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Jan 6, 2008 01:34 PM

Trip to Colorado- Estes Park, Denver, and Boulder

My Husband and I have a trip planned to check out Estes Park, Denver, and Boulder. We like good food, any genre, any price. We would love to have some recommendations for places to eat, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My husband is a Professional Pastry Chef, so if there are any patisseries or notable bakeries in town we would love to know.


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  1. This board has featured numerous threads on restaurants in Denver and Boulder and several on Estes Park. A lot of good food in the former two (perhaps do a search); less in Estes Park, which compensates in scenery in adjacent Rocky Mountain Natl Park.

    Bakeries/patiesseries? In Boulder, I'm partial to Breadworks (huge imported bread oven that produces first-rate breads, plus separate pastry operation). Spruce Confections is an excellent patisserie w/ two Boulder locations (downtown and North Boulder -- they bake some stuff in one, other goods in the second). For other bakeries, see . It was a pre-holiday column and therefore had a fruitcake theme, but all the bakeries mentioned are good. Gateaux wins for elaborate theme creations. Also check out Devil's Food Bakery on S. Gaylord in Denver. I believe they also serve meals now too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      Devil's Food Bakery now does brunch. They close at about 2 or 3 each day, so make sure that you get there early enough.

    2. Keep your expectations in check for Estes Park. I've even had bad pizza and burgers there (and it takes a special kind of SUCK to mess up pizza and burgers). Make sure you drive up Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain Natl. Park if your trip is planned for balmier weather. We didn't die from a meal at the Wild Rose (although it was better when it was Friar's). They have a half-price dinner coupon on their website at
      This is in no way a hearty endorsement, but it's "slim pickins" in EP. There's a place on the main drag that has good waffle ice cream cones, but it's not really the season for that if you're going to be here soon.

      Does the Stanley Hotel (The Shining) have a decent restaurant? Maybe serving some bloody boudin? heh heh

      You should go to Frasca in Boulder for dinner if you want the best restaurant in the state. Sit at the bar or salumi bar if you can't get a reservation. The Kitchen is great for breakfast and weekend brunch, and The Kitchen Upstairs is a great place to go at night. For anytime, Pupusas Sabor Hispano on North Broadway. In Denver, my favorite places on the higher end are Fruition and Rioja (the latter of which is also open for lunch and weekend brunch).

      I was going to say Gateaux and Devil's Food Bakery in Denver for pastries, but Claire's already gotcha covered.

      If you want more specific guidance (sandwiches, Mexican food, sushi, etc.), please let us know.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rlm

        So far we tried Ed's cantina in estes Park, it was alright, service was good, but it was very generic and normal. I am curious about some of the other places like the otherside restaurant.
        I will take you up on your advice and check out Frasca in Boulder.

        Do you know of any places that are good to get a New mexican burrito?

        1. re: needsmoreshallot

          We didn't like the Other Side much. The service was good and the ambiance was nice, but the food was pretty bad. The Dunraven is okay, but kind of pricey for someplace that is only okay. Probably the best I've been to so far, in Estes, is the Tavern at Mary's Lake Lodge. It's a little out of the way, but I think worth it.

          Has anyone else been to Villa Tatra, on the way to Estes from Lyons? I read a good review of it but have never managed to eat there.
          I'm not sure what a "new mexican" burrito is. I love the burritos at Big City Burrito (pork and chicken only, I don't like the beef). They are definately not authentic mexican food, but tasty!

          1. re: frisbeesage

            I ate at Villa Tatra just once -- a long time ago -- but we stop there to buy their fabulous house-smoked salmon and trout. We've never been to nearby La Chaumiere either. When we come down the canyon, we've usually been hiking or skiing or snowshoeing, so it's generally too early for dinner -- and we're not presentable enough for a nice place anyway. That's why we tend to go to Ed's Cantina -- service is on-going and we can show up as-is. Definitely avoid the in EP. Dreadful food.

      2. We ate at the Sweet Basilica, a quaint little italian place really inexpensive for lunch and the food was decent.