If you are looking for a place to retire, and you enjoy good food and wine, then you need to move to Grand Junction!
Small town living, a lively downtown, a variety of interesting restaurants, local wineries and great farmers' markets are the allure for retirees to relocate to Grand Junction.
You don't need to be a retiree to move here and enjoy what the Grand Valley has to offer!
Grand Junction has semi-arid climate and sits in a large area of high desert in Western Colorado. With mountains surrounding the city, Grand Junction is protected from the normal arctic air masses that allow warmer summer temperatures. The weather and abundant sun in the area make the Grand Valley an ideal agricultural region and Colorado's top wine producing area. At 4,700 feet, the air is dry and the soil is prime for fruits for wine-making as well as other Colorado produce that benefit from lots of sun too, like peaches, cherries, melons and sweet corn.
The town of Palisade is the epicenter of Colorado's nationally recognized wine production community with over 25 wineries.
Palisade, which is about 10 miles east of Grand Junction is a charming town along the Colorado River with the iconic Mt. Garfield as a backdrop. TripAdvisor.com has named Palisade as one of the top ten best wine destinations in the nation. One of the best ways to get a sense of the beautiful orchards and wineries is through the Fruit & Wine Byway by car or bicycle.
In recent years, a few ambitious chefs and winemakers have helped turn the Grand Valley region into a legitimate culinary destination. The confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers makes the access to farms, ranchers, winemakers, distillers, brewers, and ingredients unique to our area. With all of the Grand Valley's agricultural riches, it's no surprise restaurants are taking advantage of local growers who supply ultra-local, fresh fare to wineries, farmers markets, restaurants in Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade. The best way to taste these local foods firsthand is at one of Grand Junction many farm-to-table restaurants. The Chefs design their fare with what is in season and that means an ever changing palette of flavors for diners to enjoy and why dining locally is such a unique pleasure.
Bin 707 Foodbar
Owner and James Beard nominated chef Josh Niernberg's philosophy of "local first, Colorado second, domestic third" has been serving responsibly sourced fare since 2011. Peppers that populate his Siracha come from Okagawa Farms, the fruits from nearby Palisades, the meats from Roan Creek or alternatively from Colorado. Chef Niernberg focuses on defining "Colorado Cuisine" in an approachable and affordable in a full service setting. Diners' favorites are Colorado lamb tenderloin with parsnip puree, Cured Skuna Bay Salmon with Crispy Shallots. The hand-crafted cocktails are made with locally distilled spirts while local sines are presented in polished crystal. The cheese and charcuterie plates are a delicious introduction to Western Colorado flavors. 225 N. 5th St. Grand Junction 970-243-4543
The Winery Restaurant is a dining experience unlike any other. Situated in a 100-year-old converted carriage house with stained glass windows, a wood and brick interior, and a gas lamp vine-lined alleyway to the entrance. You will enjoy first-class service, an exquisite dinner and an incredible wine list. The Winery was voted #1 Best Dining Experience and #1 Fine Dining in The Best of the West for 2020. The Whitefield Mushrooms with garlic butter is a winery staple appetizer for over 40 years. My favorite is the Blue Cheese Encrusted Filet Mignon in a port wine reduction. and the Colorado Lambchops served with a lingonberry reduction and crisp pancetta. The Beef is USDA Choice, and all the meats are free of hormones and antibiotics. The Winery 642 Main St., Grand Junction 970-242-4100
Spoons Bistro and Bakery
Dining at Spoons, their philosphy is simple - fresh, local from the heart. While you savor your meal, know that you are supporting HopeWest, a Hospice nonprofit. Spoons also supports our local producers by using the freshest local ingredients. The talented chef has an extraordinary gift for creating dishes that are timeless local favorites. Whenever possible they support Pear Blossom Farms, Ferris Mushroom Farm, Quality Meats and other Valley producers. Everything from their savory soups to decadent desserts are made in house. For breakfast try the Florentine Benedict with spinach, avocado and feta cheese. Spoons has an incredible weekend brunch, a daily soup special, and a kids menu. Menu choices are delicious burgers, sandwiches and salads. For dinner try the Filet Oscar, Lemon Artichoke Chicken or Pan-Seared Salmon. Best of the West awards include 2nd place for Best Brunch, 2nd Place Best Outdoor Dining and 3rd Best Breakfast. Spoons 3090 N. 12th Street, Grand Junction 970-255-7237
Cafe Sol believes in preparing nutritious meals from scratch daily, and Cafe Sol prides itself on serving up healthy, seasonal dishes, as well as tasty gluten-free items. Produce comes from local farmers, wines are from Palisade, bread is made in a local bakery, beverages come from around the state and the owners grow their on herbs. Cafe Sol is open for breakfast and lunch only. What to try? Loaded Breakfast Sandwich - a croissant, ham, cheddar cheese, fried egg delight. The Beet Salad of mixed greens, prosciutto, roasted beets, sunflower seeds, parmesan cheese and red-wine vinaigrette. There are several Paninis to choose from, extensive egg dishes, coffee and expresso drinks and a children's menu. Cafe Sol 420 Main St. Grand Junction 970-986-3474
Rockslide Restaurant & Brewery
Rockslide Restaurant and Brewery is a mainstay for more than 25 years and a local favorite for a cold pint and hanging out on one of their patios year-round. Like many restaurants mentioned on this list, Rockslide is locally owned and operated, and they partner with local producers. The Mesa Verde Spring Rolls, or Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad are exceptional. There is a good choice of sandwiches, burgers, and tacos. The house favorite entrees include Salmon Fish & Chips with cold shivers pale ale tempura beer batter, Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, Black and Bleu Steak Alfredo, and much more. The "Slide Mud Pie is a must save room for". Rockslide Restaurant 401 Main St. Grand Junction 970-245-2111
Peche Restaurnt - Palisade
Peche, founded in 2017 is a gourmet restaurant whose creativity encourages patrons to have an adventure of unexpected and exciting flavors while they dine. Peche Restaurant also works with local farms and suppliers to provide wholesome fare. Their mission of culinary exploration is especially evident in their drinks menu, which features exciting cocktails, local beers, and excellent wines. Chefs Matthew Chasseur and Ashley Fees Chasseur remodeled the interior of the restaurant before it first opened, and every aspect of the interior was chosen with careful intention. The result is a bright, open space that feels both organic and comfortable, and complements perfectly the ingredients present in their menus. A small and frequently changing menu, crafted with local, in season produce. Some of my favorite dishes are the Charred Figs with Burrata and balsamic appetizer, American Ribeye, Moroccan Lamb or Grilled Chicken. Peche 336 Main Street, Palisade 970-464-4911
Grand Valley Farmers Markets
Everyone loves Farmers Markets in the Grand Valley. Finding farm fresh fruit and produce and meeting the great families who farm right here in Western Colorado is a great way to be in touch more with the community. Local and fresh in the Grand Valley means "picked only a few hours ago, only a few miles away". Acres of vegetables, orchards and flower farms provide a bountiful harvest, creating a direct route of goods from grower to consumer.
Mid-June into September, tree ripened Colorado peaches are lush and sweet and and celebrated with its own festival. More than a dozen varieties thrive in orchards stretching through the Grand Junction area, from Palisade to Fruita. Peach lovers know them all - Red Haven, Elberta, Sullivan, Suncrest, Hale and the friendly growers help customers make the perfect selection. Bing and Lambert sweet cherries kick off the fruit season in late June, soon followed by golden apricots, Nectarines, raspberries, sour (pie cherries, pears, plums and apples also appear. Besides fresh fruit, you will find a great assortment of locally made jams, jellies, honey, syrups, salsas and dried fruit-perfect for gifts or your pantry.
Produce selections evolve with the season, from spring greens and peas to autumn's bounty of crisp apples and large pumpkins. The heat of the Colorado summer brings truck loads of melons, watermelons, cantaloupes from nearby Loma and Colorado's sweetest corn from Olathe. As some of the markets, vendors roast plump corn ears, shuck away the charred husk, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving. Here are just three of the many Farmers' Markets in the Grand Valley.
There is no better place to be on Thursday evenings than the downtown Farmers' Market Festival. Four blocks of tree lined Main St. from 3rd to 7th, becomes a pedestrian walkway as vendors and shoppers are picking out the best seasonal flavors in fruits, veggies, breads and flowers. There is an area of food trucks to get something to eat as well as the many sidewalk cafes on Main Street. The market runs from end of June to to August from 5:30-8:30 pm on Thursdays. Live music, kids events, carriage rides are frequently scheduled.
Located in downtown Palisade on Main and Third Street, the Palisade Farmers' Market opens in June and runs every Sunday from 9 am to 1:30 pm through mid-October. With 90 vendors there is something for everyone. You can find the Palisade Peaches at the market from late July through mid-September. The local farmers grow the best produce you can find, fresh fruits, veggies, mushrooms, and flowers are available at a number of farm stands. Market vendors include bakers and canners too, and they carry everything from fresh baked bread, pastries, pretzels, butter, cheeses, honey, jams and jellies, salsas, hot sauces, pickled goods and desserts. Artisan vendors with a selection of unique gifts, clothing, jewelry and art. When you need a break, enjoy a snack from the variety of food trucks or the sidewalk restaurants while listening to live musical entertainment.
The Fruita Farmers' market offers a variety of fresh produce thanks to the local farmers in the area. The availability of things offered change frequently, but most all the farmers try to provide specific produce during each of the four seasons. The Fruita market is held at Civic Center Park on the corner of Peach and Aspen Streets, Downtown Fruita. Saturday mornings mid-June through early September.
The Hog and The Hen Speciality Store
The Hog and The Hen is a market, deli and liquor store that meets all of your needs in one stop. The Hog and The Hen is a perfect fit with Grand Valley's wine, produce and culinary communities. Combining years of culinary expertise with a constantly evolving stock of over 60 cheeses and 45 types of meat, the owners offer education, variety and excellence to the Grand Valley food scene.
The market's goal is to make fancy food attainable by infusing staple foods like sandwiches and snacks with high quality, distinctive products. The market houses numerous Colorado-based brands. The Charcuterie & Cheese Boards are truly special for any gathering. Lunch time they have an excellent selection of sandwiches with unique ingredients and flavors. 510 Main Street, Grand Junction 970-644-5110.
Field to Fork Organic Farm
The Field to Fork Organic Farm is a 4 season farm and boutique farm store designed for discerning foodies, conscious cooks, and anyone who loves exploring the flavors unique to each season. Weekly we offer a curation of specialty organic produce raised directly from our farm. We have an Artisanal pantry offerings such as pasta's, grains, flours, cheese's and other delicious products.
The Field to Fork Supper Club will celebrate the summer farm bounty. This charming evening will have you dining among our orchards and flower gardens, with stunning views of the Grand Mesa and Mount Garfield. 3526 Front St., Palisade 970-216-2642
Notable Specialty Stores
Bringing the community together around locally and sustainably grown food and flowers. You will find Blaine's Farm Store nestled on almost 10 acres of farmland on Front Street (Highway 6), near the border of Palisade and Clifton. The store collaborates with other local Colorado artisans and farmers to provide a storefront for specialty items including foods, baked goods, locally grown produce, fresh flowers, and unique gifts. 3419 Front St., Clifton 970- 628-1237 .
Kulina Lani Organic Sourdough
Bringing back Old World knowledge and science in a most delicious and convenient way. Our craft is a blend of love of farming, natural fermentation, serving and feeding well. We only leaven with organic sourdough starter culture, no yeast used and all of our whole grains are milled in house. Many of our whole grains are grown in Colorado and purchased directly from the farmer. You can also find our breads at local Farmers' Markets and restaurants. A few of the best sellers are: 4 Seed with Cumin, Fig & Thyme, Double Olive (Kalamata, Green w/ pimento) and Old World. An extensive bread list and lunchtime sandwiches. 664 North Avenue, #4 Grand Junction 970-539-5444
Wine Lovers Guide to Palisade, Colorado
Palisade, Colorado is a wine lover's paradise. Located about 12 miles east of Grand Junction. Surrounded by vineyards and orchards, the charming town of Palisade, notable for its Victorian homes, interesting shops, and art galleries attracts many tourists. The town has long been famous for its peaches; now Palisade is becoming known for its wines. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the vineyards and the historical town in a horse-drawn carriage by JR's Carriage Service. Tour some of the most prestigious vineyards in the country while tasting an assortment of wines from various wineries. Travel The Fruit and Wine Byway by car or bike and see the many lush Palisade orchards, alpaca farms, lavender farms and vineyards. Stop by one of the wineries on a weekend for live music.
Peach Street Distillers
Peach Street is what you would call an artisanal distillery. From fruit to glass, every spirit we make is hand-crafted right here in Palisade. We start with local fruits and grains raised by local growers. Bill Graham and his team only make 100 barrels of bourbon a year and a handful of brandies - peach, pear, and apricot - all from fruit grown in Palisade. Our Christian Carl still delivers maximum flavor and high proof in a single distillation, and the barrels bring out the unique colors and flavors in each of our spirits. Peach Street Distillers is a small-batch distiller with a daily-open tasting room, offering weekly facility tours We are a destination for good food, good drinks and a full service menu. 144 Kluge Ave., Building #2, Palisade 970-464-1128
The Ordinary Fellow Winery
Experience a wine tasting in in the heart of downtown Palisade, on the site of the historic United Fruit Growers COOP peach packing shed, which has been transformed into our Winery & Tasting Room.
Named after an old English Pub, the winery is a place to come and relax, to chat and enjoy a glass of wine or two, and have a bite to eat.
We opened our doors in the fall of 2021, introducing the community to our wines which are produced both from our vineyards located in SouthWest Colorado, as well as from vineyards the winemaker has worked with in Washington state. 202 Peach Ave., Palisade 970-464-2185
Restoration Vineyards is a family-owned vineyard and winery located in Palisade, on East Orchard Mesa, above the Colorado river. Our 10-acre property is surrounded by peach and cherry orchards with breathtaking views of the Grand Mesa and Bookcliff mountains. Our wines are made exclusively from grapes grown in our vineyards with 6 varietals planted - Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The name restoration was inspired by our passion for restoration projects - from homes to cars (vintage Mercedes Benz) to vineyards. In the summer months se have live weekend concerts that are sold-out months in advance. 3594 E 1/2 Road, Palisade 970-985-0832
The name COLTERRIS means "from the Colorado land". Our wines will always be produced 100% from our 188 acre estate. Situated along the Colorado River, the favorable meso-climates and volcanic soils of our vineyard locations contribute to the rich color, intense fruit flavors and robust character that make Colterris wines unique. 3907 N. River Road, Palisade 970-164-1150
Carlson Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in the high desert of Western Colorado. Since its beginnings in 1988, Carlson has found pride in overcoming the harsh climate to produce approachable, quality wines. We are known for making easy-drinking regional wines that have earned hundreds of awards locally, nationally, and internationally, including double golds, best of fests, and the International World Cup Riesling Award. We believe that wine should be enjoyed often, with great food and good company. 461 35 Road, Palisade. 970-464-5444
Beers of Grand Junction
Even though you are in wine country, you are never far from a fresh craft beer! With over 7 breweries (and counting), there is a wide variety of core beers and a constantly evolving set of seasonal offerings, the options are endless. The beer scene is exciting in the Grand Valley. Passionate beer drinkers and dedicated brewers gather to share good beers with friends and family. The Southwest Arbor Fest in mid-April is a great way to sample craft beer from local and regional breweries, roam around visiting the arts and crafts booths, enjoy live music, and savor some delicious food from local food trucks. This is one of many Grand Junction Craft Beer Festivals.
Foam and Folly Brewing
Foam & Folly Brewing is a locally owned brewery featuring a variety of craft beers; serving them up in a relaxed and colorful taproom and beer garden. The brewery is owned by Jeff and Joy, clients of mine. They purchased the building when it was old tire store that had been built in the 1940's A two year renovation and adding a second store transformed it into one of the most popular craft breweries in town. Joy is an incredible artist, whose talents inspire the drink and décor of this trendy hangout. Expect highly engineered brews and interior walls surrounded with impressive art. Try their Ginger Lavender Ale, which is brewed with locally-sourced lavender buds. Foam and Folly partners with local, rotating food trucks so you can have a bite to eat with your brew. 330 S. 2nd St. Grand Junction 970-424-5124
Edgewater Brewery is your neighborhood brewpub, where the best burgers, brats, and craft beer in town are always paired with fun.
Barrel Into Spring
Enjoy a weekend of wine tastings across the Grand Valley! This self-guided tour features seven wineries and includes barrel tastings and food pairings from chefs, caterers, and restauranteurs. Each winery will also be offering discounts on their wines and products. Two dates available, April or May. 970-464-0111
Colorado Mountain Winefest
Named the Best Wine Festival in the Nation by USA Today, The "Festival in the Park" takes place on the third Saturday in September and is the state's largest wine festival featuring unlimited sips from dozens of Colorado wineries, live music, chef demonstrations, and educational seminars. Tickets go on sale in early spring and sell out within 30 days.