CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

Queen of the Slopes Chef Carrie Baird points our skis in the right direction.

January 14, 2019
CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

Queen of the Slopes Chef Carrie Baird points our skis in the right direction.

January 14, 2019
Interview by Aralyn Beaumont | Art by ChefsFeed

Trips to the snow are, as we all know, actually about the eating: the hearty breakfasts, the midday break over liege waffles with cups of hot cocoa, the après-ski drinks.

Every year, more than seven million people trek to the various mountains on offer in Colorado. Vail, Aspen, Breckinridge, Telluride—even if you're more of a warm-weather creature, you've heard of them, because they offer some of the most beautiful views and snow in the country. This winter, if you find yourself in any of Colorado's resort towns, we've got your morning coffee and après ski covered. If you’re going to spend all day on the slopes, you need to fuel up like the world is ending and you're facing a long hibernation.

And if skiing isn't your thing, or you just happen to find yourself in Colorado during the off-season, we've got you covered there, too. Once the snow melts, the mountains are lush for hiking and biking, and the lakes and rivers are ready for water sports.

Meet Your Expert

Chef Carrie Baird repped her hometown on the Denver-based Season 15 of Top Chef. When the executive chef of the Italian restaurant Bar Dough isn't competing with America's finest, she also consults at various restaurants throughout Colorado—and shreds sicky sicky gnar gnar pow-pow on the slopes. Our words, not hers. 

As a self-described adrenaline junkie and avid skier, Baird has opinions to spare on all of Colorado's mountain towns. Read on for some of her favorites.

Breckenridge

My favorite ski resort is Breckenridge. I'm a little biased, because I lived there for twelve years. People who don't know Breckenridge say it's not steep or diverse enough, but that's only because they don't live there and don't know the mountain well enough. If you find a local who can show you, Breckenridge has some of the steepest pitches anywhere, and it's the most beautiful of the skin towns.

There's a ton of restaurants on Main Street in Breckenridge, but my personal favorite is the Blue River Bistro. It's right at the base of the gondola and they do happy hour. It's pretty solid Americana with an Italian flair. It's just really comforting, easy, approachable food. Really fun.

Downstairs at Eric's is a staple in Breckenridge—it's been there since the beginning of time. It's busy, it's loud, it's super fun. Eric of Downstairs at Eric's is also the mayor, and he still works at the restaurant, which is really cool. Go there for burgers and beer.

The Maggie and Burke and Riley's Irish Pub are little bars at the base of Breckenridge that're really fun. I always drink my coffee at Clint's.

Frisco - Silverthorne - Keystone

Frisco, Keystone, and Silverthorne all cluster around the Dillon Reservoir. In Frisco, there's a little bagel shop that's so cute called Bread+Salt. I always get coffee there, too. There's also a place called the Log Cabin that's really good for breakfast. They have huevos rancheros and really good pancakes; my boyfriend (Blake Edmunds, chef at Señor Bear) always eats the biscuits and gravy. It's all really good classic Americana breakfast fare. From Frisco, you can go up the I-70 to pretty much anywhere: up to Vail, down south to Breckenridge or Key Stone. It's really cute—I like those small towns.

Everything I eat on Keystone is on the mountain, but it's really fun. You ride the gondola up and it's really fun to ski where there's good on-mountain dining. But over in Silverthorne, there's Pug Ryan's Brewery with classic brewery fare: nachos, green chili, stuff like that. 

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