Vail is well known as premium-priced in virtually every category - top-drawer if that's your thing. The good news is that if you find yourself in Vail - spending your 401K on a family ski trip, sleeping on a friends couch, or just passing through on your way from Denver to Glenwood Springs - there are cheap eats to be found, if you know where to look. From the grade level of the Vail Transportation Center, head downstairs one floor to La Cantina, a colorful outpost of its hermana establishment of the same name found west down I-70 in Avon, CO. La Cantina Vail straddles a rollup-style cage door space smack dab in the center of the bus terminal and adjacent to a parking garage for day skiers. Fare is typical if unremarkable Tex-Mex and the service is hit or miss based on how good the snow is and one thing is pretty clear, at 8,000 feet pretty much everyone in Vail is high (at least that's what the T-shirts say). My friend and I ordered two enchiladas and one chicken burrito with guacamole. The arrived a few minutes later as just that, two enchiladas and one chicken burrito. No garnishes, no rice, nor beans, just whatever the item is that you order. I had the burrito and the chicken was nicely cooked, moist, shredded, but there was no guacamole to be found. I didn't say anything because I could tell that the hipster lumberjack bearded hombre taking orders would've gone into a tailspin with the lineup of guests at the counter if I had gone back to straighten out the issue. Considering all the challenges we have in the world, I can live without guacamole on my burrito on the most expensive ski resort in North America. La Cantina offers beer, wine and cocktails at the bar or one of the 2-top or 4-top tables scattered around the open space. We opted for water to drink and got out of La Cantina for under $20 for two of us. Not bad, even without the guacamole. If you're in Vail for several days and are looking for an alternative to the uber-expensive Vail ski lodges and other finer establishments in the village, check out La Cantina in the Transportation Center. Chances are you'll find lots of locals and perhaps even that side of guacamole I missed.
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