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Between Denver airport and Boulder

Arriving in Denver tonight and driving to Boulder. Need recommendation for a restaurant on the way. Trying not to go into downtown Denver. Looking for good food good atmosphere. Hoping to do much better than a chain. Concerned we won't get to Boulder until 10 so it may be too late to wait until we get there. Any recommendations will be appreciated.

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  1. Hmmm, non-chain between DIA and Boulder may be tough. I've heard good things (on this board) about Spice China in Louisville but that's not much closer to DIA than Boulder. I vaguely remember that a location for a local place has opened out at Stapleton and that might be a possibility, can anyone else jog my memory there?

    1. You'll go right by a huge mall development called Flatiron Crossing - there are a lot of nicer restaurants around that area. Some are chains. It's on the highway between Denver and Boulder.

      8 Replies
      1. re: shellie

        I don't know of any non-chains in the Flatiron Crossing area, can you clue me into something there that isn't?

            1. re: RobynS

              Interesting. I went to their website and there are 2 Bloom locations: Broomfield and Scottsdale. What exactly is your definition of a chain?

              1. re: jtc

                And owned by a restaurant conglomerate. I wouldn't exactly call it a local independent, would you?

                1. re: RobynS

                  I don't believe I called it a local independent. I just questioned what you categorize as a chain restaurant. I guess if it means a person and/or company owning or running more than one restaurant, that makes Rioja/Bistro Vendome, Thomas Keller's places, and many others "chains".

                  1. re: jtc

                    I believe there's a difference between a couple of restaurants owned by a company/person and a company that owns 13 restaurants. But I guess that's personal opinion.

                    1. re: RobynS

                      I guess chains are like pornography: you can't define them, but you know one when you see it.

      2. Well.. I was pondering places around Interlocken (mostly chains) but it's almost to Boulder so you'd still be pretty late. Bloom is a nice offering from the Fox group in Scottsdale that doesn't feel much like a chain to me. But they stop serving at 9 Sun-Thur and 10 on F-S. Close to the airport <giggle> is out.. since the only thing close to the airport is Kansas.. and a few chain restaurants. I frequently hit Ted's Montana chain on the way home from DIA as their burgers are tasty and they pour a good cocktail. If you want casual, good, Northern Mexican food I can find you a few places along the way that'll be good eating but decidedly not fine dining. Ditto that with pizza. If you go North up to 104th and across to I-25 you may find something I don't know about. There's been a lot of growth in that area. Any north denver Hounds know of anything new along 104th corridor? Problem your facing is that both the South-then-Northwest route (Pena- I70- I270-I25-Hwy 36) and the North and then Southwest route (Pena-Tower Road- 104th-I25-Hwy 36) are both going through areas either uninhabited, commercial or lower socio-economic scale so fine dining is not as prevelent.

        What about Stapleton area.. that might work. Looking at their website.. it's 90%+ chain stuff. Sigh...

        http://www.stapletondenver.com/Explor...

        Sorry to think out loud.. I don't have a good answer off the top of head. Good challenge- I'm sure one of the other hounds will pull through.

        1. I am actually not sure if this is a chain, but Hibatchi Steak and Sushi off of Church Ranch and US-36 (by the movie theatre) has decent food, although it is slightly over-priced. There are a couple of restaurants over in that area that you may want to check out.

          1. Depends which way you are going. If you take the Northeast Parkway (toll road), there truly is nothing, but you'll be at Flatirons Crossing (yawn!), Louisville and Boulder in about 40-45 minutes. If you go the old, free way (I-70, 270 and US36/Boulder Turnpike), O's Steakhouse in the Westin Westminster is interesting. Exec chef Ian Kleinman is into molecular gastronomy, but the restaurant does everything well, A bit closer to Boulder is the Omni Interlocken and its Meritage Restaurant. Both are hotel restaurants but with very nice ambiance, good food and probably fairly generous opening hours.