Excitement filled the air as several restaurant teams and destination representatives from Aspen, Beaver Creek, Boulder, Denver, Snowmass Village, and Vail gathered on Sept. 12 at Denver’s Mission Ballroom. The reason? Michelin Guide unveiled its inaugural selections for Colorado after announcing in June that the state would be its eighth destination in North America.
Colorado came away with five One-Star, 30 Recommended, and four Green Star restaurants along with nine Bib Gourmand designations. Michelin Guide recognized 44 restaurants in total, signaling that the culinary scene in Colorado should indeed be a highlight on groups’ agendas. It also means that bookings should be made well in advance at eateries now flashing their Michelin Guide hardware.
Restaurants can land one to three stars, with three being the highest recognition. One-Star implies that this is a very good restaurant in its categories. Colorado’s One-Stars include Beckon, Brutø, and The Wolf’s Tailor in Denver; Bosq in Aspen; and Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder. Beckon, Bosq, and The Wolf’s Tailor specialize in contemporary cuisine, while Brutø focuses on Mexican and Frasca Food and Wine on Italian fare.
Green Stars are awarded to restaurants that are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to sustainable practices. Brutø and The Wolf’s Tailor also earned recognition in this key area along with Boulder’s Blackbelly Market and Bramble & Hare.
Bib Gourmand & Recommended Recognition
Also of special note are the nine restaurants identified by Michelin Guide inspectors as offering great food at a great value. Those receiving the Bib Gourmand designation include AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Ash’Kara, Basta, The Ginger Pig, Glo Noodle House, Hop Alley, La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal, Mister Oso, and Tavernetta. All the recipients are in Denver, except for Basta in Boulder.
There also are 30 Michelin Recommended restaurants in five communities that are popular destinations for groups.
Aspen: Element 47, Mawa’s Kitchen, Prospect
Beaver Creek: Mirabelle, Splendido at the Chateau, Wyld
Boulder: Blackbelly Market, Bramble & Hare, Dushanbe Tea House, Oak at Fourteenth, Santo, Stella’s Cucina, Zoe Ma Ma
Denver: A5 Steakhouse, Barolo Grill, Dio Mio, Fruition, Guard and Grace, Hey Kiddo, Marco’s Coal Fired, Mercantile Dining and Provision, Noisette, Olivia, Potager, Q House, Safta, Smok, Temaki Den
Vail: Osaki’s, Sweet Basil
According to the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO), there are more than 12,400 eating and drinking establishments, with independently owned and operated businesses accounting for 69% of Colorado’s restaurants. “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,” says CTO Director Timothy Wolfe.