Gunnison, Colorado, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offers an abundance of natural …
Arriving at Crested Butte, a charming mountain town in Colorado, is an experience in itself. As you land at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, you’re welcomed by breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and pristine wilderness. But the excitement doesn’t end there. Crested Butte is also a haven for food enthusiasts, offering a diverse culinary scene that rivals its natural beauty. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through Crested Butte’s culinary delights, perfect for those who want to embark on a gastronomic adventure from the moment they touch down.
Local Flavors at the Airport
Your culinary exploration can begin right at the airport. Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport offers a range of dining options that showcase the region’s local flavors. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a full meal, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
1. The Fly-In Café: Start your culinary journey with a visit to The Fly-In Café, located within the airport terminal. This cozy café is known for its friendly staff and delicious comfort food. Indulge in their hearty breakfast options, including the famous Colorado green chili smothered breakfast burritos that will fuel you for a day of exploring.
2. Gunnison Grub: If you’re in the mood for a grab-and-go option, Gunnison Grub is the place to be. They offer an array of freshly made sandwiches and wraps, perfect for a quick and tasty meal before heading out to Crested Butte. Don’t miss their signature “Grubwich” - a mouthwatering combination of local ingredients served on freshly baked bread.
Crested Butte’s Dining Gems
Leaving the airport behind, it’s time to delve into Crested Butte’s town center, where an abundance of culinary gems awaits. From upscale restaurants to local eateries, you’ll find a wide range of options that cater to every preference.
1. Soupçon Bistro: Located in the heart of Crested Butte, Soupçon Bistro offers an intimate dining experience with a French twist. Step into this cozy restaurant and be prepared to be delighted by their delectable menu. From escargots to bouillabaisse, every dish is prepared with precision and creativity. Pair your meal with a fine wine from their extensive selection for an unforgettable culinary journey.
2. Secret Stash: Craving pizza? Look no further than Secret Stash, a local favorite tucked away on Elk Avenue. This vibrant pizzeria is known for its artisanal pies and funky decor. With unique topping combinations like the “Stash Master” loaded with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, and mushrooms, Secret Stash will satisfy both traditional and adventurous pizza lovers.
3. The Sunflower: Vegetarians and vegans rejoice! The Sunflower is Crested Butte’s beloved vegetarian restaurant that offers a diverse menu of plant-based delights. From hearty veggie burgers to fresh salads bursting with flavor, The Sunflower proves that vegetarian cuisine can be both delicious and satisfying. Be sure to try their signature grilled portobello mushroom sandwich for a truly memorable experience.
4. Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle: Pasta lovers will find their paradise at Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle. This family-owned Italian restaurant serves up mouthwatering handmade pasta dishes that will transport you to Italy. From rich and creamy fettuccine Alfredo to delicate spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli, each dish is a testament to the chef’s dedication to exceptional flavors and textures.
5. Django’s Restaurant & Wine Bar: For a taste of Southwest-inspired cuisine, head to Django’s Restaurant & Wine Bar. This cozy establishment offers a blend of American and Latin flavors, resulting in a menu that is as exciting as it is delicious. From fire-roasted New Mexican green chile enchiladas to grilled Colorado lamb chops, Django’s will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure.
Indulge in Crested Butte’s Sweet Side
No culinary journey is complete without satisfying your sweet tooth. Crested Butte is home to several dessert spots where you can indulge in delectable treats that will leave you craving for more.
1. Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream: Cool off with a visit to Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream, a local ice cream parlor offering a tempting selection of handmade flavors. With unique options like honey lavender and salted Oreo, Third Bowl is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Treat yourself to a scoop (or two) of their creamy delights and savor the flavors of Crested Butte.
2. Mountain Oven Bakery: This quaint bakery is a haven for pastry lovers. Step inside Mountain Oven Bakery and be greeted by the aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries. From flaky croissants to decadent chocolate tarts, their creations are made with love and attention to detail. Pair your chosen pastry with a cup of locally roasted coffee for the perfect afternoon treat.
Embrace Farm-to-Table Dining
One of the highlights of Crested Butte’s culinary scene is its emphasis on farm-to-table dining. Many restaurants in the area prioritize locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that you can taste the freshness of the region with every bite.
1. The Sunflower: In addition to its vegetarian offerings, The Sunflower proudly supports local farmers by featuring seasonal and organic produce in their dishes. They believe in sustainability and strive to create a menu that showcases the best flavors of Crested Butte’s surrounding farmlands.
2. The Wooden Nickel: This rustic restaurant takes farm-to-table dining to new heights. The Wooden Nickel focuses on using ingredients sourced from nearby farms and ranches, resulting in dishes that are bursting with flavors unique to the region. From Colorado lamb chops to locally foraged mushrooms, their menu is a celebration of the area’s rich agricultural heritage.
Brewery and Winery Experiences
To complement your culinary adventure, Crested Butte also offers a vibrant craft beer and wine scene. Explore local breweries and wineries to discover unique flavors and learn about the craftsmanship behind each sip.
1. Irwin Brewing Company: Irwin Brewing Company is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts. This microbrewery is known for its innovative and bold brews, crafted with passion and precision. Pull up a stool at their tasting room, soak in the laid-back atmosphere, and sample a flight of their handcrafted beers. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, there is a flavor to suit every beer lover’s palate.
2. Montanya Distillers: Elevate your spirits experience at Montanya Distillers, a rum distillery nestled in the heart of Crested Butte. Their award-winning rums are made using traditional methods that honor the craft of distillation. Join a tour to learn about the process behind their exquisite spirits and enjoy tastings that will transport you to the tropics.
The Finale: Sunday Farmer’s Market
To truly immerse yourself in Crested Butte’s culinary scene, plan your visit to coincide with the Sunday Farmer’s Market. Held during the summer months, this vibrant market is a food lover’s paradise, featuring local vendors offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and much more. Engage with the friendly farmers and artisans, sample their offerings, and take home a taste of Crested Butte’s flavors.
A Gastronomic Adventure Awaits in Crested Butte
Crested Butte’s culinary scene is a delightful surprise for any visitor stepping foot in this picturesque mountain town. From the moment you arrive at Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, the food journey begins. With a wide range of dining options, farm-to-table experiences, and local flavors waiting to be discovered, Crested Butte offers a haven for food enthusiasts. Embrace the opportunity to savor the region’s finest ingredients, indulge in delectable desserts, and raise a glass to the craft breweries and wineries. Whether you’re a dedicated foodie or simply appreciate good food, Crested Butte’s culinary delights are sure to leave you with a satisfied palate and a lasting impression. Plan your visit and embark on a gastronomic adventure that celebrates the flavors of this mountain paradise.