Let’s make it official: Colorado is an amazing place to eat and drink. With nearly 200 craft breweries, 100-plus wineries, 40 distilleries and a growing list of award-winning chefs opening restaurants — and the fact that the state was home to the season 15 of “Top Chef” — your culinary Colorado vacation will be a rich one.
Colorado breweries produce more barrels of beer annually than any other state, and most breweries offer tours of their facilities as well as beer tastings. The Front Range, including Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs, is where much of Colorado’s brewing takes place, but the mountains and Western Slope also have their share of craft-beer makers.
Wine connoisseurs are increasingly drawn to Colorado’s growing list of award-winning wineries. Most offer free tours and tastings, and several host scenic picnics in their vineyards throughout the warmer months. Ideal for a romantic getaway, Colorado’s Western Slope near the towns of Palisade and Grand Junction is known as Colorado’s wine country, but you can plan a trip to almost any part of Colorado and find a wine trail to follow.
The number of craft distilleries in Colorado seems to keep doubling. Spirits operations across the state have been raising their profiles using Colorado-grown ingredients, and locally focused restaurateurs have been jumping on the opportunity to create specialty cocktail menus using the vodkas, whiskeys, gins and liqueurs the distillers are concocting.
We’re also upping the yum-factor in Colorado restaurants. Colorado does farm-to-table better cuisine than just about anywhere else. Restaurants strive not only to source vegetables and meats from local farmers, but many are also starting to grow backyard gardens and purchase farmland to fill out their menus. Check out a list of must-eat local foods across the state >>
Colorado’s Southwest location means Mexican cuisine is also a major influence. The state has taken the best parts of this cuisine and made it its own — with the star being green chile. This pork-filled stew, often smothered over burritos, is a must-taste for visitors.
Our beer, our wine, our spirits and our restaurants are just some of the reasons gourmands the world over are finding Colorado vacation ideas tastier than ever.