Skip to main content

Steamboat Magazine

Patio Season is Back in the 'Boat

05/13/2021 02:31PM ● By Rachel Miller

Photo courtesy Mambo Italiano

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Spring is in full swing in the Yampa Valley. Some days have been filled with warm temperatures and sunshine, and others consist of rain – even some snow flurries – and colder temps, but that’s just a normal spring in the Rocky Mountains. As the weather continues to only get nicer, and town begins transitioning to summer activities – mountain biking, hiking, fishing, tubing – the patios will soon be booming in Steamboat’s well-known Western dining scene.

1. Aurum Food & Wine

Photo courtesy Aurum Food & Wine

The outdoor seating at Aurum Food & Wine sets the bar high for patios in town. Located right on the Yampa River, the outdoor space is equipped with plenty of dining tables, lounge chairs, couches and firepits, giving it the ultimate riverside vibe. The menu features seasonal New-American cuisine, an extensive wine list and delicious cocktails.

2. Carl’s Tavern

A great place to pop in for lunch while out exploring the many gift shops and boutiques in town. Carl’s Tavern doesn’t have the largest patio in town, but their location and happy-hour deals are hard to pass up. Offering classic American cuisine, Carl’s is known for its delicious burgers, cold brews and a fantastic whiskey selection.

3. Creekside Café

Flowers blooming on a gorgeous day on Creekside's patio.

Nestled in the historic Soda Creek building in downtown Steamboat Springs, Creekside Café is a breakfast and lunch staple in town. Catch this place on a beautiful weekend morning and you’re guaranteed to wait, but if you can get a table on the adorable, creek-side patio, it’s worth the wait. The menu boasts delicious items made of locally sourced ingredients – not to mention, some of the best Bloody Marys in town.

4. Mambo Italiano

Mambo’s patio is the place to be ­– especially during happy hour – on any nice afternoon or evening. The menu consists of traditional Italian dishes with a modern flare. Natural, fresh ingredients are used to curate the sophisticated menu and the pastas are made from scratch daily. Try any of their pasta dishes paired with a glass from their extensive wine list and enjoy the Mambo experience.

5. Mountain Tap Brewery

Photo courtesy Mountain Tap Brewery


Located on Yampa Street, Mountain Tap Brewery offers a more casual, laid back setting in the downtown scene. Picnic tables, firepits and string lights decorate the patio giving the perfect relaxed ambience while hanging with family and friends. Known for their craft beer and wood-fired pizzas, Mountain Tap Brewery is a great spot if you’re looking to eat and drink while enjoying the Colorado outdoors.

6. Rex’s American Grill

Photo courtesy Rex's American Grill


If you happen to be staying on Hotel Row while in town, Rex’s American Grill is a hidden gem, especially during the summertime. Rex’s casual eatery has a sizable patio to enjoy food and drinks while catching some sunrays. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Rex’s is just a short walk from the hotels on the east end of town.

7. Salt & Lime

Photo courtesy Salt & Lime

Tacos and margaritas on the rooftop with panoramic views of downtown Steamboat Springs and surrounding mountains? Doesn’t sound much better than that. Salt & Lime’s twist on classic Mexican fare and fresh cocktails from the bar make for a happening place, especially on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon. Unable to get a table outdoors? Even indoors seating provides a bright, vibrant atmosphere with thoughtful décor and a friendly staff.


8. Steamboat Whiskey Company

Steamboat’s first and only craft distillery, Steamboat Whiskey Company, sits right off Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs. Their menu offers creative cocktails made from their high-quality spirits and shared plates with unique flavors. Cozy up outdoors after sundown on the ample outdoor patio with firepits and heat lamps.

Photo courtesy Steamboat Whiskey Company

9. Taco Cabo

Looking for authentic Mexican cuisine? Look no further than Taco Cabo. This is a local favorite for tacos, burritos, tortas, bowls … and margaritas. Taco Cabo sits right on the Yampa River, providing incredible views on the outdoor patio. Sit and relax with a taco and a freshly squeezed marg and watch the kayakers or tubers float right past you. 

10. Yampa Valley Kitchen

Another notable breakfast and lunch spot in town, Yampa Valley Kitchen’s inviting atmosphere and delicious menu makes it hard to eat here without a reservation. The seasonal menu features locally sourced ingredients and thoughtful attention to detail is put into each plate. Whether you’re indoors marveling at the quaint interior décor or sitting outdoors in the garden oasis, every dining experience at Yampa Valley Kitchen is a memorable one. 

Other notable mentions: O’Neils, Otto Pint, Paramount, Sunpies, Truffle Pig (seasonal, hours may vary) and Timber & Torch (seasonal, hours may vary).