* Blog post updated on June 14, 2023
In our initial Foodie's Guide to Ski Resort Dining, we took a look at après-ski in Deer Valley Resort. They are one of the best in the country at providing their guests with a variety of ski resort dining options and some amazing dishes at each one. This time around, we take a deep dive into Vail on Mountain dining, just not in the way you would expect.
Vail On Mountain Dining Pioneered Ski Resort Cuisine
Vail Mountain Resort was the pioneer in advancing beyond just providing their guests with just epic skiing and riding. The OG of the all-encompassing ski resort, they have been offering their guests a variety of amenities for years.
Their Faux Austrian villages are conveniently located at the heart of their base areas. Offering a variety of Vail on-mountain dining, you will have après-ski options at many of the best Vail restaurants. So many, that it can be really tough to navigate and decide where to eat when looking for Vail Mountain food.
The Ski Bum Guide to The Best Restaurants in Vail
To be honest, I had a hard time narrowing this list down. I could probably do two or three foodie posts featuring Vail Village restaurants. They could even be at all diversified price points.
The prevailing perception of Vail is that is overwhelmingly frequented by wealthy skiers living the high life. To a degree this is true. However, if you look a bit closer, at its heart, the town of Vail is overwhelmingly filled with ski bums. Vail Valley is inhabited by many working-class people just looking to make enough money to cover their epic pass and rent.
With this in mind, I felt compelled to stick to my roots and provide you with a look into Vail Resort's restaurants from a ski bum's perspective.
Breakfast Burritos at Loaded Joe's Are a Must
Photo Credit: Loaded Joe's Instagram @loadedjoesavon
If there are no friends on a powder day, then there should be no time for breakfast. However, you should make it a quick stop to fuel up before you head out. You'll need your energy when the mad dash begins for Vail's legendary back bowls. That said, hit up Loaded Joe's conveniently located in the base village en-route to Gondola 1. You can't go wrong.
The coffee there is delicious and is the perfect way to shake the cobwebs from the previous night while you wait for them to whip up your breakfast burrito. I always go with the pork burrito because their bacon is the bomb.
Loaded with copious amounts of bacon, ham, onion, cheddar, potato and chipotle ketchup it is the most nourishing option to have you out in the back bowls before they get skied off.
Be Sure to Stop for Lunch at The 10th
Located mid-Vail, The 10th is arguably the most convenient place on the mountain to grab a bite to eat. It also happens to be one of the best Vail Resort restaurants there are. Just be careful, that bite could lead right into après-ski in Vail if you are not careful.
With a locker room to store your boots and slippers to slide into, you'll feel right at home eating some of the best comfort food you can find. Trust me, a lunch like this at the 10th could easily keep you there for a couple of hours, especially when you start biting into the truffle fries.
The Food Network has a show called The Best Thing I Ever Ate. If I were on it, there is no doubt that my pick would be the Truffle Fries at The 10th. A heaping mound of fries that I swear has to be double fried in duck fat and then perfectly coated in black truffle aioli, herbed parmesan and white truffle essence. Not too sure what the hell truffle essence is, but these fries are outrageous. Be sure to wash it down with a local craft beer and you may not need anything else.
However, if your body did require a bit more nourishment, The 10th Burger blend of wagyu beef and pork belly bacon is the perfect compliment.
Told you that you wouldn't want to leave!
Après Ski in Vail at The Red Lion
There are no shortage of options for après-ski in Vail. Garfinkel's, Los Amigos and the Bridge Street Bar are all epic. However, the foodie in me will almost always gravitate to my favorite Vail village restaurant, The Red Lion. Their abnormally large portion of nachos alone is worth checking out. It is après-ski after all and nachos are the ultimate ski day-ending shareable dish.
The Red Lion's famous nachos is a mountain of corn tortilla chips that are piled high and topped with your choice of meat, like my go-to pork carnitas. It is then smothered in cheese and topped with green onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and black olives and served with a side of salsa and sour cream. With a plate of nachos like this, you better roll with a big group ready to get knuckles deep in this behemoth of a platter.
Time for a Pizza Dinner at Vendetta's
Photo Credit: Vendetta's Instagram @vendettasvail
Not too far of a walk from the slopes and the Red Lion is the legendary Vail village restaurant, Vendetta's. In fact, I could have easily gone with this as my après-ski in Vail option. With some of the tastiest and most creative pizza options around, there are no shortage of ski bums dining here.
You won't be disappointed with a regular pie but I encourage you to try one of their inventive pizza creations. The Snow Pig is the stuff of legends. Topped with an array of Canadian bacon, pepperoni and sausage, you're carnivorous appetite will be satiated as your taste buds swim in a sea of pork.
I you are looking for a less meaty option, then definitely order The Boneyard. A riff off of Willie's White Pizza, it is loaded with spinach, mushrooms, tomato, garlic & feta and is mouth-wateringly delicious.
The Snow Pig
Photo Credit: Vendetta's Instagram @vendettasvail
You Can't Go Wrong With any Vail Mountain Food
From breakfast, to lunch, to après-ski in Vail, to dinner you simply cannot go wrong when it comes to dining out in Vail village. With such a wide array of food options at a variety of price points, there are enough Vail village restaurants to satisfy your every foodie whim.
I encourage you to give any and all of the aforementioned establishments a try while wearing our "This is My Dress Hat" suede brim ski baseball hat. It's the perfect choice for the foodie who is looking to class it up while staying true to their ski bum roots.
Don't hesitate to let us know your favorite dining and apres ski options in Vail in the comments below, and if you enjoy reading our Après Ski Blog, Sign up today. This way you won't miss another post.