Whether you are looking for an apres-ski scene or a dive-bar scene, Vail’s got it! Discover the best bars in Vail and cheers to the good life!
The Austrian-styled ski village of Vail resides just under 2 hours from Denver, traffic pending. The highway I-70 goes east to west through town, with most of the excitement and two base villages on the north side. Vail Village and Lionshead Village provide luxury accommodations, fine dining and a slew of different watering holes at 8,150 ft.
Relax at happy hour at a number of the coolest bars all around Vail, most walking distance to one another. Or skiing distance if you happen to be on the slopes imbibing at Vail Resort’s on-mountain lodges. Always do so responsibly.
The George is a casual place to grab a bite, have a drink, and watch the game. They have a happy hour from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm daily with specials like $5 you-call-it drinks and all their starters and pub grub for $10.75. In Vail, this is known as a steal.
The George is in a basement with an English-pub type of feel, and you can play pool while you wait for your food. But it’s a Vail pub, so you can order a filet mignon or king crab legs if you like. They have a fun collection of hot drinks, including adult versions of hot chocolate, apple cider, and coffee, making it an excellent choice for apres-ski. Open late, until 1:00 am, perfect for satisfying late-night thirst.
Vail Brewing Company
Boasting award-winning pale ales and IPAs, Vail Brewing Company is worth a stop. This brewery has two locations, one in Eagle-Vail and another at the Vail Village Tap Room. They don’t serve food, but you can order from the neighboring restaurant Bol and eat it here.
The Vail Village Tap Room has a dog-friendly patio and hosts live music if you come at the right time. In the winter, you can sit outside, enjoy the fire pit, and watch people ice skate. There’s almost nothing more Coloradan than drinking craft beer after a long day of fresh powder.
Dive bars aren’t typically what comes to mind when you think of Vail. Yet, you can find them if you know where to look. The Shakedown Bar is an intimate live-music venue where you can grab something to drink and dance to local music at the same time. Expect it to get crowded and to pay Vail prices.
Known for refined comfort food, The Fitz is located in the Manor Vail Lodge. They have a daily happy hour from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm with specials like $1 off draft beers and $2 off tap wines. Don’t miss the upscale bar classics on the menu like truffle fries or the mac and cheese. They offer wine, beer, and unique twists on cocktails. With a kids’ menu and a patio to take in the breathtaking scenery, the Fitz is a great place to bring the whole family.
Bart & Yeti’s
A local’s favorite and a great place to avoid the hordes of tourists, Bart & Yeti’s is a casual place where you can grab a beer and enjoy the weather on their patio. There’s not a frill to be found here—a rarity for a bar in Vail. Yet, Bart & Yeti’s has been a local staple for 38 years. They don’t offer a happy hour, but they tout their prices as “Vail-reasonable,” and rightly so.
This place is quite dog-friendly; in fact, it was named after the legends of two well-known dogs associated with Clint Eastwood and Gerald Ford. They have a kid’s menu, too, so bring everyone along to Bart & Yeti’s.
Root & Flower
Root & Flower is a wine and cocktail bar that serves small plates as well. They have a daily happy hour from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, a pared-down food menu that focuses on cheese plates and charcuterie, and a curated wine menu. Their cocktail menu is on the pricey side, but they have distinctive extras like a CBD shot that comes with their non-alcoholic cocktail. The vibe here is romantic, so bring a date and leave the family at home.
In general, Colorado is home to some excellent Mexican food, but it can be tough to find in a mountain town like Vail. So, when it’s time for margaritas on the patio, El Segundo is the place to go. Their outdoor seating overlooks Gore Creek, making this a spectacular place to go for a view. Most of their cocktails can be turned into a pitcher, or “fiesta size,” as they call it. Plus, you can add CBD to any drink.
Garfinkel’s is a beloved sports bar in Vail that serves traditional pub fare (as well as gluten-aware and vegetarian options) alongside cocktails and beer. They have a minimal wine menu available as well. You won’t miss the game if you’re sitting inside, but you will miss their bright patio with a great view of the slopes. They don’t have a happy hour, but the prices won’t give you sticker shock, either.
Blue Moose Pizza
Located in Lions Head, Blue Moose Pizza is a great place to stop with the family. Here, you can find pizza, drinks, and a giant blue moose that is seasonally decorated with holiday lights. They have paper tablecloths, so the kids can doodle while you wait.
Their happy hour runs from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm daily, during which any Colorado draft is $3, and a draft plus a slice of one-topping pizza is only $6, which might just be the best deal anywhere in Vail. But it’s not just budget-friendly; the food is delicious, and the drinks are legit.
The Red Lion
Another stop in the center of Vail Village is the Red Lion. Since 1963, the Red Lion is a place where you can watch the game or listen to live music. While they don’t offer a happy hour, they have a decent number of Colorado beers on tap. You can also find reasonably priced cocktails to help you relax after a long day on the mountain. Expect it to be packed and loud because the secret is out about this place.
Whether you’re looking for a dive bar or an elegant night out, there’s no shortage of great places to grab a beverage at these best bars in Vail.