Indulge in Crave Real Burgers at Ready Colorado


Colorado is known for its natural beauty, adventurous spirit, and legal marijuana. But there’s another lesser-known claim to fame in the Centennial State – its burgers. Colorado offers some of America’s most creative and delicious burgers, from hand-crafted patties to unexpected toppings. Leading this burgeoning burger scene is Crave Real Burgers, a small chain of restaurants redefining Colorado cuisine one patty at a time.


  • Crave Real Burgers serves creative gourmet burgers with high-quality ingredients and unexpected flavor combinations.
  • With locations in Castle Rock and Colorado Springs, Crave offers a quintessentially Colorado dining experience, from its locally sourced menu to its craft beer and whiskey pairings. But thanks to high school sweethearts Jeff and Jeryn Richard, it has become a destination for burger connoisseurs across the state. The couple first made a name with The Old Stone Church Restaurant in the 90s. However, the demand for Jeff’s gourmet burgers led them to open the first Crave Real Burgers location in Castle Rock in 2010.

Crave Real Burgers has blossomed into one of Castle Rock’s staple restaurants, known for its commitment to local ingredients and unexpected flavor combinations. As you walk through the doors, you immediately notice the casual, welcoming atmosphere. The smell of sizzling patties on the grill whets your appetite as you peruse the menu of unique burger creations.

Try the Sweet Heat burger with ghost pepper jack cheese, the Nutty Professor burger loaded with peanut butter, bacon, jalapeños, and onion, or the Campfire buffalo burger with raspberry BBQ poblano rings, pepper jack cheese, and coffee-dusted onion strings. Crave offers adventurous eaters an extraordinary burger experience in the heart of small-town America.

Farm-Fresh Ingredients

The Richards credit much of Crave’s success to their partnership with local Colorado farmers and purveyors. “We source 100% Colorado Proud beef and produce whenever possible,” says Jeff Richard. This gives their burgers a distinctly Colorado flavor while supporting local agriculture. Burgers shine when you let high-quality ingredients speak for themselves. That’s why Crave uses freshly ground patties made in-house rather than frozen. “You lose a lot of flavor when meat sits frozen. We grind our beef daily to maximize juiciness and taste,” Jeff explains.

In addition to flavorful beef sourced from southern Colorado ranches, Crave showcases other local specialties. Their legendary Colorado green chili burger features Hatch chilies grown along the New Mexico border. Applewood smoked bacon and sharp cheddar cheese add even more regional flair.

A Creative Kitchen Culture

Under Jeff’s leadership, the Crave kitchen experiments with unexpected burger preparations while staying true to their Colorado roots. “We try to blend classic American comfort food with new, exotic flavors.” This adventurous spirit spawned menu items like the Thai burger with peanut sauce or the French Onion burger smothered in caramelized onions and Swiss cheese.

Not all experiments succeed, but failures often lead to inspiration. “Our doughnut burger started as a gimmick,” Jeff recalls. “We made a patty with crumbled doughnut pieces that was just too sweet. But it gave me the idea to bookend a burger between two doughnut halves instead, which was a huge hit.”

The culture of creativity extends beyond burgers to Crave’s selection of hand-spun shakes and sides as well. The Rocky Mountain High shake contains brownie bits and marshmallow vodka for a decadent dessert drink. Meanwhile, the Brussels Sprouts and Sausage Tempura puts a Colorado spin on the trendy vegetable.

Chef Jeff trained at the Culinary Institute of America and worked with Emeril Lagasse himself at Commanders Palace in New Orleans. Crave’s Colorado Proud beef burgers have won awards at the Denver Burger Battle and have been featured on Food Network.

A Burger for Every Occasion

With its laidback ambiance and family-friendly menu, Crave Real Burgers welcomes guests for any dining occasion. Groups of friends gather here on the weekends to catch up over beers and burgers while families take advantage of the kids’ menu on weeknights. “We want every guest to feel comfortable, whether they’re wearing jeans or a suit,” says Jeryn.

Guests can reserve the restaurant’s Wine Cellar dining room for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. With space for 20 guests, it provides a more intimate setting to celebrate.

Crave also caters to visitors looking for a quintessentially Colorado meal. Tourists journey from Denver to indulge in elk or bison burgers while gazing at the Rocky Mountains. The restaurant’s interior pays homage to Colorado’s Western heritage, with reclaimed barn wood and mining artifacts incorporated into the design.

No matter the occasion, Crave Real Burgers aims to exceed expectations with an extraordinary burger adventure unique to Colorado’s culinary landscape.

Expanding the Brand, Elevating the Experience

Following their success in Castle Rock, the Richards brought the Crave Real Burgers concept down Interstate 25 to Colorado Springs in 2016. “We felt that Colorado Springs would appreciate our mission of providing high-quality but approachable food,” says Jeryn. The gamble paid off—Crave quickly found its niche serving military members and their families stationed at nearby Fort Carson and tourists visiting Pikes Peak.

Crave opened its third location in Highlands Ranch two years later, bringing its signature burgers to the Denver suburb. Here, the restaurant fine-tuned the Crave business model with an updated farmhouse design and over 30 craft beers on tap. The location also debuted new menu items like Impossible Burgers to appeal to vegetarian and health-conscious diners.

Most recently, Crave unveiled plans to bring its burgers to a wider audience across the U.S. through franchising. “We get asked all the time when we’ll open a Crave in different states. Franchising allows us to expand while staying personally involved,” says Jeff. They hope to see Crave Real Burgers become a nationally recognized brand over the next decade as its reputation spreads through sources like Food Network.

A Mainstay of the Local Food Scene

A decade after the first Crave Real Burgers opened its doors, the restaurant remains an integral part of Castle Rock’s food scene. In 2019, readers of Colorado Community Media voted Crave the #1 burger restaurant in Douglas and El Paso counties. That same year, Crave took home third-place honors in the Denver Burger Battle people’s choice competition.

Being recognized among giants like In-n-Out Burger motivates Jeff and his team to keep innovating. “We just created a new burger topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and chorizo that will definitely turn some heads,” he hints.

As the restaurant celebrates over 10 years in business, the Richards credit their success to the local community. “We have customers that have been coming to Crave twice a week since the beginning. It’s their support that allows us to create new burgers and push the limits.”

In the future, the couple hopes to continue surprising and delighting guests with unexpected flavors. No matter how many accolades the restaurant earns nationwide, Jeff and Jeryn consider Castle Rock to be Crave’s forever home.


Here are answers to some common questions about Crave Real Burgers Colorado:

What are Crave’s hours and locations?

Crave currently has locations in Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, and Highlands Ranch. All restaurants are open from 11 am to 9 pm daily.

Do they offer vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options?

Yes! Crave offers vegetarian burgers, gluten-free buns, and other dietary restrictions-friendly items. Check each location’s menu for the most up-to-date options.

Can I make a reservation?

Yes, reservations are available, especially for large parties or special occasions. Each location has private dining rooms that can be booked.

Can I order Crave burgers online or have them delivered?

At this time, Crave does not offer online ordering or delivery from its restaurants, but it hopes to expand into these platforms soon!

Does Crave cater events?

Yes! Crave offers specialized catering menus perfect for events like weddings, corporate functions, and private parties. Reach out for pricing and package details.

So, if you find yourself in Colorado, skip the nationwide chains and head to Crave Real Burgers for a uniquely Colorado burger adventure! With premium ingredients, unexpected flavors, and top-notch service, Crave delivers an extraordinary yet approachable dining experience for visitors and locals alike.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.