Its interesting to talk to folks in from out of town and have them say, “Whenever I come to Salida I ALWAYS eat at _________,” because this next visit some of those folks are in for a very pleasant surprise. For a little Rocky Mountain town nextled in a doughnut hole of fifteen 14,000 ft. peaks, Salida sure has some good eats these days.
The classics are still here, like: Amicas Pizza & Microbrewery, offering handmade wood fired pizzas, specialty sandwiches, fresh salads and of course, Salida’s only locally made beer, or Laughing Ladies Restaurant, a Historic Downtown institution serving up Modern American Cuisine for lunch, dinner and what might be this girl’s favorite Sunday brunch in town.
In recent years Salida has been adding to the list of local eateries and situated right on the Arkansas River, the Boathouse Cantina, is a spot not to be missed. Featuring an array of delicious salsas and what might be the most diverse beer tap in town, you can’t beat the Boathouse for good food and a great view. Enjoy the Cantina in the summertime when kayakers abound in nearby play holes and the windows roll up to let in the roar of the Arkansas whitewater.
New to the Salida Eats scene just this year are The Fritz, 216 Ferraro’s, Wallbangers Sports Bar & Grill, and just this week, Currents:
American Bistro? Global Cafe? The Fritz serves up delicious sandwiches by day, small plates by night and they just might have the best burger in town – which they serve up to locals for a reduced price every Monday. Last night I had the pineapple jam, greens and terryaki steak BURGER! Whoa! Don’t miss the bacon macaroni and cheese!
Across from Riverside Park on “F” Street is 216 Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant featuring killer house made pastas and deserts, Italian wines and daily specials.
Head out to the highway to get your sports bar fix at Wallbangers, open just over a month now Wallbangers is becoming a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. Wonder what they’ll have on special this Super Bowl Sunday?!
Featuring their full menu for the first time this week: Currents, a downtown steak and seafood bar serving mussels, fresh oysters, crab cakes and a menu designed to please everyone in the family. Check out their 2 for 1 Happy Hour from 3-5 pm daily.
No trip to Historic Downtown Salida would be complete without stopping in at the Victoria Tavern, built in 1902 it’s been a bar ever since and has the history to prove it. With the original back bar, gun rack and pressed tin ceilings, the Victoria is a favorite on the Historic Preservationists list, but for someone looking for a little local color you can’t beat The Vic for a good drink, the inside scoop around town and handful of stories about the wild, wild west – it’s also the best spot to see live music in town! Plus, Monarch Season Pass and same day ticket holders get in FREE to all winter long. (See what I mean about an insider’s tip?!)
Just a short way down the road to the junction of U.S. Highway 285 & Highway 50 is Grimo’s Italian Restaurant. Intimate and full of old school charm, this is where Frank Grimo has been serving up the classics at reasonable prices for years now. From the King cut prime rib, to the meatballs, to the hugely reasonable wine list, the homemade soups, and a Limoncello martini that will knock your socks off, this is a must for locals and tourists alike. The service is excellent and Grimo’s gets my vote for best date night spot around!
After a day on the river, mountain, or trail be sure to pop into one of these Salida area restaurants for a good meal and some local hospitality.
K. Hale Chamblee