Downtown Golden is home to a wide variety of restaurants. Their menus include foods from around the world. Their interiors range from historic to modern, and eclectic to thematic. Some even offer specials or discounts that make them more affordable to students. While not an exhaustive list, this article will introduce you to many of the best eateries within walking distance of the campus of the Colorado School of Mines.
Bob’s Atomic Burgers is well situated in a college town. Their menu is simple and classic. With a silly pseudonym assigned to you when you order, it’s always fun to visit with friends. It is not uncommon for there to be a line out the door so ordering out may be the way to go. Students always receive 10% off and get 20% off on Wednesdays.
Cafe 13, located in the old Armory building on 13th street, serves a modern menu of breakfast and lunch foods at comparably affordable prices. Lovingly referred to as “Golden’s living room,” it is a popular gathering place for many in the community. Cafe 13 has ample indoor and outdoor seating. Its menu includes many dishes which incorporate eggs,
including the outstanding ‘Aussie Scramble’ which is made of scrambled eggs, avocado, bacon, and blue cheese. There are many vegetarian and vegan options. Other menu items include pancakes, sandwiches, and loaded avocado toast. Drinks include coffees, teas, and ciders.
Founded in 2012, El Callejon is a small and colorful place to buy Latin American food. The floor is brick and there are tropical scenes painted on the walls. The pleasant smell of the food they serve fills the space. It’s menu is home to several foods uncommonly in Colorado, of which the ‘Pupusas’, doughy pockets filled with different combinations of vegetables, beans, and meats, are the most popular. A punch card will allow you a free meal for every 8 you buy.
Golden Sweets looks like a candy shop your grandparents might have visited when they were young. The black and white chess board floor and tin ceiling are retro and fun. Old fashioned candies and a variety of chocolate types and ice cream flavors are sold. Fun flavors such as ‘Salted Caramel Oreo’ and ‘Funky Donkey’ are unique additions to the roster. With a punch card for every 8 ice creams you can get one free.
Nosu Ramen is new to Golden in 2020. The store is modern and bright on the inside with a bit of a minimalist aesthetic. The floor is concrete, plants fill the space and a mural depicting bee hives is on one of the walls. Duck Ramen is recommended for a rich, flavorful, and beautiful ramen that may be unlike other ramens you have tried. While you can save during happy hour from 3 to 5, eating here will cost you significantly more than grocery store ramen.
The Old Capital Grill, not to be confused with the chain Capital Grill, is located in the building where the Colorado Territorial Legislature met for several years in the 1860s. The interior is historic, with a large wooden bar in the center of the space and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It gives Western vibes. However, there are also neon signs in the window and televisions playing sports throughout the space. The restaurant is popular with families. Popular on their menu are smoked meats (voted best in town) and the Bison Burger.
At Sherpa House you can try authentic foods from Nepal. Honored with a variety of culinary and social awards, Sherpa House is well recognized for being an excellent restaurant and good neighbor. Founded by an immigrant from Nepal, the restaurant supports volunteer work there. Itis located in a former private home, which leads to the dining area being spread out across several smaller spaces. Along with the historic detail of the building and a variety of Nepalese artifacts, it contributes to a personal feeling dining experience. The menu has many great choices including naan breads, masalas, samosas, and traditional nepalese foods such as ‘Daal Bhat’. Lunch specials are available.
The Trailhead Taphouse is a low key place with high quality bar food. Some surfaces in the space are covered in stickers. You can sit on metal stools at high tables. Pizzas and sandwiches are on the menu but the Cajun food is what makes this place really unique. Mines students can get 15% off every Monday. Get a dollar off appetizers happy hour from 3 to 6 on weekdays.
The Windy Saddle is a homey feeling coffee and sandwich shop. It features a large library, local art, and a community information board. Exposed brick and low lighting set the mood. Pastries are baked fresh daily. The most popular of their sandwiches is the ‘Thunderbird’ consisting of sliced turkey, avocado, tomato, white cheddar cheese, greens, and chipotle mayonnaise.
Founded in 1993, Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza is a quintessential Golden hang out. Their pizzas, with crust properly eaten dipped in honey, are famous throughout the area. Their pizza buffet is particularly popular. Also on the menu are wings and burgers. Inside there is a large bar. The ceiling is low and the atmosphere is coxy. Woody’s takes pride in their excellent service and commitment to sustainability which includes composting 95% of their waste, recycling, low flow water fixtures, and a large solar array on their roof. Woody’s typically hosts a college night on Mondays with all you can eat pizza from the buffet for a low price for Mines Students. This year that will not be possible but they are looking to provide a temporary alternative discount.
Other notable local establishments: The Buffalo Rose claims to be the oldest operating bar in the state of Colorado. D’Deli offers a variety of many sub sandwiches. The Golden Diner offers a reliable diner experience. Goozelle is a frozen yogurt place which also sells turkish coffee. Higher Grounds is a cafe and popular study space. Nice Ice is a shaved ice truck, new in 2020. Okinawa Sushi is a great place to get fresh sushi so far from the sea. Pangea Coffee Roasters sell of coffee from around the world. Thai Gold Restaurant is known for their curries and pad thai. The Tributary is a small food hall with a variety of options throughout the day including crepes, smoothies, and sandwiches. Golden Farmers Market, Saturdays from 8 to 1 in the Golden Library parking lot!
Research for this article was conducted mostly through in person visits and interviews. It is noteworthy that many of the restaurants in Golden are owned by residents of the town and that some owners own multiple restaurants. For example Abejas and Nosu Ramen, Windy Saddle and Trailhead Taphouse, and Woody’s and the Table Mountain Inn have the same owners.