Summit County restaurant based on the five sense |

Summit County restaurant based on the five sense

The view over Lake Dillon from the Tiki Bar is hard to beat.
Summit Daily file photo |

Our five senses help guide us through life — hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. They are such a big part of our journeys that even a simple smell, such as a perfume, or listening to an old favorite song can instantly bring back memories long forgotten.

For summer, we’ve put together a list of the best places to eat in Summit County according to the five senses, and why each one fits the method of perception.

Sight: Pug Ryan’s Lakeside Tiki Bar

Pug Ryan’s Lakeside Tiki Bar is a favorite summer hangout right down by the Dillon Marina. It’s hard to beat the deck that hangs out over the water — which is probably why Summit Daily readers pick the Tiki Bar by the water for “Best Deck” year after year.

“The mountains of course,” said DeRay Weaver, co-owner of Pug Ryan’s, about what makes the bar such an incredible spot for views. “The sailboats and the whole sailing atmosphere and being right there on the lake.”

In the summer of 2013, the Tiki Bar increased its food production, seating capacity and visual appeal to accommodate the crowds coming by the marina or flocking to the free concerts at the nearby amphitheater. It now seats an estimated 130-150 people, and a 28-foot kitchen concession trailer was added to keep up with increased demands for food.

This summer, guests can expect some new menu items along with some local favorites.

“We are known for our fish tacos,” said Candace Yanke, chef, general manager and part owner of Pug’s. “Last summer, we sold over 3,000 orders of fish tacos.”

The Tiki Bar will continue to serve the popular Rum Runners and Dark and Stormy cocktails and also be introducing a new drink this summer called Orange Crush, in honor of the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl win.

“If you’ve ever had a Dreamsicle when you were a kid, it’s going to taste like that,” Yanke said.

Another addition to the menu will be cheese and pretzel bites, as well as a Hideout Helles beer bratwurst, locally made with the brewery’s own Hideout Helles beer.

To experience the other side of the lake, catch a water taxi from the Dillon Marina that will transport you to Frisco (or back) and will even accommodate bikes and dogs. Island Grill is located next to the Frisco Marina and offers a great place to drink and dine near the water. The Lake Dillon Water Taxi operates seven days a week and can reached by phone at (970) 486-0250.

More information: 150 Marina Drive, Dillon; (970) 468-5100;

Smell: Colorado BBQ Challenge, June 17-18

The Colorado BBQ Challenge, held annually in Frisco, is a two-day event featuring more than 70 barbecuers, bands, pig races, kids’ activities and more. In its 23rd year this summer, six blocks of Main Street are cordoned off with vendors lining the streets, filling the town with the delectable smells of roasting pig and festival fare. Pit masters compete over a variety of awards in a number of categories, including: pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, anything goes, barbecue sauce, side dish, salsa and dessert.

“Cookers at the Colorado BBQ Challenge tend to their smokers all night, so, when you get to Frisco Main Street on either Friday or Saturday morning during the festival, you are surrounded by the smell of BBQ,” said Vanessa Agee, marketing and communications director with the town of Frisco. “It inspires you to put down your four shots of espresso and find the nearest smoked-to-perfection barbecue. Then later in the day, you find yourself embraced by even more smells. I have the most overwhelming desire for funnel cakes each year and Higgles Ice Cream’s freshly-made waffle cones when I smell them on Frisco Main Street. My mouth waters for two days straight, and the smells lead me straight to some seriously incredible festival cuisine.”

It’s almost impossible to try everything, even over the course of two days, with the amount of barbecue and other treats available for sampling. “Hogback” tickets are used to purchase food, which ranges from small samples to whole plates. The event can attract more than 30,000 people, and the town of Frisco has partnered with several nonprofits to raise money for the organizations. A lineup of bands starting Thursday night offers three days of live music.

More information: Main Street Frisco;

If you missed the event, check out Moe’s Original Bar B Que at 110 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge, or Arapahoe Café and Pub Down Under, 626 Lake Dillon Drive, Dillon.

Sound: Snake River Saloon & Steakhouse

The Snake River Saloon & Steakhouse in Keystone is a fine-dining restaurant that doubles as a bar and live-music venue. The restaurant features two separate but connected areas: To the left, a restaurant with white cloth tables greets patrons after walking through saloon-style doors; to the right, a large bar area complete with a stage allows for bands and dancing. The Snake offers live music every weekend during the summer and winter seasons and is just a quick bus ride or even walk from most Keystone Resort properties.

The menu features a variety of beef choices, including filet mignon, filet oscar, top sirloin or prime rib, just to name a few, and also several pasta dishes, including fettuchine vera cruz or pasta primavera. For those more into fish, options include trout, grilled salmon, coconut shrimp, lobster tails, Alaskan king crab and more. The restaurant offers a kids menu, full bar and wine list. There is no cover charge for music with dinner.

More information: 23074 US-6, Keystone; (970) 468-2788;

Touch: The Crown

The Crown Café is a cozy spot located in an upstairs storefront right on Main Street in Breckenridge. More than just a coffee shop, The Crown is a good stop at any time of the day for breakfast or lunch, or stop off during happy hour for beer, wine or cocktails, including its specialty coffee drinks with flavored liqueurs.

This hideaway makes it easy to spend all morning or afternoon lingering inside the shop. Comfy couches are set up near the fireplace, and a long booth lined with tables and chairs ends in a cozy, small nook.

“We really wanted to create a space where guests feel like they’re at a friend’s house,” said Sara Petty, owner of The Crown. “You can be comfortable while reading a book, grab a bite to eat with family or meet your friends for happy hour.”

There is free wireless internet for those looking to get some work done or board games for less-digital entertainment.

“Some folks have discovered our secret back patio and often come in the mornings to enjoy the sunshine and a cup of coffee,” Petty said. “If you do it at the right time, you’ll get to hear the NRO practice for their show.”

Menu items include breakfast items such as egg scrambles and homemade quiches, and lunch includes sandwiches such as the brie, apple and chipotle on a croissant or a chicken salad sandwich, as well as items such as the Thai wrap. There is also ice cream and baked goods in both gluten-free and regular varieties.

More information: 215 S. Main St., Breckenridge; (970) 453-6022;

Taste: Le Petit Paris Bistrot

Transport yourself to the other side of the world right here in Breckenridge with the tastes of Le Petit Paris Bistrot. Opened in 2007 by a French transplant, owner Arielle runs the bistro and her sister, Marie Jo, is the pastry chef. Arielle came from France to New York in 2000, working in restaurants around Manhattan before discovering Breckenridge while on vacation and opening the restaurant.

The menu includes unique morsels such as frog legs and escargot, or profiteroles for dessert. For French cuisine and a romantic atmosphere, Le Petit Paris is ideal for special occasions.

More information: 161 E. Adams Ave., Breckenridge; (970) 547-5335;

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