615 Clinton Street • Ridgway • 970/626-9800

The secret to the homefries at Kate’s Place is the clarified butter. It allows the steamed, chopped russet spuds to be sautéed at a higher temperature than normal butter could withstand, resulting in a golden-crispy-crunchy coating that is, paradoxically, not greasy. A clove of fresh chopped garlic tossed in during the final 30 seconds of cooking, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, is all that it takes to make your breakfast stand up and shout “Yes!”

The secret to the bacon? It’s thick-cut, meaty and pan-fried. Need we say more?

The two come together in blissful union with sautéed onions, cremini mushrooms, spinach and roma tomatoes all melted through with white cheddar cheese and crowned with perfectly made-to-order eggs, in one of Kate’s signature breakfast dishes, the Sneffels Skillet.

If you’re in the mood for a cheesy, eggy, potato-y kind of breakfast thing that’ll keep you feeling full ‘til dinner ... honey, this is it.

Another hearty choice: the homemade corned beef hash, made with Angus beef that’s roasted in-house and slow-cooked with onions, carrots, russet potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and the secret incredient: thyme.

If on the other hand you hanker a sweet-tooth breakfast of buttermilk pancakes, cinnamon French toast or a naked Belgian waffle thickly dusted with powdered sugar, well, you’ve still come to the right place. A bit of advice: when the lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes are among the white-board specials, it’s your lucky day.

It’s food like this – fresh, simple, consistently delicious, and always presented with fast and friendly service that makes you feel like a regular (and wish you were one) even if you’re not – that has earned Kate’s Place bragging rights as a top-rated Colorado restaurant by the travel-website Trip Advisor.

Customers who have stumbled upon this sunny, cheerful little eatery at 615 Clinton Street in downtown Ridgway never fail to describe the food, service and atmosphere of Kate’s Place in glowing terms. But it’s not just the passers-by that are feeling the love. Over the past five years, Kate’s Place has won over the hearts and stomachs of loyal locals, too.

Kate Leonard, the namesake, proprietress and convivial kitchen wench of Kate’s Place, is a Miami surfer girl who found her way to the San Juans by way of Chicago and never looked back. She is a foodie, not a chef. And, as you might have guessed, she is utterly passionate about what she does. She’s poured a great deal of thought into every single detail of that bliss on your plate. “You will always find me in the kitchen,” she says. “If I’m there, I’m in the kitchen.”

Dining al fresco: Summer at Kate’s Place means outdoor dining. The patio is a major attraction with its trees and potted plants, and a great place to see and be seen by Ridgway’s native fauna.

What’s for lunch?: Kate’s Place is first and foremost a breakfast joint. Breakfast is served all day every day, from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. but the lunch menu is great too. There are always two homemade soups to choose from. Try the Asian Salad topped with your choice of grilled chicken or salmon, or indulge in a Reuben Sandwich, made with that same rich, slow-cooked corned beef that you fell in love with at breakfast time, topped with melted Swiss, sauerkraut and homemade horseradish Thousand Island on thick seeded rye bread.

Sourcing local: While it’s not always possible, Kate makes a point of sourcing local fresh produce whenever she can. Her eggs come from hormone-free, vegetarian-fed hens just down the road in Grand Junction. Come summer, Kate shops even closer to home, at the local farmers’ markets in Ridgway and Montrose.

Open year-round, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (closed Mondays)