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Estes Park, Colorado
Nestled in the mountains, Estes Park has a lot of great places to eat. Estes Park is located in Northern Colorado. It’s a great place to base yourself for Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) adventures, but there’s also a lot to do and see within Estes Park itself.
One of the best parts of traveling is checking out local places to eat, breweries, coffee shops and the like. Food is life! In Estes Park, many of your meal views will have a backdrop of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. If that isn’t a reason in itself to explore here, I don’t know what is!
This list isn’t all inclusive as to what we tried and where we ate. These are just the places I would return to and recommend. Cheers and enjoy these places to eat in Estes Park, Colorado!
Places to Eat & Drink in Estes Park
Broken out by category below are the recommendations of establishments to eat and drink delicious fare in Estes Park, Colorado.
Estes Park Restaurants for Breakfast & Coffee
The Donut Haus is amazing fresh made daily pastries and donuts. Be sure to get there early as they do sell out and once they’re gone selection is limited for the day. Keep in mind that they have seasonal hours so check directly with the link above if they will be open when you’re there.
My favorite was the cheesecake roll. At first I thought it looked like egg salad, but just trust me it’s so tasty! But really you can’t go wrong. The only wrong decision would be to skip going here altogether when in Estes Park.
Offering specialty coffee and non-coffee drinks as well as light food. We stopped here on our way out of town and got some iced coffees. Definitely check this place out instead of a chain coffee shop! Plus, who can resist the cute name with a nod to the awesome state of Colorado while surrounded by the mountains in Estes Park?
There is nothing better than breakfast (or brunch) out. (In my opinion anyway!) The Egg of Estes has a huge menu so there’s bound to be something for everyone there while looking for a place to eat in Estes Park. The amount of juices and alcoholic brunch drinks was amazing! Since they specialize in breakfast, they close earlier so be sure to check their hours in advance. It was really busy while we were there but don’t shy away just because there are crowds.
Tucked into a little outdoor oasis off the beaten path sits the coffee shop, coffee on the rocks. Added bonus, they also offer coffee drinks with alcohol. Whether you check them out earlier to really start your day or for a relaxing happy hour drink with an added boost of caffeine, you can’t go wrong! Definitely have a delicious pick me up here while exploring Estes Park.
Estes Park Restaurants for Mid-day or Lunch
My Texan husband is a bit of a barbeque snob and this lunch is certified by his picky stamp of approval. If you’re a fan of tasty barbeque, you should definitely check out Smokin’ Dave’s Q as one of the places you eat in Estes Park. We had a lunch here but since they offer lunch and dinner as well as a full bar you could check it out for a later evening meal as well.
This deli is amazing! Offering subs, sandwiches and wraps that are perfect for picking up in the morning, putting them on ice in the cooler and enjoying after a beautiful hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Even after having snacks mid way through our hike, it was absolutely perfect planning to enjoy waters and Liquid IV alongside deli sandwiches.
Liquid IV is one of the things I ALWAYS pack no matter where I’m going or what I’m doing. Air travel and hiking it’s such a lifesaver! They’re always coming up with fun new flavors to try too! Check it out at Liquid IV and use CODE: WANDERLUSTINREALLIFE for 25% off with free shipping!
One bit of advice, depending on the type of cooler you have (if it’s a YETI style sealing cooler) be sure to release the drain valve to let out the pressure. Our cooler was un-openable after taking it in the high elevation at RMNP and the seal and pressure built up in it we couldn’t open our cooler until we did this to release the air that was pressurized inside.
Dinner & Drinks in Estes Park
I can easily say out of all places to eat in Estes Park the Hunter’s Chophouse should be your destination. Absolutely everything was amazing! The decor is very rustic and mountain themed while the food and drinks are locally sourced.
For an appetizer we enjoyed the smoked trout cheese dip. (We were also considering the wild game brat sampler.) As mains, the elk chops with shrimp & the ribeye were amazing. I had never had elk before but I was a fan! In my opinion elk is definitely not a game-y tasting meat and depending on the cut you have it’s very similar to steak. The blackberry port wine sauce it was in was phenomenal. I even had a local wine from the winery in Estes Park Snowy Peaks Winery. If we had more time (and weren’t checking out breweries) we would have gone here as well to do a tasting. So if you prefer wine to beer, skip the next two on the list and go there instead!
Located close to downtown Estes Park, Rock Cut Brewing is a perfect place to pop in for a few pints after a day exploring Estes Park or after an adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado has so many great breweries so not visiting a few during your time here if you’re a beer lover you’d be doing yourself a major disservice.
Many of their beers are more of a German style. However, they also do fun things such as slushees made with beer. If it’s a nice warm day, cooling off with a beer or slushee on their relaxing patio is the perfect choice.
Travel beyond Estes Park, Colorado:
Colorado is a very popular road trip destination. Read my Top Road Trip tips to prepare for your journey.
More National Park & United States travel.