9 Best Restaurants in Durango

A snapshot of Durango's culinary delights, featuring diverse restaurants and inviting atmospheres.

Durango's significant historical sites, including Mesa Verde National Park and Chimney Rock National Monument, make this sweeping city a hotspot for those who love the great outdoors. Many residents and visitors spend their days outside, basking in the mild, warm weather. However, for fine dining enthusiasts, Durango is possibly better known as a foodie's paradise, a city with dozens of fabulous restaurants and cafes. Here are nine of the best restaurants in Durango that are guaranteed to please.

1. Mahogany Grille

Located inside Durango's historic Strater Hotel, Mahogany Grille serves steak, seafood, and other savory dishes in an upscale environment. The chefs source ingredients from local farms and ranchers, making guests feel more closely connected to the community. You'll find clam chowder, bacon-wrapped shrimp, elk tenderloin, crab-stuffed salmon, and steamed clams on the menu. There are also options for vegetarians and vegans, along with seasonal desserts. While the setting is relaxed, this Durango hotspot fills up fast, so reservations are highly recommended.

2. Primus

With owner/executive Chef John J. Daly III at the helm, Primus Restaurant is a seafood and big game dining experience in the heart of Durango. The restaurant proudly advertises its uncompromising quality, which comes in the form of locally sourced meats and vegetables and a carefully curated wine list. The menu changes regularly to showcase the freshest ingredients, but a few local favorites include lobster mac and cheese, grilled quail, bison filet, kangaroo strip steak, and ocean trout. The friendly staff is happy to recommend wine or cocktails that pair perfectly with your entree.

Reservations are recommended at Primus, especially if you'll be visiting with a large group. The restaurant has a party space that's ideal for special events, such as birthdays, graduation ceremonies, and wedding receptions.

3. Switchback Tacos

For many, a day in Durango isn't complete without indulging in some delicious Tex-Mex. Switchback Tacos is one of Durango's top Tex-Mex eateries, a locally owned and operated restaurant that serves inspired new takes on Mexican street food. From classic street tacos garnished with fresh onion and chopped cilantro to vegan switchfries topped with cashew crema, pico, and tofu or mushrooms, Switchback Tacos has something for everyone. There's also an impressive selection of handcrafted cocktails and margaritas on offer.

4. Animas Chocolate & Coffee

After a busy day exploring downtown Durango or hiking at one of the city's many parks or trails, you'll want to fuel up with some sweet treats from Animas Chocolate & Coffee. Located on Main Avenue, Animas Chocolate & Coffee is a valued part of historic Durango. Housed in an 1800s-era building, it maintains the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of days gone by. Of course, the chocolate treats are a big reason why Animas Chocolate & Coffee is so popular, but the cafe area is equally delightful, with drinks such as hot chocolate, espresso, and even chocolate-inspired cocktails.

5. Derailed Pour House

A chic craft cocktail bar with a full menu of small bites and elevated bar food, Derailed Pour House is locally owned and thoughtfully managed. Derailed Pour House takes its status as a "Traveler's Best" eatery very seriously, squeezing fresh juice daily to use in its cocktails, hand-carving all ice in-house daily, and making all syrups in-house. The food at Derailed Pour House is also impressive, with small bites including southwest egg rolls, chicken potstickers, house-cut chips and fries, and chips and salsa. Stop in for Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily to enjoy special pricing on select appetizers and drinks and discover why Derailed Pour House is such a hotspot in the Durango area!

6. James Ranch Grill

Located right on the sprawling James Ranch, James Ranch Grill is a "table on the farm" restaurant that sources its main ingredients from the family-owned ranch. Everything served is made fresh to order, from hand-cut steaks to refreshing salads. There's plenty of seating at James Ranch Grill, from the cozy indoor tables by the fireplace (perfect for dining during the winter months) to the three-level lawn terraces. James Ranch Grill is a great place to take large groups, although the eatery also offers to-go service if you want to have your meal in the comfort of your own home.

7. Eolus Bar & Dining

Eolus Bar & Dining is where Durango residents go when they want to enjoy a savory menu full of steaks, fresh vegetables, and indulgent desserts. A fine-dining experience with both indoor and outdoor seating, Eolus Bar & Dining is a great place to celebrate special occasions with friends and family. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday and is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are recommended, especially if you'll be visiting with a large group.

8. Carver Brewing Co.

The restaurant's slogan is "A trip to Durango is better with a stop at Carver's,” and locals and visitors alike would certainly agree. Carver Brewing Co. is a family-friendly stop that's been Tripadvisor's Traveler's Choice for 12 years running. Family-owned and operated, Carver Brewing Co. serves lunch, dinner, dessert, craft beer, and handcrafted cocktails, along with a kid's menu for younger patrons. Meals are hearty and filling, while the drinks are crisp and refreshing. Guests at Carver Brewing Co. love the friendly atmosphere and attentive service.

9. Lone Spur Cafe

The Lone Spur Cafe is all decked out in Wild West décor that's perfectly reminiscent of Colorado's historical past. This one-of-a-kind cafe serves breakfast and lunch, along with hearty dinners. Lone Spur Cafe is known for its prime rib plates that are sure to satisfy the heartiest appetite. Although the cafe features a laid-back diner ambiance, the food takes things to the next level. All menu items are made to order, from the wagon wheel pancake platter to the French toast special, which is made from cinnamon raisin bread coated in cornflakes and lightly grilled.

Discover the Best of Durango Dining

From homestyle diners and ranch-based restaurants to decadent chocolate shops, Durango is home to many of the finest restaurants in Colorado. If you want to learn more about the best restaurants in Durango, contact Ashley Truitt. As an experienced realtor, Ashley can help you find Durango luxury homes that are located near the heart of the action, so you can enjoy all these incredible restaurants each and every day. Reach out to Ashley Truit today to learn more!

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