These 8 Denver restaurants will boast the Michelin Guide’s ‘Bib Gourmand’ designation

While these restaurants weren’t awarded a Michelin Star, they’ve been recognized for quality food for good value.
3 min. read
Ravioli Alla Norma: tomato, eggplant and mozzarella. Tavernetta on 16th Street by Union Station.
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Michelin Guide will release its first ever Colorado edition in just a few weeks, highlighting some of the best restaurants the state has to offer.

Ahead of the guide’s official launch, Michelin has highlighted nine area restaurants that won’t receive a Michelin Star — what’s considered among the food industry’s greatest honors — but will receive a “Bib Gourmand” designation. The company has awarded Bib Gourmand designations to restaurants with “best value for money.”

In other words, you probably won’t be dishing out hundreds of dollars for a meal at these restaurants.

The nine restaurants highlighted include eight Denver restaurants, listed below: 

  • AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q (Barbecue; 2180 S Delaware St.)
  • Ash’Kara (Israeli cuisine; 2005 W 33rd Ave.)
  • The Ginger Pig (Chinese cuisine; 4262 Lowell Blvd.)
  • Glo Noodle House (Ramen; 4450 W 38th Ave. #130)
  • Hop Alley (Chinese cuisine; 3500 Larimer St.)
  • La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal (Mexican cuisine; 2233 Larimer St.)
  • Mister Oso (Latin American cuisine; 3163 Larimer St.)
  • Tavernetta (Italian; 1889 16th St Mall)

Basta in Boulder, which serves contemporary Italian-American cuisine, was the only non-Denver restaurant to be recognized with a Bib Gourmand designation.

Read what the Michelin Guide wrote about these restaurants here.

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So what is the Michelin Guide?

Colorado’s Michelin Guide will be debuted on Sept. 12. In addition to Michelin Stars and Bib Gourmand designations, the company will recognize “pioneers in sustainable gastronomy,” and “recommended restaurants and special professional awards.”

The Guide started in 1900 in France and has since spread to 15 countries. Colorado’s Michelin Guide will be the sixth in the U.S. 

Many restaurateurs and chefs dream of receiving a Michelin Star, which is awarded to restaurants for the quality of their food based on five categories: “quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in the cuisine, harmony of flavors, and consistency between visits.”

One star is awarded for top quality ingredients; two for a chef’s talent and personality; three stars, the highest honor Michelin awards, is awarded for “superlative cooking of chefs at the peak of their profession.”

The Bib Gourmand designation has been awarded since 1997. While Michelin doesn’t have a set formula for a Bib-recognized restaurant, inspectors look for a “simpler style of cooking” that leaves eaters satisfied at a reasonable price.

The new Colorado guide, however, only covers restaurants in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Boulder, Denver, Vail and Beaver Creek Resort. That limitation meant restaurants like the award-winning Annette in Aurora would not be considered eligible for the Michelin Guide.

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