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best place to eat between denver and steamboat springs?

I'll be driving from denver to steamboat in early august. what hidden gem (or not so hidden) do i want to stop at along the way?

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  1. Time of day? Food you like or dislike?

    1. Are you looking for a specific meal? Do you have a particular route? Most drive to Silverthorne and up Hwy 9 to Kremmling, but it's not a lot further to drive over Berthoud to Winter Park. Are you wanting something truly between the 2, or is something early on in your drive or in Steamboat ok?

      1 Reply
      1. re: LurkerDan

        i wasn't looking for anything specific - it would be during the day - so more along the lines of lunchtime, or afternoon snack. i eat just about anything, but will be with a 6 yr old. but he doesnt just eat "kid food"

        i had no route in mind as of yet either - if there was not food worth going a little out of the way for, id take the direct route. if there was a reason to deviate, im cool with that too

        i will take suggestions for steamboat as well - but i was looking for food along the way

      2. I always stop at Chimayo in Silverthorne for their great fish burritos it it's lunch/dinner time. Don't know if it qualifies as a hidden gem, but they're the best fish burritos (or tacos) that I've had away from the west coast. Go up 6 towards Keystone and it'll be in a shopping center on your left after a couple of lights, across the parking lot from a City Market I think.

        If it's closer to breakfast, Two Brothers Deli in Idaho Springs has great breakfast burritos. Big and - here's the trick - they press them in a sandwich press so that they're slightly flattened and crispy on the outside. Have them put green chili inside, so you can eat it while you drive.

        I'm curious about Kremmling - I get the sense there might be some kind of hidden gem in the local taverns (fried chicken or something along those lines, maybe), but that's just a hunch with no confirmation because I'm always full from my Chimayo burrito at that point in the trip.

        1. Thew, first I want to fully disclose my bias, I live in the Gore (Vail) Creek and Eagle River Valley. So the 3 ways you can get from DEN (called DIA by Frontrangers) to Steamboat is over Berthod Pass into Grand County (Winter Park & Grandby), through Silverthorne to Kremming both about 180 miles and 2 mountain passes, or do 210 miles and stop for a meal in our Valley which is about 2.5 hours from DEN. Steamboat is 1.5 hours from us. If you do a Chowhound search on Vail, lot's of great places will appear. The drive up Hwy 131 from Walcott to Steamboat goes through the "real" Colorado. Sorry for the "commercial" but that's how I see it.

          10 Replies
          1. re: BlueOx

            well, it isnt my first trip to colorado, and im not looking to go do vail as a stop on my way. it wouldn;t be nice to vail to not give it more than the old in and out

            1. re: BlueOx

              Kind of funny to see someone who lives in Vail lecture about the "real" Colorado. And I hate to break it to you, as much as you'd like to find ways to differentiate yourself from us fake front rangers, but DEN is referred to as DIA throughout the state. :-) I lived for many years in a part of Colorado that is certainly as "real" if not more so than the Vail or Eagle River Valley (and many hours further from the front range) and we all referred to it as DIA.

              1. re: LurkerDan

                Re: "drive up Hwy 131 from Wolcott to Steamboat goes through the "real" Colorado." If you take this route, stop at Lupita's in Oak Creek. Fabulous fish tacos. If you go over Berthoud Pass (a breathtakingly beautiful ride, BTW), the Tavern at Tabernash has a great reputation. I've never been there, but it's on "the list."

                1. re: LurkerDan

                  While I absolutely love Vail (heck It's where I lived when I was born and have always felt at home there) I agree that claiming that it's more Colorado than anywhere else is, uh, presumptuous.

                  Moving on to food options. In Idaho Springs which you'll hit about 1 hour from DIA there is Beau Jo's Pizza which is a unique Colorado Style pizza and well regarded although I've actually never been. I know, probably criminal. Also, Tommyknocker brewery is there with good brews and I enjoy their green chile as someone who went to high school and college in New Mexico.

                  Just up the road toward Berthoud Pass in Empire is a little place on the left that makes awesome milkshakes and sweet potato fries. I can't speak to anything else. Getting past Empire I'm no help. Sorry.

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                  Beau Jo's
                  100 N College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524

                  1. re: RobynS

                    Never said Vail was more "real" Colorado, in fact, thank goodness its less. What I said was 131 towards Steamboat is still like the State was 100 years ago, mining, railroads and working ranches.

                    1. re: RobynS

                      The Idaho Springs Beau Jo's is the most atmospheric of the several scattered around the state. Their specialty "mountain pies" are loaded pizzas. There's a choice of types of crusts. Each has a thick edge that diners eat with honey for "dessert." They serve soft drinks in Mason jars.

                      The Hard Rock Cafe (no relation to the big chain) is the place in Empire that you might be thinking. Another option iin town is Jenny's, pretty good casual place.

                      1. re: ClaireWalter

                        Sorry, but while I agree on the atmosphere of the Beau Jo's in Idaho Springs it is easily the nastiest excuse for pizza I have ever seen. Is it pizza soup? Pizza cassarole? Pizza in a cup?

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                        Beau Jo's
                        100 N College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524

                        1. re: Strangewine

                          fascinating as this subthread may be - i assure i'm not going to colorado from NYC to eat pizza......

                          1. re: thew

                            I had no idea you were from NY otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it.

                          2. re: Strangewine

                            It's the best pizza in a cup ever. These guys are unbelievable. They ran the old Cup 'o Pizza guy out of business. People come from all over to eat this.

                  2. One of my favorite stops between Denver and anything west of there on I-70 is a casual Italian spot called Mangia! Have never been at dinner, but lunch has always been excellent and they certainly have lots of choices for adults and kids.

                    http://www.mangiamia.com/