Post-ride meals are one of the many things I love about mountain biking. They give me time to recharge after being completely drained and allow me to process the day’s ride. In addition, they provide some of the best bonding time available. Stories are told of struggles, triumphs, and good times. Lastly, but certainly not least, during post-ride meals, food just seems to taste better. In a natural extension of my love for food and mountain biking, I decided to surmount a seemingly impossible task: finding the best post-ride restaurants in the country.
The first and possibly most complex part of the whole process was figuring out how restaurants would be judged. The two main components were the trails surrounding the establishment and the quality of the establishment itself. Since finding the best restaurants in every mountain bike-related town in the country seemed to teeter on the edge of impossibility, I decided to deal with the trails part of the equation in one simple move. The top 10 restaurants would be one establishment within the boundaries of each of the regions described on our Top 10 Mountain Bike Destinations in the USA list.
Next was the restaurant rating system. It started with finding as many “top 10” lists as I could find on each town. Then, after writing down the restaurants that made it onto two or more of those lists, I set a few post-ride parameters. First, the restaurant had to be open throughout the whole afternoon and evening. During a ride, it is often hard to tell when you’ll get back. You could take a wrong turn, simply want to take it slow, or get a mechanical that could cause you to get back hours past the ETA that was first anticipated. That is why restaurants that open at 5:30 or close at 3:00 are not optimal because anything can happen, and one of the cornerstones of a good post-ride restaurant is reliability and quick access to food.
Similarly, post-ride restaurants must obviously have a relatively short wait and quick service. One of the easiest ways a post-ride experience can be crippled is if waiting becomes an issue. After a really vigorous ride, this can often lead to stratospheric amounts of hunger that shouldn’t be wished upon anybody.
Next, although this is not necessarily a requirement, it is especially nice if the restaurant has a nearby bike rack or is near MTB infrastructure so that after eating, any bike-related needs can be easily met. In addition, since post-ride meals are usually eaten in dirty biking clothes, the atmosphere of a post-ride restaurant must be casual… very casual.
Finally, each restaurant was judged upon the quality of its food and service. This was the longest part of the whole process, requiring hours of pouring over reviews at a number of review sites to find the best restaurant that met all of the requirements previously described.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best post-ride restaurants in the USA.
Moab, Utah: Moab Diner
Although it came down to the wire, the Moab Diner came out above Moab’s other establishments in terms of post-ride eating awesomeness. To start off strong, it nailed every one of the preferred characteristics of a post-ride restaurant. According to Trip Advisor, Moab Diner has incredibly far reaching hours, lightening fast service, bike parking, and generous portions, which covers all the bases.
In addition, their mouth-watering burgers come in every shape and size and have the ability to satisfy a large array of different taste buds. If burgers are too much for your stomach after a rough ride on a Moab classic like the Whole Enchilada or Captain Ahab, the Moab Diner is still more than capable of delivering one of their of their delicious platters of halibut fish and chips or one of a variety of great sandwiches.
The best part? After a hard day of work in the desert sun, the Moab Diner reaches back to their 1950s roots to provide great dessert options like a banana split or a cone of one of 14 different ice cream flavors.
- Hours: 6:00am-9:00 pm weekdays, 6:00am-10:00pm weekends
- Vegetarian and gluten-free options
- Location: 189 S Main St, Moab, UT
- Website: moabdiner.com