Guest blog provided by Julia Volzke


Do you like to eat?

Do you also like to be outside?

Are you visiting Durango?

If you answered yes to any of these questions I advise you continue reading.

Durango residents are known for their love of the outdoors. Just walk down Main Ave and count the mountaineering and hiking shops. It shouldn not come as a surprise that we also love to eat outdoors. While you are trekking down Main, also count the number of patios you see (although some are hidden treasures, tucked away). A number of local coffee shops and quite a few restaurants have outdoor patios. If you are feeling at all outdoorsy and want to enjoy a good cup of coffee or a slice of pizza while you people-watch, Durang is a good place to be.

Here are a few of my favorite patios!

The Balcony Bar and Grill.

Situated right at Durango's busiest downtown intersection, College and Main, this rooftop patio is the one that comes to mind when I think of happy hour. Locals love this spot for it's views and downtown ambiance. This is also a great place to catch live music! A fun menu with one of my favorite's, the fried pickle chips.


China Cafe located at 1525 Main Ave.

This is one of two outdoor patios that has an awesome view of the Animas River. If you want a fun time I would suggest having lunch there over the weekend of the Animas River Days. This one isn't as much for people watching as it is for enjoying the scenery. Some favorite meals to keep my mouth busy are the Volcano Shrimp or the Orange Peel Chicken. Disclaimer: both are extremely spicey. If you are looking for an intimate, quieter date and would like to enjoy our Durango scenery a bit more I would definitely suggest dropping by.


Carvers located at 1022 Main Ave.

One of Durango's 6 breweries, this is another Durango hub and a personal favorite. The outdoor seating is tucked away out the back bar and has a great atmosphere. Even though there are no mountain views, the ambiance is what makes this place special.  Frequented by locals and tourists alike for its legendary menu and vast array of beers, this stop should be bumped to the top of your itinerary. Hanging canvas chairs and a cool rustic vibe make it a great meeting place for a get together with friends and family. I would reccomend the Reuben and my dad recomends the Belgo Juice IPA. Durango is known for its beer and we love our IPA's. 


Cyprus Cafe located at 725 E 2nd Ave.

This cafe is a great location for a fun lunch date on beautiful 2nd Ave. The Cyprus Cafe is known for its "Farm to Table" dining, which means locally grown menu items. This can make everyone smile because, as a tight knit community, we love to have small businesses that stay local.  My recomendation would be to stop by on a Sunday evening to listen the live, Jazz music group while enjoying the Butter Lettuce salad.


Double Tree by Hilton Durango located at 501 Camino Del Rio.

You know how I was talking about China Cafe being one of the two restaurants that has an outdoor patio that looks over the Animas River? The Double Tree by Hilton Durango is the other location where you can also enjoy views of the river and river trail. Awesome views and great food, this hidden gem is a top-knotch patio to visit.


So, dear reader, I hope this list gives you are starting point for enjoying your eating experience outdoors. Make sure to bring some sunscreen or a wide brim sun hat if you are feeling like you are going to be outside enjoying the company of your friends or family for a while. At this high of altitude you can get a sunburn pretty quick so make sure to always be packing the sunscreen. 

Let me know if you have any outdoor patios that you would like me to check out or if you have any suggestions for me. As always i'm open to hear your opinions and thoughts! Feel free to email me at

Have a lovely day and I'll see you on the next blog!