Eat, Drink, Play: Breckenridge dining guide
Ryan Summerlin January 8, 2012
While lunch on the mountain may not compare with moguls, tree runs or the superpipe for thrills, it can be an adventure. At Breckenridge, there’s no shortage of options from quick burger windows for sustenance between runs to quiet, elegant restaurants. This on-mountain dining guide will help simplify the decision.
Located on at the base of Peak 8 the same building as Ski Hill Grill, this is the mountain’s prime apres location. T-bar, which gets its name from the high-alpine ground lift at the top of the same mountain, serves hearty appetizers with southwestern influence and has a full drink menu of hot and cold beverages. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is festive and the bar often has live music on weekend afternoons. But it’s front and center in Breckenridge, so even with indoor and patio seating, expect the place to be packed on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
For many, on-mountain dining is a get in, get fed and get back out game. As a result, finding a place to have a decent sit down meal can be difficult. Finding a quiet place to eat can be almost impossible. The Living Room is both. Tucked away in the back corner of One Ski Hill Place on Peak 8, the little restaurant is almost invisible to skiers and snowboarders on the mountain and so doesn’t get the traffic restaurants like Ski Hill Grill see. The atmosphere in The Living Room is relaxed, with sofas, TVs and bright accents, but the place feels high end. The food, in similar fashion, is simple but satisfying. But it’s also on the expensive side, even in terms of the higher-than-normal prices found on the mountain. The Living Room is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it is a good idea to make reservations ahead of time, especially for lunch.
Ten Mile Station on Peak 9 is comfort food served with a view. The cafeteria-style restaurant offers exactly what skiers and snowboarders are craving: generous portions of hot, hearty food. Serve-yourself windows are stocked with chili, hot dogs, calzones, baked potatoes and burgers – still the most popular food item on the mountain – while shelves alongside pay stations are stocked with chips, treats, beverages and beer. The warm, lodge-like Ten Mile Station is big and busy, with tall ceilings, plenty of indoor and patio seating and great views. It’s a good place for families and beginners to meet for lunch, because of its location at the top of the Quicksilver lift with green run access back to the base of Peak 9.
Vista Haus, located at the top of the Colorado Super Chair on Peak 8, is the highest full-service restaurant at Breckenridge at 11,059 feet. Older and usually busier than the Ten Mile Station, Vista Haus also offers a hearty menu ala-cart in a similar low-key environment. It is a convenient place to stop and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate after a few laps on the T-bar. Big bay windows and a small third-story deck offer sweeping views of the Continental Divide on the far side of Breckenridge. Lunch at Vista Haus is the quintessential on-mountain dining experience, but is only accessible for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders, as there are no green runs down from its location.
Of the options at Breckenridge, Sevens feels the most like off-mountain dining. The big, bistro-style eatery is located at the base of Peak 7. The restaurant and its menu are built around a wood-fire oven, so it’s a good choice for those in the mood for thin-crust pizza or a burger. Sevens is a sit-down place, with tables, big booths and an even bigger bar, but for customers who don’t have time to eat in, there is an express window that serves burgers to go. Drinks are also served to the Adirondack chairs out front.