The firepit at Corrida. Photo by Jennifer Olson Photography

A Closer Look at Corrida


Before this restaurant was even open, it was famous.

Vogue called it one of the most anticipated restaurants of 2018, casting special recognition on its “Colorado beverage honcho” Bryan Dayton and chef Amos Watts.

Since opening its doors (and amazing rooftop patio) this spring, Corrida has lived up to the hype. Tough restaurant critics have awarded it four stars, and its ratings remain high on user review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

And for good reason. Corrida brings something new to Boulder: elevated (figuratively and literally) Northern Spanish cuisine, but a little bigger than the tapas you might traditionally expect. Corrida’s meat and steak offerings are bold, and they’re accented by the kind of expert cocktails you’d expect from famed Dayton. A highlight: The roaming gin and tonic cart that crafts seasonal and unique spins on the classic drink.

The gin and tonic cart at Corrida. Courtesy photo

Corrida, 1023 Walnut St., Suite 400, was born with food cred. Drink-master Dayton is also involved with Oak in Boulder and Acorn in Denver, and chef Watts has roots at Old Major in Denver.

Here’s a closer look at the three important corners of this new restaurant: the food, the drinks and the atmosphere.

Food at Corrida. Photo by Aimee Heckel

The Food

Corrida is only open for dinner, with an emphasis on wood-fired steak and seafood. The menu is seasonally inspired and subject to change. But if you’re looking for something extra, try the Japanese Wagyu steak. It’s not cheap, at $55 per ounce, but it’s a melt-in-your-mouth, perfect cut. For a local spin, go with the 7X Wagyu, raised in Colorado. The strip loin is dry-aged for 21 days and grain finished. All cuts, from bone-in to ribeye to tri-tips, are priced per ounce and cut to order.

While the average cost of dinner per person is $25 (but can go up, up, up), the tapas are ideal for less-hungry diners on a budget, and they don’t disappoint. The Gazpacho Consomme is just $3. Or you can get a taste of Wagyu for just $17 with the Medula Osea de Wagyu: bone marrow, green tomatoes, peaches, basil, beef cacklins and pimenton. Mix and match a cheese plate, served with almonds, rhubarb compote and toast, for $9 per ounce.

Another vegetable-forward favorite is the marinated coal-roasted beets with basil, vinegar and pistachios.

Also don’t miss the Tierra Y Mar section of the menu, with its Spanish influence. This includes paella made throughout the night in large portions.

The best way to experience Corrida on a budget is during the happy hour (Hora de Salon) from 4-5:30 p.m. daily. Tapas start at just $4, including Gildas. These are a popular snack on a cocktail stick in Spain’s Basque region. They are served with anchovies, olives and guandilla peppers. And yes, the whole menu is in Spanish, so don’t feel bad if you have to ask for help — or download an Spanish-to-English translation app. Consider it an adventure in authenticity.

A drink at Corrida. Courtesy photo

The Drinks

Corrida has a solid list of Spanish wines, but its cocktail list is also outstanding. Try a ginny drink from the cart and watch it get crafted tableside. Our fave is the Bright, made with Monkey 47 gin and Fever Tree elderflower tonic, lemon, fennel and radish ($14). Yes, fennel and radish in a cocktail and they work together to create interest and depth in the drink but without any heaviness.

Another fun one is the Bold, made with Mahon and Fever tonic, violets and bell peppers.

While the gin and tonic cart is a highlight due to the interactive novelty, Corrida’s beverage list also spans Vermut (vermouth), Cocteles (other cocktails) and Cerveza Y Cidra (Colorado beer, Spanish beer, cider and more). Don’t you already feel like you’re learning Spanish?

Many cocktails tend to be innovative spins on familiar drinks, like the Kind Gardener, made with Street Pumas vodka, elderflower, citric celery and chamomile. Fun fact: Drinks are garnished with fresh produce and herbs from the chef’s own garden.

Corrida’s views. Photo by Aimee Heckel

The Atmosphere

You could completely strip Corrida of its consumables (although you wouldn’t want to) and it’d still be a bucket-list restaurant due to its unique vibe and views. Corrida has one of Boulder’s best restaurant patios with perfect views of the Flatirons and a near full panorama of the entire city.

Getting to Corrida feels like entering an exclusive club. It’s only accessible via an elevator with an attendant. This creates a bit of intrigue but also may feel a little stuffy to ultra-casual Coloradoans.

The restaurant itself is hip and sexy with a sophisticated vibe. The views are the main decor, which are framed by massive windows inside. Outside, the 3,100-square-foot patio includes a bar, couches, tables and a firepit.

Read more about Corrida’s patio here: “Boulder’s Best Rooftop Dining With a View.”

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