Fill up at Blue Moose Pizza in Vail and Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Fill up at Blue Moose Pizza in Vail and Beaver Creek

Heather Hower
Special to the Weekly

Editor's note: This article was previously published as a paid feature in EAT, a compendium of restaurant snapshots featuring the best in Vail Valley dining. Look for it on newsstands everywhere.

Beaver Creek and Vail aren't just high society, high prices and high-end menus. After all, sometimes a family needs a chance to sit back and enjoy a slice of pizza while discussing face shots, powder stashes and skating rink shenanigans. Blue Moose Pizza has two locations — one in Lionshead and one in Beaver Creek — and offers the space for families to relax and unwind, without blowing the bank. It's a winning combination, which is why Blue Moose turns 20-plus this season.

Both locations are steps from ice rinks, so it's easy to pop in for a quick snack and head right back out for the next adventure. Outdoor dining is always an option in sunny Colorado, and with Blue Moose's spacious patios, outfitted with heaters, kids can continue their silliness while parents sip a Colorado beer, wine or hand-crafted cocktail. The Old Nine is a fan favorite with local 10th Mountain Whiskey, simple syrup, bitters with a cherry and orange slice — it's warming winter in a glass. The Dark + Snowy is best for a lazy afternoon: Montanya Oro Rum, ginger beer and lime. Refreshing and spicy, indeed.

The pizzas go way beyond the typical slice: They are inventive and a meal in itself, but don't skip the starters: Greek, spinach or Caesar salad for the veggie-heavy start or the Italian salad that feels an awful lot like an antipasto salad. The hummus plate is a great way to sneak veggies in, with broccoli, celery and carrots and a Middle Eastern zing.

The Main Event

There are entrée options — pastas and subs that are yummy and good for a post-ski meal — but the star of the Blue Moose show is the pizza. Blue Moose offers stone-ground whole wheat, taraditional and gluten-free crusts, as well. The Winter Pizza is bright and lively and just right after a day on the slopes: Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and mozzarella. Alright, there are a few of us who need meat on our pizza pie. Go for the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza that swims in ground beef, bacon, onions, marinara, cheddar and mozzarella; or the Big Moose: pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, marinara and mozzarella.

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Dive deeper into the menu with signature calzones, stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella and toppings that you crave: chicken, pesto, artichoke hearts, black olives, sausage, pepperoni — you get the idea. The options are endless and leave the family well-fed and happy.

For those in a rush — powder is calling or a meltdown is moments away — take advantage of the lunch special: a one-topping slice and soda for only five bucks.

End the meal with a giant, baked-to-order chocolate chip cookie. Smiles all around and everyone's ready for the next snowy adventure.