When it comes to delicious dining in Colorado, there is no shortage of incredible options to choose from… but just how do you decide where to go? Don’t waste your hard earned money on so-so places; follow this well researched guide to the 13 best Colorado restaurants that you must try in 2017:
1. Linger (Denver)
You know the sign, the location, and the fact that they serve amazing food and drinks… but did you know that Linger is a historic mortuary that at one time housed the remains of the notorious William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody? Instead of hiding the building’s macabre past, the restaurant owners decided to embrace it by featuring coffin-shaped menus, formaldehyde water bottles, and even a church pew that doubles as the host's stand.
2. White Fence Farm (Lakewood)
When it comes to a memorable themed restaurant, White Fence Farm truly has it all. A delicious meal consisting of "Denver's Best Fried Chicken"? Check. Down-home atmosphere? Of course! Things to do in addition to eating? BIG time. Patrons who come with children-in-tow appreciate the family-friendliness, petting zoo, and play equipment for their little ones. Those without kids love the live music, charming “Waterside Walk,” and country-style gift shop.
3. Buckhorn Exchange (Denver)
Established in 1893, the Buckhorn Exchange was originally started by Buffalo Bill scout band member Henry H. “Shorty Scout” Zietz as a place for miners, cattle ranchers, gamblers, businessmen, and Indian chiefs alike to enjoy a hearty, home-cooked meal. Since the restaurant was at one time located directly across the street from the Rio Grande Railroad yards, it was also a favorite among the hardworking railroad workers, who rushed to the Buckhorn each week to collect their token from Zietz for a free beer and lunch. Even during dry times (AKA Prohibition), the Buckhorn Exchange thrived and bounced back even stronger by obtaining the first liquor license in the entire state. Today, the oldest restaurant in Colorado is still as popular and delicious as ever, and proudly serves some of the best Rocky Mountain Oysters (pictured) in the state!
4. Romero's Cafe & Catering (Pueblo)
Aside from Rocky Mountain Oysters, Colorado is home to another iconic dish: Green chile. While there are numerous recipes for this tasty dish, our favorite has to be Romero's, which has won a whopping 50 different awards! Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.
5. Alpino Vino (Telluride)
Located in the stunning mountain town of Telluride is the beautiful Alpino Vino, which serves mouthwatering Italian dishes in a cozy and romantic atmosphere. What about this charming restaurant makes it stand out from all the others? Aside from the fact that you feel like you’ve left the States for a Swiss chalet, the restaurant stands out for being the highest in North America (at an elevation of a whopping 11,966 feet). To access the restaurant, patrons cannot simply walk or drive; they must take the scenic Telluride Gondola to the top of Gold Hill. Cool, right?
6. Solos Restaurant (Colorado Springs)
Built in 1953, this authentic Boeing KC-97 tanker originally served as a refueling aircraft, making several historic missions to Europe. Then in 2002, the aircraft began serving a new purpose as the setting for an exciting new Colorado Springs restaurant. When you visit today, you can expect to find not only a wide array of yummy foods, but hundreds of aviation photos, colorful model planes, and access to a once-working cockpit, which is perfect for entertaining the littles in your party
7. Ragnar's (Steamboat Springs)
While the authentic Norwegian food and ambiance are definitely both notable, what truly makes Rangar's the Colorado gem that it is is the fact that you get to take not only a gondola ride up to the restaurant, but a picturesque snowcat-driven sleigh ride as well!
8. I-70 Diner (Flagler)
Don’t you wish you had a time machine that would take you back to an era where music was clean, people were friendly, and food wasn’t processed? What if we told you that you don’t necessarily need an expensive and complicated piece of technology to experience this? That’s right; all you have to do is visit Flagler's I-70 Diner, which boasts a fabulous 50's interior and an old-school menu that you won't soon forget.
9. Beatrice & Woodsley (Denver)
Located at 38 S. Broadway in Denver, Beatrice & Woodsley is a unique concept in dining that "brings the Colorado wilderness into Denver’s heart to celebrate the history of restaurants as places of restoration, replenishment, and relaxation." If you think the atmosphere itself looks wonderful, wait until you get a load of the food, which was named the “Best place for brunch” by Bon Appétit and one of "America's top restaurants" by Zagat.
10. Flagstaff House Restaurant (Boulder)
Hungry for a mouthwatering four-course meal with equally delicious views? Yes? Then you're going to love the historic Flagstaff; a former-vacation-home-turned restaurant that features jaw-dropping views of the city below and surrounding Boulder City Park.
11. The Living Farm Cafe (Paonia)
Tucked away in the small Western Slope town of Paonia is that of the quaint Living Farm Cafe, which serves "farm-fresh and organic produce, meat, cheese and eggs from our farm and others in the area." Since opening in 2012, the Living Farm Cafe has been noted not only for its charming farmhouse exterior, but also for its cozy ambiance, farm-to-table meals and desserts, and a darling indoor market that sells a variety of goods produced on the family farm.
12. Ski Tip Lodge (Keystone)
Psst… Are you ready to hear about one of the best-kept secrets in Colorado? Get ready to have your mind blown, as this secret spot not only serves some of the finest cuisine in the state, but also boasts one of the coziest, most memorable ambiances in the country. Ladies and gentlemen: I give you Keystone’s Ski Tip Lodge, which is housed in a historic 1800s stagecoach stop and offers a beautifully curated 4-course meal to its patrons.
13. The Rabbit Hole (Colorado Springs)
Curiouser and curiouser... could this restaurant be what we think it is? It is, it is; it's an Alice in Wonderland-themed bar and restaurant with a fantasy-inspired ambiance and menu perfect for any unbirthday celebration!