In a mountain town accustomed to feeding droves of tourists, informal fare like nachos, wings, and pizza are easy to come by. Restaurateur James Harris wants to  redefine Breck’s pizza scene with Tin Plate, a new pie joint serving sophisticated creations. Case in point: The Elote ($19) is a light, airy and chewy sourdough crust pie topped with cream, corn, roasted poblano, basil, goat cheese and an acidic kick, thanks to lime-pickled onions. And there’s so much more.

Harris opened the 94-seat restaurant in June after restoring an 1883, mining-era cabin in Breckenridge’s proud downtown historic district. The name Tin Plate gives nod to the log cabin’s former resident, the town’s gold assayer who cleaned and weighed Tom’s Baby—Colorado’s largest mined gold nugget—in 1887.

Harris grew up with three brothers and cherishes pizza night nostalgia.  Now as an adult, he wants to bring the Italian staple back as a thoughtfully crafted, star menu item. “Similar to how a steakhouse would probably refuse to serve their tomahawk steak with ketchup and tater tots, we’re proposing the same menu integrity for our pizza,” Harris says.

Artisan ingredients are Colorado-sourced whenever possible—sausage from Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, whole grain flour from Moxie Bread Company, Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy cheese, Eagle Rock Ranch beef and more. The house-made sourdough crust elevates each pie’s flavor—literally. The five-year-old starter dough leavens through a 12-hour, room temperature rise, followed by 72 hours of cold fermentation. The result is a pizza crust that balances crispiness with a satisfying interior chew.

Tin Plate makes everything it can in-house, including mozzarella, stracciatella and lemon ricotta cheeses, all its sauces and dressings, cultured butter, and fresh bread. The soon-to-be-famous sweets served at the attached walk-up dessert shop, Dynamite Cookies, are made with locally harvested sourdough as well.

Tin Plate in downtown Breckenridge. Photo courtesy of Tin Plate

Tin Plate’s core team—owner Harris, general manager Drisana Litke, and executive chef Megan McKeary—collaborated with international pizza consultant and cookbook author Anthony Falco on menu development. Their creative hits showcase a depth of flavor in each pie. The Bolognese pizza ($18) comes with beef ragu, mozz, spinach, ricotta, parsley, and lemon; and the Pineapple Pancetta ($20) is cloaked in roasted pineapple sauce and sprinkled with pancetta, pickled jalapeño, tomato, mozz, and pickled onions. 

On the libation front, a sausage-fat-washed, raw sugar Old Fashioned ($11); lemon-honey-mint Gold Rush with Tin Cup whiskey ($11); and the Something Fun with Vodka ($11)—Breckenridge Vodka, Palisade strawberry preserve, lemon, and basil oil—are welcome refreshments. Also look for summery seasonal cookie flavors to roll out as Dynamite Cookies gains traction—think: lemon blueberry and white chocolate macadamia ($4 each). 

The next time you’re in Breckenridge, grab a table under the bistro lights on Tin Plate’s west-facing patio and take in gorgeous Ten Mile Range views while the kitchen crew changes the way you look at mountain town pizza. 

Tin Plate is open Wednesday–Thursday, 4–9 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 4–9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4–9 p.m.; 110 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge, 970-922-3392

Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake is a freelance writer and children's book author living in Breckenridge. When she's not writing about food and mountain adventures, she can be found on the river with her son, pug and husband.