Texas Tasty Goes to Salida, Colorado

Emma Cain

Team TexasTasty often reviews places around Austin, but we recently decided to take an outing to Salida, Colorado. Salida, Colorado is an old coal mining town founded in 1880. It is full of historical sites like old coal mines and smokestacks. The historical significance combined with the beautiful Arkansas river flowing through the town, and the largest accumulation of 14,000 ft. mountains in a single county, makes this town a tourist hot spot. Due to the tourism, Salida has amazing food from restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops. 

Boathouse Cantina

Ray and Penny Kitson opened Boathouse in 2007, a Baja Mexican and American restaurant. They now own many businesses in Salida including a new outdoor bar and an ice cream shop. Boathouse sits right on the Arkansas river with a patio overlooking the water. They have really great margaritas including a blackberry and raspberry, and an extensive list of local craft beers. My favorite menu items were the crispy brussels sprouts with bacon, cashews, and lemon butter. In addition, my guilty pleasure is their ‘Best Chicken Strips Ever’. They are perfectly crispy with moist chicken on the inside. Boathouse also serves signature burgers, tacos, salads, and fish.  

Crispy brussel sprouts from Boathouse, a restaurant offering food in Salida.

Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop 

Rob and Sarah Gartzman founded Sweetie’s in 2012. It quickly became a favorite sandwich shop around town featuring 60 original sandwiches, baked goods, soups and salads. The couple also owns Mo Burrito which had great breakfast burritos, and The Biker and The Baker which has an upscale brunch and dessert bar.

Sandwich from Sweetie's Sandwich Shop in Salida, one of the many food items they have on their menu.

Some of my personal favorites are the Hot Rob, Rocky Balboa, and the White Tiger. They also have amazing homemade pastries like gingerbread moon pies, blueberry almond bars, buckeye bars, lemon bars and an assortment of cookies. 

Salida Pharmacy and Fountain

Salida Pharmacy and Fountain is an old school combination, a pharmacy and ice cream shop. Stepping into this shop is like stepping back into the 1950’s. The swivel round bar stools, and chrome fixtures complete the ambiance of a 50’s soda shop. They offer ice cream, candy, floats, phosphates, shakes, malts, and sundaes. 

My favorite was the strawberry shake. I also tried the Choco Coffee shake which had chocolate, hot fudge, and coffee syrup as well as the wild berry sorbet both were delicious. When I go back, I definitely want to try the blueberry cookie flavored ice cream. 

There are many more great spots to check out, but these are by far my favorite. Salida is such a unique and historic town you really could spend an entire weekend exploring the downtown area. There is a surplus of art galleries, outdoor live music, and a farmers’ market on Saturdays. The Arkansas River also flows through the historic downtown area and lush parks and outfitters adorning the town. This is definitely a different experience than your typical trip to a place like Vail, Aspen or Breckenridge, but the small-town feel, beautiful amenities, and great food makes Salida, Colorado well worth the trip.