Roadtrip: Vail>Durango>Taos>Sante Fe. Help!
My sister and I will be leaving from her home in Vail and taking our time driving to New Mexico. Our stops include, but are DEFINITELY not limited to Telluride, Durango, Taos, Sante Fe, then looping back up and heading to Denver (route undecided). We are just packing our gear and leaving...so i am open to dining suggestions anywhere. Nothing too fancy, although we might splurge one night. We like all kinds of food..really. I am always in search of the perfect HOT! salsa and cheap amazing tamales. I would love to find some little gems that are in the middle of nowhere in non touristy towns, or just off the beaten path. This trip is mostly about eating and being together...so bring on the suggestions. THANK YOU!
Hope you haven't embarked on your trip yet. I live in Durango and would heartily second the Kennebec Cafe idea. Tequila's on Main Avenue is great for authentic Mexican/seafood dishes. Cosmopolitan, also on Main Avenue, for fine dining. Also for Fine Dining, Hamilton Chop House, at Tamarron Resort, is a must for any carnivore. For a weekday lunch, The Red Snapper is the only place in Durango for oysters on the half-shell, as well as daily specials. For French cuisine, Chez Grand Mere if the ultimate Durango destination.
For a town of its size, Durango has lots of great restaurants.
I just listed a bunch for Telluride:
In Durango area:
A favorite of ours, just outside of town on Hiway 160 [on the road to/from Mesa Verde; about a 10 minute drive] is the Kennebec Cafe. Great food and lovely restaurant and reasonable prices.
Serious Texas BBQ has 2 locations [one on each end of town]; food is decent bbq and reasonable prices.
For the areas best Italian - Guido's Italian Market on Main at 12th. Excellent food at reasonable prices.
Steamworks on E. Second at 8th for typical brew pub food and good microbrewed beer.
For the best New Mexican food:
Gazpacho on E 2nd near 4th. Very good prices too.
Coffee places for breakfast:
Durango Coffee Company on Main Ave.
Steaming Bean on Main.
Jean Pierre Bakery and Cafe - very hit or miss. OK for coffee and pastry but I wouldn't do a lunch or dinner.
Just off heading out of town, a few minutes past Doubletree is Chrisitna's [21382 US Hwy 160 West] reliable food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Carvers on Main, okay for lunch [maybe breakfast too]
For lunch or dinner in Ouray - Buen Tiemp on Main has really good mexican and lovely outdoor cafe tables as well as inside tables. Good food and reasonable prices. Bon Ton has nice Italian food.
Tundra at the Beaumont has excellent food, but the prices reflect it.
Michaels, Apple Tree, Bent Street Deli, DragonFly are all good with kids
On the mountain:
Tim's Stray Dog Cantina
Old Blinking Light, sheva Cafe
Not sure if this is ok, but check out the message boards on fodors. Lots of posts on the US board for places to eat in these cities. Do a search and type in my name [same as here] to find lots.
There have been numerous threads about restaurants in Telluride, Durango, Taos and Santa Fe -- and also Farmington/Cuba along the logical route from Durango to Taos/Santa Fe. Gems in the middle of nowhere are hard to find around here. There's an old roadhouse (name escapes) on US 550 south of Montrose (en route to Telluride) that is being/has been cleaned up and upgraded with fancified comfort food. Consultant to it is Chad Scothorn, owner/chef of Cosmo (originally in Telluride, now w/ a second location in Durango). If you go over Lizard Head Pass, Kennebec on US 160 west of Durango is also very fine. If you find yourself in Mancos, Absolute Bakery & Cafe is a fine find.