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Where To Eat When Ski Traffic Sucks

When the snow's dumping, here's where to stop on your drive from Denver out to the mountains.


Whether coming down, or going up, we’ve all been stuck somewhere between Denver and Vail on I-70 during ski season. It sucks. So much so, we’re honestly surprised to see Colorado road rage murder numbers don’t increase between the months of November and March. But as shi**y as the drive can be, there are some bright spots along the way to help feign your desire to light everything on fire. Kudos to all you saints that pack snacks and juice boxes and carry on with sing-alongs whilst trapped in gridlock hell, but this feature is focused on the rest of us. The ones that need to pull off and binge on grease and sugar to help quell our brewing hate when the brake lights shine bright. Getting mad just writing about this… namaste.

The Spots



$$$$ 2900 W 26th Ave

Kicking things off in the city, because god knows you need something to get your spirits up before you embark on the I-70 journey. Cheap and delicious breakfast burritos for less than $2. You may have to wait for a bit longer than you’d like for your order, but it’s totally worth it. Get a few extra just in case you get trapped before Idaho Springs.


Dairy King

$$$$ 181 Park Ave.

Just off I-70, when traffic is getting nasty at the outset, or has been for two hours on your way back down the mountain, this is your salvation stop. Basically an old-school diner shack with five tables and fried mushrooms. Grease makes people calm down. It’s science. Cash only.


Lewis Sweet Shop

$$$$ 208 Park Ave

After gorging yourself on fried stuff from Dairy King, you may as well stop for a shake or some ice cream… or homemade fudge, or glass candy. Before you get back on the road, this kitschy little gem won’t disappoint and can give you the quick energy to persevere for that final rage-filled push home.


Two Brother's Deli

$$$$ 1424 Miner St.

Everyone knows Idaho Springs represents your last chance for decent sustenance unless you have the balls to jump off to search Georgetown or wait for Frisco. And Two Brother’s is your smartest bet if you want to fill up for the day making your way West. Just know that your trip up the mountain in the a.m. is probably your best bet here; though they are open for lunch and dinner if you’re in a pinch. A nice spot to sit, sip some coffee and mouth murder a giant breakfast wrap. Don’t forget to sign up for their reward program.


Beau Jo's

$$$$ 1517 Miner St.

A Colorado pizza staple that has since expanded outside of the original location, but the original is the best, and a must stop at some point in your life whether you’re from Colorado or not. Fat Mountain Pies and a salad bar. When was the last time you got to eat at a self serve salad bar, and then crush a 10 pound pizza? There’s even a gluten free pizza option that’s actually good. No, really. The pies take some time to cook, but face it, you have time to kill. Grab a napkin and draw something to pin up on the wall like everyone else. Don’t forget the honey for your leftover crust.


Smokin' Yards BBQ

$$$$ 2736 Colorado Blvd.

Summer and BBQ go hand and hand, but that doesn’t mean smoke and meat can’t team up with the cold, too. A nice change of pace, when you literally aren’t making any kind of pace on the way back home from skiing.

Dave Dugdale

Downstairs At Eric's

$$$$ 111 S Main St.

For all the zen planners and forward thinkers who know to avoid trouble before it begins, there’s no better place to squat and just wait for the roads to clear, than Eric’s. Might be a little out of the way depending on where you’re coming from, but it’s arguably the best bar in Breckenridge, and a spot with something for everyone. Giant arcade, plenty of TVs for football, great pizza, great burgers, great bar food in general. It’ll likely be busy, but that’ll give you a chance to finally beat your hi score on Ms. Pac-Man.

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