5 Best Restaurants For Lunch in Estes Park (Suggested By a Local)

Pep Dekker

Featured Image of Best Restaurants For Lunch in Estes Park

Coming from someone who has lived in Estes Park since 2021, I highly recommend it as a place known for its outstanding views and the wilderness that surrounds the area. 

What may be overlooked, however, is the abundant local cuisine and eating options! 

Visitors to the area should be aware of what there is on offer as it could truly raise their experience in Estes Park to another level.

Are you looking for lunch spots in Estes Park that are convenient, delicious, and offer a variety of options to choose from? 

Look no further. In this article, we will look at:

  • Estes Park’s standout restaurants, with recommendations from local knowledge
  • A breakdown of features such as price range, ambiance, and even the availability of parking.

Let’s get into it!

Top Restaurants For Lunch in Estes Park

Top Restaurants For Lunch in Estes Park

Whether it’s to cater to children who are joining in on a meal, a romantic date, or for the best bang for your buck, there is something for everyone in the section below! 

For instance, there is a range of family-friendly options such as ‘Grubsteak’, as well as finer dining restaurants like ‘The View’. Without further ado, let’s take a look!

1. Claire’s Restaurant and Bar

  • Address: 255 Park Ln, Estes Park, CO 80517, United States
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-9564
  • Price range: $7-$40
  • Cuisine: American
  • Dietary restrictions: Most meals have gluten, dairy, and allergen-containing foods such as eggs, as well as some meat. However, you can easily ask to exclude some ingredients to suit dietary requirements
  • Reservations required? They do not do reservations, only call-ahead seating.
  • Ambiance: Warm and inviting
  • Hours of operation: 
    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 am – 7 pm. 
    • Friday: 11 am-8 pm
    • Saturday: 8 am-8 pm
    • Sunday: 8 am-8 pm
  • Pet Friendly: Pet-friendly patio available
  • Parking: Right in front (relatively easy).

Expect nothing but ease, convenience, and a positive experience at Claire’s Restaurant!

Located in the heart of Estes Park, you will be welcomed to a pleasantly warm and inviting atmosphere both inside and outside the restaurant building. 

Additionally, the casual dress code promotes the relaxing ambiance of the restaurant. The American dishes on offer include:

  • Wild game meatloaf
  • Hearty sandwiches
  • Salads
  • For breakfast, you can’t go past the highly recommended South of the Border omelet!

The menu is also kid-friendly.

Overall reviews emphasize that Claires offers delicious and filling foods as well as excellent service (hence the restaurant’s popularity!) Arriving early may be a smart move to get a seat, and most payment methods are accepted.

2. Big Horn Restaurant

  • Address: 401 W Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO80517, United States
  • Phone number: +1 970-586-2792
  • Price range: $7-$31
  • Cuisine: American
  • Dietary restrictions: Limited vegan/gluten-free options
  • Reservations required: Reservation is not compulsory but is available.
  • Ambiance: Family Friendly and casual
  • Hours of operation:
    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sun: 7 am-2 pm
    • Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 7 am – 8 pm
  • Pet Friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Available out front of the store, not on the main drag

Big Horn is a diner-type restaurant in Estes Park that attends to people who love big portion sizes and hearty meals (and who doesn’t…?).

Recommended dishes on their menu include:

  • Pulled pork sandwich
  • Chicken nachos
  • Croissant breakfast sandwich.

*Large portion sizes also mean that dishes can be shared!

The relaxing, family-friendly restaurant has a relatively informal dress code which helps set the casual dining environment that the eatery has. 

The service is noted to be great, adding to the already impressive food they have on offer! You can be sure to receive quick, friendly, and attentive assistance here.

3. Bird & Jim

  • Address: 915 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, United States
  • Phone number:  +1 970-586-9832
  • Price range: $8-$56
  • Cuisine: American
  • Dietary restrictions: Gluten-free and Vegan options, and some items can be cooked to order.
  • Reservations required: Reservations Recommended.
  • Ambiance: Relaxing, but modern
  • Hours of operation: 
    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 am-8 pm
    • Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11 am – 8.30 pm
    • Sunday: 10.30 am – 8 pm
  • Pet Friendly: No mention of being a pet-friendly restaurant. There is outside seating available.
  • Parking: Available on both sides of the restaurant but can be tricky.

A menu full of locally inspired dishes can be found at the Bird & Jim! 

The indoor and outdoor flow of the restaurant facilitates any type of individual or group. 

Those who are seeking a trendy and modern eatery or families looking for a cozy inside dining experience will be equally at home here! 

Casual attire is considered appropriate, but you may want to get a bit more fancy to match the exceptional food on offer. 

Some top recommendations for meals here are:

  • Smoked pheasant chowder
  • Buffalo burger with tomato and bacon jam
  • Yuca root fries.

Bird & Jim also tends to have fast and friendly service which adds to the positive atmosphere created in the restaurant. 

What stands out the most though is the creative use of local products, ultimately setting them aside from the rest.  

What should be noted is that some reviews suggest that it can get loud, so try to opt for indoor seating if this is something that will affect your dining experience.

4. The View Restaurant 

  • Address: 300 Riverside Dr., Estes Park, CO 80517
  • Phone number: 970-586-1087
  • Price range: $12-$65
  • Cuisine: American
  • Dietary restrictions: Gluten-free options and some vegetarian
  • Reservations required: Recommended
  • Ambiance: Fine Dining and romantic
  • Hours of operation: 
    • Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday: 3 pm -10 pm 
  • Pet Friendly: No mention of being a pet-friendly restaurant.
  • Parking: Limited, can be difficult

The View restaurant is a step up from the more casual diner-type restaurants around! 

The ambiance is elegant and quiet, facilitating a more formal dining experience. 

Located in the Historic Crags Lodge, you will have the opportunity to be seated by windows that display the stunning views of Estes Park.  The dress code here leans toward smart-casual to match the ambiance and food.

The dishes that the restaurant provides are delightful and diverse. My personal recommendations from their menu include:

  • NY strip steak
  • Colorado rainbow trout
  • Spinach and artichoke appetizer.

Overall, The View is known for its delicious food, amazing views, excellent service, and historical charm – making it a great option for a romantic lunch, for example. 

Be wary that the quiet atmosphere may be unsuitable for children, and while there is no explicit mention of payment methods available, it can be pricier here than other eateries.

5. The Grubsteak Restaurant

  • Address: 134 W Elkhorn Avenue Estes Park, Colorado, 80517
  • Phone number: 970-586-8838
  • Price range: $6-$35
  • Cuisine: Colorado/American
  • Dietary restrictions: vegetarian and Gluten free options available
  • Reservations required: Reservation available but not required
  • Ambiance: Family Friendly/Cozy
  • Hours of operation: All week 5-9 pm
  • Pet Friendly: No. Pet-free (apart from service dogs)
  • Parking: Free public parking lot behind restaurant

Ready to try something new? The Grubsteak Restaurant is a good place to go if you’re tired of the same old! 

With menu items such as their cheddar and yak burgers, you’ll be sure to leave impressed. 

A chill, cozy vibe means that this is a great place to go after a big day of activities such as hiking. 

Grubsteak is family-friendly and laid back, which means that taking the kids along to lunch won’t be a hassle! 

Some standout meals to try include:

  • Yak burger
  • Full rack of BBQ ribs
  • Chicken bacon salad.

Reviews praise the restaurant’s unusual yet delicious menu items, friendly service, and welcoming atmosphere. 

If you are looking for an easy yet still exciting eating experience, this is the place to try! The Grubsteak also takes cash, alongside other payment methods.


  • Pep Dekker

    Hey. I’m Pep, Paige's husband, and dad to Juliana, Lucille and Maxine. I'm founder and writer here at EstesPark.com. 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.