As Denverites, it’s easy to forget about the half of our state that lies to the east of the Front Range. But Colorado’s sparsely populated Eastern Plains offer rolling hills, plenty of fresh air, and their own kind of scenic views. And if you look hard enough, you may even stumble upon an unexpected culinary gem, like the I-70 Diner. Located 125 miles east of Denver in Flagler, you’ll know you’ve arrived when you see a retro, bubblegum-pink Cadillac spinning atop a 25-foot pole to the north of I-70.
Before the neon-lit, 1950s-style diner became a Flagler landmark, it was Krolls Diner in Fargo, North Dakota. In 2007, I-70 Diner owner Tom Bredehoft found the building unused, sitting in six pieces, and had it shipped roughly 850 miles to eastern Colorado, furnishings and all. Now, the walls are adorned with tchotchkes that reflect Bredehoft’s eclectic history, including an autographed photo of Yogi Berra and a Cuban license plate he picked up on a trip to the island.
If you’re feeling road weary, grab a seat at one of the classic red and white booths and settle in for rib-sticking comfort food. This prairie spot’s large menu encompasses everything from a satisfying French dip to crispy chicken-fried steak to house-made red, green, and chorizo chiles. Best of all, breakfast is available from open to close. We return to the Farmer, a simple-but-perfect assemblage of eggs, hash browns, and a choice of ham, bacon, or sausage, whenever we’re craving a classic American breakfast.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy a slice of warm pie à la mode. The selection varies day by day, but includes classics such as chocolate cream, apple, and cherry. If it’s available, don’t miss the heavenly strawberry-rhubarb variety.
400 High St, Flagler, 719-765-4040