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Located between downtown and the resort, Freshies (595 South Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-8099) crams rainbow-hued veggies and top-quality cheeses (like aged white cheddar) into Steamboat’s best omelettes. The sweets are fantastic too: Try the famous cinnamon rolls or a plate of dried cherry granola pancakes. Colorful pendant lamps and exotic fresh flowers (never carnations!) complement the colorful food. In downtown, cruise into the Steaming Bean (635 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-3393) for a stuffed croissant and cappuccino or fresh-made smoothie.
Glide into Hazie’s (Thunderhead building; 970-871-5150) for top-of-the-gondola panoramas over the Yampa Valley. Reserve a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows to admire the distant Flat Tops while you munch on a flank steak sandwich topped with sautéed onions and fig compote. Or go for the prodigious soup and salad buffet. Hazie’s bar, a brass-and-mahogany affair, also turns out a respectable Bloody Mary. For a righteous Reuben or a platter of bar-style nachos, hit the Gondola Pub and Grill (2305 Mt. Werner Circle; 970-879-4448). Located in Gondola Square, GPG’s vinyl booths surrounded by auto-racing paraphernalia also make good après spots, as do the white resin chairs on the outdoor balcony overlooking the slopes.
For rave-worthy food downtown, hit bistro c.v. (345 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-4197; bistrocv.com). For ambiance, there’s the curved bank of windows facing Main Street and the open kitchen that exposes the chefs’ wizardry. The sparse décor lets the food take center stage: Start with house-made duck prosciutto or a grilled romaine salad with truffle-garlic dressing, then indulge with waygu beef or sockeye salmon from Resurrection Bay (seafood here is painstakingly sourced).
Cafe Diva (1855 Ski time Square Drive; 970-871-0508) is the base area’s most romantic restaurant, with tables tucked into tiny alcoves and expert wait staff that make diners feel special. Elk and locally-raised buffalo are featured on the menu, but Chef Kate Rench highlights vegetables, too: Her arugula salad with grilled peaches and country ham is a marvel.
For a low-key spot that’s still high-bar about its food, try Mazzola’s (917 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-2405). Thanks to its recent renovation, this downtown pizza-and-pasta joint feels like a spiffy basement speakeasy, and its chummy servers welcome you as a member of the club.
The Steamboat Smokehouse (912 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-7427) is downtown’s friendliest option for kids, since food is served in plastic baskets and messiness is encouraged (peanuts fill metal buckets at each red-checkered table, and diners toss the shells on the floor). But all ages appreciate the done-right Texas-style spareribs and brisket: Here, sauces are added only after the meats are smoked, so they absorb the fullest possible flavor.
Bar service is notoriously slow at Slopeside Grill (1855 Ski Time Square; 970-879-2916), a ski-in, stagger-out bar located adjacent to the Christie III lift—but nobody cares. On sunny afternoons, this slope side joint resembles Daytona Beach as hordes of revelers strip down and belly up to the open-air ice bar. Locals return after 9 p.m. for late-night Happy Hour, when wood-fired pizzas cost just $7 and beers are three bucks.
A recent addition to the base-area dining scene, the upscale Truffle Pig (2250 Apres Ski Way; 970-879-7470) serves big blue crocks of Belgian-style mussels and fries that cost just 10 bucks at après; pair that with a glass of Spanish Albariño.
After dinner, hit the Tugboat (1860 Ski Time Square Drive; 970-879-7070), a legendary base-area bar that books loud and rowdy bands. Cultivating debauchery since 1972, the Tugboat remains the Real Thing.
In downtown, go barhopping between the Boathouse Pub (609 Yampa Street; 970-879-4797), the Sweetwater Grill (811 Yampa Street; 970-879-9500), and the Ghost Ranch Saloon (56 Seventh Street; 970-879-9898). Located within a block of one another, they all book live music, so drifting between the three is like changing channels on the radio.
Projected Opening Ski Season: 11/21/2012
Projected Closing Ski Season: 04/14/2013
Projected Days Open: 145
Days Open Last Year: 135
Years Open: 50
Average Snowfall: 354"
Pros: Skiing the trees
Cons: didn't find any
Cons: Still want to ski more!!!
Pros: Fantastic snow, very good variety, and nice town
Cons: Not a day trip from Denver
Pros: Tree Powder Runs
Cons: No Complaints
Staemboat, Stamboat, Steambaot, Steambat, Steamboaat, Steamboat, Steamboat Sprongs, Steamboatt, Steamboot, Steambout, Steammboat, Steemboat, Steemboats, Stemboat, Stemboats
The slopes haven’t closed yet but Copper Mountain is thinking about next year.More