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The Best Spots for Eating & Drinking in Steamboat

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Steamboat's restaurant renaissance shows no signs of letting up, with new concepts continuing to emerge and challenge the established players on the dining scene. The old hands aren't so easily upset, however, which means narrowing the field of top restaurants and bars involves tough choices between longstanding favorites and insurgent newcomers. Curbed Ski took those choices head on to update our list of the best places to eat and drink in Steamboat Springs.

Please note that this list is not ranked. As always, with only so many spots to fill, some worthy contenders got left out. Take to the comments to defend their honor and wonder at our poor taste. Have a tip? Let us know.

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1. Mazzola's

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917 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-2405
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Restaurants don't last for decades through the seasonality of a ski town without a strong following, and Mazzola's has maintained that even as it's moved, changed owners, managers, staff and menu items. This basement-level Italian joint has some of the best pizza in town, excellent specials and a friendly bar. Come for dinner with the family then send them back to the hotel while you grab another drink, throwing back meatball sliders once your buzz kicks in.

2. Cafe Diva

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1855 Ski Time Square
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 871-0508
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Cafe Diva is how you woo that special someone. With the most intimate dining experience in Steamboat, this white-tablecloth restaurant set a consistently high bar long before the rest of the town's scene rushed to catch up. The fixed menus on special nights are great ways to take in the experience for a little less coin.

3. Sumatera

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1104 Lincoln Ave #109
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-2929
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Sumatera boasts fare from around the Pacific Rim, which goes beyond their amazing Thai curries to dishes from Indonesian and Singapore. The location, tucked around the side of a building, is a little hard to find the first time, and the close quarters and spices in the air might make your eyes water. But this is a Steamboat favorite not to be missed.

4. Bistro CV

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345 Lincoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-4197
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Bistro CV provides upscale downtown dining with an award-winning wine list and excellent staff. With so many great options on the menu, how can we recommend the burger? There's only one way for you to know for sure.

5. Laundry Restaurant

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127 Eleventh Street
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 870-0681
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This is the craft cocktail bar and restaurant Steamboat needed when Rex Brice decided to start his fifth establishment in town. Jars of infused spirits line the wall behind the bar, running the gamut between practical (ginger) to zany (candy Hot Tamales) and always changing. Dining is a shared plate concept, which is good because you'll want to try everything.

6. Aurum

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811 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-9500
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Aurum is among the newcomers to Steamboat's dining scene that believed there was a food culture just waiting to be tapped in this old ranching town. Sitting on prime Yampa River real estate, the restaurant focuses on local flavor, seasonality and a killer cocktail menu. It even has a deal in place to be able to offer its own Colorado wines. Aurum brings the kind of event dining to Steamboat that we'd never have thought possible a few years ago while managing to incorporate the town's laid back vibe. Did we mention the happy hour is a steal?

7. Sweet Pea Restaurant

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729 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
(970) 879-1221
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The quaint red house with the big deck overlooking the Yampa River is home to Sweet Pea. On a nice summer night under the glow of lights strung overhead, there's no better atmosphere for enjoying open-air dining. Chef Pete List left Denver and the reputation he built there to take over Sweet Pea's kitchen, and he's let his creativity run wild, including this winter's new foray into multi-course farmhouse dinners on the weekends.

8. The Paramount

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1855 Ski Time Square Dr
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-1170
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The Paramount is a great breakfast option and hangout spot for the weary during ski season. The S**t on a Shingle is a breakfast bite unique to them in town, but for our money, there's nothing better than a big bowl of chilaquiles with a fried egg on top. Throw in some mimosas with fresh juice, and we're thinking that the hill will be there tomorrow if we decide to have a few more drinks.

9. Taco Cabo

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1755 Lincoln Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

We're not sure how Kent Hall comes up with some of these creations (macaroni and cheese with pistachio in a burrito!), but his taco stand north of downtown on U.S. Highway 40 is definitely worth the trip. The chorizo breakfast burrito is a show-stopper, and go heavy with the sauces prepared in house.

10. Carl's Tavern

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700 Yampa Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 761-2060
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This popular hangout is named after the father of Steamboat's skiing scene and namesake of Howelsen Hill across the river, Carl Howelsen. The menu is heavy on comfort food, and standalone sides, like the mac and cheese or crispy Brussels sprouts, can be meals unto themselves. This place can get packed, so call ahead if you can.

11. E3 Chophouse

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701 Yampa Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

E3 is shorthand for an error on the first baseman, but there are no missteps in sight at this steakhouse owned by Chicago White Sox star Adam LaRoche and his brothers, Jeff and Andy. The beef comes straight from their Kansas ranch of the same name, which pioneered the E3 logo sported by country star Luke Bryan and members of the Duck Dynasty crew.

12. Creekside Cafe

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131 11th Street
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-4925
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This breakfast spot is a must try whenever you stop in Steamboat, but it shines in warm weather, when the patio along Soda Creek is at its best. The menu is anchored by a number of excellent takes on eggs benny. Their breakfast burrito is a favorite, as well.

13. Sunpie's Bistro

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735 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 870-3360
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This beloved watering hole is family-friendly and a great spot for Cajun eats during the day before turning into a raucous party at night. Beware the hurricanes, which have been known to put unseasoned drinkers or visitors from sea level right on their backs. There's always NOLA-favorite brew Abita there to pace yourself.

14. Storm Peak Brewing Company

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1744 Lincoln Ave Unit 3
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-1999
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Storm Peak just missed being the first craft brewery to open in Steamboat, but they've been working overtime since, brewing an impressive number of beers and now canning and representing Steamboat across the state. Their tap room on U.S. Highway 40 across from Taco Cabo has board games, TVs and can fill your growler.

15. Back Door Grill

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825 Oak St
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 871-7888
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Back Door Grill really did start life serving delicious burgers out of a window around the back of a Seventh Street venue, but since the burger joint moved to bigger digs on Oak Street, the name is more of a figure of speech. Whether you opt for a classic burger done to perfection or take a chance on something with pineapple or a fried egg, we've yet to hear of someone walking away unsatisfied.

16. RED BOWL World Curry Haus

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1117 Lincoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 879-7169
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Red Bowl opened with little fuss on the edge of downtown but quickly made a name for itself and the range of curries it offers. Leave it to Steamboat's new dining scene to have vindaloo being served by an Australian in Northwest Colorado. Red Bowl is also one of the best bests in Steamboat for those with celiac and the menu is marked for which options are gluten, dairy or nut free.

17. Low Country Kitchen

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435 Lincoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 761-2693
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This homage to lowcountry cuisine has received about as close to a warm Southern welcome as Steamboat can give. It helps that the owners, Katy and Brian Vaughn, had plenty of Steamboat experience from their first restaurant in town, bistro c.v. The reception has been so great that Low Country has already undergone an expansion.

1. Mazzola's

917 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Restaurants don't last for decades through the seasonality of a ski town without a strong following, and Mazzola's has maintained that even as it's moved, changed owners, managers, staff and menu items. This basement-level Italian joint has some of the best pizza in town, excellent specials and a friendly bar. Come for dinner with the family then send them back to the hotel while you grab another drink, throwing back meatball sliders once your buzz kicks in.

917 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

2. Cafe Diva

1855 Ski Time Square, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Cafe Diva is how you woo that special someone. With the most intimate dining experience in Steamboat, this white-tablecloth restaurant set a consistently high bar long before the rest of the town's scene rushed to catch up. The fixed menus on special nights are great ways to take in the experience for a little less coin.

1855 Ski Time Square
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

3. Sumatera

1104 Lincoln Ave #109, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Sumatera boasts fare from around the Pacific Rim, which goes beyond their amazing Thai curries to dishes from Indonesian and Singapore. The location, tucked around the side of a building, is a little hard to find the first time, and the close quarters and spices in the air might make your eyes water. But this is a Steamboat favorite not to be missed.

1104 Lincoln Ave #109
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

4. Bistro CV

345 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Bistro CV provides upscale downtown dining with an award-winning wine list and excellent staff. With so many great options on the menu, how can we recommend the burger? There's only one way for you to know for sure.

345 Lincoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

5. Laundry Restaurant

127 Eleventh Street, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

This is the craft cocktail bar and restaurant Steamboat needed when Rex Brice decided to start his fifth establishment in town. Jars of infused spirits line the wall behind the bar, running the gamut between practical (ginger) to zany (candy Hot Tamales) and always changing. Dining is a shared plate concept, which is good because you'll want to try everything.

127 Eleventh Street
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

6. Aurum

811 Yampa St., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Aurum is among the newcomers to Steamboat's dining scene that believed there was a food culture just waiting to be tapped in this old ranching town. Sitting on prime Yampa River real estate, the restaurant focuses on local flavor, seasonality and a killer cocktail menu. It even has a deal in place to be able to offer its own Colorado wines. Aurum brings the kind of event dining to Steamboat that we'd never have thought possible a few years ago while managing to incorporate the town's laid back vibe. Did we mention the happy hour is a steal?

811 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

7. Sweet Pea Restaurant

729 Yampa St., Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

The quaint red house with the big deck overlooking the Yampa River is home to Sweet Pea. On a nice summer night under the glow of lights strung overhead, there's no better atmosphere for enjoying open-air dining. Chef Pete List left Denver and the reputation he built there to take over Sweet Pea's kitchen, and he's let his creativity run wild, including this winter's new foray into multi-course farmhouse dinners on the weekends.

729 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

8. The Paramount

1855 Ski Time Square Dr, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

The Paramount is a great breakfast option and hangout spot for the weary during ski season. The S**t on a Shingle is a breakfast bite unique to them in town, but for our money, there's nothing better than a big bowl of chilaquiles with a fried egg on top. Throw in some mimosas with fresh juice, and we're thinking that the hill will be there tomorrow if we decide to have a few more drinks.

1855 Ski Time Square Dr
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

9. Taco Cabo

1755 Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

We're not sure how Kent Hall comes up with some of these creations (macaroni and cheese with pistachio in a burrito!), but his taco stand north of downtown on U.S. Highway 40 is definitely worth the trip. The chorizo breakfast burrito is a show-stopper, and go heavy with the sauces prepared in house.

1755 Lincoln Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

10. Carl's Tavern

700 Yampa Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

This popular hangout is named after the father of Steamboat's skiing scene and namesake of Howelsen Hill across the river, Carl Howelsen. The menu is heavy on comfort food, and standalone sides, like the mac and cheese or crispy Brussels sprouts, can be meals unto themselves. This place can get packed, so call ahead if you can.

700 Yampa Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

11. E3 Chophouse

701 Yampa Avenue, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

E3 is shorthand for an error on the first baseman, but there are no missteps in sight at this steakhouse owned by Chicago White Sox star Adam LaRoche and his brothers, Jeff and Andy. The beef comes straight from their Kansas ranch of the same name, which pioneered the E3 logo sported by country star Luke Bryan and members of the Duck Dynasty crew.

701 Yampa Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

12. Creekside Cafe

131 11th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

This breakfast spot is a must try whenever you stop in Steamboat, but it shines in warm weather, when the patio along Soda Creek is at its best. The menu is anchored by a number of excellent takes on eggs benny. Their breakfast burrito is a favorite, as well.

131 11th Street
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

13. Sunpie's Bistro

735 Yampa St., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

This beloved watering hole is family-friendly and a great spot for Cajun eats during the day before turning into a raucous party at night. Beware the hurricanes, which have been known to put unseasoned drinkers or visitors from sea level right on their backs. There's always NOLA-favorite brew Abita there to pace yourself.

735 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

14. Storm Peak Brewing Company

1744 Lincoln Ave Unit 3, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Storm Peak just missed being the first craft brewery to open in Steamboat, but they've been working overtime since, brewing an impressive number of beers and now canning and representing Steamboat across the state. Their tap room on U.S. Highway 40 across from Taco Cabo has board games, TVs and can fill your growler.

1744 Lincoln Ave Unit 3
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

15. Back Door Grill

825 Oak St, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Back Door Grill really did start life serving delicious burgers out of a window around the back of a Seventh Street venue, but since the burger joint moved to bigger digs on Oak Street, the name is more of a figure of speech. Whether you opt for a classic burger done to perfection or take a chance on something with pineapple or a fried egg, we've yet to hear of someone walking away unsatisfied.

825 Oak St
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

16. RED BOWL World Curry Haus

1117 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Red Bowl opened with little fuss on the edge of downtown but quickly made a name for itself and the range of curries it offers. Leave it to Steamboat's new dining scene to have vindaloo being served by an Australian in Northwest Colorado. Red Bowl is also one of the best bests in Steamboat for those with celiac and the menu is marked for which options are gluten, dairy or nut free.

1117 Lincoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

17. Low Country Kitchen

435 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

This homage to lowcountry cuisine has received about as close to a warm Southern welcome as Steamboat can give. It helps that the owners, Katy and Brian Vaughn, had plenty of Steamboat experience from their first restaurant in town, bistro c.v. The reception has been so great that Low Country has already undergone an expansion.

435 Lincoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487