Everyone has to eat, whether you are on vacation or not, right? So you might as well eat the best food that you can! And by “best”, I don’t mean fancy. I mean the freshest, tastiest, biggest bang for your buck, local, not-to-be-missed food. Doesn’t that sound pretty tasty? We’ve put together a list of 10 foods that your family must eat during your visit to Estes Park, Colorado that are all that and more! I know you’re hungry, so here are the best places to eat in Estes Park…
(This post has affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here.)
Top Breakfast Foods You Must Eat in Estes Park
1. Cinnamon Roll from Cinnamon’s Bakery – If I was writing about the only food you must eat during your visit to Estes Park, this would be it. The rolls from Cinnamon’s Bakery are just that good! Cinnamon’s is located a short drive away from downtown at 920 W Elkhorn, and is open every day during the busy summer months. The bakery is only open a few hours each day, and people will start lining up outside the door shortly before they open at 7:30 a.m. Yes, I would recommend getting there early. They offer the super popular cinnamon roll, extra gooey sticky buns, muffins, raisin cinnamon rolls, and a fruit filled cinnamon roll (there’s a different flavor each day). Do you love tons of frosting on your cinnamon roll? Then, order it with heavy frosting. Other frosting options are medium and light. Yum! These fresh, melt in your mouth rolls run $3.50 – $4.50 and are worth every single penny. Follow them on Facebook to find out what’s baking….like their new offering of bread pudding with caramel sauce. Mmmm.
Related post: How to Have Three Perfect Days in Estes Park
2. Breakfast Burrito from Scratch Deli & Bakery – So you just finished an early morning hike to Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park and are starving. You need to get out of the park and drive straight to Scratch Deli and order one of their loaded, flavorful, and maybe a little spicy breakfast burritos. You’ll have a hard time choosing, but we love the Spanish Burrito which is stuffed with chorizo, potatoes, green chili, and eggs.
The six kinds of burritos range in price from $4-$6 and are only served until 10:00 a.m. Arrive at 10:02 and you’re likely out of luck. Scratch Deli is located at 911 Moraine Avenue and opens at 7:00 a.m. Check their Facebook page to verify hours outside of the summer season.
3. Donuts from Donut Haus – Due to a large road construction project, the Donut Haus has permanently closed. However, the owners are still making their donuts every day and selling them at the Tiny Town Sinclair station on Morraine Ave.
I can’t talk about the top breakfast food in Estes Park and not mention the popular Donut Haus. You’ll probably drive by this little donut shop at 342 Moraine Avenue each day you’re in town, and your kids will probably beg to stop there each and every time. Donut Haus opens at 6:00 a.m. seven days a week during the summer, and you definitely want to get there early for the best selection.
They sell a large assortment of donuts, rolls, twists, and muffins that are baked fresh every single day. They feature a special flavored donut of the day, to help you plan your donut eating schedule. What’s our favorite…one of everything!
4. Coffee from Kind Coffee– A mocha latte from Kind Coffee is a perfect way to start your day of shopping the main street of Estes Park. This local coffee shop really has the perfect setting in Estes Park. There is fantastic shopping out the front door, and an outdoor seating area overlooking the relaxing river out the back. The best part about Kind Coffee is that you can bring their coffee beans home to enjoy long after you’ve unpacked from your trip. The Longs Peak Blend always has a ride back home in my suitcase. They also have many kid-friendly drinks on their menu, since you probably don’t want to start giving coffee to your kids who already stay up way past their bedtimes anyways.
5. Local Food from the vendors at the Estes Park Farmer’s Market – If it’s Thursday morning during summer, you don’t want to be anywhere else except at downtown Bond Park for the Estes Park Farmer’s Market. The market is set up from 8:00 a.m. thru 1:00 every Thursday from June through September, and is a fun way to spend a part of your morning. We’ve enjoyed a wide variety of goodies at the Market ranging from Wisconsin Cheese Curds, to homemade lemonade, to juicy peaches, to fire-roasted hatch chiles. There is something for everyone at the Estes Park Farmer’s Market!
Top Lunch and Dinner Foods You Must Eat in Estes Park
6. A slice of New York style pizza from Antonio’s – Eat-in or get your pizza to go, either way it’s going to be good. Have a large family? Well, Antonio’s has an even bigger pizza. They offer a 26″ pizza that is a sight to see, what a delicious first! They bake up thin to thick crust pizzas in the hottest pizza ovens in town. Not in the mood for pizza (is that even possible?) than order a calzone or try the buttery garlic knots. Everything is fantastic!
Antonio’s is so popular that they’ve had to move to a new bigger and better location at 1560 Big Thompson Ave. They are open every day from noon-8:00 p.m. During the summer months, you can also order up a slice of their pizza at their downtown express location on Cleave Street.
7. A picnic in the park – Have a picnic in Rocky Mountain National Park. Your kids may not like eating every single meal at a sit down restaurant while on vacation, so it’s time to pack a picnic and enjoy your meal among the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park. Grab your favorite picnic food and make your way to the park. Top picnic areas for families are Hollowell Park, Hidden Valley, Alluvial Fan, and Endovalley. You may even see some wildlife! Just remember to not feed the animals (we’re talking about you, pesky chipmunks) and to clean up all of your garbage.
Please note: From May 28 through October 11, 2021, a reservation is needed to enter Rocky Mountain National Park during the daytime. Visit the National Park Services website here for more info and to make your reservations.
8. The Big Kahuna Belly Buster at Smokin’ Daves BBQ – This family BBQ platter from Smokin’ Daves in Estes Park is a FEAST! Smokin’ Daves, on Moraine Avenue, always has a full parking lot, so you’ll want to get there early to avoid a long wait. Their hours change, so call ahead. We’ve eaten in before, but our big time saver is to order the Big Kahuna Belly Buster for take out, and chow down back at our cabin.
The Big Kahuna Belly Buster comes with chicken, ribs, brisket, pork and your choice of sides. Don’t miss the best baked beans you’ll ever have and the cornbread! The Big Kahuna costs a steep $76, but feeds 5-7 adults. Our group of six adults and two kids always has plenty of leftovers.
We Can’t Forget About the Top Spots in Estes Park for Ice Cream
9. Soft serve ice cream at the YMCA of the Rockies – Have you heard about the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park? It is a popular vacation destination for families across the country…or even the world. Ending your family’s busy day with a trip to the YMCA for ice cream will make everyone extra happy!
The snack counter that serves the ice cream is located in the Admin Building. This building is also where you will find a well-stocked gift shop, and Samson the Elk (yes, there’s a story behind Samson that you can read upon your visit). The YMCA of the Rockies offers so much more than huge servings of soft serve, day passes are available for the dozens of activities that are offered on a daily basis. You can check their website for details.
10. A scoop of homemade ice cream at Munchin’ House – This cute little ice cream shop is located in the middle of all the great shops on Elkhorn Avenue. Walk in and be faced with the tough decision of what flavor to order, and then find your patience while your kids decide which flavor they are going to order. There are 40 homemade flavors, some unique to them. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample…you want to make sure you are picking out something delicious. Enjoy your ice cream in the seating area just outside the back door.
There are so many good restaurants, cafe’s, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors in Estes Park that your family will not run out of food options. I’ve listed what I feel are the 10 must eat foods that your whole family will love, but have eaten at so many other fantastic restaurants in Estes Park! Next time you visit, don’t be afraid to try out someplace new…you may have found our number 11 must eat food!
Plan Your Trip to Estes Park:
- An Itinerary for Three Perfect Days in Estes Park
- 25 Tips for Your First Visit to Rocky Mountain National Park
- Click here for a list of lodging options in Estes Park