Let BoCo cook

Build your perfect summer cookout with these Colorado delicacies


The summer cookout is a cornerstone of American culture. Like baseball and fireworks, it has stood for decades as a quintessential pastime, with each region adding their own flare to the plate. 

Here in Colorado, we’ve got a little bit of everything — quality cuts of meat, fresh produce and locally crafted beverages. The best part? Most of it can all be sourced in just a short drive. Before your next get-together, consider these homegrown items for the community spread.


Grama Grass & Livestock
8266 N. 81st St., Longmont

For Grama Grass & Livestock, the quality is in the journey. Their cattle — three herds comprising roughly 88 cows — are always on the move, grazing on public and private land. This allows for the pastures they munch on to regenerate, with a goal of returning the native prairie to its full glory. 

The enterprise is led by a small crew of dedicated locals, like owner Andy Breiter and director of sales Julia Wolfe, all first-generation farmers. They’ve learned that happy cows and a happy environment means happy customers. 

Grama’s grass-fed/finished beef is earthy, tender and flavorful. We barely needed any seasoning to elevate this patty-perfect ground beef, which is sure to be the star at your next backyard barbecue.


The Mountain Fountain
11809 N. 75th St., Longmont

The power of choice holds a special weight when it comes to a butcher’s counter. You’ll find plenty to choose from at Mountain Fountain, which sources their strong selection of meats from farms just miles from their homebase in Hygiene. 

When it comes to sausages for your next round of dogs on the grill, let in-house butcher Yianni Tsambis be your tour guide for the vast array of glizzy goodness. That includes Polish kielbasa, German bratwurst, andouille sausage, green chile sausage, chicken sausages and — of course — hot dogs, some wrapped, some stuffed. 


Three bean salad
Il Pastaio
3075 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80303

Perhaps no one has a greater claim to the “mom-and-pop” descriptor than Il Pastaio, a Boulder favorite started by Giuseppe and Marta Oreamuno in 2000. Everything from the linguine noodles to the bolognese sauce is made in-house by hand, allowing for a uniquely authentic Italian experience. Their three bean salad is a no-frills trio of garbanzo, green and red beans, tossed in a tangy dressing and offered in bulk for your next gathering. 

Creamy red potato salad
Deli Zone
Various locations: Boulder, Gunbarrel, Longmont and Broomfield

Potato Salad Rule No. 1: Do not overcomplicate potato salad. Potato Salad Rule No. 2: Do not overcomplicate potato salad. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about a joint that does this iconic summer side dish right: Deli Zone. It might not be the first thing you think about upon entering one of their Boulder County locations, since your gaze will almost certainly land immediately on their board of classic hot and cold sandwiches. 

But if you allow your eyes to wander, you may catch a glimpse of a glorious sign: ¼-pound potato salad for $1.49. This side player punches above its weight: Always made in-house, they leave on the red potato skins (pro move) and toss in some green onions with a bunch of the good stuff  — butter, salt and fairy dust, we assume. 


Boulder Canyon Potato Chips
Available at most grocers, including King Soopers and Whole Foods 

Boulder Canyon has expanded to a nationally available product, but the song remains the same 30 years after the Maggio brothers opened up shop here in town. By using olive oil or avocado oil, these snacks are a more wholesome alternative to your average grease bomb, but they don’t compromise on taste. 

Our favorite is the original avocado oil and sea salt variety. These Boulder-born bad boys are kettle-cooked (best chip style) and wavy (best chip shape). Be a hero and bring a bag or two to your next summer function.


Seasonal fruits and veggies 
Various farms and market stands around Boulder County

It’s all about peak season when it comes to fruits and veggies for your cookout. Corn and watermelon are the two staples of any proper grill-and-chill — and both are at the height of their powers in July and August. Boulder’s Munson Farms on 75th and Valmont should have you covered on both, especially their sweet corn. Another go-to is Red Wagon Farm in Lafayette, whose farm store on West Baseline is impossible to miss. 

Always great over an open flame, asparagus is the go-to in June. At the Boulder County Farmers Market, Kiowa Valley Organics is slinging beautiful bundles of the green stuff by way of Roggen, Colorado. 


Spicy Ketchup
Lucile’s Creole Cafe
2124 14th St., Boulder; 518 Kimbark St., Longmont; 554 Briggs St., Erie

Lucile’s has grown a creole cuisine empire in our unlikely corner of the Front Range — and if you’ve been, it’s no surprise why. Everything on the menu is a hit, and the same goes for their array of mouth-watering sauces and jams available tableside. One of the stars of the show is their housemade ketchup. It’s hardly conventional and strongly on-brand — sweet and spicy, with a perfect consistency for dipping or topping any of your cookout meats. 

Colorado Style Mustard Barbecue Dipping & Grill Sauce
33633 US-550, Durango

Traditional yellow mustard will always be the benchmark of cookouts, but Honeyville’s sauces are too irresistible to not give some shine. One of Colorado’s resident “sauce bosses,” Honeyville has been serving up bottles of liquid gold since 1918. 

Their newest addition to the roster is the Colorado Style Mustard Barbecue Dipping & Grill Sauce, which was practically built for this cookout guide. This tangy but subtle treat goes great on top of a slab of meat, or as a pool for snacky vegetables like carrots or celery. We don’t expect you to make the trek down to Durango for a bottle — if you do, check out our road trip gear guide on p. 20 — but luckily you can pick some up at honeyvillecolorado.com.

Red Belly Hot Sauce
Green Belly Foods
Available at local grocers, including Boulder County Farmers Markets

Green Belly is a BoCo brand whose Guatemalan roots have held true since the day Juan Ignacio Stewart shared his mother Maria’s traditional hot sauce with our community. Don’t expect any gimmicks or wacky bottles, just three kickass sauces you can put on pretty much anything. 

We’re highlighting Red Belly, a beautifully smoky sauce featuring the Cobanero pepper native to the cloud forests of Guatemala. It’s packed with fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic and apple cider vinegar, giving it a little extra zip. Try it on top of other items in this list like the three-bean salad or your locally sourced burger, mixed with a little bit of mayo (a pro-tip from Green Belly GM and hot sauce hustler Logan Wolff). 


Sparkalicious Greyhound Hard Seltzer
Bootstrap Brewing Company
142 Pratt St., Longmont

In a world where hard seltzers have become tired and overplayed, it’s refreshing to see a local independent brewery come through with a smash hit. Bootstrap Brewing Company did just that in 2021 when they launched their Sparkalicious Hard Seltzer line, beginning with an instant fan favorite, Greyhound. 

Getting a tropical punch-style drink that’s not overly sweet is rare in the seltzer game, but they nailed it. Grapefruit is the main event, but a crisp lineup of accompanying tart fruits makes these easy to crush on a hot day with friends. 

Organic Lemonade
Big B’s Fruit Company
Available at most local grocers

When it comes to summer refreshments, there’s lemonade, and then there’s everything else. (We’ll hear arguments for sweet tea, but that’s it.) It may very well be the summeriest item in this entire guide, and there are few companies doing it quite like Big B’s. 

Sourced in Hotchkiss on the Western Slope, Big B’s is 100% organic and features a number of lemonade variations like pomegranate and lavender. These can be bought in 16-oz or 64-oz sizes. We recommend the latter with a bag of ice and a cold glass for your next summer get-together.


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