When you think of Breckenridge, you usually imagine skiers speeding down Peak 10 on six inches of new snow. Nevertheless, beyond the snow-covered peaks, this laid-back mountain town provides plenty opportunity for foodies to fuel their Breckenridge, Colorado skiing adventures. In this laid-back town, function comes first, and jeans are appropriate even for exquisite dining at the top Breckenridge restaurants.
Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.
- 1 5 Breckenridge Restaurants You Must Try
- 2 Which of these Breckenridge restaurants do you want to try the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
5 Breckenridge Restaurants You Must Try
Bistro Blue River
+1 970-453-6974305 N. Main St.
The Blue River Cafe is the ideal way to cap off a day on the mountain. The restaurant’s decor is informal but sophisticated, with contemporary, clean lines. Live music, ranging from Delta blues to instrumental jazz, adds to the pleasure.
The restaurant serves earth-to-table cuisine while also supporting local farmers and craftspeople. Colorado classics like buffalo short ribs and elk carpaccio are on the menu.
Keema is a savory slow-cooked lentil dish with tofu, chilis, tomato, cilantro, and red curry served over jasmine rice.
A creatively designed amuse-bouche is a delightful way to begin the dinner. On a crunchy fried wonton cracker, the ahi tuna tartar blends cilantro, cucumber, and the ideal amount of sesame oil. The mixture is placed in the bowl of a spoon, with the handle balanced on half a cork positioned on a square white plate.
The tuna poke is topped with avocado, wakame, and ponzu sauce. It’s served on a wonton cracker with lettuce on top. The chef garnishes the platter with squiggles of wasabi and sriracha aioli after scattering black and white sesame seeds on top.
The Caprese appetizer is as tasty as it is beautiful. To make a towering appetizer, alternate four beefsteak tomato slices with four fresh mozzarella slices. Freshness is created by intertwined basil leaves. The stack is drizzled with basil-infused olive oil and a balsamic reduction. The meal is completed with buttery crisp baguette pieces.
- Some Breckenridge restaurants close during the shoulder seasons, but the Blue River Bistro remains open. I recommend reservations; however, walk-ins are welcome.
- Blue River Bistro is famous for offering the best happy hour in Breckenridge. There are two happy hours, one from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and one from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. Each includes two-for-one appetizers and martinis. These specials make both happy hours a strong value.
Canteen Tap House & Tavern
N. Main St., +1 970-453-0063208 N. Main St.
The rustic setting of The Canteen complements its sophisticated comfort cuisine, making it one of the top lunch spots in Breckenridge. They only have Colorado craft beer on tap.
The smoked salmon dip is a crowd pleaser. It’s made with green onion, fresh dill, house-smoked salmon, and cream cheese. House-smoked salmon, fried capers, and pickled red onion top the meal. Pita chip dippers are served with the entrée.
The chipotle shrimp are prepared with giant shrimp that have been packed with cheddar cheese, wrapped in bacon, then pan-fried. A chipotle cream sauce is served on top of the entrée.
Margherita flatbread is made with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and mozzarella. The top is adorned with shaved Parmesan Reggiano and a balsamic reduction.
Out back, they have a smoker that makes house-smoked salmon, as well as pulled pork and other smoked meats. The house-smoked pork butt is served on a potato bun with the house-made barbecue sauce. The sandwich is served with house-made bread and butter pickles, as well as slaw.
Briar Rose Saloon and Chophouse
970-453-9948109 Lincoln Ave
Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon is named after Peak Ten’s Briar Rose Mine. The mine produced a lot of silver in the late 1890s. Following a hard day of mining, workers returned to their Lincoln Street boarding home for a substantial lunch. The home quickly became a popular location for visitors searching for superb meals and a welcoming ambiance. Miners abandoned the boarding house when the mining heyday passed, and it finally burnt down.
But, in the early 1960s, another structure built on the same site started serving meals in the same mining-house manner as the first boarding house.
The restaurant features two distinct spaces that are ideal for practically any event. After a day of skiing, the saloon offers a mountain cabin feel with a come-as-you-are environment. You may enjoy cocktails and small appetizers in the vintage back-bar, or you can order from the full menu. The formal dining room provides a refined setting for that white-tablecloth-worthy special event.
The meat-centric cuisine includes aged beef as well as fresh Colorado wild game. Briar Roses gets local meats from the Harris Ranch and Emerald Valley Ranch. Cervena elk medallions with a wild mushroom demi-glace and Emerald Valley Ranch buffalo short ribs served atop whipped Yukon Gold potatoes are two Colorado game selections. Sautéed Rocky Mountain fish with spinach almondine is another fan favorite.
Despite the menu’s heavy emphasis on meat, vegetarians have various options. For example, combining the butternut squash soup with a truffled crème Fraiche with the Boston Bibb lettuce salad and a couple of vegetable sides (maybe the grilled asparagus with sweet balsamic reduction and Lyonnaise potatoes) would make for a substantial supper. Check with your server about the vegetarian options. Certain obvious vegetable sides, such as Brussel sprouts with chorizo, may have meat accents.
My favorite meal dishes were anything with lingonberries, the sour but somewhat sweet cousin of the cranberry. The Swiss Mule, a lingonberry spiced Breckenridge vodka combined with ginger beer, was delicious. The lingonberry demi-glace, which I poured over my wonderfully cooked six-ounce petit filet mignon, was another lingonberry favorite. The steaks are USDA Choice certified and made from natural Black Angus farmed on the Harris Ranch and matured for 28 days.
Giampietro’s Pasta & Pizza
100 N. Main Street #212 +1 970-453-3838
Giampietros Pasta & Pizza, with its characteristic red and white checkered tablecloths, is the ideal destination for lunch. It’s a terrific place to take the kids because of the relaxed environment.
Although their entrees include items other than pizza, their New York-style pizza is among the finest in Breckenridge. Everything is produced in-house, from the bread to the marinara and balsamic vinaigrette.
The calzones are loaded with a generous amount of mozzarella and ricotta within soft bread and served with a side of marinara. To add diversity, stuff the calzones with pizza toppings. Plate-sized calzones make family-style sharing a cost-effective choice.
The gorgonzola, packed olives coated in bread crumbs and deep-fried, is the ideal companion to a cool lager. This is a new appetizer for me, and I couldn’t stop eating it.
A typical Italian appetizer is Bruschetta Pomodoro, which is created with fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil and served over toasted house-made bread.
Pietros chopped salad with salami, provolone, tomato, cucumber, red onion, and chickpeas over romaine lettuce with a red wine vinaigrette was light and refreshing.
Pro Tip: They do not accept reservations here, so if they are really busy, call in an order for pick-up.
Restaurant at the Breckenridge Distillery
Airport Road, +1 970-547-97591925
This restaurant, located in the world’s tallest distillery, delivers American cuisine to compliment the finest of Breckenridge Distillery’s spirits. Their current farm-to-table concept emphasizes the whole animal process.
Chef David Burke was granted a patent in the United States for his innovative dry-age steak procedure. Pink Himalayan salt is used to dry-age steaks for up to 100 days. He’s also twice been named Best Chef in New York by the James Beard Foundation.
The creamy shrimp ceviche parfait at the distillery is a wonderfully stacked appetizer made in a ring with layers of shrimp, avocado, and mango. Crunchy quinoa gives textural contrast, and jalapeo crème Fraiche adds a touch of fire. A salty crunch is provided by a Gaufrette potato chip on top.
Warm hipster fries are topped with shishito and peppadew peppers, bacon, and Parmesan cheese.
The spinach salad begins with a bed of spinach topped with apple slices that have not been peeled. Shaved fennel, red onions, and a vinaigrette are then added for a slight licorice taste.
Two huge ravioli filled with Parmesan, mascarpone, and ricotta cheese accompany the crispy chicken breast. The spaghetti is topped with a sage brown butter sauce.
Chef David Burke uses a variety of distillery products in his cuisine. The snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains creates a difference in these spirits. Apples and hazelnuts are added to the Brussel sprouts, which are seasoned with crispy bacon and Breckenridge maple bourbon.
The distillery’s spirits are carried over into the dessert menu. The bourbon float combines an after-dinner cocktail and dessert, prepared with Breckenridge Distillery whiskey, cherry syrup, Mexican Coke, and vanilla ice cream. The chocolate taste of the mousse is enhanced by the addition of Breckenridge Espresso Vodka.
- The final distillery tour starts at 5:30 p.m., so arrive early and take a free tour before dinner.
- The distillery’s complimentary shuttle runs every day from 11:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. That means you’ll already have a designated driver, so it’s safe for everyone to enjoy an adult beverage with their meal.