The 10 Best Restaurants in Estes Park with a View (My Favorites)

Pep Dekker

Featured Image of Best Restaurants in Estes Park

If you’re looking for a quick break and go somewhere with all the best natural views for you to discover, there aren’t a lot of places that beat Estes Park. And if a local like me still can’t get enough of the sights, I bet you’d want to keep coming back for more!

Estes Park hides so many secrets up its sleeves, from the mountain views, the wildlife, the charming small-town feel, and more. It’s simply a place that’ll steal your attention every time.

And there’s no better way to enjoy the views in Estes Park than with food! The town offers lots of hidden culinary gems, and exploring the area for its food is one of the best ways to enjoy the experience.

So whether you’re looking for an amazing place to indulge in romantic, fine dining or you’re hungry for a big old pile of ribs, I’ve got you covered. I’ll give you a rundown of the best restaurants, but not just any food spot — I’m talking about the best restaurants with a view!

In this article, we’ll explore: 

  • A list of some of the most well-known restaurants and bars in Estes Park
  • A detailed rundown of each one, including the views on offer at each establishment.

Hopefully, all your scenic dining needs will be answered come the end of this article – I know mine were!

Cafe Restaurant with view

Top Estes Park Restaurants with a View

If you’re hungry both for sights and grub, Estes Park won’t ever disappoint. Many spots around town combine scenery with mouthwatering meals, and here are my top recommendations!

1. The View Restaurant at the Historic Crags Lodge

  • Address: 300 Riverside Dr, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-1087
  • Price range: $$$$
  • Cuisine: American, Italian, British
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Spinach & Artichoke Empanadas, Tenderloin Stew 
  • View: Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Reservations: Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome too
  • Hours of operation: Thursday to Monday: 5 pm – 9 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Special features: Wedding services available

The privacy on offer here is unmatched. I’ve heard of regular Estes Park holiday goers not happening upon this place for 20 years – that’s how tucked away it is! 

The view has all the makings of an amazing romantic evening (I would seriously consider it as a wedding reception option if you’re looking for a rustic, picturesque reception).

And since this is also known as Estes Park’s best-kept secret, it’s a place you won’t want to share with anyone else! That is, if you were lucky enough to hear about it in the first place (you’re welcome).

Although they welcome walk-ins, I highly recommend you book a table on the balcony considerably in advance to take full advantage of the scenery.

Of course, I can’t not talk about the view! The luscious backdrop of the Rocky Mountain National Park is quite simply astounding. You’ll have a front-row seat to the breathtaking ambiance to go with your meal.

While the menu may be limited, all the dishes on offer are excellent! As a traditionalist, I can’t look past The View’s beef filet. 

The View Restaurant is well-loved by locals and tourists alike. It boasts a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, so you know you’ll leave with a full stomach!

2. Dunraven Inn

  • Address: 1700 Colorado Peaks Dr, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-6409
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: American, Italian, Vegetarian-friendly
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Lasagna, Baked Ziti, Chicken Piccata
  • View: Lake Estes
  • Reservations: Required
  • Hours of operation: Thursday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 7 am – 9 pm; Friday, Saturday: 7 am – 10 pm
  • Special features: Unique decor

A lively joint with a beautifully cozy feel (thanks in part to its quirky interior decor), the Dunraven Inn promises to provide a welcome pitstop after a big day’s play in the Colorado wilderness!

And it’s a promise that the Dunraven Inn delivers — you’re up for terrace seats that offer an unrivaled view of Lake Estes. 

This restaurant is popular and sees a lot of customers, so make your reservations way in advance! In any case, the Dunraven Inn sports a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, so you know the food just hits different!

For recommendations, I took heed of a friendly waiter’s advice that the lasagna was the way to go — and it didn’t disappoint! Chances are, I’ll be getting it again next time I drop by.

3. The Twin Owls Steakhouse

  • Address: 3110 S St Vrain Ave Suite B, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-9344
  • Price range: $$$$
  • Cuisine: American, Steakhouse, Vegetarian friendly
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Grilled Salmon Filet, Herb Roasted Turkey, and any of their steaks
  • View: Estes Valley from the foot of Lily Mountain
  • Reservations: Highly recommended
  • Hours of operation: Wednesday to Sunday: 5 pm – Late
  • Special features: Within Taharaa Mountain Lodge

The atmosphere of this spot could, and should be described as classically rustic — perfectly befitting of its special location near the foot of Lily Mountain.

A short car ride out of Estes Park, Twin Owls Steakhouse boasts an amazing view of the Estes Valley. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the main dining room offer a really special, immersive experience.

Care to drop by and enjoy meals while watching the peaceful ambiance? I highly recommend going for the salmon. I know it’s a bit of an odd choice for a steakhouse, but the 6-oz fillet is sure to hit the spot!

The Twin Owls Steakhouse enjoys a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, making it one of the popular options just outside of the town itself.

4. Cascades Restaurant at The Stanley Hotel

  • Address: 333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-577-4001
  • Price range: $$$$
  • Cuisine: American, Bar, Vegetarian friendly
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Bison Ribeye, Colorado Cobb Salad, Bison and Wildboar Meatloaf
  • View: Breathtaking location, a short distance from Lake Estes
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Hours of operation: Thursday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 am – 11 pm; Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 12 am
  • Special features: Found within Stanley Hotel, the hotel world-famous for inspiring Stephen King’s Book and Blockbuster Movie “The Shining

I can’t lie, it took me a while to muster up the courage to take on the infamous Stanley Hotel experience. Having recently watched The Shining before going, I really wasn’t sure what to prepare for — a modest, pleasant weekend staycation or 48 hours of horror. 

I’m pleased to report that my partner and I experienced nothing like the movies!

And in that respect, I have so many good things to say about the Cascades Restaurant. It can be hard to separate the restaurant from the hotel as it sits slap bang in the middle of the bar, but it’s definitely a charming place with a lot of history.

While nestled in a very serene location, I would say the striking appearance of the hotel that surrounds the restaurant is the main eyecatcher.

During our visit there, I really fell for the Colorado Cobb salad, especially since it’s such a perfect pair for the rest of the meal. If you’re staying in the hotel or just passing by, make sure to try it out!

Cascades Restaurant has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, so I’m sure I’m not the only one who loved the dining experience.

5. Latitude 105 Alehouse

  • Address: 101 S St Vrain Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-527-1500
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: American, Bar, Vegetarian-friendly
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Latitude 105 House Burger (switch for elk), Smoked Mountain Trout, Wings
  • View: Close to Lake Estes
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday: 4 pm – 9 pm
  • Special features: Latitude 105 Alehouse specializes in craft beer

The atmosphere in Latitude 105 felt a bit misplaced. The decor is neither here nor there, the expansiveness of the place was a bit disconcerting, and the ceiling felt suspiciously low. However, I am 6’6”, so take that last critique with a grain of salt! 

Although pleasant, it wasn’t as impressive as some of the other spots on this list.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can scrap it off your list of restaurants to visit during your stay — Latitude 105 Alehouse is known for its elk burger and its wide variety of cocktails, wines, and draft beers!

It’s what makes the restaurant quite popular in Estes Park, and if you don’t believe me, the 4-star rating over at TripAdvisor should be enough notice!

6. Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew

  • Address: 820 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-577-7427
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: American, Bar, Barbecue
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: “The Heart Attack”, Southern Catfish, Pit Boss BBQ Salad
  • View: Rolling meadows, and the possibility for some moose spotting!
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Hours of operation: Thursday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 am – 8 pm; Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Special features: Considered one of the “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America”

This place is busy. That’s because it’s very popular! If you enjoy a more laid-back dining experience, this is definitely one you should try out.

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew has a picturesque backdrop, although the view isn’t the main attraction here (the barbecued meat is). It’s one of the prettier Smokin’ Dave joints in Colorado — but to be fair, everything is prettier in Estes Park!

For me, the standout option was the Pit Boss BBQ Salad with Fried Catfish. Either that or you can try out “The Heart Attack”, a delicious and relatively balanced meal.

Did I already say Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ and Brew is popular? It’s one of the most highly-rated restaurants in Estes Park and has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor to boot. This is one you can’t miss out!

7. The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern

  • Address: 1675 CO-66, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-4116
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Gastropub, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Burger, Pico Salmon, Bison Meatballs, Pasta Alfredo
  • View: Stunning continental divide views
  • Reservations: Not accepted
  • Hours of operation: Thursday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 4 pm – 8 pm; Friday, Saturday: 4 pm – 9 pm
  • Special features: Live music most nights

Now this is an establishment with an atmosphere! I’m a sucker for live music, and the Rock Inn provides live music in bucketfuls. Expect a positively jolly environment if you find your feet taking you here.

To be honest, I didn’t spend that much time looking out the window. I was too busy eatin’n’dancin! It was a lovely drive on the way there though.

And it helps that the food rocks too (pun intended)! When I was with my friends, I went for a good ol’ fashioned pasta alfredo, but the trout and hefty half-pound Angus patty burger were great as well. The cocktails weren’t bad either.

The Rock Inn welcomes everyone who’s looking for a grand time for their ears and stomachs. That’s why it enjoys a 4.5-star rating over at TripAdvisor.

8. Bird & Jim

  • Address: 915 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-9832
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: American, Vegetarian-friendly, Vegan options
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Mountain Jim Burger, Frontier Trout, Game Meatloaf
  • View: Rocky Mountain National Park 
  • Reservations: Reservations encouraged, walk-ins welcome
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Wednesday: 11 am – 9 pm; Thursday to Saturday: 11 am – 9:30 pm; Sunday: 10:30 am – 9 pm
  • Special features: TripAdvisor Travellers Choice 2022 and 2023

Bird and Jim is a classy establishment. The type of place you take someone you really fancy for a nice meal. Romance is in the air!

Panoramic views of the tasteful Estes Park wilderness are accessible from the balcony. If you want to shoot Instagram-worthy photos, Bird and Jim has you covered!

The food tastes just as amazing as the scenery. I tried the frontier trout — it was tremendous and I’ll definitely be getting it again! The plating will also feel right at home on your photography page.

Its close location and pretty sights make it a popular destination too. The restaurant has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, so I’m sure you’ll also have a great time.

9. The Grubsteak Restaurant

  • Address: 134 W Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-8838
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: American, Bar, Vegetarian-friendly
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: 
  • View: Nestled in the heart of the township
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday: 11 am – 8 pm
  • Special features: The building that houses The Grubsteak has a rich history and once served as the town’s first bowling alley and hospital.

This was another one I wasn’t a huge fan of. I have a theory: although it isn’t strictly a metric of the atmosphere by any means, I think the font used on The Grubsteak Restaurant’s website captures the overall feel you can expect in this establishment!

Found nestled into a relatively busy street, the views from inside the restaurant are not extraordinary. However, the mountain range behind it is pretty neat. 

Generally speaking, though, you can be anywhere in Estes Park and still have a pretty great view.

I’ve heard a fair amount of noise about the Yak burger ahead of my visit, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. It was pretty good! This is probably what the restaurant is best known for, and I can see why.

In any case, the food is top-notch, and you can’t really say otherwise with the 4.5-star TripAdvisor rating full of raving reviews!

10. You Need Pie Diner and Bakery

  • Address: 509 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Get Directions)
  • Phone number: +1 970-577-7437
  • Price range: $
  • Cuisine: Dessert, American, Cafe
  • Restaurant Menu
  • Must-try dishes: Any of their pies, Chicken Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Cobb Salad
  • View: Elevated views, trees, and the mountains
  • Reservations: No
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday: 8 am – 8 pm
  • Special features: In traditional American diner fashion, You Need Pie offers an all-day breakfast!

I have a soft spot for places like You Need Pie. Not being American, the novelty factor of diners never really did wear off for me — even though I’ve lived here for a good 7 years now!

But that’s not quite the same experience I had with You Need Pie. It’s a quaint little place with a rustic and cozy feel, and I genuinely enjoyed my visit. The restaurant wears its identity very well.

You Need Pie doesn’t necessarily have the best views when compared to some of the earlier restaurants on this list. 

But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: everywhere in Estes Park is picturesque! And who needs jaw-dropping views when you have jaw-dropping pie?

I’m an absolute sucker for apple pie. And berry pie. And pecan pie. And all the pies! Get a pie — you deserve it. And if you’re craving for pies in Estes Park, You Need Pie is right at the heart of the town!

You Need Pie has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, so that’s one more reason to drop by and have your share of tasty pie!


  • Pep Dekker

    Hey. I’m Pep, Paige's husband, and dad to Juliana, Lucille and Maxine. I'm founder and writer here at I've been living full-time in Estes Park for 3 years now and been visting the Estes Valley for 8. I'm a seasoned traveller, and all around expert on all things Estes Park, Colorado and I'm excited to share all that I've learned with you.