Never A Dull Moment Dining in Ouray

In its own majestic corner of the world, Ouray Colorado has a special magic about it. The quaint town in southwestern Colorado offers fantastic year-round outdoor activities, luxury lodging, and wonderful dining. While some establishments are open year-round and others only seasonally, there is something for everyone’s tastes in Ouray.

Ouray Brewery

For a state that is known for its brews, the Ouray Brewery does Colorado proud. Ouray Brewery is open year-round and also has rooftop dining. Family-owned and operated, this restaurant is great for family dining. The three-level restaurant offers fine craft brews and character galore. For a unique and interesting experience, visit their website for a coupon which affords visitors a swag bag giveaway every Sunday at noon.

Beer aficionados revel in the several frosty options of the handcrafted brews. With titles such as Alpine Amber, Camp Bird Blonde, and San Juan IPA, Brewmaster Jeff Lockhart brings seasonal brews and crafted standards to a fun and clever menu. For $8, patrons can purchase a Growlette To Go, filled with any of the restaurant’s handcrafted beers, and it affords a discount if refilling the souvenir.

Brewery Fries with a variety of dipping sauces are a great way to start an evening or end a day with a tall glass of your favorite ale. An extensive burger menu including Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger, Hawaiian Burger, Portabella Burger, and of course, the Brewery Burger are offered with Creole seasoned chips. A Front Range bison option is available for a $3 meat upcharge. Mac-n-Chz, Rack EM Roll Ribs, and Southwest Blackened Salmon round out the comfort-style food at the brewery, perfect for a summer afternoon or chilly winter night.

The Outlaw Restaurant

If channeling your inner Jesse James or Billy the Kid, or if you just want one of the best steaks in the state, The Outlaw Restaurant on Main Street is a perfect option for cowboy-sized appetites. With live piano music and shingles you can decorate and have hung on the wall, the Outlaw Restaurant is the oldest operating restaurant in Ouray, and the original sign that was hung in 1969 remains. Keep an eye out for unexpected celebrities, as John Wayne bellied up to the bar while filming True Grit in 1968.

From the house specialties that include lamb chops smothered in a brown cognac sauce and Scorpion Steak lightly peppered with cognac sauce and served with three shrimp, the savory menu packs a punch. The signature Outlaw Pepper Steak, an 8 to 10 oz. cut is sautéed in green peppercorn and served with brown cognac sauce as well.

Offering charbroiled and grilled meat options as well as seafood and pastas, the Outlaw Restaurant is a local favorite and return visitor must. From Alaskan King Crab legs to Trout San Juan–Rocky Mountain fresh fish with lemon butter–the fare is delicious and the atmosphere is fantastic.  Voted the best steaks in the county, the live piano music and year-round service make for a culinary experience like no other in Ouray.

Bon Ton Restaurant

Located within the St. Elmo Hotel, Bon Ton Restaurant is an upscale Italian eatery. The romantic spot includes a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list and makes for a quiet escape with a warmly decorated interior.

Escargot and crawfish tails with brandied demi-glace or Bear Creek mushrooms sautéed in Maderia wine are a wonderful start to the meal. Entrée selections include Italian favorites such as eggplant parmesan, Fettuccine Verde Alfredo, and chicken piccatta, alongside Beef Wellington and grilled salmon.  Make sure to leave room for local favorite Black Nasty dessert–a decadent chocolate fudge cake with graham cracker crust. Classic tiramisu and the Galloping Goose Caboose are lighter options. The Galloping Goose includes coffee and French vanilla ice cream topped with English toffee, Kahlua, and chocolate sauce.

Whether searching for an outlandish dining experience, a brewery-style comfort food joint, or a romantic evening, Ouray has many dining options. With food as amazing as the scenic vistas of “Switzerland of America,” foodies and outdoorsmen alike can revel in this picturesque spot in Colorado.

If You Go

The Outlaw Restaurant
610 Main Street
Ouray, CO 81427
Open 4:30pm-close 7 days a week during the Summer, 5:00pm-close Tuesdays through Sundays during the Winter.

Ouray Brewery
607 Main Street
Ouray, CO 81427
Open Monday-Sunday 11:00am-9:00pm

Bon Ton Restaurant
Located within the St. Elmo Hotel
426 Main Street
Ouray, CO 81427
Open year round 5:30pm-close.

For more information on the restaurants of Ouray, please visit

Chad Chisholm is a Denver based travel writer and photographer, his work featured at JustLuxe, Denver Life Magazine, Colorado Expression, The Denver Post, Jump! Magazine, and various other outlets.