What I really love is a local, unique place off the beaten path where I can enjoy fantastic food, in a new place, surrounded by my favorite humans. If mountains and a low level of oxygen are included – I’m even more satisfied.
Luckily a few months ago, while gallivanting around Colorado, my boyfriend showed me a place that not only met those criteria, but went above and beyond.
High Mountain Pies located in Leadville, Colorado, was opened in 2003, and has become a hot-spot for those venturing through Leadville. Surrounded by other small, local establishments, High Mountain Pies was a buzz of hungry people when we ventured in one weekday afternoon.
The actual restaurant is quite small — just a counter for ordering, a kitchen in the back combined with a few tables up front, but High Mountain does have a giant backyard off the main entrance full of tables and games for those wanting to get comfortable and stay awhile.
Even though the place is small, the menu is large. Salads, calzones, submarine sandwiches, pizzas and jumbo cookies are just some of many options for hungry tummies.
We decided on a build your own pizza: smoked trout, cream cheese, green pepper and pineapple. While that may sound strange, don’t knock it till you try it. Or you can knock the smoked trout right off – which is what I did (my boyfriend, on the other hand, loved it). The crust was thick, crispy and fresh, just how I like it – there is also something about seeing the kitchen and the hard-working people in it that just makes food taste better.
While we stuffed our faces, locals popped into the shop, saying hi to the workers and catching up on the town by reading the local newspaper while they waited for their pizza to-go to be made.
In that moment I realized how lucky I was to be there, to be sitting in this local eatery that brings great food, great laughs and great people to the town of Leadville. It reminded, and reinforced, how much I love local establishments.
After finishing up the (whole) pie, we headed out again into the fresh mountain air, but not before grabbing a pair of High Mountain Pie socks made by SockGuy, which have “Powered by Pizza,” scripted on them.
I’d highly encourage everyone to buy a pair, it’s a great conversation starter when you’re drinking a beer after a trail ride, or just walking around the office on fun sock day.
Now go climb Mt. Elbert and reward yourself with High Mountain Pies. Or just eat it without the climbing part, I don’t judge.