Estes Park Restaurants Capture the Essence of the Rockies

Downtown Estes Park

Located on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, the town of Estes Park, Colorado offers multiple ways to reconnect with nature. This year-round destination provides some of the most breathtaking views in Colorado. Combine that with a friendly, welcoming community and numerous lodging and dining options, and you have one of the best places to visit in Colorado for a mountain experience.

Dunraven Inn
A snowy night at the Dunraven Inn in Estes Park.

In Estes Park, outdoor activities are the premier attraction. Hiking, horseback riding, skiing, and other outdoor activities are all a major draw to this area. Estes Park offers other Colorado tourism attractions as well, if you know where to look. A handful of museums and local entertainment options provide a sufficient number of things to do when the weather does not allow for outdoor adventures.

Find Dining in Estes Park at These Local Favorites

When you are ready for something to eat on your Estes Park, Colorado vacations, you will find plenty of chain restaurants to consider, but why not give your taste buds something new and exciting to experience with a local dining establishment? If you are looking for something you can’t find anywhere else, consider these popular options.

Smokin Dave's BBQ
Some of the tasty fare at Smokin Dave’s.

Dunraven Inn

Dunraven Inn is considered one of the most romantic options for dining in Estes Park. If your vacation is with someone you love, then consider this for one of your meals. The food options include steaks, Italian dishes, seafood, and a full bar.

While you are there, be sure to notice the collection of Mona Lisa prints throughout the dining room. Mona Lisa is the unofficial mascot of the restaurant.

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ and Taphouse

Smokin’ Dave’s may be America’s highest BBQ restaurant, sitting at 7,522 feet elevation. This establishment carefully smokes the finest cuts of meat right on sight, topping it with four delicious sauces made in-house. Choose from sweet, tangy, Carolina mustard, and Papa’s spicy sauce for your meat.

Penelopes Old Time Burgers And Fries
Try some of the best burgers in town at Penelope’s.

For those who do not feel like BBQ when they visit, the restaurant also has a selection of traditional menu options as well. A full bar offers 15 different beers on tap.

Penelope’s Old Time Burgers and Fries

Sometimes, you just want a good burger, and that is what Penelope’s offers. The burgers here are famous throughout the world, and it is the oldest burger joint in Estes Park. In addition to burgers, you can grab brats or sandwiches at this quaint establishment.

Nicky’s Steakhouse

Nicky’s Steakhouse is set up with three separate dining areas: a family Garden room, a friendly Lounge, and an elegant Cattleman’s room. This setup ensures that you have the atmosphere that best fits your dining needs when you visit. You will find a large selection of menu items at prices to fit most budgets.

One of the favorite dishes here is a prime rib that the chef roasts in rock salt. Colorado trout is another house specialty. Nicky’s cuts their own meat, so you can be certain your steak will be perfectly aged when it comes to your table.

If You Go

If you decide to book a Colorado travel experience to Estes Park, be sure to visit to learn more about things to see and do.

Dunraven Inn
2470 Colorado Hwy 66

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ and Taphouse
820 Moraine Ave.

Penelope’s Old Time Burgers and Fries
299 W. Elkhorn Av.

Nicky’s Steakhouse
1350 Fall River Rd.

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006, and as an experienced travel writer, her work has been featured on USA Today as well as here on Go Colorado!