These days, the opening of another fast-casual restaurant might not seem like much to get excited about. But thanks to a flexible menu of ultra-fresh Mediterranean fare, the new Zoë’s Kitchen in Littleton is worth a visit.
Zoë Cassismus opened her first restaurant (which now has locations in 19 states, including Colorado) in Birmingham, Alabama, 21 years ago. As a first-generation American, she embraced her family’s traditional Greek recipes and started with only a handful of items on the menu. Today, the chain still offers those items, such as the Mediterranean baked feta and the creamy hummus, but the options have greatly expanded.
Visit Zoë’s first Colorado location, located at Southwest Plaza Mall, to sample the health-conscious (but not too health-conscious) eats. First, dunk fresh pita chips into the warm Mediterranean baked feta, which is topped with olives and heirloom tomatoes. Follow that with the Live Med salad: a bed of fresh spinach decorated with colorful ribbons of zucchini and squash; farro; cherry tomatoes; and lupini beans. Not only do the lupini beans add protein, their flavor resembles that of a boiled peanut—and they’re just as addicting. Whatever you do, don’t leave without indulging in a hunk of the devil’s food-esque YaYa’s Homemade Chocolate Cake. It’s not exactly health food, but its light, fluffy texture might convince you otherwise.
Or, if you’re in a hurry, stop by the Zoë’s Fresh Takes cooler for containers of hummus (try the pesto variety) and chicken salad to-go. The chicken salad isn’t inherently Greek (it was added to the menu at Zoë’s original Alabama location to satiate Southern appetites for the stuff), but it’s perfect for tucking into a backpack before a long day of hiking or biking.
The Littleton location is the first of six Colorado locations slated to open this year, including one in Union Station.
8501 W. Bowles Ave., Unit 1085, Littleton, 303-904-9398, zoeskitchen.com