We recently went on vacation to Colorado and had an amazing time. I have been to so many places in the US and internationally, but I had never been to Colorado before. We stayed in Boulder which is about 40 minutes from Denver. I loved the location because we still had plenty of city activities, but we also got some of the best mountain views around. This blog post is not about how beautiful Colorado is, although I could definitely write about that. Instead, I am focusing on the amazing culinary journey that we took while vacationing there.
I am now convinced that Colorado is a foodie paradise. We did not have one single bad food experience. Little side note here, I’ve never really used Yelp to look for places to eat before, but that is what we used while we were in Colorado and it did not disappoint. Yelp is not paying me for this so you can be sure this is 100% my own opinion. In fact, no one is paying me for this, so all these reviews are just based on my own opinion and experiences. Alright enough of that let’s get started. The places below are not listed in any particular order. They are all awesome. I’m hungry just writing this….someone make me a sandwich!
Early Bird Restaurant
We came here for breakfast, and it was so delicious! I love breakfast food, but everything was cooked perfectly and tasted so fresh. Good coffee is important to me, and you could tell their coffee was brewed with care. Our server, Tomas, was very good and friendly as well. He even took a selfie with us! I got the East Boulder which is a puffed omelette with goat cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. It is topped with a fresh arugula salad and served with perfect crispy potatoes and homemade toast. They bring you a side of amazing berry jam if you ask. David went all in with a breakfast burrito that was bigger than his head! One of our friends had the breakfast tacos which were delicious as well. As always I think pictures speak louder than words.
Hickory & Ash
We liked this place so much that we came back for brunch after having dinner here. This is a fairly new restaurant opened by father and son duo Kevin and Ryan Taylor. Kevin Taylor is a well known chef in the Denver restaurant scene. This is not a super fancy place, but it is a little pricier than your average neighborhood restaurant. The food is plated with a rustic feel which I really like. Our server, Greg, was great and had really good food suggestions for us throughout our meal. My favorite thing by far was the braised meatballs appetizer. The meatballs were so tender and served with the most amazing tomato ragu over a comforting bowl of polenta. Comfort food at its best! I’m pretty sure I could eat that for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. A close second was the pastrami appetizer served with whole grain mustard and roasted brussel sprouts.
Since this is a steakhouse, I feel that I should mention the steak was very good, and the barrel aged whiskey steak sauce that they serve with it is out of this world. They make the sauce in house which is pretty impressive. I wanted to bottle it up and bring it home with me. The other dinner standouts were the braised beef short ribs and twice baked mac and cheese.
For dessert we tried the mascarpone cheesecake, the butterscotch pudding, and the pb&j candy bar. They were all good, but nothing I would come back for. The savory side definitely wins this one. If you find yourself in Broomfield you need to give this place a try. Order the meatballs...you can thank me later.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this might be the best sushi I have ever had. The crazy thing is we never would have looked at this place twice if it weren’t for Yelp. It is in the most unassuming location at a strip mall, and you could easily miss it if you weren’t looking for it. I hope more people are aware that this gem exists so it is still in business next time I visit. Not only is the sushi delicious, but it is also served with the most impressive ice sculptures. The attention to detail in this place makes the experience so worth it. The servers could not have been more friendly, and everything we ate was just exceptional. We had the fried calamari, gyoza, edamame, and a seaweed salad as an appetizer. The calamari was light and tender. The gyoza had great flavor as well and were cooked perfectly. Our selection of rolls included tuna, shrimp, clam, toro, scallop, smoked salmon, and other amazing house roll combinations. We ate and drank sake to our hearts content, and if our trip had been longer we would have definitely been back. Oh well...next time!
Taqueria el Rodeo
This was a wonderful find after a full day of exploring. We were tired and ready for some good food. The lady behind the counter was welcoming and friendly, and we could tell the place had an authentic Mexican vibe right when we walked in. Of course I had to use my Spanish to order our meal! The decor is very colorful and bright with fun painted chairs in the small dining area. We ordered way too much food, but enjoyed every bite. We tried the nachos, different tacos, quesadillas, rice, and refried beans. They had several homemade sauces that ranged from mild to super spicy. The al pastor tacos were my favorite, although I did try the chorizo tacos and they were really good as well. The glass bottle coke and fanta were a perfect pairing for this meal. I mean just look at us...don’t we look so happy eating here?
Yellow Mountain Tea House
We came to this tea house after a full day of adventuring at seven falls near the Broadmoor Hotel. You have to climb 224 very steep metal steps to get to the top of the falls, so we were very tired and hungry by the time we arrived. Disclaimer- if you want to go somewhere and eat really quickly and leave then this is not the place for you. This little tea house offers you more than great tea and delicious dim sum. It offers you a glimpse into the forgotten art of just sitting together and enjoying each other’s company. In the United States this is a rare find.
From the moment we walked into this magical tea store I knew we had found something special. They have a million varieties of teas in glass jars lining their shelves all around the store. When you walk in you are greeted by a quiet girl who runs the store. She sells tea, performs tea ceremonies, and serves you dim sum on request. They have a lady who makes all of their dim sum with organic ingredients and they keep it in the freezer at the store. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to taste, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
We were instructed to pick out three different varieties of tea to bring to our table. We ended up with a coconut blend, a honeysuckle blend, and a blend for sore muscles. My favorite tea was the coconut blend. I regret not bringing some home with me. As our hostess performed the tea ceremony she gave us all some chinese blackberry leaves to try. They were so sweet! We decided to try some of the tea with the blackberry leaves in it as a natural sweetener. They keep a giant bag of the blackberry leaves at the front of the store, so of course I took a picture of it.
The dim sum was incredibly delicious and authentic tasting. Our first dish was xiaolongbao which is a delicious dumpling served over a tiny bowl of soup. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing these little dumplings were! I wanted to eat all of them. We ordered several more dishes including traditional steamed buns and dumplings. The vegetable steamed buns were fluffy and perfectly seasoned. This is one of those places that will stick with me for a long time, and I will definitely be back next time I am in Colorado Springs.
If you love beer, then this is the place for you! This brewery has many varieties of beer and you can do several flight tastings. They just offer snack type food, but it is all very tasty. The soft pretzels are made in house and are delicious and chewy, served with whole grain mustard...yum! Soft pretzels and beer are a wonderful combination. We also had the flatbread margarita pizza and frites (french fries) with spicy ketchup and garlic aioli. Our original plan was to eat a snack there and go somewhere else for dinner, but the snacks were so good we ordered more and decided to skip dinner. Our server was super nice, and we found out she was planning to move to North Carolina! What a small world right?
Are you ready to embark on your own Colorado culinary journey? Now...where’s my sandwich? :)
Until next time!