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Nov 9, 2008 01:45 PM

Food Shopping in Breckenridge, CO

We've rented a house in Breckenridge, CO for a week over Christmas (and to celebrate my dad's 60th Birthday). I've been doing a lot of reading on high altitude baking, though I'm always looking for advice. My brother and sister-in-law are Breck locals, so of course I've run the question by them, but they're not foodies.

So my question is, will I actually be able to do some grocery shopping in Breckenridge? I know there is a City Market, but are there gourmet shops? Places I can buy cheese? I'm having these horrible images of the town running out of produce while we're there.

I think we're having an extended dinner for my dad's birthday at The Ranch in Keystone. But I'm open for other suggestions while we're there. I love Breckenridge, and can't wait to get back out there, despite my food paranoia!!

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  1. The mianline supermarket is City Market at 4th and Park Ave in downtown Breckenridge. It's part of the Kroger family or markets that includes King Soopers, a major Front Range name. In Frisco, 9 miles (just off I-70) is Safeway, the other big Colorado supermarket group, and in the same shopping center (wash my cyber-mouth out with soap) is a WalMart. I've never been to it, so I don't know what their grocery selection is like, but Safeway has a full line of everything.

    Re smaller shops, Breckenridge Cheese and Chocolate specializes in, obviously,cheese and chocolate. Amazing Grace is a health food store and restaurant. Both are on/just off Main Street. Alpine Natural Market, also in Frisco, is a small natural foods grocer.

    You won't starve.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      Claire, I tell folks to stock up at Wild Oats/Whole Foods at the West Denver exit of I70. Even in the Eagle River Valley we have to pick thought the produce at City Market to get OK stuff. What's the story with Sunflower Markets (I think that is the name) on the Front Range. Are they a good substitute for Trader Joes?

      I'm hoping we are going to get a Whole Foods here in the Valley now that they are building one in Basalt.

      Also, I had a really nice lunch last week at SOBO in Boulder, the wine list is very good.

      1. re: BlueOx

        Stopping at Whole Foods, like stopping at Applejack's for booze, is a good idea for people flying in to DIA and heading for the mts. However, since freezedriedicecream & co. will be in Breck for a week, they might need to fill something.

        I've only been to Sunflower a couple of times when I've been in Santa Fe, and I've only been to the Sunflower Farmers Market in Boulder, so keep comment on the others. Prices are lower than Whole Foods, but it doesn't have the range of seafood, meat or cheese, and the baked goods arent nearly up to those Whole Foods. Also, Sunflower's produce is sometimes nearer to its eat-it-now-or-compost-it phase than anythng I've ever gotten at WF. Also, since it's CO, no wine at Sunflower.

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          Claire gave a good assessment of Sunflower although I do really like their bulk bins for grains, trail mixes etc. There is a new one in Arvada but I still think the WF off I-70 is the best place to do the majority of stocking up. There is a Vitamin Cottage in Dillon as well which may have more natural stuff. And from what I hear that Wal-Mart is a wasteland with very few groceries.

          1. re: RobynS

            The Vitamin Cottage is definitely a decent place for natural foods. The City Market in Dillon/Silverthorne was recently remodeled and is very nice (don't know if the Breck one has been remodeled). These places aren't a wasteland; they may not have every single thing you want but they do carry good foods. Hitting Whole Foods on the way up is a good idea, but even if you don't, you won't be stuck eating mac and cheese with an iceberg lettuce salad every night.

            1. re: LurkerDan

              Thanks for the help. I've got to take the shuttle up from the airport so I don' t have the luxury of stopping on the way. (My super thoughtful dad and step-mom don't want to wait for my flight to get in so they're driving up without me!! But they've said, "We're stopping at Sam's Club, so tell us what you need." God bless.)

              I refuse to go to Walmart, but I had forgotten about the Safeway in Frisco. (Used to shop at Safeway while living in Sacramento.) I'll spend Friday hoarding as much produce as I can.

              As long as everyone is so helpful, is there a bakery in town? Or does City Market have a bakery. I'm skeptical that I'll be able to make any good bread in the altitude. By the time I figure it out, I'm be on my way home. Did I read somewhere about a French bakery?

              1. re: freezedriedicecream

                The only one in town that I can think of off-hand is Clint's on Main Street. There is (or was) one on Main St called La Francaise, but it's been a while since I passed that block so am not sure about it. Frisco has two bakeries that I really like: Butterhorn on Main Street (not open late, however) and Blue Moon, which is on the same side of Hwy 9 as Safeway and WalMart but farther south (i.e., closer to Breck).

                1. re: ClaireWalter

                  I'm pretty certain La Francaise is still there, and it's quite good. The bakery at City Market is rather lackluster, but you can get some ok bread there. I also highly recomment Pie in the Sky (see post below). I've made a few things out of it and they all turn out fantastic (especially the sugar cookies!). And if you want a place to just relax, The Crown has some great desserts that are home made, free wi-fi, and lots of couches.

    2. When I moved back to the Rockies from Michigan last year, one of the best cookbooks I found for high altitude baking is Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy. I have made almost every recipe in the book and all have turned out great. Each recipe has a chart for adjustments for different altititudes (I am at 8600 ft). There are several different bread recipes. I especially like the baguette and Challah recipes. I bought my copy at Barnes and may be able to find a copy at Amazon.

      I was just at a City Market in Moab, UT last week and it had been remodeled recently....don't know if they have done this with all City Markets. They had a decent cheese selection and the bakery was pretty good. Maybe there will be hope for the one in Breck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Squint

        I ordered the Pie in the Sky cookbook (I figure I can leave it with my sister-in-law?) and got some help from a Summit Daily writer on making Yorkshire Pudding in high altitude. I'm looking forward to the trip at the end of the week! Thanks for the recommendations, all!

        1. re: freezedriedicecream

          I think that you will like the cookbook. I've been using it quite a bit lately, starting with Thanksgiving and now doing holiday baking.

          Have a great holiday! There should be quite a bit of snow when you get there!

      2. What are the odds?! My family is ALSO going to the Breckenridge/Keystone area for New Year's AND my dad's birthday (he'll be 64)! I was actually hunting around here for ideas on restaurants in the area that are good for birthday celebrations. Ideally it would be a place that does the whole singing waiters and dessert with a candle on it thing, but nothing too mainstream (no TGIFriday's). Any ideas?

        3 Replies
        1. re: jjstrick

          I don't know about singing waiters (and TG, there are no TGIFriday's in Breck -- only a Bubba Gump, and that's bad enough). I like Modis a lot.

          1. re: jjstrick

            So, as it turns out, we did more dining that cooking.

            We had the birthday dinner at The Ranch at Keystone, which was pretty good. The server was fantastic, and five courses for $100 (without wine and cocktails) is a great deal.

            We had dinner at the Briar Rose one evening. I'd had dinner there a couple of years ago and it wasn't great. But this time around it was fantastic. The root vegetable gratin was excellent. I even had some great Blue Point oysters (against my better judgment) which were fresh and salty. The potatoes Lyonnaise were a bit odd, unlike what I would traditionally understand as Lyonnaise style (these seemed to be cubed and roasted, as opposed to sliced and skillet fried?). It was much lovelier than I remembered!

            1. re: freezedriedicecream

              The Briar Rose has new owners as of last summer, which might be why it has changed.