Crested Butte’s Best Restaurants


After a long day of skiing or trout-fishing on the rivers, you’ll want to sit down to a delicious dinner. Here are three restaurants in Crested Butte where we did just that.

Django’s Kitchen

“Eclectic” best describes the offerings at this cozy spot, and owner-executive chef Kate Ladoulis endeavors to give diners as much local fare as possible. The trumpet mushrooms seasoned with garlic, lemon, thyme and Maldon sea salt were a triumph, and we swooned over our entrees: cherry-braised short ribs and a wild antelope tenderloin. When it came to wine, we kept things in state by ordering an earthy blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from an “urban winery” in Denver named The Infinite Monkey Theorem.

Django’s Kitchen
209 Elk Avenue. Tel. (970) 349-7574

Elk Ave Prime

Elk tenderloin with ravioli from Elk Ave Prime
Elk tenderloin with ravioli from Elk Ave Prime - James Ray Spahn

Meat is king at this sumptuous steakhouse, which features wood beams, fireplaces and walls adorned, quite appropriately, with racks of elk antlers. There are tender and tasty wagyu rib-eyes on the menu, and USDA Prime fillets and strip steaks, too. The lamb chops and elk tenderloin come from Colorado, and so does a buffalo rib-eye, which is dry-aged for 48 days. Those entrees may be augmented with a variety of seafood sides (such as grilled shrimp and broiled crabcakes) and sauces that include a black-truffle hollandaise and a roasted garlic-blue cheese butter. As for the wine list, it is vast and intelligently constructed, with selections that can accommodate most any budget. Tempted as I was by a Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shafer Relentless Shiraz/Petite Sirah, I chose a Turley Steacy Ranch Zinfandel. At $80 a bottle, it was a steal.

Elk Ave Prime
226 Elk Avenue. Tel. (970) 349-1221

Sherpa Cafe

<i>Momos,</i> traditional Tibetan dumplings, from Sherpa Cafe
Momos, traditional Tibetan dumplings, from Sherpa Cafe - Sherpa Cafe

Our hiking guide, Annie Tomlinson, recommended this modest eatery, and we loved the Nepali, Tibetan and Indian staples that owners Pemba and Jangmu Sherpa served up. The setting evokes the Himalayas, with Buddhist prayer flags hanging on the walls, as do the spicy curries and stews served with warm naan and chapatis.

Sherpa Cafe
313 Third Street. Tel. (970) 349-0443

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