Colorado ski towns are notoriously expensive. With lift tickets running upwards of $100-150 a day, you’ll want to budget wherever you can. Be a savvy traveler and refuse to pay tourist prices at the see and be seen restaurants in town. These are the best off the beaten path food spots for a quarter of the price that’ll still be an amazingly memorable meal. Besides, you’ll want to save your cash for après – just remember to toast to me.
Kava – Breckenridge
If you’re looking for “Breck-fast,” Kava in Breckenridge is known for their delectable mini donuts that are sold by the half dozen or dozen, but it’s their breakfast burritos that you’ll be writing home about. Ringing in at a humongous 13 inches, they grill the tortilla on a panini maker and stuff them full of eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, and salsa (yes, inside). Seriously, it’s bomb. And I’m not even a huge burrito fan.
Blue Moon Bakery – Dillon (en route to A-Basin and/or Keystone)
At night you’ll find locals in Dillon lining up at the Dam Brewery, but in the morning, it’s Blue Moon Bakery. Known for amazing pastries and cheap breakfast sandwiches, it’s the perfect grab and go stop for fueling up en route to the slopes. With the daily special of one egg, cheese, bacon, ham, sausage, tomato, or avocado on an English muffin setting you back just $3, it’s easily the best deal in Summit County, but good luck walking by the sweets counter without succumbing to something. Their homemade bread is worth stopping for alone (and can be made gluten free!).
Colorado Bagel Co & Deli – Steamboat Springs
Unassuming in a strip mall, all you need to know about Colorado Bagel Co. is three words – Sun-Dried Tomato Avocado Garlic Cream Cheese. Ok technically that’s seven, but on a Jalapeño Cheddar bagel? You’ll never go to Einstein’s ever again. Don’t forget to grab a tub of the spread to go, too.
Venga Venga – Snowmass
Richard Sandoval’s slopeside cantina and walkup window are a godsend. Cuisine from a celebrated, nationally renowned chef at affordable lunch prices? Sign us up. And don’t miss out on the 75 tequilas and mezcals behind the bar. Being in the Southwest, Colorado’s Mexican is hard to beat.
Sweet ColoraDough – Glenwood Springs
This Glenwood Springs bakery is basically the lovechild of sugar enthusiasts and pork fanatics. The place I tried my first cronut, while the donuts are ridiculous, the breakfast sandwiches made on bacon or sausage bread (yes, pork-infused grain) are worth the stop alone.
The Goat – Keystone
Officially called the Goat Soup and Whiskey Tavern, the Goat is the ultimate dive. Recently celebrating their 20th anniversary, it’s basically a staple drinking establishment in the mountains. The food is cheap pub grub, the popcorn salty, the crowd crude, and the drinks strong. There is often live music to be found and shenanigans to be had.
Wolcott Yacht Club – Random Highway Exit Past Beaver Creek/Avon
RIP – Currently closed 🙁 Hands down one of my top 5 meals in the state of Colorado, Wolcott Yacht Club is about as random as it gets. The only building for miles in this lone section of Vail Valley, their farm-to-table small plate setup knows their veggies, making everything from crispy brussels to spaghetti squash come alive. For the carnivores, the meats are nothing to sneeze at either, with game meats always a staple in a cozy, intimate venue.
Know any other great hidden gems?