Estes Park in September
I have searched this board and haven't had much luck finding good chow options in Estes Park. We were planning to stay in Estes three nights but maybe Fort Collins would be a better choice. Would love to see some recs for Estes Park (no chain restaurants) - looking for chow-worthy breakfast and dinner options. Can you find a good wine list in town or does beer rule?
Depends on what you are looking for there is a place called the BladPate and it is a soup and salad place that is very good and the soups are hearty enough even to send a big meat eater like myself home happilyand the views from the dining room are fantastic. Other places that are decent are the Dunraven and Sweet Basilico niether of those 2 are fantastic but both are good and cant go very wrong with them. However as Clairewalter said for truly good food head down to Boulder.
If you are going for the scenery, the mountains, the golden aspens, the hiking or anything like that, go to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain Natl Park and be willing to settle for decent food. If your priority is good, Boulder would be a better bet than Fort Collins, tho' neither is at RMNP's doorstep.
EP is a beer town, but unless it's changed and improved a lot, avoid eating at the local brewery/brewpub. After skiing or snowshoeing or hiking, we tend to go to Ed's Cantina for a marg or beer and some serviceable Mexican-ish food. The restaurant backs onto the river, and there's a nice little patio and an overhead door that merges outdoor and indoor dining on nice days/evenings.
If you search chowhound.com for "Estes Park," I'm sure you'll get some further ideas. There have been several threads in food there.