Rich in homegrown ingredients, nationally recognized chefs and a strong maker culture, it's no wonder Bravo set its upcoming season of "Top Chef" in breathtaking (and delicious) destinations in Colorado, including Denver, Boulder, Aspen and Telluride, and that Slow Food Nations chose Denver as its first festival celebrating "good, clean and fair food."
A Feast for the Senses
Beyond dining farm to table, more and more foodies are seeking out hands-on experiences at farms, ranches and wineries. With agritourism on the rise, Colorado is in the spotlight.
Where the Bounty is Born
With about 35,000 farms and ranches, more than 300 breweries, 140 wineries, 100 farmers' markets and more than 90 spirit distilleries, it's almost guaranteed that your Colorado culinary experiences will be local, sustainable and crafted from the heart. Fresh river trout, range-grown beef, bison and elk, sweet corn, melons, peaches, Mirasol chiles and wildflower honey are just some of the fresh ingredients you'll enjoy on plates across the state. The food scene here is also refreshingly unpretentious, encouraging chefs to experiment and create.
It's easy to feel the passion that Colorado's tastemakers put into their products, because you'll likely get to meet the makers themselves — often during an agritourism experience. Celebrating the intersection of travel and agriculture, agritourism helps create authentic connections between visitors and the people behind the flavors, and lets them get in on the action. Activities might include joining in on a harvest or learning how to brew, hunt, forage or distill. Colorado is among the top four states in the country for agritourism, and even offers unique experiences enjoyed on bicycle or horseback.
Out of the Kitchen
In addition to Colorado's excellent restaurants, most of which are independently owned, there are plenty of other places to indulge. Mingle with locals at an urban food hall, rural market or street-food stall, or go Old West at a dude ranch dinner or chuck wagon. Check out a lively festival dedicated to a regional product or savor a high-altitude fine-dining experience, in which a chef will cook for you up on a mountaintop.