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Tacoparty trio. Photo by Kasey Cordell

Where to Eat Near Colorado National Monument

While Mesa County restaurants were allowed to open to eat-in diners (at 30 percent capacity) in early May, most places are sticking with to-go orders. Here, a breakdown of some of our favorite close-to-Colorado-National-Monument spots.

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For Coffee

Bestslope Coffee | 129 N Peach Street, Fruita
Housed in a quaint 1940s era home, this four year-old shop can make you just about anything you please with its roasted on-site beans. But we recommend simplicity: Buy a bag of freshly roasted beans (we love Bestslope’s classic Columbia Huila, a rich, chocolatey varietal that’s perfect for cool mornings), and they’ll grind it for you and throw in a 12-ounce cup of coffee for free.
Open for: takeout

Kiln Coffee Bar | 326 Main Street, Grand Junction
It’s nearly impossible to miss this bright, airy roastery in downtown Grand Junction. Details are everything here—from the clean white walls with wood accents and the rotating art on display to detailed instructions for brewing your Kiln Guatemala Huehuetenango at home. We dare you to try to escape without adding a cleverly designed MiiR mug to your order.
Open for: takeout

For Breakfast

Camilla’s Kaffe | 206 E Aspen Street, Fruita
In less than a decade, this favorite Fruita café has become almost legendary, particularly amongst the mountain biking crew. Perhaps that’s because its forearm-sized breakfast burritos, slathered in green chile, make the perfect pre-adventure meals for fat tire fiends. Then again, Camilla’s selection of nine burgers (we like the Wrangler with blue cheese and grilled onions) make post-adventure eats appealing too. Or maybe it’s on account of the variety of single beers Camilla’s sells—perfect for stashing in your pack for post-ride (or hike) sipping.
Open for: takeout and delivery

Dream Café | 314 Main Street, Grand Junction
Visitors to this popular Grand Junction restaurant could be forgiven for thinking they’d wandered into a Snooze outpost. The Dream Café’s décor and menu mimic the popular Denver brunch spot from the pastel hues to the pineapple upside down pancakes (a must-eat). Fortunately, the food is just as delicious, too. Do not miss the banana bread French toast. Or the jalapeno steak benedict. If your sweet tooth isn’t satisfied, feel free to take an order of cinnamon rolls to go.
Open for: takeout and dine-in

For Lunch

Cafe Sol | 420 Main Street, Grand Junction
There’s a little piece of the Colorado in every bite at Nick and Avery Santos’ Cafe Sol. The ingredients for its hearty salads and paninis come largely from the Grand Valley with farmers like Field to Fork and the Produce Peddler providing the anchoring elements of many dishes. The bread for paninis is baked at local San Jose Bakery and even beer and wine come from Colorado purveyors. With a menu this fresh, you really can’t go wrong, but we especially recommend the strawberry salad (with goat cheese and almonds) and the arbles baconator panini, loaded with bacon, jalapeño, cream cheese, avocado, and tomato.
Open for: takeout, delivery, and dine-in

Tacoparty | 126 S Fifth Street, Grand Junction
Go to Tacoparty hungry, because once you see the rotating selection of six tacos topped with delicious, unconventional ingredients, you will not be able stop yourself from ordering one of each. Even if you only have room for a bite of twice-fried yam taco, two swallows of the hot fried chicken option, a taste of the Colorado beef pastrami taco, and whatever amazing flavor of soft serve is on offer (Olathe sweet corn anyone? key lime pie?) you won’t be sorry. It’s a culinary exploration of Grand Valley ingredients worth the full belly.
Open for: takeout and delivery

The Hog and the Hen | 500 Main Street, Grand Junction
This funky deli and grocery just opened in the fall of 2019, but the little market that could is still making hearty sandwiches for adventurers on the go. Call ahead to order the mouth-stretching Three Little Pigs (genoa, capicollo, mortadella, Muenster, and veggies), or the we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-seriously Fancy Frito Pie, with “locally sourced” Fritos (there’s a Frito-Lay facility in Grand Junction), house chili, “chizz,” pickled red onion, and Sriracha lime crema.
Open for: takeout and limited delivery (call to find out)

For Dinner

Hot Tomato Pizza | 124 N Mulberry Street, Fruita
Fruita’s beloved East Coast–style pizza joint makes its dough fresh daily and lets it “proof” (rise) for 24 hours, which means, occasionally this popular spot runs out of base material for its belly-filling pies. Translation: Get your order in early to ensure access to the Stinky Deluxe (marinara sauce, mozzarella, meatballs, feta, tomatoes, jalapeños, and garlic), the Bob Steve (olive oil base with mozzarella, spinach, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, feta, garlic and kalamata olives), or whatever combination you dream up from Hot Tomato’s plentiful ingredient list.
Open for: takeout

Bin 707 Foodbar | 225 N Fifth Street, #105, Grand Junction
If you eat only one meal in Grand Junction, let it be dinner at Bin 707 (to go, of course). Husband-and-wife team Josh (executive chef) and Jodi (beverage director) Niernberg opened the farm-to-table restaurant in 2011 with an emphasis on Grand Valley and Colorado ingredients (both were born in the Centennial State). This year, Josh was named as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in the mountain region. But you don’t need a trophy case to tell you how good this cozy restaurant is. One bite of the decadent Bin Burger, or a taste of the too-pretty-to-eat parsnip, turnip, and asparagus risotto will convince you that a meal here is always a special occasion.
Open for: takeout and delivery

626 On Rood | 626 Rood Avenue, Grand Junction
There aren’t a lot of wine bars where you can get away with wearing flip-flops, but 14-year-old 626 On Rood is one of them. Whether you’ve got Chacos or Jimmy Choos on your feet, 626 will treat you the same, which is to say warmly and genuinely. Its dishes—from the can’t-stop-eating-them truffle fries to the smoked duck salad—are prepared with just as much care and pair best with, well, whatever the experts at 626 suggest. After all, they’ve got more than 100 bottles choose from.
Open for: takeout and delivery

For Beers

Copper Club Brewing | 233 East Aspen Street, Fruita
You’ll find 11 beers on tap—plus typically at least one gluten free and hard seltzer varietal on offer—at this Fruita staple. If hunger pains threaten to derail a second round, consider that Copper Club allows you to order food from elsewhere and have it delivered to their open-with-social-distancing taproom. Might we suggest pairing that 18 Road IPA with a little something from Hot Tomato Pizza?
Open for: takeout and dine-in

Handlebar Tap House | 417 Monument Road #1, Grand Junction
Handlebar is definitely a locals kind of place, especially locals who like fat tires. Situated less than a mile from Lunch Loops Trail network, this taproom is often the destination after a day of riding. But Handlebar’s 24 (largely local) taps will soothe tired hikers just as well as they do those tucker cyclists. And with the roof now open again, well, there’s no better way to cap off an adventure—besides, perhaps, pairing your pint with a juicy “Call Your Own Burger” from Handlebar’s takeout window.
Open for: takeout and dine-in

Many hotels and restaurants in Grand Junction and Fruita are closed (or partially closed) due to COVID-19, but many of our favorite eateries are still doing take-out and delivery.

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