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Apr 28, 2014 05:58 AM

Westminster, CO options?

My husband and I will be staying at the Westin in Westminster and we're hoping to find a couple of good local options other than the hotel's restaurants. This topic has come up before but the threads are at least two years old.

I'm reluctant to drive into Boulder for dinner. Local options have more appeal. All price ranges. All cuisines.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Are you willing to drive into Denver? I only ask bc Lodo is not too far away and there are plenty of decent places to eat there. I don't much about Westminster as I'm new to the area but the times I've spent there eating has been at chains like Joe's Crab Shack and Bonefish Grill which I don't recommend AT ALL. Across the highway there are some chains in a shopping center. BJ's and such.

    8 Replies
    1. re: trolley

      Okay, now that I've looked up the meaning of LoDo, I can answer your question.

      I'm happy to learn about some good places for lunch Denver, but I'm really not looking to do highway driving at night in unfamiliar territory.

      In addition to the Wazee Street area, I'll be visiting the Plinth Gallery in a section of the city called River North Art District.

      I want to stay reasonably local in Westminster. I assume that means Mom and Pop store front ethnic places and that's fine.

      1. re: Indy 67

        well, getting from The Westin to Lodo is about 15 min and is a pretty straight forward drive as well. I moved here from Los Angeles last summer and driving here is easy and elementary compared to what I was used to. It's crowded on 36 and 25 only during rush hour unlike LA where traffic jams were 24/7 and unpredictable and freeways were hard to navigate. as you can tell the mt states ch board is very slow. I don't know why as Denver is definitely a city filled with great food. And coming from the very active LA board I resorted to yelp for reviews which is basically the wrong thing to do where I came from.

        So as far as Lodo, I've had decent food at Root Down, Coohills, and Linger. I know people love Old Major, Cholon and Euclid Hall.

        Here is a great list of restaurants which I plan to try soon.

        And maybe someone who is more familiar with Westminster can chime in as I mentioned I've only been to chains there.

        1. re: trolley

          I guess I anticipate drives into any city based on what I'm used to and, in Washington DC, that isn't good.

          I'd always consoled myself that at least DC isn't the worst city in the US. For decades, LA had held that top honor in every survey I've seen, with DC coming in at second place. Current lists of cities with the worst traffic variously put Washington, DC first or fifth or sixth.

          The board's posts are nudging me to consider driving into Denver. So what are the best restaurants that are convenient to I-36, the road I'll be taking from Westminster?

          1. re: Indy 67

            oh, no, no no. The roads here are nothing like DC or LA. I think DC topped LA this year for the worst traffic. The highways here are so easy I almost cried on my first trip to Denver from Boulder. I'm not kidding. I also suggest Denver like lurker dan bc the drive is much faster and easier. there's construction on 36 into Boulder but at night, it not jammed up at weird hours like it would be in LA or DC. it's just construction and a bit of a hassle. So a friend of mine who works in food also suggested Acorn at The Source. I really like sitting on the patio at Coohills as well.

            1. re: Indy 67

              I just google mapped it, and you are almost exactly equidistant from downtown Boulder and LoDo in Denver. About 15 miles, 20-25 minutes for each. Really, the options are limitless if you are willing to do either.

              For Denver, you will actually be on I-25 (36 takes you to that). I would consider restaurants in the Highlands, LoDo, Ballpark, and RiNo neighborhoods for the closest drives, maybe Uptown too.

              For Boulder, pretty much any restaurant would be the same drive.

              But with no limit on dollars or cuisines, it's hard for us to narrow down further. You could browse yelp (limiting to neighborhoods for denver) and see if a few things jump out; it's much easier for people to weigh in if you give them a few ideas. Or browse these 2 threads, now old, but at least vaguely comprehensive: and

              1. re: LurkerDan

                "But with no limit on dollars or cuisines, it's hard for us to narrow down further..."

                My price range is quite broad. If there's a Denver restaurant in the Per Se, French Laundry, Inn at Little Washington, Alinea price stratosphere, I'll take a pass on that one, but otherwise, I'm fine with a price range that includes what I'd call normal expensive (e.g. main dishes in the mid-twenties to the very low thirties). I've found that if I need to, I can economize in a "normal- expensive" restaurant by ordering a moderately priced bottle of wine and, perhaps, sharing a dessert course.

                I'd prefer food that reflects the place I'm visiting. I'm not completely sure what that means in CO beyond locally-sourced lamb, but I'd be happy to learn and try.

                Having said all this, if there's a phenomenal ethnic restaurant I should try, I'd love to hear about it. (Who knew Rochester, NY would be the home of an amazing Thai restaurant -- truly some of the best Thai food I've eaten outside of Thailand.)

                1. re: Indy 67

                  You should take a look at Rioja.

                  1. re: Indy 67

                    There are very few places in the stratosphere of expense or reputation. Frasca in Boulder is the one place that seems to make the "lists". Most places are no higher than your normal expensive range. Rioja is a good suggestion. The Kitchen (in Denver or Boulder) is good. Oak in Boulder. There are other places in that class but I don't get out much these days, so can't speak of them personally (and hate recommending places solely by reputation).

                    There is certainly some good ethnic food around, but it's not really the specialty of the metro area.

        2. I don't know that there is much in Westminster beyond normal chain fare. Boulder and Denver are easy drives (and even in bad traffic, neither should take more than 20-30 minutes), though the construction on 36 does make driving on it unpleasant.

          As for the River North area, I have never been anywhere there, but The Source has some supposedly good spots: Acorn and Comida, great coffee at Boxcar. Or check out this post:

          1. If you want a quick meal near your hotel, Bender's Bar and Grill is right across the pond in front of the Westin. It's a straight up sports bar, but they have some pretty good bar food. We go there all the time since my SO plays hockey in the adjoining Ice Center. They have a real nice patio if the weather is good.

            It's not outstanding food (much of it comes in baskets) like you'd find downtown, but for a quick lunch or dinner and a few beers (they have a decent selection on tap), it's a good option that you can walk to.

            Otherwise like others have mentioned, most other places in the area are chains, or mediocre locally owned places. If we don't feel like eating at Bender's, we usually just go to Rock Bottom (chain) or Mt. Fuji, which is hibachi and sushi, and it's average. They are both over by the movie theater.

            1. The Grill at Legacy Ridge golf course in Westminster has quite good food, dinner also.

              1. Public transportation (RTD bus) is frequent, you can catch it right at highway 36 in Westminster, and it will zip you to downtown Boulder or Denver. It's clean and easy, I take the bus between them often, saves parking aggravation as well.

                Is that something you'd be amenable to? If so, both have excellent offerings within blocks of the station(s).