Despite challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, mountain town restaurateurs have persevered, opening bakeries, coffeehouses, delis, and breweries and bringing heightened levels of deliciousness to the high country. Pop into these new eateries—all of which debuted within the past six months—the next time you’re up for some late-season skiing or bee-lining west for dry desert trails.
Just off I-70 in Silverthorne, House of Vibes is artfully hip and proudly odd. The Summit County coffeehouse opened in March with book-lined walls, cases of peculiar wares, and a sustainable business plan. Don’t order almond milk in your latte—the shop sticks to enviro-friendly oat milk. (Did you know it takes 130 pints of water to produce a single glass of almond milk?) Go for the fiery turmeric ginger chai ($4.25) or the bold milky cortada ($3) and a piping hot vegan chorizo and avocado homemade buttermilk biscuit ($6.50). Cruise the hand-beaded jewelry, succulent plant art, shark teeth, and alligator skulls—everything you see is for sale. Or sit under the retro salon hair dryer with a deck of tarot cards. 191 Blue River Pkwy., Silverthorne
Family-owned Breckenridge staple La Française French Bakery expanded by launching a sugary outpost upstairs in November. Drenched in pink and oh-so-pretty occasion cakes, Oh La La offers counter-served homemade French desserts, including macarons, gelato, and frozen mousse pops. Work your way through the airy, dainty macarons ($2 each); don’t miss the chocolate-orange, lemon curd, and banana foster renditions. Visit often for rotating weekly creations like spring-inspired honey-lavender macarons. Limited seating inside the shop means you’ll want to take your box of desserts to enjoy along the Blue River behind the bakery. 411 S. Main St., Breckenridge
Breathing new life into Main Street Breckenridge, Summit High School grad and former Mercantile Dining & Provision executive chef Matt Vawter made his homecoming debut with Rootstalk in December. Vawter and his talented team elevate the local landscape with upscale regionally sourced comfort food. Après and dinner menus unfold in a sweet Victorian abode with house-made pastas, an addictive duck confit French onion soup ($16), Bangs Island Mussels ($17) in a garlic tomato butter sauce, and seasonally spurred entrées like the Red Top Farms pork tenderloin with potato pierogi and roasted Brussels ($34). 207 N. Main St., Breckenridge
The Scooby-Doo influence is strong at this tasty Dillon pizza parlor, which began serving pies in November. Punk music plays over the speakers and classic vinyl stacks up under a record player and a fish tank. Crayons and paper line tables for kids to scribble away while foldy East Coast–style pizza crisps in the oven. The menu is straightforward and satisfying with hot and cold Italian sandwiches, loaded pizzas, and specialty pastas. The owner and her dog, Scrappy, can be found delivering pies in the decked out Delivery Machine—an unmissable Scooby-esque van painted in loud lime green and blue. Catch “Scrappy Hour” on weekdays, from 3 to 5 p.m., for half-off appetizers, discounts on draft beer, and a $5.50 big slice and PBR deal. 149 Tenderfoot St., Dillon
The art of brewing beer and roasting coffee come together in a beautifully balanced marriage at this no-frills après nook in Keystone. The craft nanobrewery, roastery, and eatery launched in December, showcasing ales, stouts, IPAs, and a menu of freshly roasted coffee that serious sippers are going to adore. Steep Brewing shares the local love with guest taps from regional brewers like Silverthorne’s Angry James and Frisco’s HighSide and serves a slim breakfast and snacks menu. Try the giant Bavarian soft pretzel ($8) with spicy beer mustard and a small-batch dirty chai stout ($7). 23110 U.S. Hwy. 6, Keystone
Stop for lunch and artisan provisions at Pickled, a gourmet pantry and deli brimming with global epicurean treasures that opened in Eagle in December. Aspiring chefs will appreciate the dried Sicilian herbs, tinned fish, canned San Marzanos, creamed goat butter, and high-quality Japanese sauces. Every order—from the Mountain Cristo ($13) with griddled pit ham, roast turkey, and sour cherry preserves to the Korean-style short rib tacos (two for $7)—is made with precisely orchestrated layered flavors and textures. Keep it light and earthy with the roasted beets and buttermilk bleu tangled greens salad ($12); or give graces to old-school Southern cooking with the Louisville Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey, bacon, and Havarti sandwich ($13). And don’t miss nabbing a takeout dinner of soups, salads, and lasagnas from the prepared foods deli case. 65 Market St., Eagle
The owners of Leadville’s acclaimed Treeline Kitchen opened an après and post-dinner hangout across the street in December, luring guests with pre-dinner cocktails, apps, desserts, and coffees. The Before & After concept rests on small plates and rich sweets, along with a stiff classic cocktail menu and inventive mocktails that include kombuchas and sparkling CBD drinks. Locals are loving the Old Fashioned ($9) on tap, made with Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, Demerara, and house liqueur-soaked cherries. The local feta cheese ($3) with a side of Leadville beef meatballs ($8) or the whiskey brickle ice cream with a sweet bourbon shot ($8) are excellent treats to enjoy in the loungey space. 612 Harrison Ave., Leadville