Food & Nightlife

Food & Nightlife

Both Mt Crested Butte (the ski resort village) and the town of Crested Butte have bars and restaurants to suit a range of budgets. Compared to many other Colorado ski resorts and towns, the food and drink at Crested Butte is remarkably inexpensive for what you get, so go for it!

Mount Crested Butte Restaurants

The Mt Crested Butte village has a small range of dining options, and many of them double as bars.

Django’s is THE place to go for dinner. This small ultra chic restaurant has an intimate setting with chocolate carpet and white leather seating. It’s easy to see why it’s an award winner as a date restaurant! Django’s serves up tapas that vary from small light dishes to hearty elk dishes. All the food is gorgeous and their speciality is a brussel sprout dish with fuji apple cider reduction and crème fraiche. I HATE brussel sprouts normally (when I was a child I used to throw them on the floor while everyone had their eyes closed during grace!), but the chef can make even brussel sprouts taste sensational. The extensive wine list is also serviced tapas style with most of the wines being offered as a quartino (ie quarter of a litre). The restaurant is only open Wednesday to Sunday, and considering its popularity it’s wise to make a reservation.

Another special experience is dining up at Uley’s Cabin on the mountain, a restaurant that is elegant and chic whilst also being Colorado rustic. You can ski in for lunch at Uley’s Cabin, or dinner incorporates a sleigh ride up to the cabin followed by a 5 course gourmet extravaganza.

The 9,380 Prime Restaurant & Bar at the Elevation Hotel and Spa is another good option for lunch or dinner. This restaurant used to be very fancy, but now it’s a delightful mix of upmarket and casual. You can start outside on the deck by the fire for après ski and sip on a cocktail or down a beer. Then move to the indoor bar with flat screen TVs in case you need to know the game scores. The restaurant menu includes a large range of mountain dishes, many with an Asian twist, and the big juicy steaks are a highlight of the cuisine.

The Avalanche Bar and Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, après ski and dinner. The menu is extensive and this is the place to go for a cheap feed. This is the antithesis of the romantic Django’s; this sports bar can get pretty festive! Butte 66 is also popular for après drinks and an inexpensive meal, whilst the Woodstone Grille at the Grand Lodge has a casual setting, but the food is a little more contemporary.

For a quick and simple breakfast you can’t go past Camp for Coffee. They sell pastries, breakfast burritos and fabulous coffee.

Crested Butte Restaurants – in Town

The town of Crested Butte has a much larger range of restaurants to choose from. Actually for such a small town it’s surprising how many restaurants there are! Here’s just a small sample of the great Crested Butte restaurants.

Lobar is a trendy sushi and tapas bar (cnr Elk and 3rd street downstairs). It’s very urban and you could be mistaken for thinking you’re in New York rather than an old mining town. You can sit at funky tables or recline on couches at the group table that has a super sized lazy Susan. The menu includes appetizers, sushi, sashimi, and cooked Asian-influence tapas. The drinks list incorporates lots of wine and plenty of cool cocktails. Later in the evening this restaurant/bar morphs into a nightclub and has live music on some nights.

Also very funky is Lobar’s sister establishment, the Secret Stash Pizza Restaurant at the top of Elk Street (21 Elk Street). The décor is a combination of retro and Asian, and there’s lots of seating on the floor. CB has a cheap pizza joint in town, but the Secret Stash is where you go for gourmet quality pizzas. Favourites include the Figalicious (F.I.G.) and another interesting concoction, the Booty Call. The only downside to the Secret Stash is that it’s not a secret anymore. Everybody knows about their pizzas and there’s generally a long wait for meals.

The Eastside Bistro is an upscale restaurant that is open nightly for dinner and located at the bottom end of town (435 6th Street). The West End Public House (201 Elk Avenue) has the same owners and great food, but it’s much more casual. It’s described as a “gastropub”!

For breakfast, brunch or lunch try Izzy’s, a colourful little building (the old barber shop) in a laneway off the main street (218 Maroon Ave). It’s really cozy and super cheap, but the main drawcard is the sublime food. Izzy’s has really interesting creations, particularly the latkes (like a huge hash brown or rosti – calories be damned!!).

Crested Butte Bars On-Mountain

Start your après drinking at the Ice Bar at Uley’s Cabin. It’s not a “real ice bar” but still a fun spot for a hot toddy before skiing or boarding down the mountain.

Things can get pretty festive during après at the Avalanche and Butte 66 on the sundeck, and sometimes if there’s a good game on, the merriment may kick on further into the evening. However the Mt Crested Butte nightlife is generally rather sedate. Mount Crested Butte is reasonably family oriented so many people tend to go to bed early.

A bar worth visiting is the little Brown Labrador bar at the bakery. This is a bit of a locals’ hangout where everyone sits around the bar and chats about their conquests of the day.

Crested Butte Nightlife: In Town

Crested Butte is more of a ski town than a party town, but depending on the night, the nightlife can get rather kicking.

For a refined cocktail, head to the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin (309 3rd Street). This is a very cool little cocktail lounge where they make an array of artisan cocktails. They are fabulous and delightfully potent (you can just blame the altitude if you get a bit tiddly!), so you’d better have a little snack to line the tummy.

Another spot for a sophisticated drink is the Montanya Distillery (130 Elk Avenue). This is a must do when you visit Crested Butte, even if you think you’re not a rum fan. They offer rum tastings and a fantastic range of cocktails; favourites such as mojitos and more inventive cocktails such as Doctor Bob’s Snake Oil which has a chilli infusion. Yum! Nibble on some appetizers and enjoy the beautiful old building (the old power station) with its exquisite exposed beams. You may know the Montanya Distillery from the sleepy town of Silverton. They still offer tastings in Silverton, but they’ve moved their main operation to Crested Butte.

The Eldo (The El Dorado – a sunny place for shady people) is a casual brewery pub where the dance floor sometimes goes off! Standing out on the balcony is also pretty cool if you can brave the cold during winter.

The Talk of the Town is a locals’ bar. The décor highlights are the video games, pool tables, and shuffle board games. The drinks are cheap and sometimes the dance floor gets fired up.

Kochevar’s Saloon is the oldest bar in town so it’s got plenty of character. When we visited it was pumping!