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Jul 3, 2007 11:42 PM

Colorado and AZ

We'll be driving from Chicago to Tucson this summer, spending a chunk of time in Colorado along the way. We'll either cross into CO on I-70 in Colorado Springs or on I-50 into Pueblo. We'll be heading to Gunnison, then south on 550 to Ouray and Durango before heading west into AZ.

In AZ we want to visit Canyon de Chelly then will probably stop in either Holbrook or Winslow before heading back to Tucson.

Any help along these routes would be most appreciated!! We're looking mostly for "road food" ...diners and interesting local places. However, if there are particulary special mid-to-upper range places, please do mention them!


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  1. In Winslow, the Turquoise Room at La Posada ( should not be missed. They are open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, offer up close and personal train viewing and wonderful accomodations. We stay there whenever we can.

    In Gallup, Earl's Restaurant on south side of Rte 66 just east of the center of town is a great local's place.

    In Tucson, we always try to have a dinner at El Corral ( on East River Road. Best Filet Mignon and Roast Beef you can find, and at reasonable prices.

    Check out "Chowhound" on the JerTalk portion of our website for other recommendations.

    Jerry Saywell

    Jerry Saywell

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jerry Saywell

      Did not know Gallup's Earl's Restaurant, but strongly vote for La Posada (good place to stay for the night and it's pet-friendly).

      The Scottsdal Area of PHX is a foodie paradise. Do a search of this board, and you'll want to spend a month near there.

      In Tucson, there are two spots, that I highly recommend: Janos @ La Paloma and The Ventana Room, Lowe's Ventana Canyon Resort. Both are in the North Area of Tucson, right next to the Catalina Mtns. Both are great and each is worth the stop. You should turn up some recent reviews of each - I think that I have at least one for each, that are fairly recent. Both are in the $$$$ range, but are each worth the money.


      1. re: Jerry Saywell

        Earl's in Gallup for breakfast.

        It doesn't get any better if you like Green Chili.

      2. In Gallup, El Sombrero on 1201 W Historic Hwy 66 is a best bet for true old school New Mexico-style green chile. The sopaipillas ain't bad, either.

        Should you pass through Glenwood Springs if traveling on I-70, Juicy Lucy's is great -- fantastic steaks, good salads and an affordable, decent wine list.

        Other than that, in Colorado Springs, steer clear of the ubiquitous chains -- Old Chicago and the like -- if you want a really good meal.

        1. Thanks! We've lived in Tucson and still haven't eaten at El Corral! We live on the other side of town and just haven't gotten there yet.

          By the way everyone, we won't be travelling through Gallup...we'll go from Colorado directly into Arizona.

          Keep the recs coming! I appreciate them all!

          1. Lady Falconburgh's Barley Emporium in Durango is the recommended hang. Excellent brewpub fare, huge selection of beers both bottled and on tap, free WiFi. Heaven on earth if you ask me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: GroovinGourmet

              The food and wifi sound good, but I'm afraid we're not beer drinkers. Any other suggestions?

            2. I'm a little confused as I-70 crosses Colorado in Denver not Colorado Springs, can you clarify? I can give recs in Denver but don't know anything about the Springs.

              5 Replies
              1. re: RobynS

                Sorry...we'd be taking I-70 west then turning south on I-24 I think toward CO Springs.

                1. re: wyf4lyf

                  Okay, unfortunately then I can't help you much since I don't know that area very well but enjoy your trip across Colorado, it's a beautiful one!

                  1. re: wyf4lyf

                    That will be I-25, which goes S., unless you go US 285, which goes out of S. Denver to Gunnison, or US 24 out of the Springs - also to Gunnison. They meet up in Southpark, and you'll probably take US 50 over Monarch Pass to Montrose. Used to be a good restaurant at the Cattleman's Hotel in Gunnison, but it's been over 10 years, since I last dined there. If you have time, take the drive up to Crested Butte. Even though you are not into beer, it's a neat little ski town, with plenty of grub.

                    Unfortunately, it's been too many years since I did either, then US 550 down to NM. I used to have some good spots, but most/many are probably gone by now. Anyway, either is a lovely drive, especially US 550, once outside of Montrose, down through the San Juans. Spend as much time, as you can, in that area. Do not just pass it by, as it is a "wonder of the world." Sorry, no current food recs. Also, a side-trip to Telluride is worth the effort. Check out the route over Lizardhead Pass to Dolores and then down through NM, or backtrack. You could spend a month in the San Juans and not hate one second of it.

                    Enjoy, and drive safely,

                    1. re: wyf4lyf

                      WVF4LYF - That would be I-25, not I-24. IMHO, this is an awkward way to get from Denver to Ouray, esp if you trundle all the way down to Pueblo before heading into the mountains. We live in Boulder. My son lives in Durango. He and we travel diagonally across the state a lot. Cutting across on US 285 has proved to be the best -- unless you hit the Denver-Bailey westbound stretch during the afternoon rush hour. But then, I-25 is no fun during the rush hour either, esp going south our of Denver and through Colorado Springs.

                      1. re: ClaireWalter

                        If you take 285 (which is MUCH prettier than I-25), stop in Salida (a small detour off route) for a meal at Laughing Ladies. Exceptionally good food for such a small town. Or if you want something quicker, grab a bite at Amicas--they've got wood-fired thin crust pizza, calzones, panini and lots of interesting salads. Want a good latte? Stop in at Bongo Billy's Salida cafe and sip your coffee back by the river.