Over the past several years, Colorado’s Front Range cities—Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins—have experienced dramatic growth, drawing adventurous souls from all over the country to see what Colorado is all about.
One delicious effect of this recent growth is the elevated dining opportunities available. In particular, Colorado’s farm-to-table dining has taken root in a big way. Farm-to-table restaurants aim to cultivate a greater appreciation of natural resources, sustainable food production, and genuine local flavor in the Centennial State—and we couldn’t be happier about it. After all, as our population grows, so does our responsibility to this place we call home.
As you explore the Front Range dining scene, talk to the chefs to learn about sustainably-sourced meats and produce. Take your family to tour a local farm. Try a bite of local pork or Palisade peaches. When you do, you’ll experience Colorado flavor in a whole new way.
Read on to learn about a few of the restaurants serving ingredients from local ranches, fields, and farms—sometimes even their own backyard!
Fruition Restaurant. Fruition has earned national recognition for its elegant fare and flawless wine pairings, thanks to Chef Alex Seidel’s commitment to local and sustainable farming practices. At his dairy and artisan creamery, Fruition Farms, Seidel and his team produce sheep’s milk cheese, local honey, fruits and vegetables, and heritage breed pork for Fruition and sister restaurant, Mercantile Dining & Provision located in Union Station.
The Squeaky Bean. This restaurant sources much of its produce from its Bean Acres Farm, where it hosts community learning events and year-round farm dinners. They even grow organic herbs onsite in their “Squeaky Beds.” Come for Bingo Brunch every Saturday and Sunday for a rousing good time.
Cafe Aion. Cafe Aion prepares regional ingredients in bold, flavorful Mediterranean-style cuisine. Enjoy morning brunch or evening tapas with ingredients like local eggplant, peppers, herbs, and lamb—or look online for special farm dinners and market events.
Black Cat Bistro. Chef/Owner Eric Skokan believes that a memorable meal begins on the farm. He and his family raise 130 acres of vegetables, sheep, pigs, and chickens, producing what he calls “Front Range Cuisine.” For the full experience, indulge in the chef’s seasonal tasting menu.
Blackbelly Market. Award-winning Chef/Owner Hosea Rosenberg raises his own lamb, pigs, and organic vegetables to use in his kitchens, which include a catering service, restaurant, butcher shop, and market. Sit at the chef’s counter or on the patio and order the nightly special.
The Kitchen. The Kitchen actually started in Boulder, but its philosophy of caring for the community and the environment extends all along the Front Range. Make reservations for Monday Community Night, a weekly family-style dinner at the community table when you can sit alongside a real life farmer, rancher, or purveyor. Plus, a portion of proceeds help support gardens in local schools.
Cafe Vino. The European-style menu at Cafe Vino was created by Colorado chefs using local, organic ingredients whenever possible. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and tapas, a meal here is always perfectly paired with—you guessed it—a glass of vino.
Seeds Community Café. With a mission of ending hunger, Seeds Community Café is actually a nonprofit organization serving local, organic food every weekday during breakfast and lunch—regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Those who cannot pay may volunteer their service, while those who can pay might choose to pay a little extra “so all may eat.” Culinary arts training and healthy cooking classes offer more ways to get involved.
Natural Epicurian. If you seek healthy, wholesome, and organic food—and want to experience a taste of the acclaimed Broadmoor Hotel—then reserve a meal at Natural Epicurian. Local ingredients from BROADMOOR Farms fuel a menu of sandwiches, salads, and entrées, along with an out-of-the-box kids’ menu.
Want to learn more? Pick up the latest edition of Moon Denver, Boulder, & Colorado Springs.