Zoës Kitchen, a fast-casual Mediterranean chain out of Texas, has opened their fifth outpost in Boulder at the 29th Street Mall on October 13th. This year they’ve added their first set of Colorado locations in Littleton, LoDo, Ft. Collins, and Westminster.
The menu is inspired by chef, Zoë Cassimus and her Greek family recipes that started in the south in 1995. Fast forward to 2016 and they have 200 locations and Italian-born chef, Antonio Iocchi oversees their culinary and beverage program.
Antonio studied in Rome at Scuola Alberghiera Culinary Institute where he has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants, to Michel’s at the Colony Surf in Hawaii, to leading culinary innovation at Romano’s Macaroni Grill for 18 years. Since 2015, Antonio is the head chef and VP of Culinary Innovation at Zoës. Antonio has a larger-than-life personality (I’ve met him) and he’s always working on ensuring the menu is innovative, delicious, and scalable. I appreciate this authenticity that he brings to the restaurant group.
Having had their food a handful of times, I can say, this isn’t just any old chain. The food is made from scratch daily, they hand-wash every vegetable, and their focus is on healthy and Mediterranean living. It’s something I can very much get behind.
One of my favorite facts is that there isn’t a single microwave or fryer, in any of their locations.
Their dishes cover all of the Mediterranean featuring the likes of hummus, farro, salads, kabobs, and piadinas. They offer catering and a pretty impressive and inventive kids menu. The Boulder location plans to offer beer and wine, there are some items in their take-away cooler, and the location boasts a beautiful indoor fireplace (this is unique to this location).
The colors are bright with retro orange chairs, bright hues of orange, green, and red, and multi-sized hanging white lamp fixtures.
Boulder residents will appreciate their flexibility around allergens offering gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan items, as well.
The Boulder space is 2,625 square-feet and seats 84 inside and 12 outside on their patio. We all know the 29th Street Mall also offers incredible Flatiron views – the best strip mall view you could find.
Fianlly, I want to give a glimpse into the vibrant and beautiful food they offer.
This is my favorite dish of theirs – the Live Med Salad comes with thin ribbons of zucchini and squash, fresh spinach, red onions, farro, lupini beans, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, tossed with their Calabrian pepper dressing.
This is their Protein Power Plate that is a great post-workout meal. It includes flat grilled chicken, and caramelized onions sitting over a bed of cabbage slaw.
What’s Mediterranean food without hummus? This is their Hummus Trio from their starters menu which is great to share. I particularly love the fresh cucumbers that come with the dish, to enjoy dipping with. They have red pepper hummus, basil pesto hummus, and classic hummus alongside the peppers and pita chips.
Recently launched, the updated kids menu at Zoë’s is meant to support the “no nuggets generation” as they call it for “wow small, yet sophisticated taste buds” at a really affordable price point. For age 12 and under, they can choose on entree and one side. The entrees include the likes of salmon kabob (shown above) or a ham and cheese piadina (Italian flatbread – shown below) and sides include the likes of greek salad, hummus, or fresh fruit. The max entree is just $5.99 for kids, making a great healthy meal at a good price point.
The food is impressive and I appreciate the company’s overall focus on family, people first, and living a healthy lifestyle. Everyone I interact at with at Zoë’s seems to embody those values. It’s a good addition to Boulder so go ahead and bring in your family to try it for yourself.
Find Them: Located at 1695 29th Street, Suite 1248. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. zoeskitchen.com