Best Burgers in Colorado Picked by Locals: Ski Resort Edition

The burger: a classic food icon celebrated all over the world. While thousands of places serve this hearty favorite, Colorado has several restaurants that specialize in burgers and offer their own spin. What better way to fill up after skiing slopes than with a tasty meal? For those skiing in Colorado, we asked locals where to order the best burgers in Colorado in top ski resort destinations. Check out their picks.

Best Burgers in Colorado: Restaurants in Top Ski Resort Areas

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Aspen: Ajax Tavern

Picked by: Kim Allen and Kim Estock, iTrip Vacations Aspen-Snowmass

Located next to Silver Queen Gondola at Little Nell Hotel, Ajax Tavern offers casual dining in Aspen paired with great views. This award-winning restaurant serves lunch, apres ski and dinner with a full menu. In addition, Ajax has received awards among the best Aspen restaurants, best apres ski bar and restaurants not to miss.

The burger: Ajax Tavern serves their Ajax double cheeseburger, which has American cheese, onion aioli and frites. Pair the cheeseburger with an order of truffle fries for a blast of flavor. Kids can order a smaller Ajax cheeseburger with hand-cut fries.

Breckenridge: Empire Burger

Picked by: Sandy Steadman, iTrip Vacations Breckenridge

Voted among the best in Summit County, Empire Burger focuses on classic American fare. Located in La Cima Mall, Empire offers a casual atmosphere and mouth-watering burger options. Some even call the restaurant “Breck awesome.” Additionally, the restaurant opens for lunch until 1 a.m. for night owls.

The burgers: Diners select from 11 different kinds of burgers made with beef, buffalo, turkey or black bean veggie. Popular burgers include the classic, or try Empire double, kona burger or red chili cheddar for an added kick. Kids are welcome to pick their favorites.

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Frisco: Ollie’s Pub and Grub

Picked by: Vina Legault, iTrip Vacations Copper Mountain-Frisco

Ollie’s Pub and Grub in Frisco strives to create an “everyone knows your name” atmosphere and serves traditional American bar fare. But for most, it offers more than bar food. Each item is made fresh and never frozen. In addition, sports fans watch 16 HD TVs located throughout Ollie’s, which opens at lunchtime.

The burgers: All burgers are made with Colorado-raised Angus beef. Black bean and chicken patties are available substitutions. Select from 14 different types of burgers, such as Dillon Valley, breakfast burger, Italian beef, or bacon mac and cheese. Kids can try a classic or cheeseburger, and all burgers are served with fries.

Keystone: Arapahoe Cafe

Picked by: Mat and Penni Levine, iTrip Vacations Keystone

Award-winning Arapahoe Cafe in Dillon opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is located in a historic building, providing Colorado vibes paired with good food. Located on Lake Dillon Drive, Arapahoe Cafe offers a great spot for those who visit Dillon Reservoir or want a break from busy ski areas.

The burgers: For lunch, choose from nine different options made with black Angus beef or bison. The Pueblo slopper – a chili festival classic – is a top option. Dinner offers the bison burger and mushroom and Swiss. One favorite on both menus is Rob’s smokehouse cheeseburger made with BBQ sauce, American cheese, Daley’s bacon, and crispy tobacco onions. Kids have a menu as well, but burgers appear on the main menu.

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Steamboat: Back Door Grill

Picked by: Jason Loeb, iTrip Vacations Steamboat Springs

With a focus on old-fashioned burgers and brews, Back Door Grill ranks as the top burger spot in Steamboat Springs. Serving lunch and dinner, this restaurant is located on Oak Street and offers fun vibes and juicy burgers. Back Door Grill ranks as a popular place for both locals and visitors.

The burgers: Visitors select from 20 different kinds made with local Colorado beef. Bison, turkey and veggie burgers are available as well. Old school includes classic-style burgers or go new school. Top options include Big Blue, John Wayne, Buzz Lightyear and Gordo, which has four patties. Kids can try their own classic cheeseburger served with curly fries.

Telluride: Smugglers Brewpub

Picked by: Chris Reap, iTrip Vacations Telluride

Smugglers Brewpub has treated Telluride residents and guests for over 20 years. This casual spot welcomes everyone to kick back while filling up on their favorites. Located on South Pine Street, Smugglers uses locally sourced ingredients and works with area farmers and producers.

The burgers: All burgers are made with Meyer Ranch Beef and served on a brioche bun. Guests have four options, and all rank as must-tries. Smugglers has classic cheeseburgers, or try the triple green chili, house-smoked bacon or white truffle wild mushroom. Kids can order their own beef slider with fries.

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Vail: Larkburger in Edwards

Picked by: Robin Farquharson, iTrip Vacations Vail-Beaver Creek

Located a few miles west of Vail Ski Resort, Larkburger in Edwards specializes in gourmet burgers. Their process pairs juicy burgers with toppings and signature sauces for lunch and dinner. Larkburger uses locally sourced ingredients and has been featured by USA Today and Eater Denver for some of the best burgers in Vail, Colorado.

The burgers: Diners have six burger options made with chicken, Angus beef, turkey, portabella mushroom or tuna. Its signature burger – Larkburger – features black Angus beef with traditional toppings and house sauce. The truffle burger also has a beef patty but is topped with truffle aioli. Or try ahi tuna steak and wasabi-ginger sauce. Kids also have little options of Larkburger, turkey or chicken, complete with their favorite sides.

After digging into the best burgers in Colorado, read about more Colorado destinations and travel tips.