Food & Nightlife

Purgatory Restaurants The options for evening dining at Purgatory Resort are very limited. This doesn’t concern the many families staying in condos with kitchens, but those who don't want to self cater will either need to have repeated dining experiences or head down the road to get some variety.

The Creekside Italian Kitchen is located at the main base area in Purgatory Village. You’ll need to have an early dinner as it’s only open until 8pm. The fare on offer includes pastas and traditional pizzas. Unless you’re super hungry you’ll want to have a few people to share the pizza with, as they come in one size – a humungous 16 inches. The sports bar out the front has plenty of atmosphere, and on weekends there is live music or karaoke so you can sing your heart out to a Whitney Houston song.

The new Purgy’s in the Purgatory Lodge has a full service restaurant for dinner time (open until 9pm). The dining is reasonable casual with fare such as steaks, seafood, pasta and pizza.

For something a bit different, Buck’s Livery offer a two-hour horse drawn sleigh ride that is followed by a dinner cooked on an open fire.

For breakfast and lunch options on-mountain, see the Purgatory facilities page for more information.

Restaurants near Purgatory Ski Resort The absolute pick of the bunch for restaurants is The Sow's Ear at the Silverpick Lodge, about one mile south of the Purgatory ski resort. This fine dining restaurant is definitely worthy of repeat visits and it’s highly likely that your palate will do backflips because both the food and wine is fabulous. The Sow’s Ear is most famous for its steaks and the Filet au Posure - cracked black pepper steak seared with a brandy cream sauce – their absolute speciality. The petit filet provides a taste of the famous steaks, and the elk steak is exquisite. One of the Powderhounds has put it up there as one of the top 10 meals ever! Other fare includes seafood and a range of other delights such as duck confit spring rolls. In the adjoining bar they have burgers and other appetizers. The décor of the restaurant and bar are delightful, but they pale into insignificance compared with the gorgeous views of the Needles Mountain Range.

You can go back to school another mile south at the Olde Schoolhouse Café. This bar is a great place for pizzas, but if it’s crowded there may be a long wait for food.

The Aspen Café is across the road, serving fine food at inexpensive prices. Fare includes seafood, steaks, burgers and lots of meals with a chile twist. If you go for an early dinner you’ll probably score some great happy hour specials.

Durango Restaurants The town of Durango has a large assortment of restaurants ranging from chain-store take-away establishments to cheap and cheerful restaurants that appeal to the college students, up to fine dining restaurants and chic wine bars. Reservations are generally not needed, and you can wander along Main Avenue or other downtown streets until you find a restaurant that takes your fancy.

Seasons Rotisserie and Grill (764 Main Ave) is one example of a nice restaurant, as is the Ore House restaurant, a popular steak house. Durango has numerous Southwestern restaurants, aka Mexican restaurants. One example, Francisco's Restaurante Y Cantina (619 Main Ave) is an institution of Durango. The Mexican food is pretty basic but the serves are huge and the bill will be very easy on the pocket. 

Bars & Nightlife Purgatory Ski Resort Purgatory has a few drinking holes but the après and nightlife are fairly mellow. Après can start at the Pitchfork Pub which is upstairs from the Powderhouse near the top of lifts 1 and 2. The atmosphere is somewhat grungy and fun.

Options for après in the village are the outdoor cabana bar at Purgatory Lodge, inside at Purgy’s restaurant, Hoody’s (either indoors or outdoors) or the small sports bars at Creekside.

Bars & Nightlife Near the Resort The bar at the Sow’s Ear is a delightful spot for a quiet drink, with awesome views, great wines, and sophisticated décor. Even the hanging mobile made of skis, stocks and stock baskets is sort of refined.

For a more boisterous atmosphere, the Olde Schoolhouse Café is “the” place to go for a drink, good music, a free game of pool or shuffle board, and a pizza.

Bars & Nightlife Durango The vibrancy of nightlife in Durango varies but it’s often rocking because of the college crowd. In addition to various saloons and bars, the town has about three brew pubs where you can taste microbrews to your heart’s or liver’s content.

El Rancho Tavern is a Durango tradition with a long history. In a somewhat different style, the Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel in Main Ave has tried to re-enact history with honky tonk entertainers and bar maids that wear late 19th century costumes. The nearby Office Spiritorium is also a step back in time, but it’s a much more refined and trendy up-market wine bar atmosphere.
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