Steamboat Springs’ dining scene is growing up and taking on new flavors, aligning with an expanding ski resort and ever-growing visitor stream. Here’s where to eat this spring in the booming northern Colorado community.

LTB Meatbar

LTB Meatbar opened in November 2021, serving sophisticated charcuterie platters in a cozy, no-fuss boutique butchery and European cafe along the ski town’s main drag. Local legend Laura the Butcher (aka Laura Posiak; they call her LTB) carves out rosemary ham baguettes ($13), Spanish-cured jamon ($11), and warm chorizo with Barhi dates ($17), among other shareable delights, while visitors browse curated shelves of international gifts and gourmand groceries. Spend an afternoon lingering over a carafe of tempranillo ($25) and plucking at the weekly imported meat and cheese board for two ($25). 1009 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, 970-846-6443

Three meat plate and key lime margarita at Mad Creek Barbecue. Photo Courtesy of Mad Creek Barbecue
Three meat plate and key lime margarita at Mad Creek Barbecue. Photo Courtesy of Mad Creek Barbecue

Mad Creek BBQ & Saloon

Mad Creek BBQ & Saloon stays true to the area’s ranching roots, adding its own Texas spin. Slow-smoked and expertly crusted brisket, pork ribs, whole and half chickens, and sausages are cooked in the on-site barbecue pit, sharing trays with homemade pinto beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and uber-cheesy mac. Mad Creek opened in December 2021 and is gaining notoriety for its generous meaty portions, 27 tap beers, and stiff cocktails. Try the not-too-sweet Key Lime margarita ($12), made with fresh Key Lime juice, and be sure to visit the arcade in the back room after you order at the counter. Take advantage of daily lunch (11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.) and happy hour (4–5:30 p.m.) specials such as the brisket chili Frito pie with a draft beer for $10. 729 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, 970-875-3717

The Periodic Table

While it opened in 2019, the Periodic Table inside the Catamount Ranch golf house reinvents itself every winter and summer with thematic destination menus. The current concept channels Argentinian steakhouse vibes, tapping into the country’s diverse ecosystems and pastoral roots. Begin with ceviche Argentino ($18) comprised of scallops, shrimp, cucumber, leche de tigre, hearts of palm, and avocado. Move into a mixed grill for two ($120) where you can really explore the country’s finest smoked, grilled, and fired fare via dry-aged wagyu, spring lamb chops, seasonal sausage, quail, and shrimp. Finish with the chocolate-drizzled churros ($14) and salted caramel ice cream. Stay tuned for the summer 2022 culinary theme. 33400 Catamount Dr., Steamboat Springs, 970-457-1224

Primrose

Bakers dozen oysters and gin martini at Primrose. Photo by Lisa Blake
Bakers dozen oysters and gin martini at Primrose. Photo by Lisa Blake

Primrose takes the traditional Colorado steakhouse and adds fresh fish, curated wines, and decor cloaked in American bison and local art. Stroll in from the river path or after a day at neighboring Howelsen Hill and tuck into dim romantic lighting and fancy-yet-approachable food. Sit at the cocktail bar, wine bar, or chef’s counter and watch the magic unfold over fresh-shucked oysters ($23 half dozen) with yuzu-passion mignonette and Lockhart Martinis ($15) made with Woody Creek potato gin and a splash of dry vermouth. Add American caviar ($13) to your house chips and sweet onion mascarpone chive dip ($11). Try the Yampa Valley Willie Ranch lamb ragu ($39) or the decadent duck two ways ($45). Catch social hour daily from 4–6 p.m., where you’ll find steep discounts on the double-double-style Primrose burger ($15), criollo shrimp ($12) with Iberico butter and grilled sourdough, and a $7 caramelized pineapple “upside down” butterscotch sundae. 1110 Yampa St., Steamboat Springs, 970-761-2860

Special mention: Feeling the stay-at-home vibe? New this year, Steamboat Winery offers at-home wine tastings. Experts will bring wine and charcuterie to your home where they’ll guide you through a multi-sensory tasting process—a perfect date-night assist. DIY to-go tastings, which include the wines, charcuterie, and a book with tasting instructions, are also available.