Game Creek Restaurant – an Intimate Dining Experience in the Most Grand of Settings

Jun. 13, 2017

By: David Neff

It is Sunday morning, I am being whisked away in a four wheel drive sprinter van en route to brunch at Game Creek Restaurant atop Vail Mountain.

The shuttle driver, a bearded fellow originally from upstate New York intentionally leaves the windows down to let in the cool mountain air.  As we switchback along the wooded dirt road, he explains to me that the roots of Aspen trees, with their white bark and small leaves, are interconnected and they are actually considered to be among the largest living organisms on earth.  When you see one, you see a family, and when you have a family, you have a forest.

A short ten minutes later, I arrive at the true spectacle.  Game Creek Restaurant, perched on the side of Game Creek Bowl (for those familiar with Vail’s winter mountain, this is one of seven bowl skiing areas) is truly a breathtaking feat of architecture and modern gourmet dining. Nestled among the trees, it is a three tiered rustic American design with an ode to European architecture that lends perfectly to its alpine environment.  Full bellied families sit outside in the sunshine waiting for their ride back to the Gondola with satisfaction written all over their faces.  Their looks of pure enjoyment instill optimism and excitement for the meal I am about to eat,  and the ornate arched doorway begs for further exploration.

In Vail, CO

Game Creek Restaurant’s beautiful interior.

As I enter the restaurant immediately to my left there lies a bar where well dressed middle aged men and women are jovially sipping on elegant libations while participating in lively banter with the bartender, who continues to pour magnificent cocktails without skipping a beat.  Further on, the restaurant opens up into a beautifully well lit, chalet style dining room.  Just small enough to be intimate, and just large enough to be the mountain experience ever so fitting of this beautiful valley and section of the Rockies that surround Vail.  The room is carpeted in a beautiful dark red color, with patterns stretching from wall to wall.

I opt to sit outside, as the true gem of Game Creek Restaurant is its expansive deck.  It offers views into Game Creek Bowl, as well as views further West down the valley to Beaver Creek, Vail’s neighboring resort, and beyond.  It’s truly an amazing place to tone out all of daily life’s distractions, and enjoy the company, view, and amazing food and beverages.


A family enjoying Game Creek Restaurant’s expansive deck

The drink menu at Game Creek is equally as impressive as the views.  On the cocktail menu you will find Signature Cocktails like the Cappuccino Martini, Venice Spritz, Blueberry Mint Cooler, and more.  My server enthusiastically tells me the most popular and crowd favorite of the bunch is the Sazerac, a simple variation on a plain whiskey cocktail that contains Beam Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a hint of Absinthe.  Mimosas, quite possibly the most appropriate brunch beverage, are available in four different styles: Traditional, Pineapple Strawberry, Pomegranate Lime, and Orange Cranberry.  For our wine aficionados, Game Creek also has a wide selection of your favorite wines from France, California, and Italy. Draft and bottled beers are also available in both domestic and imported options.

After perusing the drink menu I make my way towards the sectioned off buffet area that accompanies my brunch.  It is an all you can eat gourmet buffet style that provides traditional American breakfast foods along with an endless selection of charcuterie, salads, fruit, seafood, meats, deserts, and pastries. A particular favorite of mine was the Sriracha Chicken Salad, which I was immediately intrigued by.  It tasted wonderfully fresh, with the perfect amount of spice, and all around a very nicely composed dish that I will not soon forget.  In true Colorado fashion, the meats are sourced as locally as possible.  The prime rib was tender, perfectly seasoned, and sliced fresh.  I try a little bit of everything I can get my hands on and I realize something:  there is truly something for everyone available at this buffet.  Whether you are the most seasoned “foodie”, a picky child, a carnivorous mountain goer, or a vegetarian looking for the freshest of greens, your hunger will be fulfilled at Game Creek.

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Executive Chef Steven Topple about Game Creek, ““I am so thrilled to be here, I look at the amazing surroundings, mountains, rivers, forests and am amazed, I am inspired to work with local flavors and ingredients. I love using items that don’t take forever to get here, keeping down the carbon footprint. And also paying respect to those flavors, my true goal is to keep adding to the awards Game Creek has been recognized for and to keep making it a great culinary destination.”

Executive Chef Steven Topple has worked in fine dining all throughout the country and his expert attention to detail throughout the meal is evident in the gorgeous presentation and arrangements of his plates. On top of that, the entire staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the food they are serving and you can tell they feel a strong sense of pride in offering guests the most memorable dining experience possible. Game Creek Restaurant can be enjoyed by couples, families, friends, colleagues, and anyone looking to have a unique dining experience in the mountains.


Game Creek Restaurant summer hours are as follows:

Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Sunday: Brunch 11am – 2pm

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (970) 754 – 4275 or by clicking here.

For a unique setting and unparalleled service, Game Creek is a perfect option for your special group or wedding. For informations about private functions at Game Creek, please call 866-231-VAIL or email



David Neff is a lifestyle blogger, writer, photographer, skier, Vail local and overall lover of the mountain experience.