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Mountain towns aren’t typically known for their culinary ambitions. Ridgway (population: about 950), which is located in the San Juans, is bucking that trend: In the past year alone, this little town welcomed a food truck, a late-night cocktail bar, and a fine-dining Asian fusion restaurant. Other local eateries serve global staples such as Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and Costa Rican. Across the town’s eight square blocks—only some of them paved—you’ll find locally brewed beer, on-site coffee roasters, upscale brunch options, farm-to-table fare, and even creative tacos. Move over, Telluride and Ouray: Ridgway is Colorado’s newest foodie destination.
Located in a former barbershop across the street from Kate’s Place (Ridgway’s classic breakfast option), Provisions offers a modern breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner as well as meats and cheeses by the pound and specialty coffee and pastries at the counter. Order the Flying Dutchman, a pastrami hash with duck fat home fries, baked and fresh apples, and a fried egg on top of it all. 616 Clinton St., 970-626-9861
—Courtesy of Provisions Cafe & Catering
The town’s lone microbrewery houses a seven-barrel brewhouse and a baker’s oven inside a century-old brick building. Order a taster of the English-style ales (there are usually five or six beers available). Pick your favorite and ask for it to go in a Cowboy Can—or “crowler”—which is filled and sealed to order. 602 Clinton St., 970-626-5333
The all-day dinner special at this laid-back outpost costs $10.50 and includes your choice of two tacos with a side of cheese-and pico-smothered tater tots or pork-belly-braised beans. Order the mahi, sesame-panko-crusted and piled with a citrus jicama carrot slaw, ginger miso vinaigrette, and wasabi aïoli, all inside a flour tortilla. 630 Sherman St., 970-626-9715
After 30 years of cooking in Telluride, Korea-born Honga Im has relocated to Ridgway. From her new restaurant inside Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, Im prepares organic brown rice bowls and carefully sourced sushi. Vegetarian and gluten-free diners will love the root bowl with kale, Brussels sprouts, beets, and sunflower seeds or the wellness roll with avocado, cucumber, spinach, and sesame oil. 304 S. Lena St., 970-626-6853
Spencer Graves has cooked at Laurel in San Diego, Florblanca in Costa Rica, and Per Se in New York City. Now he and his wife, Katie, sell snacks, sandwiches, smoothies, and salads—made with locally raised meat and produce—out of their 1966 Airstream. Grab a seat at a table or on the picnic bench and try the pork belly banh mi. Ask for a side of creamy Parmesan polenta. 566 Sherman St., 970-626-5901
—Courtesy of Eatery 66
No trip to Ridgway would be complete without a stop at this 30-year institution, which offers the coziest dinner setting in town. Owners Terre and Joyce Bucknam serve their own take on Mexican and New Mexican cuisine inside a multiroom adobe house, with specialties including green- and red-chile-smothered enchiladas and rellenos, homemade tortilla chips, and a corn casserole called tamal en elote. 251 Liddell Drive, 970-626-5939