of exploring Durango. From classic margherita to inventive combinations, Fired Up Pizzeria has a pizza to please every palate.
Hidden Gems in Durango, Colorado
1. Oscar’s Café
- Website: Oscar’s Café
For a cozy breakfast or brunch, Oscar’s Café is a hidden gem. Their creative omelets and fluffy pancakes are legendary among locals. Don’t forget to try the homemade cinnamon rolls, which are a delightful treat. Oscar’s offers a comforting and welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.
2. The Yellow Carrot
- Website: The Yellow Carrot
If you’re looking for healthy and organic options, The Yellow Carrot offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. It’s a great spot for vegetarians and vegans, with a menu that caters to diverse dietary preferences. The emphasis on fresh ingredients and sustainability is evident in every dish. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick and nutritious lunch or a refreshing smoothie, The Yellow Carrot has you covered.
3. Nayarit Mexican Restaurant
- Website: Nayarit Mexican Restaurant
Experience authentic Mexican cuisine at Nayarit, where you can savor dishes like mole poblano and carnitas. The vibrant atmosphere and extensive tequila selection add to the experience. Nayarit’s dedication to showcasing the flavors of Mexico’s diverse regions sets it apart, making it a top choice for those seeking genuine Mexican cuisine in Durango.
4. Serious Texas Bar-B-Q
- Website: Serious Texas Bar-B-Q
Serious Texas Bar-B-Q is a local favorite for mouthwatering barbecue. From brisket to ribs, their smoky flavors and homemade sauces are a hit among meat lovers. The casual, family-friendly atmosphere makes it a great spot for a hearty meal. Whether you’re in the mood for a pulled pork sandwich or a rack of ribs, Serious Texas Bar-B-Q delivers on flavor and authenticity.
Dining Experiences in Durango, Colorado
1. Derailed Pour House
- Website: Derailed Pour House
Derailed Pour House is a lively gastropub with an extensive beer selection and a menu featuring gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a vibrant atmosphere to enjoy drinks and delicious food. With a wide variety of craft beers on tap and an array of unique burger options, Derailed Pour House is a go-to destination for casual dining and socializing.
2. The Kennebec Café
- Website: The Kennebec Café
Just a short drive from Durango, The Kennebec Café is worth the trip. This charming eatery offers farm-to-table dining in a relaxed setting. Their changing menu highlights seasonal ingredients, ensuring that you experience the freshest flavors of the region. With a commitment to sustainability and supporting local farmers, The Kennebec Café provides a dining experience that’s not only delicious but also environmentally conscious.
3. Ska Brewing Co. World Headquarters
- Website: Ska Brewing Co. World Headquarters
Ska Brewing Co. offers craft beer enthusiasts a unique experience with brewery tours and tastings. Pair their beers with a variety of food trucks often parked on-site, providing diverse culinary options to complement your tasting adventure. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it a welcoming place to explore the craft beer scene in Durango.
Where Locals Eat in Durango, Colorado
1. Homeslice Pizza
- Website: Homeslice Pizza
When locals crave pizza, they head to Homeslice. Their New York-style pies and creative toppings make it a beloved spot. Try the Durango Cowboy pizza with green chili for a taste of the region. The casual and friendly environment at Homeslice Pizza ensures that you’ll have a fantastic pizza experience in Durango.
- Website: Doughworks
When it comes to discovering the best restaurants in Durango, Colorado, Doughworks is a must-visit. This charming bakery and pastry shop is your ticket to the finest pastries and baked goods in town. From flaky croissants to mouthwatering cinnamon rolls, everything is crafted from scratch daily. Whether you’re starting your day or taking a delightful coffee break, Doughworks offers a perfect morning treat. Their dedication to quality and freshness shines through in every bite.
3. Oscar’s Cafe
- Website: Oscar’s Cafe
Oscar’s Cafe deserves a second mention for its popularity among locals. It’s a go-to spot for breakfast, and their coffee is a local favorite. The welcoming atmosphere and consistently delicious breakfast options make Oscar’s Cafe a beloved destination for both visitors and Durango residents alike.
Tips for an Unforgettable Dining Experience in Durango, Colorado
- Plan Ahead: Before visiting any restaurant, check their website or contact them to confirm their current operating hours and whether reservations are recommended. Some popular establishments may have limited seating.
- Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the chance to try local specialties like green chili, bison, and trout. These dishes are often featured on menus in Durango and offer a taste of the region’s flavors.
- Diverse Dining Styles: Durango offers a wide range of dining experiences, from upscale restaurants to casual eateries and food trucks. Explore different styles of dining to fully appreciate the culinary diversity of the area.
- Dress Code: While many restaurants in Durango have a casual atmosphere, some upscale options may have a dress code. It’s a good idea to check their website or call ahead to ensure you’re dressed appropriately.
- Respect Local Customs: In some restaurants, it’s customary to wait to be seated rather than seating yourself. Be attentive to local customs and etiquette to ensure a pleasant dining experience.
- Try Craft Beer: Durango is known for its craft beer scene. Pairing local brews with your meal can enhance your dining experience. Many restaurants feature a selection of local beers on their menus.
- Allergy and Dietary Restrictions: If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, inform your server when ordering. Most restaurants in Durango are accommodating and can adjust dishes to meet your needs.
Durango, Colorado, offers a diverse culinary scene that caters to every palate. Whether you’re savoring a steak at The Ore House, sipping craft beer at Steamworks Brewing Company, or enjoying a cozy breakfast at Oscar’s Café, this charming town has something to offer every food lover. So, when you’re exploring the stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures in Durango, don’t forget to treat your taste buds to the delightful flavors of this hidden gem in the Southwest.