The Grand Junction area is a land of artisans and crafters. Everywhere you look it’s easy to see evidence of this. Downtown Grand Junction is a Certified Creative Arts District and the streets are lined with one of the biggest outdoor art collections in the country. Just as impressive as the 100+ sculptures on the streets are the number of art galleries, all unique and creative in their own way. The area is home to 27 wineries, six breweries, and two distilleries, all dedicated to crafting libations using local fruits and produce. Whether they are painting with acrylics, sculpting metal, or creating liquid masterpieces, the creativity within the Grand Junction area is noticeably distinct.
Cuisine in Grand Junction is just as elevated. From a James Beard-nominated chef to famous pizza, the valley boasts menus which highlight local ingredients from nearby farms. Here’s a short list of restaurant crafters who have perfected their art and are local favorites.
Photo by @626onRood
More than just a restaurant, 626 on Rood strives to make dining a truly memorable experience. By taking an innovative approach to classic American recipes, chef Theo Otte creates masterfully progressive dishes that will leave the taste buds singing. 626 also features an extensive wine collection that would make any big city sommelier envious and Wine Spectator event wrote about it. The friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you choose just the right pairing to complement your meal. Local favorites are the Colorado Rack of Lamb Chops or the Braised Wagyu Beef Roast. Both are melt in your mouth tender and will leave you feeling completely satisfied, but be sure to leave room for the artfully made desserts.
Photo by Palisade Cafe 11.0
Located in the heart of Colorado’s Wine Country is Palisade Café 11.0, a “slightly whimsical” spot serving up unique items including casual American, Spanish and Peruvian dishes, including a delicious selection of local beers and wines. And when we say local, we mean from the brewery and wineries only a few doors down. You can’t get more local than that! While Palisade Café 11.0 serves up delicious entrees like their Brisket Cheesesteak or Ajillo Shrimp, they are known for their paella. This tasty Spanish dish is authentically prepared using rice, tomatoes, onion, and garlic and then enhanced with quality meats, seafood, and veggies. This specialty Paella is available Wednesday-Friday, so be sure to plan accordingly!
Photo by @warehouse2565
What was once an old flooring warehouse has been meticulously transformed into a stunningly beautiful and modern dining experience. The extensive menu uses locally sourced ingredients and is often complemented by live music. The main stage, in a separate room, draws national country acts that you often see in big arenas so keep an eye on the schedule.
Photo by Bin 707 Foodbar
It’s not every day you get to dine amid a James Beard Award-nominated chef. Owner and Chef Josh Niernberg has carefully put together an extensive menu of trendy and innovative dishes that pay homage to American classics. Bin focuses on locally sourced ingredients from the Grand Valley, including the beer and wine selection. The menu changes seasonally to accommodate what’s freshly available, so there is always something new to try. The one long-standing entrée, and local favorite, is the Bin Burger. Quality Colorado beef, white cheddar, and a truffle aioli make this beefy, almost steak-like burger, shine. Be sure to order a local brew to tantalize your palate even more. This same restaurateur also owns Taco Party, a hip and fresh taco joint just around the corner.
Photo by @hottomatopizza
If you’ve ever wondered how a tiny pizza shop in a small town can consistently have a line out the door, then you need to hop on over and check out the Hot Tomato. This little restaurant turns out big pizza using homemade dough, fresh ingredients, and bold ingenuity to create unexpected and flavorful combinations like their famous Palisade Peach Pie. When you can smell pizza from down the street and feel your mouth start watering, you know you’re in for a treat. One bite is all it takes and you’ll be a fan for life. The owners of this shop garner much media attention for their progressive and community-minded business initiatives, including a nod from Patagonia recently.
Check out the Grand Junction Adventure Guide.