Steamboat Springs may be a rural mountain town situated between Laramie and Silverthorne, but that doesn’t mean there are not options as diverse as the wildflowers in the Flat Tops. (If you don’t know what that means, sounds like you’ve got some hiking to do!) There’s a restaurant for everyone in Steamboat, whether you want a 5-star experience, down home Mexican, or to be dazzled by the Yampa River.

Chow on the Ranch

Berries-on-an-Aspen-WPIn the olden days, cowboys had to work for their dinner. At Saddleback Ranch, they’ll do all the work for you greenhorns, plus throw in a first-class meal to boot. Head north out of town for one of the Dinner Rides. Choose a 30-minute horseback ride or horse-drawn wagon ride to the Double Dollar Lodge on their gorgeous property. Take in the sights before enjoying a delicious dinner with four entree options, hearty sides, and of course, Chef’s choice dessert. Before you return, you’ll learn to calf rope!

Indonesian and Thai

If you just can’t go anywhere without a good Pad Thai, you’re in luck. Local secret Sumatera hides behind Dude & Dan’s and only has about six tables. You may need to wait outside on the porch for a table, and once you get in, you may need to wait more, but it’s worth it. The staff do triple duty as cooks, hostesses and waiters. They move as quickly as they can between the small dining area and the kitchen, and the food they serve up out the kitchen sizzles with Indonesian flair. You can even choose how spicy you want it - scale of 1-5. I, lover of spicy food, has found that a 3 really does it for me. Sumatera is closed Sundays and Tuesdays.

Sumatera-WP2Once in a Lifetime Luxury

If you’re a Zagat diehard plus a mountain lover, then you’ll need to use all of your wiles to get a reservation at The Home Ranch. Located 18 miles north of Steamboat, the Home Ranch is a guest dude ranch that’s so exceptional, they’re listed in the North America  Relais & Chateaux guide. Master chef Clyde Nelson, then you’ll need to use all of your wiles to get into the Home Ranch. The food is exquisite, and since the only way to eat there is to stay there, it’s worth the luxury vacation.

Low-Chicken-Biscuits-WPJust Adventurous Enough

If you want to step outside your comfort zone - but just a scotch - some down home Southern cookin’ might be the ticket. Head to Low on Lincoln Avenue where you can order comfortable favorites like buttermilk fried chicken, but also expand your horizons to shrimp and grits or even - gasp! - Mississippi catfish. With just enough to keep you comfortable, some fresh spices to excite your palate, and a decadent cocktail menu, Low might be the perfect dining option for you downtown. Did we mention they just were invited to the James Beard house?

Taco Cabo

Everyone’s favorite Mexican is located just west of downtown, and conveniently across the street from Storm Peak Brewing. The small restaurant has an outside patio that is perfect on a summer day. Taco Cabo is authentic Mexican, and their breakfast burritos in particular are a local favorite. Even better, they make all of their own sauces, including carrot habanero and spicy raspberry, and if you are lucky, you get to try a new creation. Best of all, on Fridays and Saturdays they marinate pastor, slow-roasted pork all day on a rotisserie.