10 Must-Try Colorado Food: Dishes Colorado Is Known For

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The food of Colorado is a unique and diverse mix that is influenced by the state’s geography, climate, history, and demographic makeup. One of the defining features of Colorado food is its use of fresh and seasonal ingredients

From its vibrant cities to its majestic mountain towns, you will not only find iconic landmarks in Colorado but also some of the most delicious and unique dishes in America.

So get ready for an edible adventure as we dive into all that’s delicious about Colorado cuisine.

Most Famous Food Of Colorado

Colorado Style Pizza

When it comes to Colorado food, pizza is king! The state has its own unique style of pizza that’s distinct from the classic New York or Chicago pies.

What sets a Colorado-style pizza apart is the crust – it’s thick, braided, and fluffy, but still crunchy on the outside. They also adore bold flavor profiles.

Toppings usually include traditional ingredients like pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, peppers, and onions. But don’t be afraid to explore other combos: think chorizo, artichokes, and jalapenos for a delicious twist! 

Colorado-style pizzas are great for sharing with friends or as comfort food. The format of pizza makes it easy to incorporate local cuisine and ingredients found in the region.

Popular Colorado Food

Green Chili Stew

Green chili stew is another classic dish that is popular in Colorado. This hearty stew consists of pork cubes, roasted green chili peppers, onion, garlic, and potatoes simmered together until all the flavors combine.

The green chili is what sets it apart from other chili recipes, and the roasting process gives it a unique and smoky flavor.

This traditional dish is often served with tortillas, rice, or bread and is a great way to warm up during the colder months. It has a spicy flavor that gives a kick to your taste buds. 

You can even use it as a topping for other dishes, such as burritos, tacos, and enchiladas.

The delicious stew has Mexican roots and was brought to Colorado by Mexican settlers. Over time, it has become a beloved comfort food in Colorado.


Colorado Bison Burger

The Colorado bison burger is a state favorite. This juicy and flavorful burger consists of a perfectly seasoned patty made from ground bison meat.

Bison is an important animal in Colorado, with a rich history dating back to the days of the Wild West.

Bison meat is considered healthier due to its lower levels of calories and fat. This makes them a leaner option for health-conscious diners who wants an alternative to beef. 

They also taste amazing as they have a distinct and rich flavor. Many restaurants specialize in bison burgers, but you can also find them at most barbeque joints. 

The patty is also widely available at specialty meat shops and grocery stores throughout the state. In fact, Bison steak is one of the famous foods in Denver.

Pueblo Chiles

Pueblo chiles are an important part of the Colorado food scene. They are a special variety of chili peppers that are grown in and around the city of Pueblo, Colorado.

These spicy peppers have a deep, intense flavor combining heat, sweetness, and earthiness.

In recent years, Pueblo chiles have gained national recognition and are increasingly sought after by food lovers and spice enthusiasts. 

Pueblo chiles are usually served roasted or diced in a variety of dishes like stews, soups, and salsas. They can also be used to top burgers and pizzas for extra flavor and a kick of heat!

The city of Pueblo holds an annual Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival; a celebration of the harvest and a tribute to the importance of Pueblo’s agricultural produce in Colorado food.

If you want to get a real fresh taste of delicious dishes made with Pueblo Chile, this is one festival to attend. 


Rocky Mountain Trout

Rocky Mountain trout is a freshwater fish in the streams, rivers, and lakes of the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado. 

The cold and clear waters in the high-altitude Rockies, offer an ideal environment for these fish to thrive. 

This type of trout has a mild, slightly sweet taste that pairs well with herbs, citrus, and butter. They are often grilled or pan-fried and served as a main dish, accompanied by simple sides such as roasted vegetables or a salad. 

Its delicate flavor means that the fish is best complemented by subtle seasonings and herbs, rather than overpowering sauces or spices. It’s also lean, making it a healthy Colorado food option.


Colorado Lamb

Another food Colorado is known for is its delicious lamb. It has a distinct flavor and juicy, tender texture; making it popular among foodies.

The unique taste of the Colorado lamb comes from the high-altitude grazing lands in which the animals are raised. 

This type of meat is especially flavorful when cooked simply with herbs or paired with seasonal vegetables. It’s also a popular ingredient in burgers, tacos, and stews. 

From lamb shanks to chops and roasted leg of lamb, they are the core of many tasty dishes. No matter how you prepare it, Colorado Lamb is sure to make any dish special!


Snacks And Sides In Colorado Food


Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters, also known as prairie oysters or calf fries, are a dish made from deep-fried bull testicles. While not for the faint of heart, it is a unique delicacy that has been enjoyed in Colorado for years.

The origins of the dish can be traced back to the frontier days when cowboys and pioneers would hunt and butcher their own cattle. They would often use every part of the animal, including the testicles, to create meals.

These little gems are typically served with a side of cocktail sauce and can be found in many restaurants throughout the state, especially during rodeos. They have a distinctive taste and texture.

Although it is an adventurous dish, Rocky Mountain Oysters are definitely an iconic food of Colorado. You can also find it in other Western states such as Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.


Elk Sausage

Elk sausage is a special Colorado food. It’s made from ground elk meat combined with herbs and spices, giving it an intense, gamey, flavor that stands out on the plate. 

The elk sausage is usually served as part of an entrée alongside roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes. But it can also be used in recipes for hearty and flavorful stews and casseroles. 

It’s been gaining popularity among adventurous diners who want to experience something different, so give it a try if you get the chance! 

Desserts And Sweet Colorado Food


Palisade Peaches

The town of Palisade is known for its incredible peaches, credit to the warm and dry climate in the Grand Valley.

These fruits are harvested during the summer months. They are known for their sweet and juicy flesh, which is favored by fruit lovers and chefs.

The peaches can be enjoyed on their own as a healthy snack, or used to make all kinds of desserts such as pies and cobblers. 

They also give jams, preserves, and chutneys a wonderfully sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with savory dishes like pork chops and roasted vegetables. 

The small town of Palisade is an excellent place to visit if you want to sample some fresh-picked Colorado peaches! These are a beloved food of Colorado.

Rocky Ford Cantaloupe

The Rocky Ford Cantaloupe is a beloved summertime food of Colorado. This heirloom variety has been grown in the Rocky Ford region for over a century. 

Their sweet and juicy flesh mixed with delicate aroma is what makes them incredibly popular.

These cantaloupes are usually enjoyed on their own as a snack or dessert, but they also make great additions to salads, salsas, and smoothies. They are good for adding flavor and color to dishes! 

It’s no wonder why the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe is so well-loved – there’s nothing quite like biting into one of these delightful fruits during a hot summer day. 

Be sure to try them next time you are chilling on the beautiful Colorado beaches

Discovering The Delicious Food Of Colorado

From Rocky Mountain Oysters to famous Palisade Peaches, Colorado has a rich and diverse food culture. Be sure to take a culinary tour through this beautiful state and experience its amazing cuisine. You will likely find even more delicious food Colorado is known for.

Whether you’re looking for traditional eats or something more adventurous, taking a dive into the delicious food of Colorado is an adventure like no other. 



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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