Estes Park: Favorite Places to Eat

There are just a couple “chain” restaurants in Estes Park, so no one ever knows where to eat. What’s good? What’s worth the wait? Here are some of our favorites and I asked some friends who also go frequently their favorites.

Just remember if you go in the summer, it is very busy. If you go to eat at restaurant at 5:30/6, you will have to wait. Often, what we do is eat at “off times”. For example, we will go hike in the morning in the park, eat a light picnic lunch but usually if we’ve been hiking, everyone is still hungry. We will go eat a big meal at Penelopes on our way back.

There is a Safeway in Estes that has a great deli for sandwiches if you want to grab a sandwich for the park.

Quick Bites 

Inkwell and Brew – Cute coffee shop that also has a bathroom, there are very few stores that have bathrooms in town, this is one of them.

Penelopes – We love Penelopes, it is one of our favorite spots. Couple of tips – 1. There is pretty much always a line, don’t walk away just because there is a line. 2. There isn’t much seating inside. If there isn’t any seats, you can walk your meal down to the river to eat. I love their burgers, the kids love their chicken strips.

Antonios – This place has amazing pizza. So much goodness. They recently just went from an 18 seat restaurant to 180 seats. I love their pizza. Gage loves their wings. All the kids love their garlic knots. We also love to grab their pizzas and go into the park for a picnic. Some of our favorite evening picnic spots are Endovalley and Hidden Valley. Endovalley, you have to get their early for a picnic spot by the river, even for dinner.

Not as quick bites

Eds – Ed’s is Mexican food in Colorado. So not so Mexican, not Tex Mex, I’ll call it Midwest Mexican food. They have half price appetizers from 3-5 during the week and their nachos are a full on meal. They also have great margaritas but remember with the altitude, alcohol is slightly more strong. Their bar has a fun atmosphere if you can get a seat.

Nepals Indian – Some of the best Indian food you will ever eat. Downside is that their restaurant only has about 6 tables, so not much seating. It’s another great takeout option if you don’t want to wait.

Save a couple of hours


Dunraven Inn – The Dunraven is probably my favorite restaurant in Estes. The staff is attentive, they don’t rush your meal, and the food is always delicious. It’s a little pricier meal but well worth it. This is not a come off the hiking trail restaurant and they do take reservations.

The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern – Another fun place to take a family, there’s often live music and the food is yummy.

Twin Owls Steakhouse – I have actually never been here, it is on my list for this summer, but we have several friends who love it.

Other Fun Places

Donut Haus – Best donuts in America. Tip: call the night before and place your order, they sell out quick in the mornings. Their maple nut rolls are my favorite donuts!!

You Need Pie! – Excellent pies, especially fun if you’re celebrating something or someone while you are visiting.

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