For the past few years, we had a good reason for preferring minimal-contact, keep-your-distance drive-thru restaurants. With dine-in restaurants closed and social preferences shifted during the age of COVID-19, at times drive-thrus were sometimes the most attractive option.

But let’s get real here—occasionally we’re just lazy. Sometimes we just can’t bring ourselves to change out of our pajamas, or put in the effort to open and shut the car door and somehow walk into a restaurant to order and eat. No, we want our food and we want it fast, and we don’t want to leave the comfort of our vehicles.

For when you want to support Colorado business instead of fast-food chains, here are 10 local drive-thrus to satisfy your cravings for burgers, burritos, chicken sandwiches, and more.


The exterior of Kokoro’s University Hills location, which has a drive-thru. Photo courtesy of Kokoro

Kokoro has been nourishing us with drive-thru rice bowls, ramen, and sushi rolls on South Colorado Boulevard since 1986 (and later from a location in Arvada). The “quick, delicious Japanese food” spot uses Colorado-based Red Bird Farms chicken and local produce when available, making it a steal at about $10 a meal. Try the unagi bowl or a shrimp tempura roll. 2390 S. Colorado Blvd.; 5535 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada


It’s easy to miss this little shop—it’s tucked into a strip mall in the northwest suburbs—but it’s worth searching out for its killer combo of doughnuts and croissant sandwiches, all available via a drive-thru window. The early morning spot’s doughnut menu ranges from maple-and-bacon-topped, Fruity Pebbles–coated, and devil’s-food-and-glazed-hybrid varieties to several filled options inspired by classic pie flavors. It’s a downright doughnut wonderland, and a doughnut wonderland that’s made even better by minimizing your effort to secure them. 5191 W. 112th Ave., Westminster

Crown Burgers

Where can you get a five-egg omelet, a gyro, and a Royal burger with pastrami without leaving your driver’s seat? Crown Burgers, of course—the old-school diner-ish spot that’s been filling us up on cheap eats (you can still get four quarter-pound burgers with cheese for $16!) for going on 30 years. 2192 S. Colorado Blvd.

Chicken Rebel

The Rancher at Chicken Rebel. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Owner Lydie Lovet’s business started as a pop-up and food truck more than six years ago, but now her stacked chicken sandwiches and loaded tots are available through a Westminster strip mall window (she closed the brand’s Tejon Street outpost in June to focus on launching a brunch restaurant). At the drive-thru, ask for the bacon-, avocado-, and buttermilk ranch-topped Rancher sammie. 10448 Town Center Drive, Westminster

Good Times

Yes, some buzzy out-of-state burger chains have moved in over the past few years, but Good Times is still tops. Our homegrown, Golden-based burger beast has a surprisingly broad menu that includes breakfast burritos, green chile cheese fries, frozen custard, spicy chicken sandwiches, Pawbenders (vanilla custard and doggie biscuits drizzled with peanut butter) for the pups, and, of course, those all-natural burgers. (“At least something is drug-free here in Colorado,” its brilliant advertisement teased.) And the restaurant’s done it all through tiny drive-thru windows since 1987. Various locations

Denver Biscuit Co.

What’s better than scoring buttermilk biscuits piled high with sausage, eggs, and maple syrup without stepping foot in a restaurant? At Denver Biscuit Co.’s Centennial location, score Fat Sully’s New York–style pizza alongside those biscuits and throw in some strawberry shortcake for good measure. Taking over a former Steak n’ Shake, this outpost of Denver Biscuit Co. feeds your antisocial self from day to night. (Just be sure to order online first and then pick it up in the drive-thru lane; there’s no on-site drive-thru ordering.) 8271 S. Quebec St., Centennial


Santiago’s. Photo by Madi Skahill

Can you even consider yourself a Coloradan if you haven’t had a Santiago’s breakfast burrito? And most likely you’ve picked up that breakfast burrito through a drive-thru window (perhaps after a night of being overserved). Santiago’s is a Denver classic, slipping us burritos, chiles rellenos, and more through pick-up windows up and down the Front Range since Carmen Morales started whipping up her mother’s recipe for green chile in 1990. Various locations


Birdcall first opened in Five Points in 2016 with an innovative tech-driven ordering system, quickly gaining a following for its all-natural chicken sandwiches. Birdcall is now up to 11 locations across three states, including drive-thrus at the Evans and Cherry Hills locations. Even though the franchise has grown, it still prioritizes using Colorado family farms for its poultry, Boulder startup Meati for its veggie option, local bakeries for the bread, and even a Denver spice company for the fiery Nashville hot sandwiches. 1535 E. Evans Ave.; 4996 E. Hampden Ave.


Could there be a more beautiful concept than a drive-thru pizzeria? From $3.50 slices to full-on 18-inch pies, Slices changes the pizza game by serving up its thin crust, traditional (sausage, olives, pepperoni) and not-so-traditional (cream cheese, barbecue sauce) topped pizzas directly into your vehicle. While the slices are ready to go, full pies still only take about five to 10 minutes. 7155 E. Hampden Ave.

Taco Star

There aren’t many 24-hour restaurants left in Denver, but Taco Star continues to be there for you with rolled tacos and enchiladas passed through the drive-thru window at 3 a.m. While adobada, nachos, and salsa cups aplenty never disappoint, Taco Star is more than just a post-bar Lyft add-on. It’s worthy of a drive-thru meal anytime. Various locations

Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.