Colorado is a hotbed of innovative businesses, and the food industry is no exception. From small, independent shops to large, multinational corporations, Colorado has something for every one when it comes to food.

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I love local restaurants in Colorado. There's something special about a locally-owned spot with its unique atmosphere and sense of community.

But what about Colorado restaurants that could be replicated regionally or nationally? Or even globally?

Here are five restaurant chains you never realized were born in Colorado.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Google Maps

Chipotle Mexican Grill first opened its doors back in 1993 in Denver, Colorado.

Since then, it has skyrocketed to become one of the biggest names in dining. With thousands of locations spread across multiple countries, Chipotle is a true global sensation.

Noodles & Company

Noodles and Company
Google Maps

Noodles & Company started in 1995 in Cherry Creek, Colorado, when Noodles & Company served up their first bowl of tasty noodles.

Today, this fast-casual restaurant chain has become a go-to destination for noodle lovers, offering a diverse menu inspired by flavors from around the globe.

With over 450 locations scattered throughout the U.S., Noodles & Company is satisfying cravings from coast to coast.

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Google Maps

Born in 1995 in Denver, Qdoba Mexican Grill knows a thing or two about crafting mouthwatering Mexican cuisine.

With a focus on customization, they've become a favorite among foodies nationwide.

Whether you're craving burritos, tacos, or other delicious Mexican dishes, Qdoba has got you covered with its numerous locations across the United States.


Google Maps

In 2007, Smashburger sizzled its way onto the scene in Denver, Colorado, and hasn't looked back since. Renowned for their gourmet burgers made with the freshest ingredients, Smashburger has rapidly expanded across the nation and even ventured into international territories.

You'll find hundreds of their locations, each serving up deliciousness that will leave you craving more.

There is even a location outside of Disneyland in California.

Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard

Good times
Google Maps

Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard kicked off its journey in 1987, in Boulder.

Although they've made a name for themselves primarily in Colorado and neighboring areas, their creamy frozen custard has captured the hearts and taste buds of many.

With over 30 locations and counting, this regional fast-food chain is spreading the love one delicious bite at a time.

12 of Colorado's Favorite Old Restaurants that are Still Open

As you travel around Colorado this summer you'll probably be looking for a few good places to eat. Check out 12 Colorado restaurants that have been pleasing customers the longest in the Centennial State, and are still going strong today.

Small Locally-Owned Colorado Restaurants Worth The Drive

Do find yourself hopping in the car and driving 60 or 70 miles just to visit your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant or cafe. People in Western Colorado do this all the time. They gather the fam-damily and pile in the SUV to drive up to Mesa to visit the Wagon Wheel. Maybe you pile in the car and drive from Grand Junction to Meeker simply to visit Clark's Burgers.

I asked on Facebook, "Name a small, locally-owned restaurant/cafe/bakery in Western Colorado that's worth making the drive for." Here's what you had to say.

20 Amazing Historic Restaurants in Colorado You Need to Try

Take a look at 20 Colorado restaurants known for being historic as well as their food.

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