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May 6, 2008 06:47 AM

Wyoming & Colorado - close to Interstate 80

My son and I are driving coast-to-coast on Interstate 80, leaving San Francisco on Sunday May 18. We are looking for good places to eat in Wyoming and Colorado, close to Interstate 80. Thanks!

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  1. I-80 doesn't run through Colorado, and your pickings in WY are slim. You will definitely want to stop at Little America outside Cheyenne to stretch and stock up if nothing else.
    While the food is not really standout, both the coffee shop and the more formal dining room offer up solid fare if nothing else. Lunch buffet in the dining room was pretty good, but it has been several years since my last visit.

    Your best bet might be stop at Red Iguana in Salt Lake City for a meal and a bunch of goodies to go. It's one of the very best restaurants along your entire route, and just a brief detour off of the freeway.

    5 Replies
    1. re: GroovinGourmet

      Thanks! Very useful information. We will definitely stop at Red Iguana. Any recommendations on what to order there?

      1. re: Hugh DeMann

        I haven't been to the Bitter Creek Brew Pub in Rock Springs, but I've heard that it's good good beer and the best food in town.

        There are a few decent restaurants in downtown Laramie, just a couple of miles from I-80. It's a college town, so it's a bit more sophisticated foodwise than others in Wuyoming (Jackson, of course, excepted, but that's nowhere near I-80). One caveat is that a lot of Laramie eateries are closed on Sundays, so timing is everything.

        Another option in Cheyenne is the Capitol Grille or Arbuckle's Coffee Shop in the Plains Hotel, across from the gorgeous Union Pacific Depot. (See The Capitol Grille might just have the best food in Cheyenne, and the hotel is a whole lot more interesting than Little America, which is basically a very, very fancy motel with some resort trappings.

        Also, the Synergy Cafe, close to the Interstate (Exit 13), makes decent wraps and has good coffee.

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          We ate at the Bitter Creek Brew Pub yesterday on our way through WY. Granted, there aren't many options besides chain restaurants for hundreds of miles, but this food wasn't good, the service was not up to par, and the town was kind of scary. We wished we had gone to a chain instead.

        2. re: Hugh DeMann

          Order anything at Red Iguana that looks good to you. There will be many dishes that you are not familiar with as they offer real regional Mex. The moles are all outstanding.

        3. re: GroovinGourmet

          We went to the Red Iguana - GREAT!
          Dark mole was out of this world.

        4. Good luck in's scary. If you were going through Montana on Interstate 90 there would be a lot of good choices that I could offer you.....especially off of the Bozeman and Billings exits......but Wyoming? notta. Colorado on the other hand....Denver area is great....everything else is not.

          3 Replies
          1. re: shellie

            Um, actually, there are many great restaurants elsewhere in Colorado.

            1. re: shellie

              Shellie, you're right. No good restaurants in Boulder, Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Durango, Crested Butte or Fort Collins. I feel so deprived! :)

            2. I happen to live in Laramie. We are right off I-80. As a matter of fact we have some great restaurants in Wyoming.
              In Cheyenne, The Tortilla Factory, off Central Ave. is very good mexican. They do take out also. (try a breakfast burrito with green chile inside, and eat on the go) You could go to Snake River Pub, or Sanfords (a little bit of everything). I would stay away from Little America if possible. If you're wanting Chinese, try the buffett at Twin Dragon. All these are right off the interstate. Now in Laramie, you could try Corona Village (mexican, also in Boise), Tommy Jacks (cajun), Altitude (brew pub), Overland (diner), and for vegitarian, Sweet Mellissa's or Jeffrey's. We also have a new Thai place, I've eaten there once, and enjoyed it. Along I-80, at Sinclair, is IMHO, the best mexican food ever. Su Casa. Thier green chile is to die for!!! Definitely stop here. It's very small, but worth a wait. (even if it means skipping Cheyenne and Laramie) Rawlins has a few places to eat, but haven't been there in a long time! That's as far as I can take you. If you need addresses or directions, give me a hollar.

              6 Replies
              1. re: jcattles

                Many thanks!
                Very helpful.
                I am really looking forward to Su Casa!

                1. re: Hugh DeMann

                  don't forget dessert. Vanilla ice cream drizzled with cinnamon apple and honey and served with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.

                2. re: jcattles

                  We had lunch at Su Case Cafe. Very nice, thanks for the recommendation. Sinclair turns out to be quite an interesting little (very little) town.

                  1. re: jcattles

                    Thanks to your suggestion we went to Corona Village in Laramie and it was great food! We ended up at the Andale Rapido version of this restaurant near campus instead of near the highway b/c that's where our GPS told us to go, but it was still good. We'd definitely eat here again when we're passing through.

                    1. re: jcattles

                      Great advice! We very much enjoy Corona Village when we visit Laramie. I'd add Lovejoys Bar and Grill to your list. That town has really grown in the past few years.

                      1. re: jcattles

                        I also love Corona Village. I only get up to WY in the summers and am looking forward to getting back up there so I can stop at CV.
                        I haven't been there in quite some time, but really like Jeffrey's. Even if you're not vegetarian, I think you'll like it.

                      2. When we travel this route, we always try to be in Rawlins in time for an excellent Mexican meal at the Cloverleaf Cafe, 113 4th Street downtown. And we're picky; we're from southern Colorado.

                        In Laramie, we like J's Prairie Rose Cafe (410 S 2nd Street) for breakfast.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: tiquose

                          Have you tried the Lariat in Rawlins? It's really good too! Prairie Rose has great pancakes and breakfast burritos.

                          1. re: jcattles

                            What kind of food does the Lariat serve?

                            1. re: tiquose

                              Mexican. It's a small place, but typical for our region. The green chili is a little hotter than Su Casa. It's on Cedar street. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

                        2. When I was driving across the country about 3 years ago with my dad, we stopped and found a great place in Laramie: El Conquistador. Some of the best Mexican food I've ever eaten. Does anyone know if it's still around?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: berbadeerface

                            It is. It was owned and operated by two brothers for a long time. One brother bought the other one out and it went downhill. I'm not positive but have heard it's managed by someone else now. I haven't eaten there in a long time. I used to hostess there many many years ago. :)
                            Maybe I should give it another chance. I used to love thier green chili and con queso dip.

                            1. re: jcattles

                              I remember they had some excellent menudo.