Founded as a gold mining town in the late 1800s, Telluride remains a gem hidden in Colorado’s remote southwestern mountains. While the town’s striking surroundings offer a sense of the wild and uncharted, Telluride’s culinary scene figures prominently on the map. Styles like Asian fusion, new American and local specialties such as elk and trout characterise some of the most vibrant restaurants in Telluride. Here are our favourite 10.
Styled quaintly as a European Hütte and perched at the lofty altitude of 11,966 feet (3647 metres), Alpino Vino keeps true to its namesake Alpine ambiance. A five-course Italian-themed dinner menu with optional wine pairing carries the inspiration of Italy’s Dolomite mountains to this old mining retreat in the Rockies. Open to skiers seeking a wine-filled respite from the slopes during the day, nighttime diners are transported up the mountainside in the restaurant’s own enclosed snow coach. Whether for a midday glass of red wine or an intimate dinner of fine cheeses, cured meats and classic Italian dishes, Alpino Vino epitomises Telluride’s mountain dining. This mountain-side classic is unfortunately closed during the summer.
Alpino Vino, 565 Mountain Village Blvd, Telluride, CO, USA, +1 970-728-7474
Cosmpolitan sits a few steps away from the base of the gondola lift in Hotel Columbia, ensuring that skiers and mountaineers do not have to venture far to discover Telluride’s most expansive culinary atlas. As the restaurant’s name suggests, Cosmopolitan’s range of dishes can be called nothing less than fusion cuisine with a taste for authenticity, comprising a diverse selection of sushi, seasonal salads and local farm-raised livestock. Alongside the lengthy list of wines, the Cosmo Bar serves a selection of mouthwatering cocktails.
Cosmopolitan, 300 W San Juan Ave, Telluride, CO, USA, +1 970-728-1292
A bastion of pan-Asian cuisine in a landscape of predominantly Western dining establishments, Honga’s Lotus Petal brings Telluride’s dining scene back down to earth in terms of price and aesthetics. With dishes spanning Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian and Polynesian, the Lotus Petal offers an abundance of choices – even more so since dishes are meant to be shared. Honga’s utilises free-range, organic and locally sourced ingredients when possible, fusing exotic tastes and ethical choices. Besides Honga’s main menu of dishes to share, an extensive list of sushi and a wide breadth of cocktails, sakes, wines, beers and soft drinks promises inexhaustible possibilities.
Honga’s Lotus Petal, 135 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO, USA, +1 970-728-5134