To coincide with Gilded Trails, our guide to Colorado’s fall colors, we’ve compiled a list (broken out by town) of where to eat after taking in the autumn splendor.

Aspen: You can go high or low in this iconic resort town. For low-key, order a tuna burger and the kale salad at CP Burger, or spend a pretty penny at Element 47. Either way, sit outside to take in the sunshine and, of course, the colors.

Basalt: Just follow your nose to Smoke for slow-smoked meats and cheesy grits. The restaurant also serves weekend brunch.

Crested Butte: If you’ve been to CB before but managed to skip over the pizza at the Secret Stash, rectify that mistake by ordering the figalicious pie. Later, wander down the street to Montanya Distillers and order a rum cocktail. Bring a bottle home to make the ultimate sidecar.

Glenwood Springs: If you’re headed to the Hot Springs pool, you’re just across the river from two of our favorite spots: the Pullman and Slope & Hatch. Find elevated seasonal cuisine at the Pullman (the vegetable cianfotta soup is a must) and tacos and gourmet dogs at Slope & Hatch.

Idaho Springs: When I-70 comes to a screeching halt around Idaho Springs, exit and head to Smokin’ Yards. Wait out the gridlock over a brisket sandwich.

Nederland: Stop by Sundance Lodge and Cafe for a stacked burger or smoked wings—you won’t believe the view.

Salida: Stop by Ploughboy for sandwiches and soups, and browse the market for Colorado-specific products to bring home. If you spy a loaf of the elusive cinnamon-swirl bread, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

Steamboat: If you can’t make reservations at Laundry, find your way to the bar. Hope the seasonal ricotta agnolotti is on the menu.

Telluride: Grab a sandwich at Aemono Fine Foods & Catering, Thai food at Siam, or an eclectic mix of small plates (including ramen) at There.

Vail: Mountain Standard, a restaurant from the wizzes behind Sweet Basil, never disappoints. Order the shrimp and grits, the kale salad, and the carrot cake.

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—Photo via Shutterstock

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.