Field Trip | 08.12.2022

Herb Plated: 10 Iconic Restaurants In Colorado

Experience Colorado's history and fan-favorite foods at these iconic restaurants.

There are a few reasons why we love Colorado.

One obvious reason is that it was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. Not only that, but it’s home to the first successful recreational cannabis bill in the world.

Another reason is that Colorado has some of the oldest and finest restaurants in the country. If you really want to experience what was the wild west or feast on some contemporary dishes, Colorado has everything and more.

Below are 10 iconic restaurants in Colorado. Don’t forget to make the most out of the state’s recreational weed laws, and take a hit before you go!

Buckhorn Exchange

Photo courtesy of Jordy Construction

For a true Coloradan experience, head to the Buckhorn Exchange in Denver.

Known as the city’s “original steakhouse,” the Buckhorn Exchange has been up and running since 1883. It’s officially Denver’s oldest restaurant. It specializes in meat, meat, and meat, like elk, buffalo steaks, and baby back ribs.

Linger

Photo courtesy of Linger

Another Denver classic is Linger.

If you’re a fan of the dark and morbid, you’ll love Linger’s theme. Because the restaurant was once a mortuary, it uses the theme of death in its design, like coffin-shaped menus, church pews as host stands, and beverages delivered to tables in formaldehyde bottles.

The theme may be death, but the energy is very much alive.

Mint

Photo courtesy of The Mint

The Mint‘s restaurant is set in the oldest building in Summit County.

Inside the restaurant is an iconic bar that was originally a saloon for miners. What was initially Jack Ryan’s Saloon turned into The Mint in 1882 after it moved over to Dillon.

Today, it’s a delicious steakhouse that lets guests cook their own meat on a grill smack-dab in the middle of the restaurant.

Shooter's Grill

Photo courtesy of Post Independent

Head over to Rifle and get your guns blazing at Shooter’s Grill.

Guns are the theme here, and it’s even more appropriate that the town is named after one. Don’t be surprised if you see waiters and waitresses carrying guns in their holsters, and feel free to bring your own too.

Its theme reflects in its menu, which serves dishes like the Guac Nine burger.

The Fort

The Fort was built in 1961, inspired by the design of Bent’s Old Fort, built in 1833, which still exists today.

The Fort is another historic restaurant in Colorado that even hosted U.S. presidents. Its western food and old-school vibe keep guests returning for more specialty western eats like elk, bison, and quail.

Diamond Belle Saloon

In Durango, Colorado, lies Diamond Belle Saloon, a true homage to the wild west.

The entire restaurant is on-theme, and guests are invited to feast on American classics like hunted meat, burgers, and bar food.

The beverages are made from recipes handed down over generations. The wait staff here dresses up in wild west attire, and guests can watch the different ragtime performances while they eat.

Denver Biscuit Co

Photo courtesy of Female Foodie

If you’re looking for something a little more modern but still very much iconic, check out Denver Biscuit Co.

This restaurant specializes in homemade biscuits made with the finest ingredients to make your mouth water. Biscuits are served as bread for sandwiches, french toast, or served with dishes like chicken.

They also have some tasty sweets like the large and in-charge cinnamon rolls.

The Rabbit Hole

Photo courtesy of 303 Magazine

If you feel like channeling your inner Alice in Wonderland, head down The Rabbit Hole at this restaurant in Colorado Springs.

The restaurant’s theme is everything Alice in Wonderland, with many references specifically geared toward the Rabbit.

Its menu features sections like “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” while serving classic American eats we can all enjoy.

The Broadmoor

Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor

There are 11 excellent restaurants within the iconic and legendary Broadmoor.

It’s a stunning historic hotel in Colorado Springs and never fails to wow guests with nostalgic, elegant designs and exceptional food. The hotel also has a golf course, which once hosted the U.S. Open.

Besides its evident history, a mouthwatering and luxurious meal isn’t hard to find at The Broadmoor.

Casa Bonita

This Friday, Aug. 13, 2021 photo shows Casa Bonita in Lakewood, Colo. The creators of the irreverent animated television series “South Park” are buying Casa Bonita, a quirky restaurant in suburban Denver that was featured on the show. Matt Stone and Trey Parker said Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, they had come to an agreement with the current owners of the restaurant, which closed to diners in March 2020 and declared bankruptcy in the spring. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

Any local who’s been to Casa Bonita knows the food isn’t all that good.

Negative Google and Yelp reviews aside, people still go to Casa Bonita for the weirdly unique experience.

They put on many shows and immerse guests into different experiences like dining in caves, near waterfalls, and gorillas. The restaurant’s food may be sub-par, but the experience is worthwhile.

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