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Finding authentic food in the Valley isn’t as hard as it seems

Mar 23, 2016

Naan from Nepal Restaurant in Glenwood Springs
Credit Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

If you ask Manik Sakya, the owner of Nepal Restaurant in Glenwood Springs, what he values the most, he’ll tell that it’s culture, cuisine and nature.

Sakya has lived all over the world. When he counts the places all together, he has spent time in 35 countries. Japan, the United States, Bhutan and of course, his home country of Nepal. Sakya worked for the Nepali government making travel itineraries for different countries focusing on his three values. Culture, cuisine and nature.  

Sakya took over Nepal Restaurant just outside of Glenwood proper just over a year ago with the intention of making food like his grandparents and the people who came before him. His friend owned the place, but wanted Sakya to take over. So Manik said “yes,” and drove from his job in Minnesota, to his wife in Texas, and then to Glenwood Springs to run the restaurant.

Sakya’s main focus is making food that is what he calls good — but he has his own definition of that word.


“Good means not only the taste for the mouth,” Sakya said. “Good means what will help our body, our body mechanisms, so that the food should keep us healthy.”


Sakya’s restaurant is just one of several ethnic eateries that don’t fit the typical mold of what you’d expect to find. You can always find Italian, Chinese, Mexican. But in Glenwood, there’s authentic Indian, Polish and Caribbean foods all within a 10-minute drive. There’s pierogies at Polanka. Thukpa at Nepal Restaurant.


Lisa Langer is with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. She says this range of restaurants exists for lots of reasons. Location, food availability, and that Glenwood is turning into a bit of a what she calls a “foodie” scene.


“Our visitors and locals alike have expressed great appreciation for Glenwood's restaurant scene,” she said.


One thing that appeals to Sakya about Glenwood Springs is that it feels like home. The mountains, he says, remind him of Nepal.


“I think this is my last destination in my life, Glenwood Springs. I love this place. I’m not going anywhere.”