Michelin Guide To Award Colorado’s Best Restaurants in 2023
The inaugural Colorado Michelin guide will cover Denver, Boulder, Aspen and Snowmass Village, the Town of Vail, and Beaver Creek Resort
Perhaps the first thing that many people will notice about the inaugural Michelin Guide to Colorado when it comes out later this year is where it covers and where it doesn’t. Denver, Boulder, Aspen and Snowmass Village, the Town of Vail, and Beaver Creek Resort are in. Telluride, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Palisade, and Colorado Springs, among others, are not.
Where to include and where not to include couldn’t have been a particularly easy decision because there are great restaurants all over the state that could have been included, especially if you are aware of Michelin’s Bib Gourmand rating system (see below).
Michelin states that before a new guide is established in a given city, state, or country, the inspection team conducts an initial study of the area. During that destination assessment, the inspectors evaluate the culinary hotspots for the inaugural selection of restaurants. The coverage area often expands in subsequent selections.
Bib Gourmands and Green Stars
Michelin is renowned for its star rating system, but that isn’t the sum total of the guide’s content. In fact, the majority of guides have more Bib Gourmands, that’s Michelin’s rating system that highlights restaurants that offer great quality food at good prices, than stars. Bib Gourmands are arguably more useful for locals as they tend to be more affordable and can therefore be visited more regularly, whereas starred restaurants are typically higher-end.
In order to be considered for a Bib Gourmand, a restaurant must offer a three-course meal at a reasonable price. Yes, reasonable is a relative term and that varies from place to place, but quality is expected to be consistent.
Bib Gourmands recognize friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices
There’s also the Michelin Green Star, a standalone award that is given to restaurants that are leaders in sustainable gastronomy which includes both ethical and environmental considerations. Much like Bib Gourmands, there is no exact standard for what makes a restaurant eligible for a Green Star.
The Michelin Guide arriving in Colorado is an exciting development for foodies, and while it doesn’t cover the entire state, Michelin has not ruled out expanding the guide in the future.