Renowned restaurateurs and chefs are migrating to Breckenridge from Denver, Aspen, and Steamboat, answering hungry, trail-worn diners’ pleas for creative, diverse food and drink options. So, step aside, wings and burgers. Here’s what’s new and delicious in Breck:
New York pizza goes organic, plant-based, and wood-fired at this spot. Co-owners Twee and Jason Goldstein (she the manager, he the chef) are deeply rooted in wholesome and sustainable dining, recently bringing on chef Forest Ragar of Watercourse and City O’ City to help run the kitchen. Flipping skeptics and carnivores alike with its house-made smoked organic cashew mozzarella, pea protein, seitan “meats,” and shiitake mushroom bacon, Piante Pizzeria celebrated two years in January. Don’t miss the rich, creamy white pizza with mozzarella and cashew ricotta, garlic, shiitake bacon, and arugula. And watch for a Denver location to open in coming months.
An offshoot from the Littleton location, Carboy Breck makes drinking wine even more fun with swirling frosé machines, playful flights, and creative meat and cheese boards. Its redesigned saloon room is ideal for an early snack before bopping through the shared door to the landmark Gold Pan, Breckenridge’s oldest watering hole dating back to 1861. Before you go, try the colorful Cousin Pete board ($16), which satisfies with savory shaved lamb, salty olives, crunchy garden crudité, and hearty dolmades.
Inventive street tacos and patio Baja-beach vibes are the jam at Sancho’s. Catch happy hour daily from 3 to 6 p.m. for $5 rocks or frozen margs, $1 homemade and scratch salsas, and $6 chips and guacamole or creamy queso blanco. Don’t miss tasty tacos filled with chile-braised beef cheek barbacoa ($4.75) and duck confit with avocado crema and pineapple salsa ($4.50).
Aurum has become the newest see-and-be-seen along Ridge Street’s restaurant row. The Steamboat original’s contemporary Breckenridge outpost opened in July 2018, becoming a popular date night spot and ideal pre-Backstage Theatre stop. Snag a community table seat in the immaculate gilded bar and order a smoked orange Old Fashioned ($12) while nibbling on shared plates of hamachi crudo ($15), foie gras ($24), and pork rillettes with jalapeño-blackberry jam ($12).
Vying for Breck’s top unpretentious-yet-upscale happy hour (4 to 6 p.m. daily), Legends has mastered nostalgic Chicago-style steak house fare served amongst half-moon leather booths and white coated servers. Coveted bar seats are a door dash at 4 p.m. If you’re lucky enough to score one, settle in for $5, $6, and $7 wine specials, Tuscan grilled oysters ($7), and mussels laced with intense Calabrian sausage ($10).
Dallas-born sushi franchise Blue Fish has unveiled its sleek new two-story, 98-seat space in January in historic downtown Breckenridge. Locals are digging the light-on-the-wallet happy hour (3 to 5 p.m. daily), noshing on $5 yellowtail scallion rolls and ahi towers with delicately sliced layers of tuna and salmon sided with $2 Sapporo drafts and small pours of sake.
This friendly joint fills Breck’s late-night munchies niche with elevated grilled sandwiches just off Main Street’s humming tourist tromp. Grilled cheese gains superstar status with the Don’t Be Crabby ($19.66)—a delightfully decadent sandwich featuring crispy blue crab cakes, American and jalapeño jack cheeses, arugula, chile aioli, and creamy house mustard aioli. The weekend bottomless bloody Mary and mimosa offerings are a Breckenridge brunchtime rarity.