Despite the partisan battles in 2020, there was one thing we could all agree on: Let's order takeout. As it turned out, it became our civic duty to ensure that restaurants, where 10% of Coloradans work, could survive the pandemic.
Politicos statewide were happy to tell us where they got their favorite meals, so we've compiled them all into one smorgasbord of options.
Let's dig in:
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver:
"The Cherry Cricket’s burger and frings have been a family favorite for decades."
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs:
"Restaurants and small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we have entrusted them to provide safe, quality services to our families for generations. Now more than ever, we should trust them to carry out the proper safety standards and allow them to reopen entirely to serve their patrons."
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party:
The congressman likes to get take-out from Chick-fil-A.
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada:
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora:
"Carm & Gaia’s is one of the Crow kids’ favorite spots for take out."
"Carne Asada burrito. Nuff said."
Gov. Jared Polis:
Despite his ongoing battle with the restaurant industry, he does enjoy a bagel from time to time from Rosenberg’s (locations in Five Points and Stanley marketplace) and the family also enjoys Meta Burger, a vegan burger joint with locations in Edgewater and East Denver.
Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera:
She recommends Corona’s Mexican Grill in Broomfield. The family has been ordering from Corona’s almost every week during the pandemic. They love the food and are also proud to help keep local restaurants open during this time, according to the governor’s office.
Jena Griswold, Colorado secretary of state:
"My family has been going to the Thai Kitchen in Estes Park for a long time. Most recently, we ordered curry and spicy soup to-go, and had a picnic at Lake Estes. It’s so nice to have good Thai food in our small mountain community."
Michael Hancock, Denver mayor:
"We know our local businesses are struggling, especially our restaurants, which is why our primary focus continues to be getting our numbers back down as soon as possible.
"But we can also continue to support our local favorites with take-out and delivery, and my go-to’s throughout the year have been the Welton St. Café for some classic Five Points soul food, picking up a breakfast burrito from the Burrito Company, grabbing a burger from Shake Shack, and dinner from the neighborhood Blue Bay Asian Café."
Robin Kniech, Denver City councilwoman at-large:
"My family’s vegetarian-friendly takeout favorites include breakfast from Four Friends Kitchen, pizza from Oblios Pizzeria, and dinner from Spicy Thai II, Denver ChopHouse, Anise, or Phoenician Kabob.
Kendra Black, Denver City councilwoman for District 4:
"Easy! Just ordered Tai Tai Japanese, which opened in 2020 in Happy Canyon Shopping Center in District 4. I also had it on Christmas Eve. It’s really good!
"Junction Food and Drink is a new food hall in my district. It’s got some great vendors: Mr. Miner’s Meat & Cheese has AMAZING sandwiches. Big Wave Tacos is a Tory Guard booth. I love the nachos. My other District 4 favorites are the Bagel Deli & Restaurant, New York Deli News and Tuk Tuk Thai Grill."
Candi CdeBaca, Denver District 9 councilwoman:
"We did not do drinks or outdoor dining at all this year. We stayed home and ordered hyper local for everything we could and we primarily supported BIPOC businesses and BIPOC people out of catering jobs, restaurant work and/or just cooking on the side.
"Look Hu's Cooking, Welton St. Cafe, TeaLee's Tea Co., Whittier Cafe, Thai Basil, Curtis Park Creamery, Luceros, Las Delicias, Red Rooster Cafe, Butcher Block Cafe, Addis Abbaba Ethiopian, Abyssinia Ethiopian, Lazo Empanadas and lots of grocery shopping at Park Hill Supermarket in District 9 for unique immune-boosting ingredients for our own homemade cultural meals and snacks."
Wayne Williams, Colorado Springs City Council at-large member, former secretary of state:
"Biaggi’s — Pronto Pack with the ziti al forno.
"Two great Italian restaurants!"
Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau:
"Our favorite place would have to be Los Dos Potrillos — the best Mexican food on the the south end of town. Must haves: chile relleno nachos, barbacoa quesa tacos (Mon-Thurs only), carne adobada street tacos anyday and carnitas on the weekends. The entire menu is good, especially the margaritas. We've been going since they opened their first location near our house in Centennial in 2002, and it's our staff go-to for lunches and birthday celebrations.
Mara Sheldon, spokeswoman for the 2018 Polis for Governor campaign and now with Squire, Patton, Boggs:
“Little Ollie’s in Cherry Creek has always been a favorite place of mine to dine. During the past several months, with takeout being the new normal, I have stayed loyal. While their menu is amazing, it is the fortune cookies I crave for some levity and positivity at the end of another day in this pandemic.”
Joe Salazar, executive director of Colorado Rising and a former state representative
Rhonda Fields, assistant Senate majority leader:
"Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant in Aurora. Supper — great authentic Mexican food. Always a hot plate of food with lots of cheese and green chili rolling off plate. Beans, rice, and coleslaw — yummy! Spicy salsa and fresh hot chips with every meal. Staff always friendly, quick and efficient."
Sen. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village
“Oh man. In the name of supporting our Colorado restaurants, Rie and I have had far more than our fair share of takeout this year. If we can only pick one, it's the Englewood Grand's cocktails to go. We usually pair it with Vietnamese + Chinese + American from Zomo down the street.
"Bosphorus Turkish Restaurant has the friendliest proprietor you'll meet in Melih Cingilli, Cherry Hills Sushi Company is making DIY home sushi kits, and after an extensive search we've found our Thai nirvana in Thai Flavor. Our Christmas dinner centered around meat pies and candy cane eggnog from Olivia Restaurant, and Rie is obsessed with the Mochi Muffins® from Third Culture Bakery. Obsessed. Literally every weekend she makes a pitch for muffins for breakfast. She even sent her best friend a box of them for her birthday. (They ship!)”
Loren Furman, senior VP for state and federal relations, Colorado Chamber of Commerce
“Fave takeout is from Locanda Del Borgo. Great neighborhood go-to because staff are wonderful and the food is always terrific. I’m sure Locanda has had the same struggles as other restaurants during the pandemic, but they seem to have gracefully juggled the constantly changing restrictions thrown at the restaurant industry. The staff is always upbeat and they continue to provide consistently delicious food during these rough times.”
Shoshana Lew, executive director of Colorado Department of Transportation
"Woodgrain Bagels! It moved into my neighborhood somewhat recently and it’s also part of a neat mixed-use development (one of the old hangars at the former Lowry Air Force base) that improves quality of life in the area. Also the best lox I’ve had in Colorado.
"A number of our stakeholders have been persuaded to try it too and were also impressed."
Jeff Roberts, executive director, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition:
"Carm & Gia Metropolitan, great burgers (sorry, In-N-Out) and all sorts of other Chicago-inspired comfort food."
Patty Calhoun, editor of Westword
"For to-go — Lola Coastal Mexican: A walk-up window with tacos...and chicken tenders! My home away from home. Los Dos Potrillos (Centennial): The great to-go system is only matched by the great Mexican food. And beer.
"For dining outside — Rioja: Hospitality so warm I don't care how cold it is. The last place I ate before restaurants shut down, and the first place I returned. Ultreia: Try for a table in the sun at lunch.
"For dining outside or to-go — My Brother's Bar: A historic bar makes more history with its outdoor setup."
Kim Day, CEO of Denver International Airport
“I am a regular at Torchy’s Tacos for take out. I’m a vegetarian and they have a fried avocado taco… Need I say more? At the airport, I especially love our new Eats Delivered program so I can enjoy the best veggie burger in Denver from Root Down and have it delivered right to my gate (or office)!”
Sen. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge
"Well, there have been so many great restaurants that have been so wonderful to us during the pandemic it is hard to choose! But I’d have to give a shout-out to Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse right here in Wheat Ridge. Eugene (Khang) and the team know how to serve up amazing food, and we always add a growler of our favorite Colorado craft brew to our takeout order."
Dominic Dezzutti, executive director and host of PBS12’s “Colorado Inside Out”:
"Being in the southern suburbs, I have found it’s not always easy to find independent restaurants. But fortunately, the corner of County Line Road and Holly offer three amazing choices for independent, family owned restaurants! Farro Italian Restaurant, Los Dos Potrillos Mexican Restaurant and Big Bill’s NY Pizza are my three go-to takeout places.
Farro offers many great Italian dishes, but for my money, the risotto, complete with grilled prawns, cannot be beat. The carnitas at Los Dos Potrillos are so legendary, they are only available Friday through Sunday. And while everything at Big Bill’s is great, our go-to is a large combo pie."
Joel Malecka, former spokesman for the House GOP, legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Public Safety:
"My go-to for pandemic take-out is a quaint little restaurant called Kassai Sushi on 8th and Quebec. Their food is amazing and ordering a spread of sushi is the closest I can come to creating a restaurant experience at home. Looking forward to trading my mask for some chopsticks in 2021.”
Rep. Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, House minority leader
"The same goes up here (in Loveland) for Betta Gumbo. They make a hell of a cup of gumbo. I like the fact that Clay (Caldwell) came here and wanted to put down a Cajun restaurant in the middle of little ol’ Loveland, and then just absolutely became a part of this community. He makes good food, but he’s also one of the stellar members of our community."
Shaun Boyd, CBS4 political ace:
"Honestly, we don’t eat out a lot. But, we love The Taj in Boulder. It has delicious Indian food."
Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association:
"My family and I tried to support as many restaurants as possible throughout 2020, which means we didn't really have go-to takeout options. We tried something new just about every time we ordered out, and had great meals from Logan Street, Comida, Barolo Grill, Rioja, Le Bilboquet, Mici, Cattivella, La Sandia, Little Ollie’s and many, many more.
"I especially enjoyed ordering family meals from a number of restaurants — that was a fun way for our family of five to have a memorable restaurant dining experience when we were confined to our home."
Steve Welchert, Democratic strategist extraordinaire:
"Favorite take-out: Las Delicias (aka the Glendale Country Club) and Saucy Noodle on University across from Bonnie Brae Tavern (we’re losing the Tavern soon, too). Gotta love their motto: 'If you don’t like garlic go home.' "
Elisabeth Lawrence, Summit County commissioner:
"We have all missed traveling throughout this, but I have found that I can drive down the street to visit Soupz On and feel like I am traveling, just by my lunch order. The menu changes everyday and the hardest decision is which one to get. Some of my favorites are Hawaiian BBQ Pork, Italian Meatball Marinara, Spicy enchilada, and Chorizo Green Chili. The focaccia bread is a must have, along with any of the Asian salads.
"For beer we pick up growlers of IPAs at our favorite local breweries: Highside, Outer Range, and Angry James. And next to the courthouse are two Breckenridge staples that have fed me for nearly two decades: Fatty's and Giampietros. It is the comfort food I craved during the rough months of the pandemic when we were all working around the clock."
Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado:
"Farmhouse Thai Eatery got us through 2020, from Davis’ birth when a few friends ordered delivery for our meal train when we were too exhausted and delirious to cook to last week when we both decided we needed noodles. Their spice levels are no joke, so we ask for medium-light, and if you order the pineapple fried rice, sometimes it comes in an actual half of an actual pineapple."
Kristina Cook, chair of the Denver GOP:
"My fave is Little India Restaurant & Bar on 6th. Not only is their food amazing, they are very generous with their portions. I can eat chicken tikka korma on saffron rice for days, and it tastes just as good as the day I ordered it. Spectacular."
Dave Young, state treasurer, and Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley:
"Mary and I love to try takeout from the small businesses in our community. Some of our favorite Greeley staples are Pelligrini’s, the Greeley Chophouse, and Luna’s Tacos. The Gamberi in Salsa Rosa from Pelligrini’s is a must try!"
Alexis King, incoming district attorney for the First Judicial District:
"I love Ali Baba in Golden. There's nothing like baba ganoush and their amazing lamb, but our favorite is the warm pitas and the hummus — it's the best hummus in town. Our family calls it 'the hummus store!' Their service during the pandemic has been impeccable, and we so appreciate the hard work of their staff during these trying times."
Zoey DeWolf, state government affairs director for Sanofi, board chair for Minds Matter Colorado:
"Yuan Wonton food truck. You may start stalking this dumpling truck after your first order. Like anything good, Chef Penelope (Wong) leaves you wanting more. More chili wontons, more Jaozi, more eggplant, more bao ... just ... MORE!"
Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association:
George Stern, Jefferson County clerk and recorder:
"As mountaineers, my wife and I have always loved Sherpa House in Golden, an Indian-Nepalese restaurant owned and run by former Everest Sherpas. We’ve been getting takeout from them with particular frequency lately because my wife is very pregnant, and one of her biggest cravings has been their thukpa, a thick, delicious noodle soup."
Chuck Broerman, El Paso County clerk and recorder:
Diane Mitsch Bush, former state representative and Democratic congressional nominee, likes to get take-out from two eateries in Steamboat Springs.
"The burger from Lot One, fish and chips from the other two. Smokin’ Fins is a seafood place with lobster deviled eggs, amazing cole slaw that you crave and great fish and chips!"
Joseph Jackson, communications director for the Colorado GOP:
"Colorado is lucky to have so many restaurants and small businesses that have adjusted this year. Cherry Cricket and Finley’s Pub are just two examples of restaurants that have done a great job of adapting to COVID-19, while continuing to provide great service, atmosphere, and food.
Bob McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment:
"If I am in a hurry and at work (which is most of the time), Jimmy John’s is for me. I love their subs but I have to go light on the mayo these days. I am trying to lose my COVID-19 weight.
"For dinner, it’s Nordy’s BBQ & Grill in Loveland. The BBQ turkey sandwich is great. Plus, I feel like I am eating healthy since it’s turkey — which justifies the fries. Their dishes are also large enough for two, so I can share or have leftovers. It’s the best and on the way home. That saves me time so I can get right back on emails again. :("
Darryl Glenn, former El Paso County commissioner and U.S. Senate nominee:
"Fargo’s Pizza in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately it’s now temporarily closed due to COVID restrictions. This in an institutional landmark for restaurants. We’ve ordered pizza from Fargo’s since childhood. We’re personally committed to getting Fargo’s and all other restaurants across the state open as soon as possible."
Craig Hughes, partner at Hilltop Public Solutions and a leading Democratic political consultant:
"Cut butcher shop in Edwards — New York strip, rib eye and porterhouse steaks for Christmas."
Dan Baer, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the former executive director of Colorado Department of Higher Education:
Laura Carno, conservative political strategist, author and senior fellow with the Independent Women's Forum:
"The beef chimichanga from El Abuelo Family Restaurant in Elizabeth."
Carol Hedges, executive director of Colorado Fiscal Institute:
"I love Jett Sushi on Colfax and Elm."
Kyle Kohli, executive director at Compass Colorado, former Colorado communications director for the Republican National Committee:
"Fish n Beer Shrimp Po Boy and the Barbacoa tacos at Mister Oso. Been trying to hit up some joints on Larimer; Julep (which I thought was pretty good) has already gone out of business."
Lx Fangonilo, executive director of the Colorado GOP:
David Pourshouhtari, communications director for Colorado Democratic Party:
"Tacos Marlene on Federal Boulevard. Some of the best traditional street tacos I’ve ever had in my life. They grill the meat outside all day, so you can smell the deliciousness as you pull up! They make everything to order so your food is guaranteed to be fresh. While you wait for your order, you can choose from a variety of salsas, pickled radishes, and fresh peppers to put on your tacos.
"My go-to order is the lengua taco, the chorizo taco, the carnitas taco, and the barbacoa taco. For 4 meat-packed tacos and all the salsa and veggies you could want, you only have to pay $8. It doesn’t cost a lot to support a small, minority-owned business. (Make sure to bring cash as it’s a cash-only establishment!)"