Do You Prefer Casual or Fine Dining when Traveling?

Especially when traveling to larger cities, there tend to be an abundance of restaurants to choose from. Although we might select a nicer restaurant for a single night or a special occasion, we typically find more casual restaurants to grab a meal or quick bite. We go with casual restaurants for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is likely that we have been walking quite a bit and are usually dressed relaxed as we visit the various sights, so we don’t want to feel underdressed. We also find that some finer restaurants can be a little pretentious and we are all about simple food with great flavors that represent the region as opposed to a gourmet presentation. As we walk the streets of a city, we tend to look for a place that is warm and inviting, where the owners are typically visible, and where locals seem to be frequenting.

Prague, Czech Republic
Strasbourg, France
Café in Rome, Italy

That isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with going to a fine dining restaurant, they certainly have a lot to offer as well, but we just tend to lean towards the more casual locations. We do, however, tend to go to an actual sit-down restaurant versus just grabbing something from a street vendor. We will get something from a street cart if we are in a rush and it looks like they have a clean cart and fresh looking food, but our preference is to be able to sit at a table, sip on a glass of wine or beer, and people watch. Sitting at a small café in a plaza or square and relaxing over some nibbles while watching all of the other tourists scurry around can be quite the interesting experience.

Bistro in Paris, France
Courtyard Restaurant in Granada, Spain
People Watching in Quito, Ecuador

Sampling Food in Steamboat Springs

As per usual, we mostly ate small bites while we were in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, over the weekend. There are so many restaurant options and food styles that choosing a restaurant to visit wasn’t easy. When dining in a resort area in Colorado, regardless of how upscale the restaurant may be, dress is usually casual. It is not uncommon to go to even the most expensive of restaurants and see people in jeans and sports coats, about as dressed up as people get.

Casual Dining
Deviled Eggs with Pickled Okra
Red Curry Mussels

We enjoy finding places with different takes on classic dishes or food that we can’t necessarily find in other places. Colorado is known for its steaks and burgers, but we didn’t want anything that heavy, so we chose some simpler options. We found a restaurant that served American classics with a southern flair. The jalapeno cheese cornbread and deviled eggs with pickled okra were definitely different and certainly hit the spot.

Chilled Glasses and Beer on Tap
Jalapeno Cornbread
Western Influenced Artwork

Colorado is also known for southwestern food, which is Mexican inspired. We enjoyed a zippy southwestern cheesesteak sandwich with sautéed poblano peppers. They also featured a variety of dishes with international influences and we enjoyed a bowl of red curry mussels that had a nice, mild heat. Sticking with the southwestern theme, we enjoyed a pork con carne burrito that was definitely large enough for the tow of us to share.

Con Carne Burrito
The Red Curry Sauce
Relaxed Atmosphere

Unfortunately, we only had a couple of days in Steamboat Springs, so we will have to return to enjoy more of the food options that are available. There is nothing like eating food in a relaxed atmosphere where people are on vacation and no one is in a hurry to finish their meal.