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Jul 9, 2014 12:28 PM

Colorado Restaurant Suggestions

Hey Chowhounds!

I've gotten great recommendations from here before for trips.

I'm planning a big celebration for my Mother in Colorado. We're doing a road trip and haven't set the destinations yet. My family plans around food and we'll go a longs ways if it's worth it.

So what are the MUST eat at spots in Colorado?

I know it's broad but I'm willing to plan around it. My vague idea of what to plan though is starting in Colorado Springs/Southwest and driving back towards Denver over the course of 5 days.


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  1. Colorado Springs is only an hour from Denver, and nowhere near the southwest of the state, so not really sure where your itinerary will take you. Most every resort town has at least a handful of worthwhile restaurants, and some have great ones (Aspen, Vail, probably Telluride, maybe Durango, maybe others). And of course Denver and Boulder have some amazing ones.

    Honestly, there is great food in Colorado, but it's not a destination to plan around food IMO. Better to plan the spots you want to visit and then figure out the best eats on the route (and maybe adjust the route a little depending on that).

    5 Replies
    1. re: LurkerDan

      LurkerDan, you're right. We were a bit undecided on where to go or for how long, but have nailed it down to Colorado Springs, Canon City, Leadville and Aspen/Snowmass.

      Any particular suggestions there?

      Already have Juniper Valley Ranch for one night in CS. Would love more suggestions there and something for dinner in Aspen!

      1. re: juliejonak

        Sorry, I got nothing, never make it to Aspen or the Springs.

        My only recommendation: in Leadville, if there during the day, grab a torta from the taco truck in the Safeway parking lot (east end of town). Really good.

        1. re: juliejonak

          Aspen- so many places to eat. Many remind me of Los Angeles, like Matsuhisa's. I hear the Wild Fig is great tho I haven't been there. I went to Main Street Bakery & Cafe which was nice.

          1. re: trolley

            A March 2015 update:
            I tried a pecan bun to go at Main Street Bakery (there were no tables available on a weekday morning around 9:45 am), which was ok.

            I was much more impressed with the various cookies at Paradise Bakery, and would like to try more of the baking at Paradise next time I visit Aspen.

            I loved the flat whites at Victoria's Espresso Bar. I noticed breakfast sandwiches on the menu, but didn't have a chance to try them.

            My only dinner out in Aspen was at a Bangkok Happy Bowl, which was in the plaza next to Clark's Market. It seemed very popular with the locals on a weekday night. Our dinner for 4 (moneybag appetizers, shrimp panang curry, basil chicken, chicken pad thai, mixed veg with pork, rice, 2 glasses of wine, a soft drink) came to around $90, probably the best deal in town.

            Also enjoyed cocktails at J Bar. Neat space, some innovative cocktails.

            On the way to Denver from Aspen, we enjoyed the sandwiches and baked goods (cookies, eclairs, whoopie pies) at Blue Moon Bakery, located in a non-descript strip plaza in Silverthorne.
            Great turkey, avocado and bacon sandwich with chipotle mayo on Dakota bread (with poppyseeds and sunflower seeds).

            1. re: prima

              Blue Moon is a great place. I stop there almost every time I pass through Summit County. Super cheap breakfast sandwiches, great lunch sandwiches, very good baked goods.

      2. High Mountain Pies in Leadville is excellent.

        1 Reply
        1. I live right outside Aspen. Cache Cache for dinner is outstanding. For lunch or Brunch, Justice Snows is great. Drinks at the bar in the Little Nell is great people watching.

          1. I'm here in the Springs. Our nicest spot to stay and/or eat is the Broadmoor. My husband and I have had a couple of very nice meals at the Summit, and have also enjoyed cocktails at their bar that offers a more limited menu. The Penrose Room and Lounge are their nicest areas for dining and drinking--no jeans here (Colorado is really casual). I have had the tasting menu at the Penrose, but I think I really prefer the Summit. The Ristorante Del Lago is the latest restaurant to open at the Broadmoor, but I haven't been there yet. Oh, and they do offer a nice Sunday Brunch.

            Past that, I don't really know what to recommend, as I don't know your preferences of type of cuisine, price range, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bloominanglophile

              Heard great things about the Broadmoor. They were fully booked for the Penrose Room during our stay, otherwise we would've tried it. Next time!

            2. My trip was back in August, so as an update of things that we did love. Not sure why Colorado doesn't get much PR on here but there are some great restaurants.


              - Linger. It's a sister restaurant to Root Down and was absolutely wonderful. So creative and well executed, upscale and casual. Our favorite meal of the trip.

              - Osteria Marco. Had a fantastic carpaccio and pretty much everything there was solid or better. It's a tucked away Italian restaurant that's surprisingly large.

              - Whatever Pops Up. Gourmet popcorn shop. Not a meal but lots of intriguing flavors!

              Colorado Springs

              - La Baguette. Cute little French bistro that was laid back, unassuming and made for a great lunch. Nice food.

              - Juniper Valley Ranch. A family run place for 63 years that features the same menu as it did back in the day. SO good. Family style sides, great homemade ice cream, and to die for chicken fried steak. It sounds crazy but this home style food was incredible. Cash only, reservations a must. Not really in Colorado Springs - south, about halfway to Canon City. A total hidden gem that y'all ought to be sharing.

              - Brother Luck Street Eats. They have a killer awesome burger and some interesting, tasty apps. This is a fun late night, elevated bar food stop.


              - High Mountain Pies. Great pizzas and brownies. Loved all the unique toppings that you could do and very accommodating.


              - Peach's Corner Cafe. Delicious breakfast food although small portions and always a line. Food was great, much better than what else we had in Aspen.

              - New Belgium Ranger Station. A little beer joint with basic food in Snowmass. Reasonably priced (amazing for the area) and cool take on basic food. Buffalo chili, pretzel bites with sweet and savory dips, DIY smores, etc.. Great for kids.

              Hope this helps someone else plan a little better!

              4 Replies
              1. re: juliejonak

                Oops! Didn't look at the original date of your post! Hope you had a nice time with your Mom here in Colorado. Our weather this year has been wetter than usual! And thanks for posting about your experience. I hadn't heard of Brother Luck Street Eats--will have to check that out. La Baguette does make some of the best bread in the Springs, with multiple locations to boot.

                1. re: Bloominanglophile

                  It actually ended up raining on and off most of the time we were there, but we loved it anyways! Coming from Houston where it's as flat as can be, seeing the mountains was just stunning. I hope you enjoy Brother Luck!

                  1. re: Bloominanglophile

                    Brother Luck Street Eats does look neat. Hope to check it out next time I'm in CS.

                    If anyone has been to Aspen lately, are there any places you'd recommend for tacos, enchiladas suizas or main course salads?

                    Also, which dishes or cocktails would you recommend at Justice Snow's?

                    Thanks for any comments. :)

                    1. re: prima

                      The only really good mexican/latin food in Aspen in Zocalito. Also, they have the best Mojitos I have ever had. At Justice Snows, pretty much everything that I have ever had there is great. Great brunch too. Their mixologist is generally considered the best in town, so I would just ask what he recommends.