10 of the best places to grab breakfast before skiing in New England

Breakfast at Charlemont’s Wells Provisions is New Orleans-inspired. (Wells Provisions Photo)

We get it. In the rush to secure first tracks, the best parking or a spot in the lodge, a skier’s breakfast often might consist of quick-grab items like a granola bar and coffee, maybe a lukewarm breakfast sandwich if we’re lucky.  

But part of the delight of being in a ski village is taking time to enjoy the local flavor, whether that be via conversation or fork. There’s no better place to find either than in the best breakfast spot in town.

Here then are 10 of our favorite stops for a morning meal before heading to the mountain. It’s a list that presents plenty of options for fueling up for the day. Or, at least, more than you’re probably used to. 


(Butler’s Pantry Photo)

1. Butler’s Pantry, Stowe, Vt. — When local favorite McCarthy’s Restaurant closed in 2019 after 45 years in business, it left Stowe residents and guests seeking a new breakfast destination. Luckily, Butler’s Pantry was waiting, right around the corner. These weren’t only the best ski town pancakes I’ve had. Butler’s Pantry made the best pancakes I’ve ever had. Period. Airy and fluffy, buttery and sweet, the pancakes are just one of the items that keep patrons waiting for a table at the Stowe village eatery. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the early 19th-century Butler House, which also offers cozy, downtown lodging. Best of all, guests receive a discount on breakfast (Thursday-Monday, 8 a.m.-noon), which can include a variety of french toast, omelets and a spinach breakfast salad. Reservations are not accepted. Hop on the wait list. It’s worth it. — www.butlerspantrystowe.com

(Sunrise Shack Photo)

2. Sunrise Shack, Glen, N.H. — It’s “creative comfort food with a funky mountain vibe” that keeps bringing hungry customers to the Sunrise Shack, the Glen eatery just minutes from the base of Attitash Mountain Resort. Located at the site of Stanley’s Drive-In Restaurant (on top of Stanley’s Hill in the 1950s), the Sunrise Shack has become one of the most popular breakfast spots in all of the Mount Washington Valley since opening in 2012. But while the omelets and breakfast sandwiches might be enticing enough, the real stars of the show here are the Sunrise Shack’s breakfast bowls, which begin with a layer of home fries, topped with a list of ingredients that includes chorizo, flank steak, black beans and even risotto. Open every day at 7 a.m. — sunriseshack.com

(The Hatchery Photo)

3. The Hatchery, Ludlow, Vt. — This Ludlow village restaurant has had one mantra for almost 50 years — breakfast and lunch made from scratch, all day, every day. The pancakes here are so good (and cheap: two big flapjacks for only $6) that diners often leave with a package of the Hatchery’s own mix to try on their own at home. Frankly though, it’s a lot more difficult to reproduce some of the other flavors on the menu, including crab cake Benedict (weekends only) and the home fries poutine. Located in the shadow of Okemo Mountain Resort, the Hatchery is open Friday-Tuesday, 8 a.m-2 p.m. Online ordering is available with pickup at the window if you really, really need to be first on Quantum Leap. —- www.thehatcheryvt.com

4. Wells Provisions, Charlemont, Mass. — The result of the Janssen family uprooting from New Orleans to settle in western Massachusetts is Wells Provisions, a breakfast and lunch cafe that brings flavors of the south to New England. Breakfast items on the all-day menu (8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) at Wells Provisions, located just around the corner from Berkshire East ski area, include veggie grits, pulled pork Benedict, and andouille sausage breakfast hash. Among the more unique options is the bananas foster latte (“it works,” they say), which might go perfectly with your morning shrimp and grits. www.wellsprovisions.com

(Sarah’s Yesterdays Photo)

5. Sarah’s Yesterdays, Jackson, N.H. — The cozy atmosphere at Sarah’s Yesterdays matches the tranquil appearance of the town of Jackson, a classic New England village that takes on a storybook aura during the winter. You won’t find crazy breakfast concoctions at the local eatery, which opens daily at 7 a.m., but you will find well-priced, New England-style breakfasts that are more than enough to fuel you up for your day on the slopes at Black Mountain, located just up the road. Many breakfast dishes (including three-egg omelet) are under $10 and feature a wide selection of eggs, pancakes and hash. There’s a simplicity that helps feed the crowd at Yesterdays. — www.facebook.com/sarahsyesterdays 

6. Kingfield Woodsman, Kingfield, Maine — Don’t expect fancy at this Maine dining treasure, which is just the way skiers and locals like it. Located 15 miles from Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, the Kingfield Woodsman offers a wealth of inexpensive yet generous portions of breakfast food (served every morning until 11) to begin your day in the outdoors. Breakfast sandwiches start at only $3.50. The signature breakfast, the Woodsman, offers two eggs, two pancakes, home fries and meat for $10. The individual pancakes are big and are $4 a pop, $2.50 for each additional, or you can get three for $9. Want four? Folks at the Woodsman don’t recommend it. Even when your eyes get as big as they will at the Woodsman, your stomach has to have a limit. www.facebook.com/TheKingfieldWoodsman

(27 North Photo)

7. 27 North, North Conway, N.H. — Since opening 27 North in the heart of North Conway village in 2016, owner Andrea Carbone has delivered a new demand for taste in the Mount Washington Valley. Located at 27 Seavey St. (hence, its name), 27 North (open Friday-Tuesday, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) offers a breakfast menu (served all day, along with lunch) of wraps, sandwiches and omelets, in addition to more-creative dishes such as skillets (the “Pedro” comes with eggs, home fries, homemade cornbread, salsa, jalapenos, jack cheese and sour cream), as well as pancakes mixed with Fruity Pebbles cereal and topped with whipped cream. The waffle charcuterie board comes with three waffles served with strawberries, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce, and where else are you going to find champagne-battered pancakes? —www.27northnh.com

8. Backcountry Cafe, Killington, Vt. — You’re apt to find some hard-core Killington skiers at this establishment along the lower end of Killington Mountain Road before the lifts start running each day. That’s because the Backcountry Cafe opens — every day — at 7 a.m. to help fuel its customers for their days on the hill that looms up the road. Customer favorites here include the hot cocoa pancakes, pumpkin waffles and banana bread french toast. There always are a variety of popovers and peanut butter pancakes as well. The cafe’s clean environment has a diner feel to it, enhanced by the rustic nature of its winter setting. Your stomach will be more than ready for the adventures that await. — www.facebook.com/BackCountryBreakfastCafe

(Stratton Mountain Resort Photo)

9. Benedict’s, Stratton, Vt. — Immerse yourself in the village dining experience at Stratton by settling in — ski boots on or off — at Benedict’s, a full-service breakfast and lunch establishment located only steps from your first lift of the day. A number of homestyle favorites are on the menu, including avocado toast, eggs, a variety of Benedicts, and egg scramble skillets. Hit the juice bar for a variety of drinks and “boozy coffee,” hot or iced. Open every day, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., and now also open Friday and Saturday evenings for après, featuring cocktails, charcuterie and pastries, 4:30-9 p.m. www.stratton.com/things-to-do/dining/benedicts

10. Country Cook’n at the Lakeside, Gilford, N.H. — You can find Country Cook’n at three other New Hampshire establishments — in Loudon, Laconia and Epsom — but the Gilford location is less than 15 minutes from Gunstock Mountain Resort and offers skiers and riders a host of classic breakfasts with some twists. Why just have steak and eggs with kielbasa and eggs on the menu? How about a Mexican omelet topped with salsa and sour cream? And what about the banana nut pancakes? Breakfast is served every day, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Lunch available at 11:30 a.m.; dinner at 4. — countrycooknrestaurants.com

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