Mayor’s note: I’m going to write a three-part series on Doing Durango. Part one, published on 5/15 was all about beer. Today’s post is all about food and the last post in the series will focus on touristy, fun activities you shouldn’t miss.
In Durango you are just as likely to see a man in a cowboy hat as a guy with sleeve tattoos and ear gauges, and you can be certain that both will be more than happy to stop and help you with directions. This town is friendly and locals will eagerly give you their two cents on the best spots in town to eat and drink.
Dining options abound in Durango. From vegan and gluten free options to menus dedicated to the meat lover in all of us. Nearly every eatery has a top quality wine menu and large craft beer selection; it’s definitely a foodie sort of town.
After spending the good part of a week in Durango, here were our dining highlights, and the places I’d recommend.
Breakfast in Durango
This one is a no-brainer. No less than five people had recommended this place to me when they found out that I was going to be visiting Durango. Ryan and I are big fans of diners, and this one is authentic.
With only a few tables, most of the seating is at the long diner-style bar, and they cook and prepare the food right there in front of you. You see everything, from 12 eggs sizzling on the large flat grill to ladles full of Durango Diner’s famous green chili being generously poured over nearly every plate.
Our verdict? Order anything off the menu and have it smothered in green chili. At the Durango Diner they serve up the perfect mix of spice and grease to get you going in the morning. Hint: You can buy their green chili online here.
We had a memorable lunch in the bright and cheery, Jean-Pierre’s Bakery & Wine Bar. We ordered crab and lobster bisque and split a fancy sandwich. This small meal was top-notch. Of course, my husband had to end it with pastry treat.
He’d already been to Jean-Pierre’s for a sweet treat earlier in the week while I was in a conference, so the place was pre-approved. The bakery display cases at this restaurant are gorgeous, as you can see by the photos in this blog post. It’s hard not to try one of everything.
Our verdict? It’s definitely worth a stop at Jean-Pierre’s on your next trip to Durango. Whether you opt for a freshly made croissant and a cup of coffee or a full meal, you will not be disappointed.
Our hotel, the General Palmer, was directly across the street from Michel’s Corner’s food truck and we decided we had to try a crepe at some point during our stay – we are so glad that we did. A crepe at Michel’s Corner is big enough for a meal, but if you share, it’s the perfect 3:30 p.m. snack.
After returning from our Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad ride, we stopped in for a ham, brie and applesauce crepe. It arrived looking ready for a gourmet food photo shoot and tasted as good as it looked. This will be our first stop on our next visit to Durango.
Our verdict? Crepes at Michel’s Corner are good eats.
Dinner in Durango
Ask any local their favorite dinner dining option in Durango and Ken & Sue’s is the immediate answer. A super popular, locally owned restaurant, make reservations well in advance or you’ll end up eating dinner at 9:30 p.m. like we did.
Despite out late reservation, Ken & Sue’s lived up to the hype. I had the special of peppered ahi tuna on a bed of buttered noodles and ginger, and I will dream about this meal for years to come. It was the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
Ryan ordered the gnocchi, a little out of the ordinary for him, but he is still raving about the dish. We had a delightful server who convinced us to order the award-winning chocolate cheesecake, despite Ryan’s hesitations. He’s has never met a dessert he doesn’t like, except cheesecake, but the one at Ken & Sue’s won him over.
Our verdict? Dining in Durango isn’t cheap and splitting a meal now and again during your trip will save you a little money. At Ken & Sue’s, however, it’s worth splurging on two entrees and the cheesecake for dessert.
Food Festivals in Durango
This trip was sponsored in part by Durango.org.