Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Just about anyone who has experienced the joy of a full ski day has probably at least heard of the term “après-ski.”* However, you might not have heard of “avant-ski.”

What is avant-ski, you might ask? It’s the process that happens first, before you hit the slopes and start cruising the cordouroy.

Avant-ski means “before ski”: breakfast.

This pre-skiing ritual is crucial for a satisfying snow session and, depending on your a.m. ravenousness, can range from consuming something small and portable to a more luxurious, multi-course affair. In order to help you set your sights on some of the best, here are our favorite places—and dishes—for avant-ski.

Copious amounts of coffee are, of course, a personal choice. 

Fast and Friendly

Some days, the powder is calling and there’s a decided need for speed. Head to one of these locations for grab-and-go goodness that will start your ski day off right. 

1. Bend Oregon

In Bend, Oregon, head to the Sparrow Bakery and grab one of their signature Ocean Rolls (or six) before heading to Mt. Bachelor. Don’t call it a cinnamon roll—this perfectly flaky breakfast creation is made from homemade croissant dough and spiced with cardamom, sugar and vanilla. See Oregon lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Oversized cinnamon roll at Fred’s Beech Mountain

2. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Want to visit the home of the original “breakfast burrito”? While folks in Santa Fe, New Mexicohave been wrapping eggs and bacon in a flour tortilla for years, Jim Maryol, the original owner of Tia Sophia’s in Santa Fe, New Mexico, claims that he was the first to call this concoction a breakfast burrito and put it on the menu back in the 70s. One small step for man… See New Mexico & Southwest lift tickets.

3. Snowmass, Colorado

When you have to be on the mountain and you have to be there NOW, the Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass, Colorado has you covered. Stop at any hotel ski concierge and grab one of their power-packed burritos-to-go before you enter the gondola. While they prefer that you actually slow down long enough to be polite, this is one of the fastest breakfasts in town. SeeColorado lift tickets.

Locals’ Loves 

Sometimes the best way to get a taste of the area is to search out the locals’ favorite haunts. These breakfasts are big on flavor: both with what’s on the plates and the patrons.

4. Ludlow, Vermont

In Ludlow, Vermont, you’ll find breakfast all day—and the only stoplight in 20 miles. At the Hatchery, skiers and snowboarders bound for Okemo Mountain Resort fill up with creations like the Cilantro Omelette, made with avocado, salsa, locally made cheese and house-made cilantro pesto. See Vermont lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Cilantro Omelette Hatchery Okemo

5. Beech Mountain, North Carolina

Fred’s General Mercantile, located adjacent to the slopes of Beech Mountain Resort in North Carolina, has been serving skiers and snowboarders every day since Feb. 9, 1979. Known as the place that has everything that you need (and if they don’t have it, you don’t need it), Fred’s is most famous for its breakfasts. The Big Country Breakfast is a popular choice, but make room for an oversized cinnamon roll. A meal in and of themselves (according to owner Fred Pfohl), it takes a true appetite to eat one alone—you’d be better off sharing with friends. SeeNorth Carolina lift tickets.

6. Crested Butte, Colorado

There’s no better place to gas up for the day—literally—than at the Gas Café in Crested Butte,Colorado. Proudly declaring that it’s the “Last Stop on the Right Before Heading Up to the Mountain,” the Gas Café serves up filling sandwiches like the Paul Harvey. A BLT with a fried egg, ham and a crispy hash brown patty, locals swear that this bomb will keep you going all day long. Be sure to order ahead and you’ll be on the slopes before you know it. SeeColorado lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Even guys in kitten shirts agree that the Gas Cafe in Crested Butte is a breakfast destination.

Bring on the Buffet (and Bowls) 

Buffets are magical things, excellent for those indecisive types (should I have eggs or pancakes?) and those with a hearty appetite (I’ll take both!). Check out these noteworthy buffets before hitting the slopes.

7. Whistler, British Columbia

At the Wildflower restaurant at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the spread is staggering, offering plenty of meats, veggies, donuts, pancakes and made-to-order omelets as well as lighter fare like yogurt and muesli. Eat your fill—no matter how many plates it takes—before hopping on the Wizard quad chair up to Blackcomb Mountain. See Whister Blackcomb lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Wildflower Breakfast buffet at Fairmont Chateau Whistler

8. Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky = Big Breakfasts. Belly up to the breakfast buffet at the Huntley Lodge at Big Sky Resort in Montana and you’ll not only be able to bulk up with staples like eggs, bacon and pancakes, but also stick-to-your-ribs options like chicken fried steak and biscuits and gravy. You’ll need it before exploring the 5800 acres at Big Sky. See Northern Rockies lift tickets.

9. Glen, New Hampshire

In Glen, New Hampshire, you’ll discover the breakfast sensation you’ve been salivating for: the breakfast bowl. At Sunrise Shack, located on White Mountain Highway between Cranmore, Black Mountain, Wildcat Mountain and Attitash Bear Peak, you’ll find your breakfast conveniently packed into one serving vessel. The Yard Sale is just that—potatoes and cheese and everything and eggs—while the Far East combines poached eggs with tofu, miso broth, mushrooms and scallions. View New Hampshire lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Far East Bowl at Sunrise Shack in Glen, New Hampshire

Eat Elite 

Sometimes you’re not prepping for a day on the mountain…sometimes you just need to recover and splurge a little. For a bit of R&R in the a.m., these avant-ski options will cure what ails you, whether it’s alpine or après caused.

10. Taos, New Mexico

What’s better than a made-to-order gourmet breakfast? One that’s served to you in a basket. That you can eat in bed—no judging. At Palacio de Marquesa in Taos, New Mexico you can enjoy tasty treats like a spinach and mushroom frittata or poached eggs with potatoes and green chile turkey sausage in the comfort of your room. The slopes will still be there when you’re ready. See Taos lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Breakfast at Palacio de Marquesa Taos, New Mexico

11. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Combining a world-class waffle with a stellar view, Corbet’s Cabin on the top of Rendezvous Mountain at Jackson Hole Resort, Wyoming, perhaps wins for one of the loftiest places to nosh. Located at 10, 450’ feet, the only way to enjoy these peanut butter and bacon waffles (just one choice, mind you) is to ride the tram to the top. Bonus: watch skiers bite off more than they can chew at Corbet’s Couloir while you’re biting into your tasty waffle. See Jackson Hole Resort lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Peanut butter and bacon waffles at Corbet’s Cabin in Jackson Hole

12. Deer Valley, Utah

Pizza for breakfast? Heck yeah. While a cold slice from the fridge may be standard fare for many folks ready to hit the mountain, aspire to something a bit higher with the “Everything Crust Pizza Cambridge with Smoked Salmon, Dill Cream Cheese and Fine Herbs” (say that three times fast) at the J&G Grill at the St. Regis Deer Valley in Utah. Hearty enough to keep your motor running but deceptively light, this pizza will make you wish your leftover pie was as good. See Deer Valley lift tickets.

Breakfasts of Champions: 12 Places to Fill Your Tank Before Hitting The Slopes

Everything Crust Pizza Cambridge with Smoked Salmon Dill Cream Cheese & Fine Herbs at St. Regis Deer Valley

It’s impossible to try all of the amazing avant-ski places scattered in ski resorts across the continent, but it’s worth trying. What’s your favorite place to fuel up before a day on the slopes?

*If you haven’t heard of après ski, please proceed directly to a ski resort near you, wait until 4 p.m. or so and find a bar. They’ll provide the education that you need.

Posted in IN THE NEWS.