Main Street Café, Aspen, Colorado
In what looks like a cozy house on Main Street, you’ll find the heartiest, least pretentious breakfast in Aspen: homemade corned beef hash with two eggs, grits, and a buttermilk biscuit, eggs benedict with smoked salmon and dill hollandaise, or pancakes topped with rum-and-sugar-soaked bananas foster, all a not-too-far walk from the gondola at Aspen Mountain. You can pop in for coffee and a glazed donut from the counter, but it’s worth waiting for a table if you’ve got the time.
Fire Sign Café, Tahoe City, California
En route to or from a backcountry ski mission on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore, stop into the Fire Sign Café, a woodsy, nearly lakeside breakfast nook that’s been a Tahoe locals’ favorite since 1978. The Rubicon Scramble, named after a nearby peak, is topped with sausage, cheddar, and onion and comes with a side of home-baked coffee cake. Or grab a breakfast sandwich (add avocado) to go.
Michael’s Kitchen, Taos, New Mexico
You could stuff yourself with bear claws and apple fritters at the bakery inside Michael’s Kitchen, but then you wouldn’t leave much room for their egg-filled breakfast enchilada, smothered Christmas-style with red and green chile and served with saucy pinto beans and rice. Michael’s, a Taos landmark since 1974, is a must-visit on your way into the mountains of northern New Mexico.
The Kingfield Woodsman, Kingfield, Maine
There’s nothing fancy about the Kingfield Woodsman, the locals’ breakfast joint of choice on your way to ski at Sugarloaf. Order at the counter, grab a table made from rustic hunks of hardwood, and wait for your $3.50 breakfast sandwich (options: treehugger for no meat, crosscut for bacon, or chainsaw for ham). A $5 special gets you two eggs, toast, home fries, sausage, and a cup of piping hot coffee.
Cottonwood Heights Café, Salt Lake City, Utah
Now in a new location, the no-frills Cottonwood Heights Café is a convenient stop on your way up to skiing in Utah’s Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon. A Greek-inspired breakfast menu includes a gyro and feta cheese omelet or an Athenian omelet, which comes with a gluttonous amount of sausage, bacon, and ham. Portions are massive and don’t forget to smother your potatoes with the house-made fry sauce in the bottle on your table.