Five Best Restaurants in America that Colorado Desperately Needs
I've been doing a bit of travel the last 10 days or so, this time around jolly old England and Scotland to visit some of my wife's family and take some friends from home over there to explore a few pubs, have some fun and of course some AMAZING food. We took everyone to one of our absolute favorite restaurants while we were in London, though you can find the restaurant here at home in the United States too - just not in Colorado. This really, really bums me out because I feel like I can't get enough of it now!
It got me thinking on the long flight home - which restaurants do I love across the US that we just don't have here in Colorado? And so, here are the five best places I love in other places that we really, desperately need here to satisfy my frequent cravings for them when they arise.
The only qualifiers for this list are that they need to already have multiple locations - meaning, the ability to expand into Colorado - and they need to be someplace that is a "must visit" anytime I happen to be in the city they reside.
1. Din Tai Fung - a world-renowned Chinese restaurant originating in Taiwan that specializes in soup dumplings and noodles.
I've been to several different Din Tai Fung locations, from Seattle to Los Angeles to most recently, London. Every single time these guys blow my mind. Every. Single. Time. We took a large group to the London location and there wasn't even half a bite left on any plate. If you're a fan of dim sum - from dumplings and won tons to noodles and buns - holy smokes, find yourself a Din Tai Fung the next time you're in California, Washington, Oregon, or even New York City or Las Vegas.
Get the spicy won tons and pork Xio Long Bao. Treat yourself to a cucumber salad and a chocolate dumpling to finish. You won't regret it!
2. Yardbird - Some of the best chicken you've ever had... as they say: "unapologetically indulgent dishes and heady bourbon cocktails."
By the way... prayers here have been answered. I had no idea they are already on track to open one in Denver - THIS MONTH! You'll find them at 2743 Blake Street in Denver, but I can't find a concrete opening date.
I've been to the Miami location for lunch and the Las Vegas location for dinner - three times - and you cannot go wrong. Chicken and waffles for dinner or the most amazing chicken sandwich for lunch will leave you wanting more and more and more every time you walk out their door.
3. Katsuya - a sushi "feast for the senses." That's the truth.
I've only been to one Katsuya location - in Los Angeles - but I've been multiple times over the years. They have a few locations across the L.A. area, in addition to one in New York, one in Miami and a couple of cooler spots in Dubai and the Bahamas, all of which I assume are equally as good.
I'm not a sushi guy, which is to say I don't dislike it but it's not something I seek out. Lots of people love sushi so much that they'll get a little box of it on the run at the grocery store. That's not me. If I'm doing sushi, I'm doing high-end sushi and this is it, believe me.
To clarify, there are several "Katsuya Sushi" restaurants out there. But you're looking for the ones run by a group called SBE.
4. Piada Italian Street Food - A fast casual Italian chain that is comfort food at its best.
Piada is not on the same level as the three places above, in that it's not a "fancy night out" by any means whatsoever. But it's really, really good quick food, either lunch or dinner. Think of it like a Chipotle but with Italian street food instead. Pick your pasta. Pick your sauces and any other toppings you want to be mixed in. Get creative and live a little - and prepare to have your taste buds made very happy.
Currently, they have close to 50 locations spread across the eastern half of the United States, but of all the places on this list, they're probably the most likely to eventually make it to Colorado someday.
Make sure you try their "piadas" which are essentially grilled Italian wraps and delicious if you're not feeling pasta.
5. Five-O Donut Co. - the best damn donuts you've ever had, but only in Florida.
They started with a single shop in Sarasota and are quickly blowing up across the west coast of Florida, most recently into the St. Petersburg area. Five-O makes donuts on another level from anything you've ever seen in person. They're like "Instagram" donuts - the kind that might be fake and only cool to look at as pieces of art if only I haven't had them in real life so many times.
Each donut is a work of art and could almost be a meal within itself. The menu changes daily with some staples you can get every day like their coconut cream-filled donut with graham cracker crumble crust on the bottom. You can't get your mouth open wide enough to take a real bite and you're going to be a mess when you're finished, but you won't care. Promise. Just check out their Instagram page!