Although we definitely didn’t go to Colorado specifically for the cuisine, we ended up finding some awesome restaurants while we were there! I won’t be able to cover all of them (and unfortunately, I was really bad at taking photos) but I wanted to share a few of our favorite Colorado restaurants with you.
Our campground was at Chatfield State Park in Littleton, CO – just a bit outside of Denver – and we loved exploring some food options in that area, as well as the other towns we traveled to around the area.
Our first meal after arriving at our destination was lunch at Twisted Sammie. This was a fantastic local sandwich place that specialized in fresh ingredients on homemade pretzel bread. They also had an awesome selection of soups and salads. I had the Caprese sandwich which had the most amazing fresh pesto on it – and G had the Portabella Reuben which he loved as well. I wish I had taken photos because not only were the sandwiches delicious but they were huge too – unfortunately this was our first meal of the day after driving from Limon, CO to set-up at Chatfield and we were starving. So the sandwiches were consumed before I even thought about pictures. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone in the area though – especially if you’re looking for a lighter or healthier option than traditional restaurant fare. (And if it adds credibility, our friend who lives in the area said that this would have been one of his top recommendations as well!
Urban Egg Eatery
By far, my favorite breakfast on the trip was from Urban Egg Eatery in Littleton. This restaurant attracted me first because of their focus on locally sourced foods and community engagement, and second because of their truly awesome menu. Can I just say gourmet pancake flights? But seriously, this food was wonderful. I opted for a lighter main breakfast of an egg white delight omelet with fresh fruit (delicious!), primarily so that I could justify getting one of the Fred’s Hawaiian Pancakes on the side (I can’t tell you how much I love that you can get a single gourmet pancake – perfect for those of us that want to try one but still get some nutrition in the meal somehow!). This is also one of the only food pictures I managed to take on the trip – but can you blame me? The pancake was a work of art:
Fresh pineapple pancake with toasted coconut, cinnamon butter and vanilla anglaise – delicious!! Before I wax on too much about the pancake, G had the breakfast burrito with portabella mushrooms instead of bacon/chorizo and he loved his as well! (He also loved my pancake which I graciously shared with him! 🙂 )
I’m all for trying local restaurants when we travel, and this one was one of the best on our trip!
I think the G was a little bit skeptical when we pulled up to NoNo’s for dinner – and honestly, I was too. NoNo’s Cafe, a locally owned restaurant inspired by the flavors of New Orleans, had gotten amazing reviews on Yelp (my go-to for finding restaurants when we’re traveling) but was in kind of an odd area and right next to a Hampton Inn. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the bright, airy interior and the wonderful screened in porch where we ate. And we were even more pleased with the wonderful food – we both had the blackened catfish sandwich (I know, this breaks the “never order the same thing” rule – but neither of us would budge… 🙂 ). The sandwich was delicious and we had a side of the cajun pickles – amazing! I really appreciated the fresh toasty bread and the freshness of all of the ingredients. And of course, as soon as I saw them on the menu, we had to have the beignets…. I know, not exactly part of my goal to cut down on sugar, but they were worth it! NoNo’s is a bit off the beaten path, but I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for delicious cajun food.
Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub
In lovely Idaho Springs, we stopped at Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub with our friend B after touring the Rocky Mountain National Park. The town is really cute – very old-timey and nostalgic – and being right off of the highway, it was also super convenient. This was one of B’s favorite restaurants in the area so we were excited to try it out. Based on his recommendation, I had the fish and chips which were awesome! (I was also glad that I took his recommendation to get only a half order because the portion was HUGE.) I also tried some of their homemade draft root beer which was delicious! I’ve been a fan of root beer on draft since the days of the A&W drive through/drive-up restaurants and whenever I see a homemade root beer, I like to try it. This one did not disappoint, it was creamy and refreshing. G had the veggie wrap with the sweet potato nuggest (basically sweet potato tater tots) which he really enjoyed (and I stole a nugget which I can attest was yummy!). Great food – and company – all around!
While we were out near the Boulder/Longmont, CO area visiting friends, they took us to Lyons Fork, an adorable little restaurant in Lyons, CO. I loved the bright, colorful decor and we sat on the fun back patio with a wonderful breeze going through! We started with the zucchini fritters and the ceviche. I didn’t try the ceviche but the rest of the folks seemed to really like it and I loved the zucchini fritters. The fritters had super fine almost angel-hair like zucchini mixed with some of kind of cheese and herbs, this was then fried and put over a light sundried tomato crema. They were truly awesome – and I loved that it was a crema vs. an aioli (I’m not a huge mayonnaise fan). G and I both had fish dishes which were very fresh and well-prepared, but I think the star of the main courses was the basil orange cous-cous salad that came with my fish. I had no idea what to expect but it was awesome!
So that’s my round-up of a just a few of our favorite Colorado restaurants. (I promise next time I do one of these, I’ll try to take more pictures!) In the meantime, let me know if there are any I should definitely add to my list for the next time we head in that direction.