The town of Breckenridge has no shortage of restaurants, pubs, and cafes with outdoor dining designed to offer a front row seat to stupendous mountain views.
When the sun is shining, there’s nothing like the buzz of a busy restaurant that pours out onto the fabulousness of a beautiful outdoor deck. And yet …. There are times when you want to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a quiet moment. An afternoon coffee with a friend or a romantic glass of wine. And sometimes just to be awed by a view of the mountains without having to share that experience with the crowds.
Here are five hidden gems in Breck that offer a more private outdoor dining experience:
There are so many reasons to love this little get-away, which is actually two adjoining shops tucked in a walkway between Main Street and Ridge Street. One might be the natural pairing of my two favorite food groups – Chocolate and Wine. Another would surely be the charming outdoor seating and excellent wines-by-the-glass list. On weekend nights, take that second glass of wine upstairs and enjoy mellow live music along with a plate of gourmet cheeses, prosciutto and almonds (or, if you prefer, a chocolate pairing). If you happen to fall in love with one of the wines you’ve tried, simply purchase a bottle of it on your way out.
304 South Main Street/970-453-7212 www.breckwineandcheese.com
COOL RIVER COFFEE HOUSE, backyard patio
This cozy coffee shop just off Main Street is lined with scrumptious baked goods. Owners Jonathan and Stephanie make a wicked strong cappuccino with hot foaming half & half (no fat free for me, thanks!). It’s the perfect complement to the lovely garden and outdoor seating overlooking the Blue River. Cool River opens early for breakfast and is open through lunch. If you’re looking to start your day with a strong coffee, a yummy pastry and a quiet moment in a secluded garden setting, this is your kind of place.
325 South Main Street/970-453-1716
I had enjoyed dinner at Twist, one of Breckenridge’s favorite upscale “Comfort Food” dining experiences, at least three times before I noticed that a side door beside the bar led to an adorable outside patio, mostly hidden from the street by bushy pine trees and aspens. Picket fencing, strings of festive lights and patio furniture that wobbles slightly on the rustic flagstones lends an air of country charm to this lovely outside space. It’s the perfect location for a low-key evening of drinks or dinner with friends. The restaurant changes its menu seasonally and is known for its elegant “twist” on classic comfort food, such as Cuban Meatloaf, BBQ Grilled Chicken or Three Cheese Mac-n-Cheese. Be sure to save room for dessert.
200 South Ridge Street/970-547-7100 www.twistbreck.com
TRAVERSE AT THE LODGE RESORT, restaurant deck
Wind your way up Boreas Pass to the Traverse Restaurant at the Lodge Resort & Spa and you’ll be treated to some of the best views in town. It feels as if you’re suspended in midair, gazing across the valley at mountains in all directions. The Lodge has a vast and beautiful deck spanning nearly the length of the building, which is often a focal point for weddings and other celebrations. But for something a little more private, head down a flight of stairs from the lobby, and just before you enter the bar, you’ll see a door on your left that leads out to a small deck with two or three tables. Let the waiters know what you’re up to, and they’ll be happy to take your order for drinks and tapas while you enjoy your private, eagle’s nest view of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
112 Overlook Drive/970-453-9300 www.thelodgeatbreckenridge.com
THE WARMING HUT, Backyard Patio
The Warming Hut lives up to its name with the warm and friendly welcome that guests receive from staff and from owner Stacey Brooks Connolly who is often seen greeting regulars by name. Built in 1914 as the home for local newspaper editor and publisher Oren K. Gaymon, this quaint historic building on Main Street has a wonderful secret – a charming small patio out back. The backyard deck at The Warming Hut is the perfect place for a drink with friends and a wonderful view of the Ten Mile Range. You’ll want to come back on Sunday, when brunch and “bottomless Mimosas” are served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
207 North Main Street/970-389-3104 www.thewarminghutrestaurant.com