Eating, Drinking, and Lodging in Telluride
Planning a trip to Telluride this winter? Lucky you!
We know you know that Telluride is one of the world’s most beautiful places—a tiny Victorian mining town completely surrounded by San Juan peaks. The view from Main Street is so jaw-dropping, it doesn’t seem real. It also boasts some of the world’s best skiing and, if we do say so ourselves, the world’s best ski company—Wagner Custom.
To help you plan your vacation in Telluride, below is our list favorite places to stay, eat, and drink in the valley.
The Inn at Lost Creek
Want to stay as close as you can to the winter action? The Inn at Lost Creek fits the bill.
Take one step inside this slopeside lodge, just across the base area from the gondola, and you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into a rustic-chic ski chalet, miles away from the resort hustle and bustle. Perched right on the slopes at the top of the Chondola (Chair 1), the Inn at Lost Creek's 32 rooms, restaurant, bar, and rooftop hot-tub deck have a front-row seat to all the action, yet its boutique studios, suites, condos, and a cozy lobby feel intimate and secluded. It is also dog-friendly, has a ski concierge to save you from lugging your gear, and free breakfast. Win!
Even long-time locals have stayed at the Sheridan for a night. It is that classic.
We know, we've listed it below as well, but the New Sheridan is truly that special. It’s a historic landmark that was originally built in 1891, two years after Butch Cassidy famously robbed the nearby San Miguel Bank, and rebuilt after a fire in 1895—this time out of brick. Each of its rooms are uniquely appointed by British designer Nina Campbell, boasting modern luxury with carefully refurbished Victorian charm. History abounds here, from the black-and-white photographs that line the walls to the underground passageways, relics of Prohibition, still connect the New Sheridan bar to the old Roma, the Opera House, and Popcorn Alley, which was then the red-light district.
One of the best pools in Telluride can be found at the Madeline
This Alpine-inspired boutique hotel in the center of Mountain Village has everything from studios to four-bedroom residences, plus all the amenities—outdoor pool, restaurant, bar, ski valet, hot tubs, and concierge desk. The Madeline is like a modern Swiss chateau, replete with blond wood, luxurious furnishings, and impeccable service.
A true, hidden, overlooked gem: the Hotel Columbia
If maximizing your location to both downtown and the ski hill is your priority, you can’t do better than Hotel Columbia. It’s right in town, walking distance from bars and restaurants, and across the street from the base of the free Village Gondola, which takes you directly to Mountain Village. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and well-appointed without being fussy—and they’re pet-friendly. Happy hour at the hotel’s Cosmopolitan restaurant is one of the most lively spots for après-adventures, too.
The Butcher & The Baker
The fried green tomato sandwich at Butcher Baker is delish.
This adorable counter-service restaurant is locally owned and operated, and its breakfast sandwiches and pastries never disappoint. Everything at The Butcher and The Baker is locally sourced, organic, and house-roasted—and it’s all delicious. Sit inside or outside around the fire pit year-round. Don’t be intimidated by the long line in the morning, either, it moves pretty fast.
Definitely stop by for a drink at the "beach" – aka Gorrono's.
For on-hill food, swing into the Gorrono Ranch, right under Village Express (Chair 4). The ranch itself is an historic Basque sheep herder’s barn, built in the 1880s. In the winter, it serves as the main dining venue for skiers, and come spring, well, it’s where everyone meets up to cheers a beer (or three) in the warm Colorado sun. Two bars—the Saloon and the Outpost, both historic buildings as well—keep the libations flowing, and live music give it a chill island vibe.
Don’t forget to take a photo with iconic Mt. Wilson in the background.
AT LEAST stop by Bon Vivant for a drink to celebrate Telluride's beauty.
On a sunny day, another on-hill must-hit is Bon Vivant. A cozy outdoor umbrella bar perched at the top of Polar Queen Express (Chair 5), "BV" (as it's locally called) will make you feel like you’re in Meribel, France. It’s truly divine—and one of the most unique dining experiences this side of the Alps. Our favorites are the French onion soup, cassoulet, crepes, and hand-crafted hot chocolates.
The head chef at the National won Telluride's Top Chef three years running.
Exposed brick and copper chandeliers paired with sleek mod furnishings make this place one of the coziest spots in town. The National's cuisine is a constantly rotating creative take on contemporary American food, with influences from around the world. Make a reservation and come thirsty—their cocktails are also amazing.
NOTE: The National is moving once their new building is done, so ask around if they aren't in their traditional spot behind the Buck (Last Dollar Saloon).
New Sheridan Chop House/New Sheridan Bar
Dessert drink? Yes, please. Or just order a Flatliner anyway.
Every visitor to Telluride must pop in the New Sheridan, even if it’s just for the bar’s signature drink, the Telluride Flatliner (think espresso martini with an extra kick). Located inside the historic hotel, the Chop House is Telluride’s most iconic restaurant. It’s a traditional steak place, as the name may suggest, with hearty sides and decadent seafood offerings as well. The entrées are not for anyone on a budget, though, so if it’s too rich for your blood, just go next door to the bar for a beer. It’s Telluride’s oldest, dating back to the 19th century, and not much has changed since.
Oak, The New Fat Alley
Robbie O'Dell, owner of Oak, the new Fat Alley
Situated in Telluride at the base of the gondola, Oak is a local hot spot for après. Born in 1995 and originally located just up the street, It’s casual, kid-friendly, and has a big patio for soaking up the sunshine. Chances are that owner Robbie O'Dell will be behind the bar, and if you see him order a "Mitch" and be prepared for the consequences. (For the less adventurous, order a beer, some BBQ, and fried okra.)
Whenever you choose to visit Telluride, be sure to swing past the Wagner Factory and say hello! We're open M-F from 10am - 4pm now through opening day when we add hours for the season.
Article by Kimberly Beekman
Kimberly Beekman is the former editor-in-chief of the late, great Skiing Magazine (RIP), and a longtime editor of SKI Magazine before that. She currently uses the title of “freelancer” as a beard to ski powder all over the world. She lives in Steamboat, Colorado, with her wonderful daughter and terrible cat.