Arapahoe Basin Food and Nightlife Review
On the Mountain
On-Mountain dining is all A-Basin has to offer, other than what you bring with you (friendly locals may just let you borrow some grill space on the beach, after all!).
The Black Mountain Lodge offers barbeque cuisine as well as burgers, salmon, and bison stew, in a setting where you can relax and enjoy the view of not only the ski hill, but the surrounding peaks (in the summertime, it makes quite a wedding venue). Plus, there are the cocktails – including a bacon bloody mary. The Legends Café in the base area’s classic A-Frame lodge has pizza, burgers, soups, stews and chili as well as an Asian fusion bar, fish tacos, and a gyro sandwich. The Coffee Corner offers coffee, espresso, hot chocolate, juices, and baked goods. The 6th Alley Bar and Grill, also at the base, is the après place to be (see below!) but also has appetizers like nachos and wings as well as entrees like mac and cheese, burgers, and a black bean wrap, among others. The wrap around bar and tables offer plenty of room until the après crowd comes in, and it’s surrounded by windows so you can take in the mountain vistas with your lunch.
Off the Mountain
Off-mountain dining will depend on where you chose to stay. If you’re staying in Breckenridge, be sure to check out our reviews of those resorts. In addition to the places we noted in our Breckenridge review, you may also like the Briar Rose for higher-end steaks and an unbeatable mac and cheese. It’s one of the more elegant settings you’re likely to see in a ski town, complete with white table cloths and an ornate Victorian-style bar in the saloon. Admittedly, the place is on the expensive side.
In Dillon and Silverthorne, the Dillon Dam Brewery offers pub fare and beers made onsite. The bar on the main floor snakes around a couple times so there’s plenty of seats in addition to the tables, and there’s more seating on a second floor that’s open in the middle creating a wide open space facing towering windows looking out on the mountains. Just like any good brewery, they sell shirts and beers to go in addition to offering brewery tours to see where the magic happens.
The Mountain Lyon is the place to go for breakfast – and possibly the best breakfast burrito we’ve ever seen! – it also serves lunch, all in hearty portions.
Arapahoe Café (which sounds like it should be closer to the mountain than it is) has brunch, lunch and dinner with a southwestern theme and features a pub downstairs with nightly specials.
Jersey Boys Pizza is a nice choice for an inexpensive slice or two, or a Philly cheesesteak sandwich; if you’re staying in Keystone, they deliver anywhere in the resort – which would sure come in handy after a day of shredding A-Basin!
In Frisco, Q4U BBQ is a casual and inexpensive place for great Kansas City-style barbecue (slow-smoked meat covered in a thick tomato-molasses based sauce).
Of course there are also the usual chain outlets in Dillon, Silverthorne, and Frisco.
The 6th Alley is the place to go for après on the mountain. The draft beer selection is impressive, and they also have cocktails. The scene is especially great as the spring comes and the party spills out onto the porch and to the slopes beyond! Of course, you can also après on the ‘Beach’ out of your car, with drinks chilled in the snow. It’s part of the whole A-Basin vibe.
The best nightlife in Summit County is in Breckenridge. It’s the only place in the area where on any night of the week, year round, you can find more than one hopping bar within walking distance! In addition to the places we point out in our Breck review, we’re also fond of Napper Tandy’s above the Salt Creek Steakhouse, which is rocking every weekend night with a big dance floors and tons of specials. Its 80s weekend is one of the best parties in town!
Ollie’s Pub and Grub is a locals’ favorite with cheap drinks, tons of sports, and bar food.
The Quandary Grille is another one the locals love, with a great après scene including happy hour appetizer specials; if you’re there in the late season, check out their deck and its view of Breck’s Peak 9 and Maggie Pond.
Angels Hollow has great cocktails and a blend of Mexican and pub food, all in a unique setting – the building started life as a post office, and then became a miner’s bar that evolved into a skier/mountain biker bar.
To hear live music in a one-of-a-kind setting, go to The Brown. It’s always a rowdy party, which probably isn’t surprising consider the former 1800’s hotel was, for a time, a brothel – and is reportedly haunted!