Where to Eat in Telluride, Colorado

An idyllic mountain town with stunning hiking trails, award-winning pizza, and plenty of beer.

“If you’d rather stay down in the canyon, another solid option is to pay a visit to Cosmopolitan, whose chef-owner Chad Scothorn has been at it for 26-plus years. An unforgettable roasted half chicken shows up with crispy skin overlaying succulent meat. But, if you’ve come this far for more than mind-blowing poultry, there’s also a sumptuous Colorado rack of lamb served with whole-grain-mustard crème fraîche and a leek-and-wild-rice risotto. The drinks menu is tightly crafted, and cocktails include a dirty pomelo made with jalapeño-infused tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, and citrus foam. There’s also a non-alcoholic menu that features an agave-sweetened CBD sparkling lemonade… because, Colorado.”
Read the whole, wonderful story here.

Cherry Creek North Food & Wine is offering a curated four-day dining dream August 11-14 and Chad Scothorn is participating with Chef Bernard Guillas for Dinner On The Plaza, from 6-9 on August 13.

With 60 percent of restaurants forced to close their doors as of September 2020, and 70 percent expected to permanently close before we even approach herd immunity, this is the story of one restaurateur in a small resort town that repeatedly and relentlessly reinvented his restaurant, and very simply refused to quit … no matter what.

“Anyone who has spent a certain amount of time in Telluride knows that the happy hour at The Cosmopolitan is a must-do. The menu features sushi and drink specials, including the popular pink Cosmo cocktail, and the ambiance is relaxing, yet refined. All of that, plus the fact it’s located mere steps from the gondola plaza, makes it the perfect après ski spot.“

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5280“To find one of the best meals in Colorado, you’ll need to drive to Telluride—and it’s totally worth it. Just across the street from the gondola sits Cosmopolitan Telluride , chef-owner Chad Scothorn’s homage to fusion and (whenever possible) locally sourced ingredients.”


    Cosmopolitan goes the extra mile for their employee’s stability, health, and well-being

    As residents of San Miguel County continue to fight to find housing, Chad Scothorn, Executive Chef and Owner of Cosmopolitan Restaurant in Telluride is working hard to help by offering housing units to his staff as a way to attract and retain talented people. Additionally, he is offering free health benefits to all full and part-time employees. That’s a first in Telluride!

    “We care about our staff. Developing the right culture is essential to achieving a sustainable and competitive advantage. We can attract and maintain a diverse workforce with the highest-caliber skills if we take care of them. It’s that simple.”

    Free Health Benefits

    Cosmo employees that reach their six-month status are eligible for membership in Doctor Heather Linder’s Direct Primary Care Clinic, Telluride Whole Health. Cosmo employees will have unlimited doctor visits free of charge as well as discounted labs, medications, and supplements at wholesale prices. Read more here

  • Telluride: One of the West’s Most Beguiling Warm-Weather Getaways

    Not Just a Ski Town…

    In Telluride, you’ll find countless hiking and biking trails, top-notch kayaking and paddle-boarding—and chef-driven fine dining.

    Telluride is a town with a reputation: a winter wonderland swathed in snow, scribbled with ski tracks and lit by fireplaces in cozy lodges. That image isn’t wrong—just incomplete. Telluride is also one of the best off-season destinations the West has to offer, with countless hiking and biking trails, top-notch kayaking and paddleboarding on the Alta Lakes, chef-driven destination restaurants and the most beautiful newly renovated resort in Colorado.

    Nestled at 10,540 feet, that resort is Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, where guest experiences include off-roading, horseback riding through wildflower meadows to a saddlebag brunch, foraging expeditions with the chef and guided fly-fishing trips to private mountain streams. Or stay in to experience amenities such as the Alpine Swim Club, where you can sip a drink in the heated outdoor pool with the majestic San Juan Mountains as your backdrop, and one of Telluride’s newest fine-dining restaurants, Timber Room, which mixes superbly crafted cocktails (with a notable emphasis on whiskey) to pair with elevated rustic dishes such as Rocky Mountain elk tartare, buttermilk fried rabbit and a dry-aged bison tomahawk. The hotel’s décor complements the stunning natural landscape—wood-grained walls, sweater-stitch carpets—with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the sweeping peaks and valleys in the distance.

    Beyond the resort, golfers will revel in the mountain views at Telluride Golf Club, one of the world’s highest courses, while the alfresco happy-hour crowd has another reason to flock to beloved institution Cosmopolitan, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year (its spicy tuna roll has become the stuff of local legend) which recently opened an outdoor patio complete with fireplace tables for cool nights.

    Book a Labor Day trip and enjoy Telluride’s famous annual Film Festival; stay a few weeks so you don’t miss the Wine Festival, from September 23 through 26. Or perhaps the area’s abundance of outdoor activities and natural wonders such as Bridal Veil Falls, a 365-foot waterfall surrounded by wilderness, has convinced you to make your vacation more permanent? Tom Cruise’s Telluride estate may have just sold for $39.5 million, but, as of this writing, Jerry Seinfeld’s is on the market for less than half that price.

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  • Wolfgang Puck pays a visit to Cosmo…

    A wonderful visit from my mentor, Wolfgang Puck. Cosmopolitan, 2002

  • Escape to Telluride: Living Well… Dine at Cosmo

    August 24, 2017, Joshua Cates, Publisher

    IN 1889, BUTCH CASSIDY’S FIRST MAJOR RECORDED CRIME OCCURRED IN TELLURIDE, COLORADO, the county seat of San Miguel County. Cassidy robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank and made off with $24,580 or $665,943 in today’s dollars.

    Currently, we have no plans to rob a bank, but can’t help but wonder how Butch would have spent 48 hours in Telluride with all that dough. The town of Telluride and Gateway Resort have invited us out and we plan to show you how to eat like royalty, play like a local and stay in style. 

    Day three will start in a stream somewhere in Telluride. Anglers from Telluride Outside tell us this is the best way to take in the surrounding beauty and we can’t argue that point. We look forward to learning what it takes to land a trout from some of the finest streams in the Rocky Mountains.

    Telluride is an angler’s paradise, and its rivers are full of trout and possibilities. After working up a healthy appetite on the river, Chef-Owner Chad Scothorn of The Cosmopolitan has invited us to dine with him and see why Wine Spectator has given The Cosmopolitan their Award of Excellence for 9 consecutive years. 

    Excerpted from Living Well.

  • Telluride Magazine on Chad Scothorn, Master Chef

    Set in a former grand saloon, the restaurant is run by James Beard House invitee Chad Scothorn, whose knack for grafting Asian culinary traditions over American fine-dining fare suggests the work of Citizen Public House maestro Bernie Kantak. Paired with a no-nonsense Old Fashioned, my Wagyu rib-eye – sourced from 7X Beef in Hotchkiss, Colo. – is the marvel of marbling you might expect, with a hypnotically buttery mouthfeel and just the right coppery zing of quality organic beef.

  • Telluride named top travel destination for 2015

    KUSA – As America rings in the New Year, TripAdvisor identified the top destinations where travelers are planning to visit in 2015.

    4. Telluride, Colo.

    This former gold rush town is now known for its picturesque snow covered peaks and year-round recreation. Travelers recommend the scenic Telluride/Mountain Village Gondola, which offers a “distractingly beautiful view” and Cosmopolitan Telluride, which has the “best happy hour in town,” according to a TripAdvisor reviewer.

    Read more here

  • Edge Restaurant & Bar: Cosmo


    We began with a snappy and fresh spider roll (sushi roll appetizers are half-price during happy hour) and complemented that with a plate of succulent lobster corn dogs. For one entrée, we chose the subtly seasoned chicken rillettes with a tender lemon risotto, along with garden-fresh snap peas and wild mushrooms.

    This dish was satisfying without being too filling, but our second entrée—the surf and turf—was the real showstopper… edge-restaurant-barRead more

  • TripAdvisor Reveals Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise for 2015

    4. Telluride, Colorado – 18 Hotels, 65 Restaurants, 71 Attractions (Average nightly hotel rate: $300)

    This former gold rush town is now known for its picturesque snow covered peaks and year-round recreation. Travelers recommend the scenic Telluride/Mountain Village Gondola, which offers a “distractingly beautiful view” and Cosmopolitan Telluride, which has the “best happy hour in town,” according to a TripAdvisor reviewer.

    Read more

  • BEST CHEFS AMERICA: Chad Scothorn

    is the ultimate chef’s guide to chefs. Our annual publication is compiled by a comprehensive process of interviewing chefs across the country. Chefs are nominated for participation by fellow chefs, other culinary professionals, and food enthusiasts. Read more here


  • What the Chef Learned on His Summer Vacation
    Cosmopolitan’s Grilled Baby Octopus with potato salad, duck bacon, chopped egg and roasted pepper oil.

    Cosmopolitan’s Grilled Baby Octopus with potato salad, duck bacon, chopped egg and roasted pepper oil.

    The best thing about the chef taking time off — from his customer’s point of view, at least — is that we get to taste what he learned while he was gone.

    At Cosmopolitan in Telluride, this summer that means Baby Grilled Octopus served with a potato and egg salad, duck bacon and roasted red pepper oil. Yes, Cosmo chef-proprietor Chad Scothorn is recently back from Catalonia and you can bet that the new octopus starter at Cosmo is just the first evidence of it that we will see.

    Octopus has been popular for the last several years in big cities, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in the region. It’s popular because it is so versatile, so tender, so much fun to eat and it’s sustainably harvested, too, in most of the places where it’s fished.

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Photography by Alan Cuenca