Where Do The Locals Go To Eat in Breckenridge, Colorado?
Three Little Unknowns You'll Love
Breckenridge, Colorado is one of those rare destinations that holds massive appeal almost year-round. In the Winter, epic ski mountains draw snow bunnies from around the world seeking a less "snooty" ski experience then nearby Aspen or Vail. In the Summer, the temperature never peaks higher then seventy-five degrees, and that's when everyone takes their dogs, bikes and kids everywhere they go.
It goes without saying that Breck is an outdoorsmen's paradise, but it’s quite rare in my experience, for a tourism destination like Breckenridge to have the perfect combination of recreation, and divine dining options.
Breckenridge touts over 75 bars and restaurants, which is kind of crazy-amazing for a small town of only 5.3 square miles. The best part? Their restaurants are actually good! Really, really good!
Here are a few “lesser knowns” you might be delighted to discover off the beaten path - a lovely smattering of uppity, semi-uppity, casual and just plain "good anytime" restaurants in Breckenridge - for the foodie in you to drool over!
I’m going to come right out and say it: Ember is my absolute favorite restaurant in Breckenridge. There you go, I’m namin’ it and claimin’ it! I’m not alone in this belief, though, 92% of Trip Advisor travelers agree apparently.
If you are a foodie, and you only have one place to go on your trip to this ski town, pick Ember!
Here are a few reasons why:
Chef Scot Boshaw’s menu changes seasonally but, his exotic and unexpected flavor combinations are consistent year round. When I dined there one fall evening, I savored a sorbet nicknamed “Fall in a scoop,” ate pork shoulder like it was chocolate candy, lobster like it was champagne, and “infused jalapeño vodka” like it was a plate full of jalapeño poppers (o.k., I’m exaggerating on that last one, I did not have the courage to try the jalapeño vodka, but the Pearmintini did sound intriguing!).
The atmosphere is cozy and chic all in one, with bold, oversized art work, and an old stained glass window still in tact from the building’s original state as a Church.
Service is superb, and I mean that. The staff doles out tantalizing descriptions of each menu item like they were describing baby Jesus on his birthday, then they deliver these delish concoctions like they were serving Jesus himself.
Happy Hour is not just any ole’ Happy Hour, it’s Euphoria Hour served up around a large round bar piqued with ambient lighting. Ember’s in-house infused alcohol combinations are sure to spice up any night out. (Would you like a Dillywhacker or a Figgedaboutit with that?!).
In the summertime, their lovely deck is one of the best spots in town for a good sniff and sip, or you can even join them for the annual Pig Roast.
The only real problem you might have at Ember? Picking just a few items to eat!
Amazing Grace Natural Eatery
Housed in a “quirky” little historic yellow building just up the road from Main Street Breckenridge, “The Grace” as locals call it, serves up the healthiest and tastiest breakfast burrito in town (in my humble opinion).
How in the world did these folks figure out that spicy sweet potatoes, fresh organic salsa, guacamole, black beans, spinach and some fluffy organic eggs would make an ooey-gooey, melty, savory and perfectly healthy combination?
Among other things, The Grace is known for their chunky vegan chocolate chip cookies (that don’t taste vegan and could easily feed three), and a delightful selection of fine baked scones and treats served daily.
Owned and operated by Monique (Mona) Merrill, a champion American ski mountaineer and marathon mountain biker, this quaint joint is community oriented, inspired and run.
Enter through the back door in through the kitchen and wave “Hello” to Mona as she whips something up in the kitchen. Or, come in up the front stoop, and stumble into a room that takes you back in time with it’s historic charm. However you get to “The Grace,” you’ll find a good grace of guilt-free, tasty treats, and probably a few good trail tips while you’re there!
I don't care who you are, what you're wearing, or where you're going, we all like a dependable, inexpensive morning or noon-time cafe!
On any given day (and especially at the height of ski season), you’ll find Breck’s Columbine Cafe packed with skiers in full gear, and a half hour wait just to get a table for four.
If you're lucky enough to visit in Summer or Fall, pick a table out on the patio which sits in the middle of Breck's historic downtown shopping district.
Savor selections like the Hangover Burrito - a flour tortilla the size of a small animal, stuffed with Columbine's signature homemade pecan smoked chunky corned beef hash, scrambled eggs and cheese, and topped with a spicy green chili sauce. I think it earned its name because it'll kick your taste buds into sensory overload when you drag your just-left-the-club-at-four-a.m. tookus in. You've never tasted corn beef hash like this - order anything on the menu with it and you can't go wrong, from the Breck Scramble to the CBH Scramble served over hashbrowns and eggs. If you like cakes for breakfast, try the Columbine Wheat & Honey Cakes - they redefine the term "supersize," spilling off the edges of a large dinner plate.
If you want lunch, I think lunch might be good, too, but I am so enamored with their breakfast (which they serve all day long til 2:30 p.m.) that I couldn't tell you!
I could go on and on about the plethora of savory surprises in Breckenridge, but we’ll leave you drooling...I mean, hanging there for now. ‘Til next time, bon appetit!
Megan Aronson is the Tourism, Travel and Toddlers Editor for Sedona, Arizona; Breckenridge, Colorado and beyond
Breckenridge: Courtesy of Megan Aronson
Breckenridge downtown wikimedia commons: David Shankbone, adapted by Wandering Educators
Ember 3 Courtesy of Ember Facebook page
Ember 5: Courtesy of Adam & Imthiaz Photography and Ember Restaurant
Ember Stained Glass 2: Courtesy of Nancy Peters Boshaw Alsgard & Ember Facebook page
Ember Bar: Courtesy of Nancy Peters Boshaw Alsgard & Ember Facebook page
Ember 67: Courtesy Ember Facebook page
Amazing Grace Main: Courtesy of Skitownrestaurants.com
Amazing Grace burrito: Courtesy of Foursquare.com
Amazing Grace Mona: Courtesy Amazing Grace Natural Eatery Facebook page
Columbine Cafe photo: Courtesy of Breakfast Jones.com