Best of Colorado 2023 — Food & Beverage

Check out this year's winners and finalists for our Best of Colorado 2023 awards in the Food & Beverage sector!

ColoradoBiz Staff //June 13, 2023//

Best of Colorado 2023 — Food & Beverage

Check out this year's winners and finalists for our Best of Colorado 2023 awards in the Food & Beverage sector!

ColoradoBiz Staff //June 13, 2023//

Many of this year’s Best of Colorado winners embody the art of specialization. They don’t pretend to be something they are not, rather they concentrate on one element and aim to perfect it. That in turn has clearly helped them make a name for themselves.

Our readers (Best of Colorado customers) not only remember them but make a concerted effort to vote for them. That’s a tremendous accomplishment in this era of overwhelming messages, marketing and mindshare. But that takes time. Here at ColoradoBiz, we’ve heard many serial entrepreneurs and CEOs depict their success as a climb rather than a meandering journey. After all, the highest summits are always uphill and rarely scaled on the first day.

So, here’s to this year’s Best of Colorado winners. They have found a way to perfect their craft, grow their brand, and be recognized for their specialization. They have scaled the summit of success.

Check out our Best of Colorado 2023 issue here!

BEST BREAKFAST SPOT 

Snooze Snoozers And Food Courtesy Of Snooze

SNOOZE A.M. EATERY 

A whopping 205 restaurants earned votes in this category, proving Coloradans take their breakfasts seriously. Snooze, the perennial winner, sets the standard in demonstrating how deliciously fulfilling a breakfast or brunch can be. That culinary goodness could only be confined to Colorado for so long, as the Denver-based company has branched out with restaurants in California, Arizona and Texas. 

But it’s not solely about pineapple upside-down pancakes and crab & asparagus omelets. Snooze composts and recycles about 90% of its waste while focusing on resource conservation and using responsible materials – one of the many ways the company strives to make the world a better place. 

Runners-up:

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH SPOT (TIE) 

GARDEN OF THE GODS MARKET AND CAFÉ

Garden of the Gods Market and Café opened in 2001 in Old Colorado City. The restaurant has moved a couple of times since – now making its home on South Tejon Street in Colorado Springs – but what hasn’t changed is the commitment to excellent food, including a grab-and-go section with ready-prepared meals, fresh baked pastries and desserts. 

UP THE CREEK 

Up The Creek Restaurant in Vail is family-owned and has been operating since 1988. The owners proudly source fresh ingredients from local and sustainable sources whenever possible. Serving lunch and dinner daily, the restaurant is located on the banks of Gore Creek and boasts Vail’s only creekside patio. 

Runners-up:

BEST SPORTS BAR 

SLATER’S 50/50 

Located on 36th and Blake streets in downtown Denver along with several other Western cities, Slater’s 50/50 is known for burgers, bacon, beer and sports. It gets its name – the 50/50 part – from a patty consisting of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef. Don’t worry if that’s too much decadence. Slater’s also offers salads, healthy bowls, flatbreads, wings, shakes and more. 

Runners-up:

BEST LOCALLY OWNED COFFEE SHOP, FRONT RANGE 

CORVUS COFFEE ROASTERS 

Corvus Coffee Roasters works directly with coffee farmers to build a supply chain of better coffee for coffee enthusiasts who are searching for exciting and interesting coffees. 

That includes wholesale, retail, and coffee shops in Arvada, Littleton, Denver Tech Center and on South Broadway in Denver.  

Runners-up:

BEST LOCALLY OWNED COFFEE SHOP, WESTERN SLOPE 

DEJA BREW & SUNSHINE TOO (GLENWOOD)

Known as Glenwood Springs’ “grab and go coffee stop for locals,” Déja Brew & Sunshine Too is also equipped to assist companies and individuals hosting meetings, parties or other gatherings. With some advanced notice, Deja Brew can whip up breakfasts and lunches with gluten-free or vegan options, as well as coffee, cold brew and boba (a tea drink). 

As one Deja Brew reviewer put it, “This little unassuming shop first looks like one of those cheap stands in a grocery store parking lot, but is in fact a haven for coffee, quick eats and the friendliest service you might ever get while grabbing a cup.” 

Runners-up:

BEST CORPORATE DELIVERED LUNCH 

PANERA BREAD 

Whether it’s customized boxed breakfasts or lunches for a few people or a few hundred people meeting remotely, Panera provides ample options, including popular bundles or customized items to fit the occasion and individual tastes. 

Panera’s sales managers can help companies plan large group events (with 20 or more attendees), whether at the workplace, virtually, local or national. Just explain a little about the event, and Panera will help coordinate it from one of 40 locations on the Front Range.  

Runners-up:

BEST EVENT CATERING COMPANY 

FOOTERS CATERING 

In business since 1981, Footers offers a range of catering services for special events across metro Denver, the Front Range and mountain regions. Footers’ always-fresh foods are cooked onsite at clients’ events.  

The company offers full-event coordination. Whether it’s a wedding, private party, holiday, corporate or charitable event, Footers’ event planners work to make sure it is a memorable experience. 

Runners-up:

BEST FOOD HALL 

AVANTI FOOD & BEVERAGE 

Inspired by European markets and food-truck roundups, Avanti, “A Collective Eatery,” boasts seven different restaurant concepts in one festive environment, with restaurants housed in modified shipping containers. Guests at the two locations – Denver and Boulder — are treated to an eclectic mix of affordably priced, chef-inspired cuisine. 

Runners-up:

BEST FOOD TRUCK 

Los Dos Portrillos chefs preparing tacos in their food truck.
Los Dos Portrillos

TEAM BIEHL KITCHEN 

Team Biehl Kitchen began roaming the Denver area in 2020. Some of the most popular items include the Dogaroni (grilled burrito with your choice of bacon or sausage – or veggie with hash browns); the Beefy Fritos Burger; and the Good Boy (bacon, sausage and hash browns rolled up in a large tortilla with eggs, pico de gallo and a blend of three cheeses).  

Runners-up:

BEST HAPPY HOUR SPOT 

Postinos
Postino

POSTINO 

Postino is disrupting the wine bar segment, with a vibe described as fun, eclectic and inspiring, Postino’s wines are paired with fresh and colorful bruschetta boards built for sharing. The menu is designed for sharing and pairing, with options for everyone. 

Runners-up:

BEST RESTAURANT PATIO 

THE VIEWHOUSE EATERY, BAR & ROOFTOP 

The ViewHouse in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood opened in 2013 across from Coors Field, and other locations soon followed in Littleton, Centennial and Colorado Springs. The ViewHouse is known for its vibrant atmosphere, animated staff, indoor and outdoor flatscreens, and a variety of bar activities for sports fans, backyard-game enthusiasts and casual diners. 

Runners-up:

BEST VEGETARIAN/VEGAN RESTAURANT 

CITY O’ CITY 

Located in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, City O’ City offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, specialty coffee, craft beer, wine and a cocktail bar. The restaurant uses local produce whenever possible, and even has its own urban micro farm that provides much of its produce in the summer. 

In her appraisal of the “11 Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Denver” for Conde Naste Traveler, writer Ruth Tobias said of City O’ City, “You’d have to come here twice a day, every day for a month to exhaust the menu. Savory waffles are a house specialty, whether smothered in real or vegan cheese sauce and loads of veggies or accompanied by “chicken-fried” cauliflower, bourbon-maple syrup, and chive crème fraîche. So are the fried ravioli, seitan wings, and pizzas with toppings like walnut pesto and olive tapenade.” 

Runners-up:

BEST RESTAURANT VIEW 

THE RED BARBER 

The rooftop of the Catbird Hotel in Denver’s RiNo Arts District offers 360-degree views of the city and mountains. The 3,300-square-foot retreat is decked out (pun acknowledged) with fire pits, yard games and has an amphitheater for live music and other entertainment. The menu features handheld items, and for libations there are hand-crafted cocktails, beer and other drinks.   

Runners-up:

BEST RESTAURANT WINE LIST 

NOBLE RIOT 

Noble Riot Wine Bar is described by those who created it as “an irreverent natural wine outpost run by a crew of swashbuckling wine geeks.” 

This wine outpost in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood regularly offers wine classes and seminars, and its wine club has several different membership options. Along with wines selected each month by “certified geeks” for club members, the selections come with interesting information about each bottle, along with great recommendations and drinking tips.  

Runners-up:

BEST BREWERY 

BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY

A total of 170 beer makers garnered votes in this ultra-competitive category, and the winner is … Breckenridge Brewery! Formed 32 years ago, the self-described “original ski-town brewery” opened in the town of Breckenridge in 1990 and remains tied to that heritage. Todd Usry, who began as a brewery apprentice in 1991, is now the company’s president. 

Officially the third-oldest craft brewery in Colorado, the company’s production base since 2015 has been a 12-acre plot in Littleton that was once a carnation farm. The farm-inspired campus on Brewery Lane features a 100-barrel brewhouse, barrel-aging room, a dedicated tour staff, and the Farm House restaurant. Guided brewery/sampling tours are offered five days a week. Breckenridge’s beers are available in 36 states. 

Runners-up:

BEST WINERY 

AZURA CELLARS & GALLERY 

Located in Paonia, a scenic and fertile land on the Western Slope of orchards, farms and vineyards, Azura Cellars & Gallery opened to the public in 2007, with the first vintage by the owners produced under the guidance of Steve Rhodes, one of the pioneering winemakers in the North Fork Valley.  

Azura has won awards for both its wines and its art. Bret Neal, an Azura winemaker since 2016, was named Colorado Winemaker of the Year in 2017. A year later Azura Studios won a $100,000 public art competition for creating public art in the Stapleton (now Central Park Denver) area. 

Runners-up:

Breckenridge DistilleryBreckenridge Distillery

BEST DISTILLERY 

BRECKENRIDGE DISTILLERY 

Breckenridge Distillery is the world’s highest distillery, but it’s known for more than that. It’s also highly regarded for its blended bourbon whiskey, a high-rye mash American-style whiskey. Breckenridge Bourbon is one of the most highly awarded crafted bourbons – a four-time winner of Best American Blended from the World Whiskies Awards; Bourbon of the Year in 2011 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition; and 2019 Colorado Distillery of the Year at the New York International Spirits Competition 

In 2018, Breckenridge Distillery won the coveted Icons of Whisky for Brand Innovator of the Year. 

Runners-up:

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This article is part of the 2023 Best of Colorado Business Choice Awards. Explore all the winners and runners-up:
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES | TECHNOLOGY/ELECTRONICS | TRANSPORTATION | FINANCE
FOOD/BEVERAGE | LODGING/ACCOMMODATIONS | MAINTENANCE | REAL ESTATE
HEALTH | LIFESTYLEPERSONAL FULFILLMENT | OFFICE | RECREATION