Best Apres in Vail

Vail Apres

Vail is legendary not just for its excellent skiing and charming ambiance so reminiscent of the European Alps but its superb après-ski scene. Après is French for ‘after’ which is what comes next following an amazing day on the slopes. How’s that for a sentence. And how’s this for an assortment of pubs, lounges and restaurants each offering a special perspective and unique style on the best way to unwind après an active afternoon: Vail serves up several stunning spots to kick back with a cold one. Whether you’re looking for laid-back vibe, rowdy celebration, international flare, or some sort of combination, you’re sure to find just the space to suit your mood. What follows are a few of our favorite joints to mosey on up to for that period before dinner. Or, heck, grab a bite and extend your Apres in Vail until bedtime. After all, you’re on vacation.

The Red Lion — Vail Village

A mountain tavern since 1963, The Red Lion is widely recognized as both the après spot in Vail and #1 any-time restaurant and bar. Located smack dab in central plaza right beside the Vista Bahn chair, the infamous Red Lion is incredibly vibrant and most likely packed with merry-makers and out-of-towners looking for a good time. Once you’ve navigated the bar for a pitcher of beer and a place to put your gloves and helmet, you’ll probably see the proprietary owner and iconic figure, Phil Long – who’s been performing twice daily rock shows here for decades. His unique style of cover songs and enthusiastic crowd connection as he manages the bar from on stage help ensure his legendary status (and the throng of ski bunnies and cougars at front stage doesn’t hurt either). You see, Phil Long is the veritable conductor to the symphony of celebration that is The Red Lion – and there’s a fair chance he’ll send some shooters to your table as the atmosphere crescendos and swells and everyone is loving life.

The food is excellent here, as well, with the majority of the cuisine whipped up from scratch using only the finest ingredients. The appetizer menu in particular is a highlight, with ‘over the top’ portions of your favorite pub dishes. The meat is smoked in-house, the stellar specialty BBQ sauce is created in-house, and the burgers are hand-pattied. Grandma Long’s 100-year-old spaghetti and sausage recipe is itself alone worth the trip. There’s also 19 big screen TVs with surround sound, making The Red Lion the perfect après spot for catching the game. Come check it out when you’re in Vail, where good times are essentially guaranteed.

The Fitz at Manor Vail — Gore Place

Psst: just between you and I, locals consider Vail’s best kept secret to be The Fitz Lounge. Located in Manor Vail Lodge at the base of Golden Peak, nestled peacefully beside the trickling waters of Gore Creek, The Fitz ‘has it all’, as they say. The atmosphere is laid back and oh so relaxing as an après-ski spot all set to the backdrop of panoramic windows and the mountains beyond. When it comes to drinks, there’s always an amazing special on, and try the signature martinis and renowned wines – as well as the best sangria in Vail. The dining is exquisite, offering spectacularly creative and tasty dishes. You have to try the truffle fries, the flatbread is great, the ahi tuna nachoes are outstanding and the house special mac and cheese may be the tastiest you’ve ever tried.

Happy Hour here at the Fitz is from 4-6pm which just after the last runs of the day is the perfect time for après. Come wind down and take a load off. There’s live music on most nights which helps set the ambiance off right. And it’s just on the path to the Ford Amphitheatre so if you’re checking out a concert or performance in town, The Fitz is the ideal place to meet before and after the event. So come down creekside in the Gore Range for a more relaxed and refined apres in Vail session.

Los Amigos — Vail Village

You’re among friends here at the premier Mexican joint in Vail. Pull up a seat on the patio right at the base of Vail Mountain and the new gondola and watch the skiers finish their runs and make a few spills. Grab yourself a margarita and a chimichanga – the two most popular orders at Los Amigos and enjoy a Mexican style après (or is it proper to call it a después?) Whatever you want to call it, you’re in good hands here to wind down after an awesome day skiing Vail’s bowls and glades. The bar offers several Mexican varieties of cerveza as well as a hefty selection of barrel-aged tequila. ¡Salud!

Moe’s Original Bar B Que — Lionshead Village

Named one of the Top 10 BBQ Joints in America, Moe’s serves up that phenomenal southern soul food, Alabama style. The BBQ here is smoked daily with expertise, using fruit wood and hit with two sauces resulting in a remarkable taste. They also prepare several other southern-style side dishes and desserts daily from recipes passed down for generation. If you’re seeking some southern hospitality for your après then there’s no better choice than Moe’s. Be sure to try their trademark turkey breast and redneck nachos – and the pulled pork and collard greens are downright great, y’all.

Frost Bar — Vail Village

If you’re looking for a hip, warm, social and trendy lounge for an après spot then come on down to The Sebastian Hotel and chill out at Frost. When it comes to beverages of all sorts Frost has it made;whether it’s a micro-brew, a sleek cocktail, a smoky dram from the signature Scotch collection or the unbelievable selection of international spirits. In addition to their own supply of coffee made especially for them, Frost also has the largest supply of tequila in North America, and the Mexican owners know a thing or two about high quality.

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