There is one food that Colorado is famous for – and no, it’s not the Denver omelet. Foodies from all over the world come to Colorado in search of the legendary Rocky Mountain Oysters. For those that aren’t as familiar with this delicacy, Rocky Mountain Oysters are hardly seafood. They are bull or bison testicles that are specially prepared, dipped in batter and deep fried to perfection. Some people love them. Some people hate them. Some people think they’ll hate them but never actually try them. If you would like to give these local tasty treats a shot, here are a few spots that are serving them up fresh every day.
The Buckhorn Exchange
1000 Osage St.
Denver, CO 80204
One of the oldest restaurants in the state, the Buckhorn Exchange is a piece of Colorado history. This restaurant has served hungry Coloradans since 1893 and is the proud owner of the first liquor license in Colorado. It often serves up items like yak, ostrich and rattlesnake, in addition to the rest of the impressive menu. Grab a whole or half order of Rocky Mountain Oysters, served with horseradish dipping sauce, as your appetizer. It’s the perfect way to start a meal at this famous institution. Then you can enjoy the best steak in town or dine on elk, quail or Colorado lamb. It’s a meat lover’s paradise.
19192 Colorado 8
Morrison, CO 80465
Another famous and historic local eatery is The Fort, situated perfectly in the foothills near Morrison. This hot spot was modeled after Bent’s Fort, a Colorado fur trade fort from 1833. One step in the adobe-style building will make you feel like you are walking back in time. Start your meal with bison marrow bones or pickled quail eggs wrapped in buffalo sausage. Or go straight to the reason you are there – the Rocky Mountain Oysters. Innocently listed on the appetizers menu, they are perfectly fried and offered up with a tangy “cocktail” sauce.
123 1st St.
Severance, CO 80546
Located in Severance, Bruce’s Bar is a bit of a drive. However, fans of Rocky Mountain Oysters flock to this eatery in droves to enjoy the deep-fried delicacies. It is actually the dish itself that helped this restaurant grow in popularity. The tiny town was not always welcoming to the historic bar, even protesting it on occasions in the early 1970s. However, today the town embraces Bruce’s Bar, as will you. You can make a meal of your oysters here, with all you can eat served up every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. When you are done with your meal, you can even pick up a t-shirt to keep as a memento of your trip to Severance in search of the best Rocky Mountain Oysters.
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109 Bear Creek Ave.
Morrison, CO 80465
Willy’s Wings is a tiny restaurant located near Red Rocks (emphasis on tiny). You’ll want to call ahead or get your order to go. However, if you like your food fried, then this is the place to visit. Pretty much everything is deep fried to perfection, even the cheesecake and apple pie. This is a spot known for wings, so it is easy to miss the fact that, sitting innocently at the bottom of the menu, you’ll spy Rocky Mountain Oysters. These are sliced very thinly and perfect for anyone new to the tasty treat. They are sliced so thin, in fact, that you mostly taste the batter and not what is inside.
Golden Flame Hot Wings
16524 Keystone Blvd.
Parker, CO 80134
Seems like Rocky Mountain Oysters are a common side dish to hot wings in Colorado. Golden Flame Hot Wings is another wing specialty restaurant that also serves up the legendary delights. You can get an appetizer of six to enjoy with your wings or you can make a meal of it with fries and a drink. However, if you just want to try a Rocky Mountain Oyster, and don’t want to be left with a plateful of uneaten oysters, you can order just one. As the menu offers, you can “dare your friends” and get a single taste. That way, you can always say “Hey, at least I’ve tried them.”
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.