Which Dish Is the Most Iconic Colorado Food?

As far back as the 1930s, Pat Olivieri, a Philadelphia hot dog seller, served up a sandwich by grilling some beef. When a passing taxi driver smelled the sizzling steak, he became a fan of Olivieri’s. The city’s most famous dish, the Philly Cheesesteak, was created here.  Which dish is the most iconic Colorado food?

Is there a dish in Colorado that is as iconic as this? In this article, we will be listing down some of the hopefuls, and you get to decide for yourself which one truly identifies as Colorado’s iconic dish.


A person in Denver once filed a trademark for the cheeseburger. Did you know that? As if that’s not enough, the same person experimented with cheese, peanut butter, and even chocolate on burgers. This was the owner of the long-gone Humpty Dumpty Drive-In near Speer and Federal.

Louis Ballast had begun working on the trademark application but never finished it. A marble memorial now stands where the restaurant once stood, claiming the Mile High City as the home of this well-known food item.

He wasn’t the first to put cheese on a burger, but he was the first to submit a trademark application. However, we have several menus from other restaurants in the United States that were serving cheeseburgers at the trademark filing in 1935. 

Actually, there was a Chili Cheeseburger in LA at the time. So, you know, the cheeseburger has been around for about a century in the United States.

Green Chile

In Colorado, you may find green chile in a cup or bowl, smothered in a burrito, or even within a breakfast burrito. It’s a strong competitor because of its widespread use. It’s also a tasty treat. The green chile is a stew that demonstrates the fusion of cultures in Southern Colorado with pork, tomatoes, and Pueblo green chiles.

Coal mining brought Italian immigrants to Pueblo in the early 20th century. Eventually, they encountered chilies, a favorite dish of their Hispanic neighbors. Thus, they smashed these flavors and cultures together into green chile.

Pueblo Slopper

Put a cheeseburger in the pot with the excellent green chile stew. That’s what the Slopper is essentially. According to Dean Gray, the proprietor of Gray’s Coors Tavern, it’s a Pueblo creation.

He narrates the dish’s origin from one Herb Casebeer, who had a sports shop in the neighborhood. He used to order food from the Greco’s, the previous owners, all the time. “Just give me one of those Sloppers” became the phrase of choice for the staff whenever he entered the building.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

While it may sound like it, this is no luxury dish offered in your in-home chef experience. The dish’s name is a bit of a misnomer, given that it isn’t seafood.

Cowboy Caviar and Prairie Oysters are both names for the jewels that formerly belonged to a bull before it was castrated. Sometimes, the dish is even aptly called “meat balls.”

Cutting them apart, frying them, and serving them with horseradish or cocktail sauce are some of the techniques used by chefs like Edgar Garcia at Denver’s The Buckhorn Exchange.

Rocky Mountain Oysters have been present for a very long time. It is thought to have originated during a time when people had to use all of the animal’s parts to avoid waste. They may seem off-putting at first, but they’re actually great fried treats.

Denver Omelet

According to historians, this omelet of ham, onions, and green peppers—which typically includes cheese—has been around since the railroad days. It’s also known as a Western omelet in other regions of the country.

It is thought to have originated with Chinese immigrants who would make an egg dish from various leftovers.


These are only a few dishes that could be considered Colorado’s iconic cuisine. There are many things that you might consider iconic. So after listing the dishes, which dish is the most iconic Colorado food??

If you haven’t tried them yet, you can get a private chef to offer you these Colorado treats so you can decide for yourself.

Are you looking for a private chef? Food Fire + Knives gives you private chef catering and the perfect private chef experience. Check out our menu and book your private chef today!

Published By Kim Gandhi Kim Gandhi began cooking at 8 years old with a love of food driving her to experiment with her Hispanic and German heritage. She gained a BBA in Marketing and turned to the business world for much of her career. Her strong customer service background and her passion for great events that involve chefs, customers, and amazing food allows her to indulge in her love of cooking and enjoying what FFK chefs bring to the table.