Because Everywhere Else Just Sucks

by Gigi Griffis

In my quest to live like a local wherever I travel, I often find myself a bit out of my element. You know what I mean. Eating grub worms in the Australian outback because, well, my new Aboriginal friends just tossed them in the fire and handed them to me and…bottoms up! Or attempting to keep up with the caller during a traditional Céilidh dance in Edinburgh. Or trying to figure out just how many cheek kisses are appropriate in each European country (and then accidentally kissing like five of my American friends upon returning to the states).

But this month I’m back in Colorado, smack dab in the middle of my element, a place I spent five years of my life before taking off to travel the world. So living like a local while I’m here? It’s kind of a breeze. Particularly when I find myself ensconced for the weekend in my favorite Colorado mountain town: charming, livable Breckenridge. Home of my favorite mountain town pizza joint, Downstairs at Eric’s. Which is, let’s face it, probably my favorite because of the awesome t-shirts (pictured above). Or maybe the extensive beer menu.

Menu at Eric's Breckenridge

Or possibly the pizza, which you can order with white, wheat, white garlic, or wheat garlic crust (I recommend choosing one of the garlic options, personally).

Pizza at Eric's, Breckenridge

For me, this is just the sort of thing that captures local living in a Colorado mountain town. Pizza. Beer. Sports. Somewhere to trade snowboard stories and jokes with new and old friends. Somewhere to refuel after a day of high altitude hiking. Somewhere you can chuckle at the classic American sarcasm and smile at the equally classic mountain town hospitality (no less than four people said hello, asked about my life, or gave me suggestions of things to do while in town).

Plus, the place is really quirky—with an interior full of old signs collected over the years from Breckenridge businesses that have closed, moved on, faded away. They’re remnants of this little mountain town’s past, stories of its changing landscape.

Eric's in Breckenridge

Back when I lived in Denver, I once drove up to Breckenridge just to wander the picturesque main street and demolish a garlic-crusted pizza by myself. Because I needed to get away and I needed to feel at home. And it’s just that kind of place. Somehow delightfully local and beautifully unique all at once.

Okay, now I’m hungry again…who wants pizza?

Interested in Colorado? This guide is for you.

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