Michelin Guide Celebrates Colorado's Culinary Excellence With Five Restaurants Receiving One-Michelin-Star Awards

Denver, Colorado — [Sept. 13, 2023] — The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is thrilled to announce a historic moment for the state’s culinary scene as the prestigious MICHELIN Guide unveiled its inaugural selection for Colorado and honored chefs and restaurant teams yesterday evening at the Mission Ballroom in Denver. Colorado received five One-MICHELIN-Star restaurants, thirty Recommended restaurants, four Green Star restaurants and nine Bib Gourmand designations. The full selection of MICHELIN awardees totals 44 restaurants. This momentous occasion celebrates the diversity, quality and exceptional talent that define the state's vibrant culinary landscape.

“These prestigious awards signify more than just recognition for our restaurants; they symbolize a significant elevation of Colorado's status on the global culinary map and the state’s steadfast dedication to sustainability,” said Tim Wolfe, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “With this momentous event, we're set to attract travelers and food lovers from around the world, bolstering our economy and cultural influence. This inaugural ceremony marks the beginning of MICHELIN’s presence and recognition in Colorado, and I am excited for expanded opportunities in the future.” 

Colorado's distinctive blend of terrain and variety of climates has profoundly influenced its dynamic culinary landscape. Restaurants across the state draw inspiration from the outdoor lifestyle and incorporate elements of various cultures, nationalities, tribes and traditions from across Colorado and the globe. These diverse cultural contributions have come together to create a remarkable culinary tapestry that showcases the very best of Colorado. One of the hallmarks of Colorado's culinary scene is its unwavering commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.

“This is a proud moment for Colorado and for the MICHELIN Guide, with five MICHELIN-Starred restaurants highlighting the state’s debut selection of restaurants,” said Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “It’s quite an impressive feat for a debut selection to include so many MICHELIN Green Stars. Our famously anonymous inspectors were wowed by these restaurants’ high-quality, local ingredients, sourced seasonally and sustainably. It’s a very exciting time for the culinary community here, and we feel the momentum growing.”

The CTO celebrates the culmination of these efforts, as the MICHELIN Guide proudly presents its coveted awards for Colorado's exceptional dining establishments.

Below are the new One-MICHELIN-Star restaurants, with inspector notes provided by MICHELIN.

One MICHELIN Star

Beckon (Denver; Contemporary cuisine)

More than just a name, it’s an ethos at this ambitious RiNo dining room from Chef Duncan Holmes where staff warmly welcome you. Once inside this Scandi-cool space, diners pull up a chair at the 18-seat counter facing the kitchen where a focused team is hard at work. The multicourse contemporary tasting menu rotates quarterly (think harvest-themed in the fall). This kitchen offers far from typical dishes. Seared quail breast with a confit leg is spot on, especially when sided by creamed kale made with sunflower seeds and a quail reduction.

Bosq (Aspen; Contemporary cuisine)       

At this singular enclave, Chef Barclay Dodge and his team are executing seasonally inspired cooking that focuses on foraging, fermenting and local farms. The menu format allows diners to customize their own tasting of four or more courses. From hand-picked spruce tips to butter from locally sourced cooperative dairy cows, this is a concept that pays attention to details — even ingredients from farther afield, like lobster from New England, gets a hit of local flavor from being grilled over juniper wood.

Brutø (Denver; Mexican/Contemporary cuisine)

Chef Michael Diaz de Leon runs the show here, where the team takes a serious approach to locality and seasonality, not only in the produce but also the grains, which they mill or nixtamalize in-house. The mastery of the hearth as the primary cooking implement makes this operation special, and it infuses each of the tasting menu’s courses with distinct notes. The menu, which is Mexican at its core, has a clear narrative, and is perhaps best displayed in lamb prepared two ways — as a street-style taco and ground lamb leg kushiyaki with a quenelle of mole chichilo.

Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder; Italian cuisine)

All are treated as special guests here, where Chef Ian Palazzola’s cooking is Italian, but in a hyper-specific way: It’s the food of the northeast Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. You'll find pasta and seafood on the prix fixe and tasting menus, but Slavic and Alpine elements also appear. Focused and distinct, the menu might showcase a lesser-known part of Italy, but the ingredients are clearly Coloradan. The plates are beguiling with a minimal, straightforward approach, as in cjalson, half-moon fresh spinach pasta pockets filled with an English pea and potato purée.

The Wolf’s Tailor (Denver; Contemporary cuisine)

With culinary stylings as singular as its name, this charmer stands apart from the pack. Chef Taylor Stark shepherds a creative multi-course menu that abounds with personality, boasting a unique, genre-defying style that draws variously from Nordic, Italian and East Asian cuisines, but nonetheless feels focused and cohesive. Although the menu shifts throughout the year to explore different themes, diners will find a common thread in cooking that highlights ingredients while displaying technical precision and harmonious flavors, with fermentation a frequent motif.

MICHELIN Green Star

Blackbelly Market (Boulder; American cuisine)  

Initiatives: full utilization of every ingredient and animal, most of which are butchered in-house; sourcing from local ranches and farms that apply natural practices to everything they cultivate; herbs and flowers for plates grown on property.

Bramble & Hare (Boulder; American cuisine)

Initiatives: organic farm with 70 acres growing more than 250 varieties of vegetables, herbs and grain, which is ground into flour on a stone mill; an acre of chamomile for restaurant use; 360 acres of pasture for raising heritage sheep and pigs.

Brutø (Denver; Mexican/Contemporary cuisine)

Initiatives: zero-waste ethos; fermentation program to create umami-based ingredients; house-milled grains grown in Colorado; hyper-local sourcing; partnership with Zero Foodprint to help reduce carbon footprint and carbon emissions.

The Wolf’s Tailor (Denver; Contemporary cuisine)

Initiatives: zero-waste mentality; local apple cider vinegar project; recycling bread waste into sourdough gochujang; contract farming to grow heirloom wheat for flour on organic, regeneratively farmed land; on-site pollinator garden; certified sustainable foraging program.

Brutø and The Wolf’s Tailor each were awarded one MICHELIN Star, plus a MICHELIN Green Star.

Bib Gourmand

The MICHELIN Guide Inspectors identified nine restaurants to award the Bib Gourmand designation, which recognizes eateries for great food at a great value:

  • AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q (Denver)
  • Ash’Kara (Denver)
  • Basta (Boulder)
  • The Ginger Pig (Denver)
  • Glo Noodle House (Denver)
  • Hop Alley (Denver)
  • La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal (Denver)
  • Mister Oso (Denver)
  • Tavernetta (Denver)

MICHELIN Special Awards

In addition to the Bib Gourmand and Stars, the Guide announced four Special Awards:

  • Exceptional Cocktails Award, Caroline Clark, The Wolf’s Tailor (Denver)
  • Sommelier Award, Ryan Fletter and Erin Lindstone, Barolo Grill (Denver)
  • Outstanding Service Award, Sergei Kiefel and front-of-house team, Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder)
  • Young Chef/Culinary Professional Award, Kelly Kawachi, Blackbelly Market (Boulder)

Recommended Restaurants

Colorado received 30 MICHELIN Recommended restaurants:

  • A5 Steakhouse (Denver)
  • Barolo (Denver)
  • Blackbelly Market (Boulder)
  • Bramble & Hare (Boulder)
  • Dio Mio (Denver)
  • Dushanbe Tea House (Boulder)
  • Element 47 (Aspen)
  • Fruition (Denver)
  • Guard and Grace (Denver)
  • Hey Kiddo (Denver)
  • Marco’s Coal Fired (Denver)
  • Mawa’s Kitchen (Aspen)
  • Mercantile Dining and Provision (Denver)
  • Mirabelle (Beaver Creek)
  • Noisette (Denver)
  • Oak at Fourteenth (Boulder)
  • Olivia (Denver)
  • Osaki’s (Vail)
  • Potager (Denver)
  • Prospect (Aspen)
  • Q House (Denver)
  • Safta (Denver)
  • Santo (Boulder)
  • Smok (Denver)
  • Splendido at the Chateau (Beaver Creek)
  • Stella’s Cucina (Boulder)
  • Sweet Basil (Vail)
  • Temaki Den (Denver)
  • Wyld (Beaver Creek)
  • Zoe Ma Ma (Boulder)

The hospitality industry is vital to Colorado’s economic health and prosperity, comprising over 12,400 eating and drinking establishments. Independently owned and operated businesses account for 69% of Colorado's restaurants, making them an integral part of the local culture. The fact that Colorado was awarded four Green Stars underscores Colorado’s commitment to sustainable dining and environmental stewardship.

The Colorado Tourism Office extends its warmest congratulations to all the restaurants and culinary professionals recognized in the MICHELIN Guide Colorado. For more culinary inspiration across the state, visit www.COLORADO.com.

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About the Colorado Tourism Office:

The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is a division of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The mission of the CTO is to empower the tourism industry by inspiring the world to explore Colorado responsibly and respectfully. The CTO seeks to advance the strength and resilience of the entire industry through collaboration, inclusivity, innovation and leadership. In 2022, Colorado travelers spent $27.7 billion, generating $1.7 billion in local and state revenues, reducing the tax burden for every Colorado household by $760. For more information, please visit www.colorado.com.