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We love our pizza, and let’s face it, a heaping plate of ooey-gooey nachos (with a cold beer, of course) tastes great after a long day in the backcountry. But as both locals and visitors seek out more refined meals, restaurateurs have responded. The best part? Upping the ante has not meant upping the attitude. Try these 10 favorites for top meals blended with Breckenridge’s laid-back atmosphere.

Chef Todd Nelson shows off the goods at Briar Rose. Bob Winsett / Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

Chef Todd Nelson shows off the goods at Briar Rose. Bob Winsett / Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

At the Blue River Bistro, rustic American classics combine with artisanal cocktails for an incredible dinner. Also open for lunch and weekend brunch, the Bistro offers up live jazz and blues on a regular basis. And unlike some restaurants in Breckenridge, you won’t find them closing their doors come May.

When steaks and game suit your fancy, head to Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon. The dining room offers an elegant atmosphere, and for those that prefer casual, the historic back bar serves both the full menu and small plates. Family-style sides encourage diners to dig in and share.

Internationally inspired, the menu at Ember has been known to feature everything from lamb osso bucco to chicken fried goose breast and barramundi bass. A full gluten-free menu (appetizers and entrees) makes this an easy go-to for those with special dietary needs.

Hearthstone Restaurant, a Breckenridge classic, serves naturally-raised beef and game, sustainably-caught seafood, and Colorado produce in uncomplicated fashion. Be sure to try their seasonal special cocktails and take in the details of the building, a historic home constructed in the early 1880s.

Honey & Cashew Encrusted Brie at Blue River Bistro

Honey & Cashew Encrusted Brie at Blue River Bistro

Understandably, many recognize Modis for the prohibition-era cocktails (Pimm’s Cup, anyone?). Still, don’t overlook the contemporary cuisine—make a light happy hour meal from starters or go all in with a three-course dinner.

The world sandwich selection dominates the lunch menu at Park & Main. Come sunset, the international flavors remain and entrees of elk, seafood, and steak steal the show. Be sure to check out the small pours wine list and daily food and drink specials.

Billed as Colorado-inspired cuisine, Relish blends chef and owner Matt Fackler’s culinary experience with regional influences. The result: a seasonally-changing menu full of exciting combinations. Consider Relish for dinner, or for a more refined après experience.

Twist, another offering from Matt Fackler, serves up a fresh take on classic comfort food and drinks. The menu changes seasonally, but past dishes have included veal and rabbit layered meatloaf, and chicken and dumplings (duck fat fried, of course). It’s a casual setting with high quality standards.

Located in the recently-remodeled Lodge at Breckenridge, The Traverse Restaurant and Bar showcases the new chef's creativity. Photo by Studio Kiva Photo / Katie Girtman

Located in the recently-remodeled Lodge at Breckenridge, The Traverse Restaurant and Bar showcases the new chef’s creativity. Photo by Studio Kiva Photo / Katie Girtman

Unmatched sunset views will be the first thing you notice at the Traverse Restaurant and Bar, located in the recently-remodeled Lodge at Breckenridge. Once the food arrives, Chef Brent Turnipsede’s (and his team’s) skill and creativity become clear.

Comfort is the scene at The Warming Hut, located in a historic Main Street home. Strike up a conversation with your neighbors at the bar or community table, or settle in a cozy corner spot to sample from the kettle (soups) and refined comfort foods like the Colorado sausage medley.

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More ways to explore Breckenridge’s dining scene

The Breckenridge Dining Guide showcases many more options; pick one up at the Breckenridge Welcome Center, where you can also get advice and favorites from in-the-know locals.

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