In case you need a refresh, the Bib Gourmand distinction is awarded to restaurants that offer multi-course meals at reasonable prices. And while all are unique and the “price” varies from country to country, the standard for quality remains the same.
That’s why every Friday, we’re highlighting our Bib of the Week: where to go, what to order, the best time to stop by, and everything in between. So whether it’s classic Italian favorites in Washington, D.C. or Korean barbecue with a side of lively K-Pop energy in Manhattan, our selection of Bib Gourmand spots will leave both you and your wallet satisfied.
Named after the original name of Denver’s Chinatown, newly announced Colorado Bib Gourmand Hop Alley’s contemporary interiors are paired with a modern Chinese menu infused with Sichuan influences. From dan dan mein noodles with ground pork in Szechuan peppercorn broth, to shrimp toast topped with whipped shrimp and chicken thighs, this spot brings the heat and the fire with originality.
But don’t take our word for it, check out what our Inspectors had to say here, and below, learn from the team on what you need to know before you go.
What is the dish to order at Hop Alley?
Any of our vegetable dishes! One of our specialty suppliers, Esoterra Farms near Boulder, grows some amazing vegetables. They have seasonal and micro seasonal produce that truly captures the moment of Colorado. We try to integrate as many of their vegetables into our menu as possible, while treating them through a Chinese lens. We believe it truly embodies our current style.
What price range can customers expect at Hop Alley?
Our normal customers spend around $40-$60 per person including drinks, excluding tax and tip.
When is the best time to stop by?
We have an energetic, convivial space. A reservation for 4-8 people at 7:30 p.m. is our wheelhouse! But, if you can’t find a reservation, the best time is to walk-in before 6 p.m. and sit at the bar.
What was the idea behind Hop Alley?
The idea was to open a fun, exciting restaurant focusing on regional Chinese flavors with a modern spin and a well curated bar program. Part of the creativity is the addition of a wood fired grill, working with local farms, an artisan beverage program but keeping it within the eating experience of a traditional Chinese restaurant.
What is your goal with Hop Alley?
We love introducing diners to regional Chinese flavors they may not be familiar with. If we are the gateway to other Chinese restaurants in town, that’s a win. We hope guests see the complexity and nuance in Chinese food and hold it equal to other high end cuisines. Additionally, we want to support beautiful products and the people behind them.
How would you describe your approach to food and cooking?
For the most part, our ideas start with traditional Chinese dishes. Then we look to ingredients, farms and our specialty suppliers for what we’d like to feature. Then, we develop flavors and techniques that mix our style of traditional Chinese cuisine with modern touches.
How did you conceive of a menu that is delicious, yet good value?
Our food is served family style like a traditional Chinese meal. Each dish is a medium to large portion that enables people to share a few dishes to compose a complete meal. It actually helps reduce the price per person when dining with a group.
How have you been able to maintain your standards with the cost of ingredients going up?
We try to use the highest quality ingredients we can afford. For the most part, our clientele is happy to pay the price for higher end products. We’ve definitely had to raise some prices to balance inflation, but we look at the food and beverage program as a whole, and try to balance our costs across the entire mix of menu items to provide value.
Hero image: Adam Bove/Hop Alley