From high altitude baking, to Southwestern recipes, to Denver’s and Boulder’s burgeoning food scene, there’s plenty of fodder for local food bloggers to cover. Here are 11 Colorado food blogs to read, and the stories of the bloggers behind each.
Blogger: Ashlae Warner
History: I started Oh, Ladycakes in late-2011, as a way to chronicle my adventures in baking.
Specialty: Vegan baked goods (and other sweet confections) that don’t taste like they’re vegan. Basically, I could trick your meat-loving uncle (who thinks vegan is synonymous with the word gross) into eating one of my desserts. And he’d probably ask for seconds, too.
Favorite CO restaurant: It’s always changing, but I’m currently digging Mercantile Dining & Provisions. The space is stunning and the vegan plate (not officially on the menu) is always outta-this-world delicious.
Use Real Butter
Blogger: Jennifer Yu
Homebase: I split my time between Nederland and Crested Butte.
History: I started the blog in 2004 to write down my thoughts after the untimely death of my only sister earlier that year. It eventually evolved into a personal blog full of photos and stories about my daily life including lots of food. In 2007, I stripped out the most personal content and went public with my food blog so I could participate in a fun and supportive group of food bloggers called The Daring Bakers (now The Daring Kitchen).
Specialty: My blog is about me—my life in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, my dog, outdoor adventures, places I like to eat, my cancer, some travels, some thoughts, some science, and lots of recipes with step-by-step photographs. There is plenty of photography because I’m a visual person. It’s part diary, part archive, and part a place to share things that I find beautiful, fascinating, or delicious. I don’t specialize in anything other than whatever is on my mind.
Favorite CO restaurant: That’s a tough one, because both Boulder and Crested Butte have great restaurant scenes and I know Denver does, too—although I don’t get to Denver often (I prefer to stay in the mountains). I would have to go with Frasca in Boulder, because the food and wine are divine, and the service is beyond exceptional.
Climbing Grier Mountain
Blogger: Lauren Grier
Homebase: Denver (the Highlands)
History: I started Climbing Grier Mountain (CGM) in 2010 as a way to showcase all the wonderful experiences one can have while living in Colorado. The stories from CGM quickly morphed from just lifestyle to more food-focused when I got married, and figured it was time to learn how to cook a proper meal. I was working in the financial industry in 2010, and I lost my job due to the market crash. I figured the best way to pass the time between job interviews was to teach myself how to cook. If I could cook, I imagined that others could do the same.
Favorite CO restaurant: My favorite restaurant right now is Blue Pan Pizza. Their Detroit-style pizza is absolute perfection. Cheesy-topped dough with crispy edges—I’m hungry just thinking about it. I always order either the Parma Italia or Rocky Mountain.
Blogger: Elana Amsterdam
History: I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998. I tried a gluten-free diet and had mixed results so went on a grain-free, or paleo, diet in 2001. I started blogging to share my recipes as well as research on health issues in 2006 with others. Now, I have more than 800 recipes on my website and have written three cookbooks for Random House.
Specialty: My recipes are incredibly simple. I use very few ingredients and test my recipes more than a dozen times to make sure they really work for my readers. I get a lot of feedback thanking me for short ingredient lists and recipes that work.
Favorite CO restaurant: Larkspur in Vail. The food is incredible and they easily handle requests for special diets. Thomas Salamunovich is a genius.
Blogger: Toni Dash
History: I did a personal experiment to see if I could source my protein and produce exclusively from within a 100-mile radius over a winter in Colorado. I succeeded and in the process discovered all sorts of new farmers, markets, and food artisans. People constantly asked for my resources so I decided to start a blog in September 2010.
Specialty: Exciting, approachable seasonal food and cocktail recipes with twists that are all gluten-free, most also with a gluten option (if not naturally gluten-free). I also share travel stories—often with a food focus.
Favorite CO restaurant: Very difficult to answer, but I’ve been smitten with The Kitchen since it originally opened in Boulder. I love their food quality, innovative recipes, focus on sustainable practices, and involvement with the larger food movement through projects like supporting school gardens. And I found my farm CSA through them!
Blogger: Claire Walters
History: “Culinary Colorado,” my guidebook to Colorado restaurants, gourmet food stores, artisanal bakeries, cheeseries, cooking schools, wine specialists, food festivals, etc., did really well as soon as it came out of the bindery, but became outdated quickly. It proved too complicated/costly to create an immediate second edition only to face the same challenge again. When the publisher decided not to issue a second edition, I added a “Dining Diary” page to my website. Then when blogging appeared, I launched on October 10, 2006.
Specialty: I write about meals I’ve eaten and food I’ve cooked, trends, and news that intrigues me. My blog is Colorado-centric, but not Colorado exclusive, so I also celebrate Colorado chefs and restaurants that appear on “top” or “best” lists.
Favorite CO restaurant: I have no single favorite. That’s not a cop-out. It’s the truth. My favorite might be where my last delicious meal was–or one serving the food I’m in the mood for. One thing is that I do not go to chains–unless a restaurant is part of the [Frank] Bonanno empire, the Frasca [Food and Wine] family, the [Jen] Jasinski/[Beth] Gruitch collection, or similar.
Blogger: Nicole Espinosa
Homebase: Southeast Aurora
History: I’ve always baked with my mom as a child, and my grandma was an amazing baker and cook as well. I started the blog in 2009 when I lived in Boston for college–it was called Small Kitchen Big Head because I had maybe the smallest kitchen in America. I have also always been a writer and went to school for journalism. When I moved back to Colorado, I started to improve my baking skills. I’d be baking just as much whether I blogged about it or not, so blogging is just an excuse for me to keep on baking!
Specialty: Baking and sweets are really my passion. I’m also building up some high-altitude baking resources as I learn more, which I think are too sparsely available online today–it’s hard to find high altitude recipes that actually work! I have a high altitude section on my site that I’m building up.
Favorite CO restaurant: Right now, I’m obsessed with a small breakfast and lunch spot in Aurora called The French Press. They make graham cracker syrup to go with stuffed french toast and other sweets, and it’s incredible! They also have chorizo biscuits and gravy that are EVERYTHING.
Blogger: Grace Boyle
Homebase: I live in Longmont and work in Boulder.
History: I had been blogging since 2008 on my personal blog, while also working at my day job in the blogging/publisher industry, so it was part of my day-to-day already. I love uncovering hidden restaurants when traveling, cooking, providing tips on where to eat (I get so many: “Where should I bring my family when they’re in town” questions), and sharing my love of food and how it binds us as people, so it felt very aligned to start another blog on food. A trip to Taos, New Mexico inspired me to finally take the leap in October 2010 so I could share the incredible food I had there.
Specialty: I’m keenly aware of restaurant openings and food stories in Colorado, so as a naturally curious person, I keep readers up-to-date. As an Italian, I care deeply about food and feel strongly that no matter where you’re from or your beliefs, food is one of those few things that connects us. I like to think that insatiable passion comes through in my words as I showcase interesting and delectable stories about food in Colorado and beyond.
Favorite CO restaurant: I love Black Cat. Their menu is driven by their 130-acre farm just outside of Boulder, so the menu changes daily to truly reflect what’s seasonal and fresh. It’s not unusual to see Owner/Chef Eric Skokan at the Boulder Farmers’ Market with his Black Cat farm stand in the morning, then see him later that night in the kitchen at Black Cat, cooking and greeting customers in person.
Rocky Mountain Food Report
Blogger: Bryce Crawford
Homebase: Colorado Springs
History: I was previously a reporter and restaurant critic for the weekly newspaper. After I quit and realized how much there still was to cover in the area, I started my site on September 1, 2015.
Specialty: We’re connected and plugged-in. We’re judging the events you attend and hanging with the people you want to know more about.
Favorite CO restaurant: My favorite restaurant is probably King’s Chef Diner. It’s a great greasy spoon with kicking green chile.
Blogger: Sara Lancaster
Homebase: Denver (Denver Tech Center area)
History: I started in 2010 as a portfolio piece for my marketing agency (The Condiment Marketing Co.) and because I really do have a love for sauces and dips and felt food blogging would be a fun, creative outlet.
Specialty: Sauces and dips aren’t unique really, but to blog about only those two things is unusual as far as I know.
Favorite CO restaurant: I’ve got two little kids now, so I don’t make it out to try the restaurants I would like … at least not often. But my recent favorite is Los Chingones in the DTC. I think of their Garden Guac often.
Blogger: Barb Kiebel
History: I learned HTML in 1995 when working in the Internet Division of a large cable company and decided to create my own recipe site to both categorize and easily share recipes with friends. I turned that site into an interactive blog in 2007 and became a full-time food and cocktail blogger in 2012.
Specialty: Though I feature more recipes for food than cocktails, I am most well known as a cocktail blogger since I started featuring cocktails five years ago in my weekly series called “FridayCocktails.”
Favorite CO restaurant: I love Ya Ya’s in the Denver Tech Center. While I have always enjoyed their food and ambience, they are my “Cheers” that that’s what makes them so special; everybody knows my name!
By Maya Silver