Not much beats a bluebird day on the slopes but shredding the pow can make your stomach howl. Who wants to head all the way down to the main lodge—and base area crowds—to grab a bite to eat? Thanks to these unique slopeside restaurants, you don’t have to. Check out these fun on-mountain eateries for creative, delicious and, for most, quick fare. Just be warned: They might make you want to keep off those skis or boards and order seconds.
Steamboat Springs: Taco Beast
Think food truck on the snow. The Taco Beast is Steamboat’s new snowcat that prowls the slopes, serving $5 tacos, a salsa bar and roasted corn. Choices include beef barbacoa, elk chorizo, pollo asado or vegetarian tres hermanas with roasted butternut squash, black beans and corn. All come topped with cilantro, shredded cabbage, pickled red onion and queso fresco. Track down the Beast Thursdays through Mondays on Twitter @TacoBeastSBT.
Arapahoe Basin: Il Rifugio
New to A-Basin this year is Il Rifugio at Snowplume, located at 12,500 feet on the Continental Divide. The European-style bistro specializes in pairing wine with cheese or charcuterie, and it features locally-produced foods from the likes of Fruition Farms and Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy. Order a luxurious porchetta and fig spread sandwich, or warm up with a bowl of crab and corn chowder. Not hungry? Just take in the views with a craft cocktail.
Vail: Waffle Way
If you caught first chair, you’re going to want a snack before lunch—like a crisp Liege Belgian waffle finished with your choice of sauces or toppings. Go sweet with an apple pie waffle, or try savory chicken and waffles with sausage gravy. You’ll find the ski-in, ski-out hot spot below Mid-Vail at the base of Avanti Express lift.
Copper Mountain: Koko’s Hut
Looking for some comfort food for the kids and beginners—with a seat on the sunny deck? Koko’s Hut at Copper Mountain has affordable chili in a bread bowl, mac ‘n’ cheese, grilled cheese and even a grilled PB&J sandwich. Find it in the green runs of West Village at the top of the new Kokomo Express lift.
Ski Cooper: Ridgeview Cafe
You can stop by this yurt at Ski Cooper during the day for an easy lunch or snack, but make your reservations on select Saturday evenings for a unique mountaintop dining experiences. A snowcat takes you to the cozy mountaintop yurt, where you’ll savor a locally-sourced four-course meal paired with wines from Vino Salida. Choose from entrees like New York strip steak from Salida or stuffed portabello, and finish with a decadent dessert, such as chocolate s’mores mousse.