Chaffee County has many fine restaurants with a variety of dining choices.

Breakfast “out” is the way to start a day of leaf peeping. Lunch or even a takeout fills the bill for the middle of the day, and dinner in the evening offers a perfect ending for a fall day.

Salida and Poncha Springs

If it’s coffee or tea you’re looking for, you’ll find them at Sacred Ground Coffee, 216 W. U.S. 50; Brown Dog Coffee, 105 F St.; Gathering Grounds, 203 W. First St.; and Café Dawn, 122 E. First St. in downtown Salida. Some also offer sandwiches, soups, pastries, salads and/or breakfast bowls.

Patio Pancake Place, 640 E. U.S. 50; Robin’s, 8046 U.S. 50; and The Firefly, 142 W. U.S. 50, are open until 2 p.m., offering breakfast and lunch, mostly American but with some Mexican.

Wallbangers Sports Bar & Grill, 720 E. U.S. 50, has breakfast burritos mornings at the Express Shack outside and brunch on Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon, as well as daily lunch and dinner. Shallots, 137 E. First St. has Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Breakfast, along with lunch and dinner, is available at Snow Angel Bar & Grill at the Salida Golf Club, 404 Grant St.

You can pick up a quick breakfast pastry or lunch salad or sandwich (including gluten free) at Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop, 124 F St. downtown, or find a quick lunch and ice cream at Mama D’s, 140 N. F St.

Fast food choices include Subway, 1115 E. U.S. 50; Sonic Drive-In, 7820 W. U.S. 50; and McDonald’s, 840 E. U.S. 50; and deli choices at Simple Foods, 1548 G St.

Burgers and sandwiches can be found at Benson’s Tavern & Beer Garden, 128 N. F St.

If you’re hungry for authentic Mexican and Southwest food, Salida has several choices. Fiesta Mexicana, 1220 E. U.S. 50; Los Girasoles, 7595 U.S. 50; Las Camelinas Restaurante, 128 W. First St.; Boathouse Cantina, 228 N. F St.; and MO Burrito, 311 H St. are in Salida, and Tony’s, 11346 U.S. 50, is in Poncha Springs. Tacos El Tapatio is a food truck usually parked at 1540 E. U.S. 50. Most also offer American choices.

And yes, Salida even has Cajun cuisine at The Lost Cajun, 1110 E. U.S. 50.

Good old-fashioned milkshakes and delicious desserts can be found at 50 Burger, 445 E. U.S. 50, along with burgers and American foods for lunch and dinner. Ice cream treats are also available at Here’s the Scoop, 215 F St., and Salida Chill in the new building adjacent to Boathouse Cantina at 228 N. F St.

Italian dining is at 216 Ferraro’s, 216 N. F St., and Grimo’s Italian Restorante, 6380 U.S. 285 in Poncha Springs.

Hungry for pizza? DePasquale’s Pizza, 509 E. U.S. 50; Domino’s Pizza, 150 E. U.S. 50; Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub, 242 F St.; and Amicas Pizza, 127 F St., can help.

Looking for Asian food? Try the Thai Mini Café, 11150 U.S. 50 in Poncha Springs, or Little Cambodia, 300 W. Sackett Ave. in downtown Salida.

Poncha Springs has breakfast and lunch items at Mabel’s Deli at Poncha Market, 6250 U.S. 285, and American food at The Hunger Junction, 10538 U.S. 50. A little further west on U.S. 50, you’ll find steaks, seafood and Colorado comfort food at Monarch Mountain Lodge, 22720 W. U.S. 50.

For lunch or an evening out, there’s also The Fritz, 113 E. Sackett Ave., with American food, Shallots at 137 E. First St. with an international menu and fine dining, Currents at 122 N. F St., Quincys Steak & Spirits, 710 Milford St. (off U.S. 50) and Uptown Grill, 413 W. U.S. 50.

Looking for some food and a drink? Try The 146 Taphouse at 146 W. First Street, where you can get self-pour beer, wine and cider and food. The new Grand Central on the top floor of the new building adjacent to Boathouse Cantina at 228 N. F St. has cocktails and finger foods. The Biker and The Baker, 123 W. First St., offers wine and desserts.

Soulcraft Brewing, 248 W. U.S. 50, has partnered with Cosmo’s Fresh Pasta, which offers pasta, sauces, sandwiches, salads and sweets in the brewery parking lot.

For outdoor dining while the weather is still agreeable, there’s Amicas Pizza, The 146 Taphouse, Benson’s Tavern & Beer Garden, Boathouse Cantina, Brown Dog Coffee, Café Dawn, The Fritz, Here’s the Scoop, Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub, Fiesta Mexicana, 50 Burger and Uptown Grill.

Nathrop and Buena Vista

On the way to Buena Vista from Salida, you’ll find Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, 15870 CR 162, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Buena Vista offers a variety of dining opportunities, ranging from fast food to fine dining.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be had at Jan’s Restaurant, 305 U.S. 24 S., and La Herradura Mexican Restaurant, 708 U.S. 24. More American food can be found at Chester’s Chicken, 314 Charles St.

For a quick lunch try Biggies Sub Shop, 234 U.S. 24; Roosters Crow Café, 527 U.S. 24 N.; House Rock Kitchen, 421 E. Main St.; Subway, 720 U.S. 24; Sorelle Delicatessen, 303 U.S. 24 N.; or Simple Eatery & Spoon It Up, 402 E. Main St.

The Lariat offers a seasonally inspired and locally sourced menu at 206 E. Main St.

For Mexican and Southwest food in Buena Vista, try Casa Sanchez, 314 Charles St., or Pancho’s at 215 U.S. 24 N.

Barbecue can be found at Pa Paw Billy’s BBQ, 710 U.S. 24 N.

Those with a taste for Asian will enjoy The Asian Palate, 328 E. Main St., and Jade Garden, 505 U.S. 24.

Hungry for pizza? Eddyline Restaurant, 926 S. Main St., has it along with American food. Other pizza choices are Elkhorn Pizzeria, 601 U.S. 24 N.; Eddyline Brewery and Taproom, 102 Linderman Ave.; Godfather’s Pizza Express, 115 Harrison Ave.; and Domino’s Pizza, 12916 U.S. 24.

For coffee, pastries and lunch (and outdoor seating with a mountain view) try Brown Dog Coffee, 713 S. U.S. 24.

Fine dining can be had at Quincys Steak & Spirits, 605 U.S. 24, and Wesley & Rose at the Surf Hotel, 1012 Front Loop.

For ice cream treats try Swift River Ice Cream, 236 U.S. 24 S.; Louie’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 414 E. Main St.; or K’s Dairy Delite, 223 U.S. 24, which also offers burgers and other food.