Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Mountain States >
Aug 1, 2009 01:09 PM

Driving from Denver to Ridgway - need restaurant suggestions

I am looking for recommendations of places to eat during our trip to Colorado. We're flying into Denver with our two kids (5 & 2) and will spend a few days there before heading out for a week in Ridgway. We avoid chain restaurants if at all possible. I'm not looking for anything too fancy since we'll have the kids with us but we're looking for some local favs that we shouldn't miss either in Denver or along the way to Ridgway.

Can anyone help? Thanks so much!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Can you be a little more specific beyond kid-friendly? Area of town, preferred types of cuisine, etc.?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      There are three main ways to get to Ridgway from Denver ., and where you stop depends on where along this drive of at least 5 hours you get hungry.

      I-70 to Grand Junction, then US 50 to Delta, continuing straihgt to Ridgway via 550. Minturn (just off I-70 between Vail and Avon/Beaver Creek), has several casual places The Turntable is an all-American cafe w/ comfort food and lots of long-time locals (dating back to Minturn/s days as a railroad town). Minturn Country Club is a fun grill-your-own-steak place but might not be open for lunch. A few miles father west in Edwards, Larkburger is great. Keep going west and you'll get to Glenwood Springs.

      The downtown exit has the most indies. Rib City Grill, under the bridge has pretty good BBQ, and Sacred Grounds does commendable sandwiches. If it's open at lunch, the Italian Underground is/was a good family choice. The West Glenwood exit has most of the city's chains. There's one little cafe in every town between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction . Some good family places in downtown GJ, but that's a bit off-track from the main highways. Half-way between GJ and Ridgway is Delta. A couple of popular Mexican retaurants, a cafe or two. I've stopped in town for coffee a mllion times but don't remember anything in particular.,

      Option #2 would be Glenwood Springs to CO 82 east to Carbondale, then CO131 (or is it 133?) to Delta. Main St in Carbondale is a few blocks off 131 (or 133) and has some pleasant and family-friendly places. There's one on the right on the south end of the little dwntown shopping core that always seems crowded. Never been there and don't remember the name. In Paonia, again a few blocks off the highway the Flying Fork & Bakery is terrific. This route eventually takes you to Detla -- of course.

      Option #3 is US 285. If your kids like hot dogs and the time is right, stop at the frankfurter-shaped Coney Island on the west side of Bailey. Big deck. Big fun. If you get to South Park (yes, the TV show was inspired by this enormous valley), There's a BBQ place in (I think) Jeferson, but I've never eaten there. Fairplay is your best (i,e,, virtually only) choice. I've only been to Mazzaoli's or Mallozzi's or something, which was just fine and super-casual. Continue through South Park to US 24, turn onto US 24 to Poncha Springs. You can detour off the route to downtown Salida a few miles before Poncha Springs or continue to US 50 toward Gunnison. Dowtown Gunnison is right along the route, and I believe there was a recent thread about it.

      Have a great trip and report back.

      1. re: ClaireWalter

        Wow, Claire, what a great road trip list!

    2. One of my favorite non chain hamburger joints is beside the city Park in Buena Vista Co.
      if you take option #3. Turn right after the State reformatory and go 2 miles to the city park.
      The place is on the right and lots of Big Trees and benches. Good food, moderate prices.