Comfort food. A cozy atmosphere. Nostalgic vibes. Diners have long been a staple in the American restaurant scene and Colorado’s are some of the best. From historic spots in Durango to locations decorated with pink Cadillacs, pull up a stool at these 9 awesome diners in Colorado.
A seat at the counter gives you a birds eye view of all of the action in the kitchen. A town landmark for more than 35 years, it’s where the locals hangout, but there’s still plenty of seats for visitors. They’re famous for their green chile and southwest salsa, which are savory additions to their nostalgic no-frills meals.
The small-town friendly service complements the delicious homemade food that this off-the-beaten-path diner serves up every day. Ingredients are locally sourced. Beef is grass-fed. Breads, pies, doughnuts, muffins and cookies are made daily. Breakfast all day, but don’t miss the chocolate pie with peanut butter anytime of the day.
Come with an appetite because the meal portions are huge. That hasn’t changed for the more than dozen years this diner has been in business. The menu is a wide-ranging mix of American and Mexican breakfast and lunch fare, all homemade daily. The ambience is vintage Route 66 decor. Best of the menu includes breakfast burrito with salsa verde, sweet French toast or an old-fashioned patty melt.
“890 square feet of reality ... surrounded by Boulder.” What a motto. The best diner in Colorado, according to Business Insider, is this classic whose chefs have been cooking eggs on the flat top for four decades. Food is greasy, just the way you’d expect an old-school diner to serve. Breakfast and lunch favorites include biscuits and gravy, eggs cooked anyway you like, burgers and, of course, a couple of different grilled cheese sandwiches.
From the outside, this mini castle with purple turrets looks like something you’d find at a carnival. No carny food here, though, it’s all classic diner cooking in gigantic proportions. If you can finish a full order of the Grump, an enormous pile of hash browns, eggs, onions, cheese and meat smothered in homemade gravy you become a member of the clean plate club … no easy feat. The original location, the kitschy castle built in 1956, only seats 13, but there’s a second location just down the road. Cash only at both.
The only thing little about this diner is the space and the owner’s last name. The breakfast and lunch menu are extensive and the portions are large. A commitment to locally sourced, fresh ingredients combined with tried-and-true family recipes kicks the food out of the ordinary into the exceptional. Sit at the horseshoe counter, which surrounds the kitchen, for a meal and a show. Grandma Dot’s German pancakes are not to be missed.
John Wayne and Elvis sitting in a retro pink Cadillac spinning at the top of a 25-foot pole—you don’t see that every day. In fact, you’ll only see it here. This old diner was brought in pieces from North Dakota, put back together and is now home to incredible old-style comfort food. Breakfast is served all day and covers all the bases. You can’t go wrong with the patty melt, Ruben sandwich or taco salad for lunch.
This pre-fab diner has been sitting on its foundation since 1957 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Breakfast is served until closing. Signature morning meal is of course the Chuck Wagon, sirloin steak and eggs with hash browns, toast or hot cakes. Menu is extensive and, as usual, portions are huge. Look for the horse standing sentry on the roof top.
The checkered flag motif on the floor, walls and menu is apt … the food comes out of the kitchen fast. And they don’t just serve omelettes. It’s a blend of cultures with Eggs Benedict, chicken fried steak, a breakfast burrito with red and green chile, huevos rancheros and, how about a rib eye or pork chop to kick off the day. Open for lunch. The Ruben and Monte Cristo are musts. Cash only.