Top 6 Rocky Mountain Tasty Treats

Satisfy a craving with these favorites from local purveyors in the Rocky Mountain region. Grab a burger, margarita, or beer near Rocky Mountain Park.

1. Rainbow Trout: The Sundeck Restaurant

915 Moraine Avenue, Estes Park,

Nothing tastes quite as good after hiking the high country as a freshly caught trout from the waters of the Rockies. The Sundeck doesn’t look fancy from the outside, but we like the way they prepare the rainbows here: easy on the spices and sauces to let the natural flavor shine, and filleted at your table steaming hot. And the prices won’t kill your vacation budget. Open from May to September each year.

2. Root Beer Float: Hayley’s

102 East Elkhorn Avenue (US 36), Estes Park, (970) 586-4207

Ice cream stores are a dime a dozen on the town’s touristy main drag, but Hayley’s one-ups the competition with homemade root beer and ice cream that, combined in a tall glass, is one of the tastiest floats anywhere.

3. Brunch: Chautauqua Dining Hall

900 Baseline Road, Boulder,

You won’t regret the hourlong drive from Estes Park to dine in this historic structure at the foot of the Flatirons. The all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet is hearty, the scenery spectacular. Combine a meal with shopping on the Pearl Street pedestrian mall (downtown) and tours of the University of Colorado and/or the Celestial Seasonings tea factory for a full day.

4. Burger & Beer: Oskar Blues

303 Main Street, Lyons,

Grab one of the loaded free-range bison burgers, upgrade to the sweet potato fries, and sip one of this microbrewery’s award-winning brews. Love your beer hoppy? Try Dale’s Pale Ale, voted the “best canned beer in America.” The brewery also has an outpost (Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids) in Longmont, 50 minutes southeast of Estes Park.

Oscar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colo.

5. Donuts: Donut Haus

US 36 at Moraine Avenue, Estes Park,

On the rare occasion when we order something other than this small shop’s delectable bear claw ... no wait, we’ve never ordered anything else. That’s how tasty and filling this hunk of deep-fried, apple- or raspberry-packed dough is. More adventurous donut fans tell us the other flavors and frosted styles hit the spot, too.

6. Margaritas: Pancho & Lefty’s

1120 Grand Lake Avenue, Grand Lake,

This lively Mexican joint on the shores of Grand Lake is the place to be on summer evenings, when locals and travelers alike pack the place for huge platters of cheesy goodness (we like the enchiladas, and nachos always satisfy after a day in the park) and generous margarita pitchers. Smart move: Walk there.

Pancho & Lefty's in Grand Lake, Colo.

Pancho & Lefty's in Grand Lake, Colo.