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The 11 Most Iconic Foods in Colorado

By: Spencer McKee

Most tourists don't visit Colorado for the food...but they should. Here are 12 unique dishes from around the state that either originated in Colorado or were shaped by Colorado. Even if you're not starving now, you'll be hungry after flipping through this gallery.

11. Trout


With gold-medal waters spread around the state and a huge trout population, plenty of Coloradans love to feast on this tasty fish. One thing that makes this fish nice is that it can be prepared in a variety of ways. In this picture, it’s seared and served with carrots, asparagus, fregola, and radicchio. Photo Credit: rudisill.

10. Lamb


Most people probably don’t think “lamb meat” when they think Colorado. That being said, Colorado is actually the 4th largest lamb and sheep producer in the country with meat from this area being known for it’s milder taste. If you spot it on the menu in the Centennial State, there’s a good chance it’s fresh. Photo Credit: robynmac

9. Elk Sausage


Ask anyone who spends a lot of time driving in Western Colorado…the elk population is booming. Fortunately, elk also happens to taste great. Often mixed with jalapeños, you can’t leave Colorado without trying some elk sausage or elk jerky first. Photo Credit: diogoppr

8. Melons


As you’re rolling down Highway 50 during the warmer months of the year, you’ll notice tons of fruit stands alongside the road. Do yourself a favor and stop for some melon. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better anywhere else. Photo Credit: bradleygee

7. Bison Burgers


If you’re driving through Colorado, you’ll occasionally see herds of bison (not buffalo) roaming around the plains. They’re raised for their meat and they taste delicious. If you’re thinking about getting a burger at a restaurant, go ahead and upgrade that meat to the grass-fed locally-grown bison patty. You won’t regret it. Photo Credit: bhofack2.

6. The Slopper


One Colorado dish that goes hand-in-hand with the state’s love for green chili is “the Slopper.” It’s basically a burger smothered in green chili, often topped with avocado. Don’t worry, no one will judge you for eating this sandwich with a fork. Photo Credit: atsamom

5. Granola


No, Colorado didn’t invent granola. However, similar to nut butter, Colorado did help drive granola to where it’s at today. With demand from endurance athletes and campers at such a high-level in the Centennial State, you can bet the granola found here will be top-notch. Photo Credit: jules-stonesoup

4. Palisade Peaches


Home to a 182-day growing season, Palisade has the perfect peach-growing climate. It’s no wonder this town is known as “The Peach Capital of Colorado.”
Photo Credit: Jackson’s Orchard (Flickr).

3. Colorado Style Pizza


Often measured in pounds and known for it’s strikingly massive crust layered with copious amounts of toppings, Colorado-style pizza takes carbs to a whole new level.
One popular place to sample this dish is Beau Jo’s, where they use honey to sweeten the dough. They’ve got several locations around the state, one that’s right off I-70 in Idaho Springs.
Photo Credit: WordRidden (Flickr)
Rocky Mountain Oysters - jankgo - OutThere Colorado

2. Rocky Mountain Oysters


Sometimes names can be deceiving. This is one of those times. A Rocky Mountain Oyster is actually a bull testicle, often sliced thin and deep-fried. It tastes a little bit like gator meat or perhaps like a sweeter, chewy chicken. Photo Credit: jankgo

1. Green Chili


I know what you’re thinking…that’s a burrito, not a bowl of chili. That’s the thing about Colorado green chili though, it’s often used as a topping instead of a standalone dish. You’ll find this spicy sauce mixture spread over everything from burritos to burgers to pizzas. And we know…”chili is supposed to be spelled with an ‘e’ not an ‘i.’ Actually that’s not the case. The pepper itself is spelled “chile,” but it becomes a “chili” when it’s turned into a sauce, often with pork and beans in the mix, as well.

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