The 10 Best Places for Appetizers in Colorado!

Sharing a meal with friends or family that’s simple can be as easy as ordering a selection of appetizers. The meals are small, less expensive than entrees and provide an opportunity to sample a variety of dishes. From Mediterranean risotto to spicy pineapple salsa, here are some of the best in New Mexico. 

1. Rioja, Denver, CO

Beautiful food, serene ambiance and locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients come together here to create an unforgettable dining experience. The food is an imaginative blend of Mediterranean flavors served against a backdrop of the kitchen’s hustle and bustle. Begin with the Rioja “picnic,” a plate of artisan meats, warm pine nut crusted goat cheese, gorgonzola, olives, fennel salad, orange confit and almonds for a starter and that might just be all you need…except for a glass of ouzo, perhaps.

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2. The Rabbit Hole, Colorado Springs, CO

Alice fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland and it was a strangely wonderful experience. The whimsical and unique decor makes an evening here just as fanciful. The fare is a blend of new and traditional American specialties. Favorite appetizers include roasted Brussels sprouts with a Thai chile glaze, red onions and crispy bacon, as well as the Mediterranean risotto balls with green goddess sauce. You’ll leave with a Cheshire Cat smile on your face.

3. Riffs Urban Fare, Boulder, CO

A riff is a short repeated phrase. After dining here what you’ll be saying is, “that was good, that was good, that was good.” The stylized food is a creative use of seasonal products with an international flair served in an upscale, casual dining room. The grilled avocado with warm crab pico de gallo, tortilla spoons and burnt lime appetizer is music to one’s ears and a tickling of tastiness.

4. Social, Fort Collins, CO

This throwback to the speakeasies of the 1920s and 30s is anything but illicit. It’s completely aboveboard in its commitment to create and serve properly crafted cocktails, and exceptional food, even if it is located, underground at the bottom of a well-lit staircase. No password necessary though. Get your evening underway by sharing a variety of small plates. Top picks are the pierogis, savory potato and cheese dumplings, as well as the deviled eggs, with a blend of chives, smoked paprika and jamoĢn serrano.

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5. Union: An American Bistro, Castle Rock, CO

The menu at this bistro bills itself as inspired dishes from around the block and around the world.  It is an eclectic mix of American style classics with a global influence. You can nosh on tater tot nachos loaded with bacon, jalapenos and green onions, Italian egg rolls with pesto and balsamic vinegar or a Reuben flatbread.  Dine at the bar, community table, outside in the covered and heated patio or at a quiet table in the dining room.

6. Door 222, Loveland, CO

A striking open-beamed ceiling, reclaimed wood walls and soft lighting create a warm and cozy atmosphere at this modern American restaurant that features hand-crafted tapas. Dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients that bring the best of the area to the table. Tapas can be a starter or order a few a make a meal of them. Don’t miss the Manchego quinoa cake with smoked paprika aioli, micro greens and a balsamic reduction or the cheddar grits, a blend of local mushrooms, shaved parmesan, a six minute egg, broccoli and rioja jus.

7. Derailed Pour House, Durango, CO

Smoked pork tacos, Pour House wings, truffle parmesan fries and Derailed’s famous Midwest chili are just a few of the mouthwatering appetizers at this take-it-easy speakeasy style restaurant. Sit at the 1890s grand mahogany bar, inside near the wood-burning fireplace or outside on the patio, outfitted with misters for hot summer days. Scratch-made food is prepared daily with locally grown seasonal ingredients.

8. PDub Brewing Company, Pueblo, CO

This small brewery serves about a dozen handcrafted beers that pair nicely with the selection of appetizers on the menu. The setting is rustic, with pallet wood on the walls, corrugated tin accents and a handmade beetle kill pine bar. Try the mac and cheese sails, crispy triangles with ranch on the side, spinach artichoke dip stuffed chips with a side of spicy pineapple salsa and, of course, large, crunchy pretzels and mustard. The beer is top-quality, too.

9. Bin 707 Foodbar, Grand Junction, CO

Farm house meets 21st century modern at this trendy spot that features farm-to-table fare. Tables surround an open bar area, providing some great bartender entertainment. Menu items are billed as bar food, but it’s pretty elevated cuisine. You’ll find  a mixed charcuterie, Colorado elk and smoked Colorado beet tartare, tempura artichokes and a cheese sampler with a half-dozen creamy choices. The menu rotates regularly to support whatever is in season and local farms.

10. The Mav Kitchen and Tap House, Fort Morgan, CO

As your headed east out-of-state on Highway 34, this town is worth swinging through for a stop at this restaurant. The food is small-town good with great customer service and friendly atmosphere. The appetizer menu is varied and includes queso loaded frites topped with hickory bacon, fried onion pico de gallo and a chipotle ranch sauce. The bacon spin dip is a blend of baked mozzarella, artichoke hearts, fresh broccoli served on toasted naan bread. The pork tostadas are a meal in themselves.

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