Known by many as “The High Mile-High City,” the state capital of Denver offers plenty to do for any vacation or trip. Colorado’s most populated city has a lively nightlife and music scene for jazz and classical music fans and plenty of parks and museums for you to explore.
During my trip to Denver, I was surprised by how much of a food lover’s haven the place is.
Although the city has a notable reputation for its steaks because of its historic “CowTown” stockyards and meatpacking plants, plenty of its eateries offer different types of food. From Italian to Chinese cuisine, you’re sure to find something to enjoy.
However, with so many Denver restaurants available, you might not know which ones to start with or where to find them. Luckily, I compiled this list of the best restaurants in Denver to help you narrow down where you can find ones with unique atmospheres and tempting specials.
1889 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202
Nestled in the Kimpton Hotel Born on 16th Street Mall, minutes from Union Station, Tavernetta is my first choice for anybody looking for a classy dining experience.
I was amazed by its lively yet upscale atmosphere and its cozy lounge and bar. Chef Cody Cheetham and his culinary team perfected their Italian dishes to exceed your expectations every time.
I recommend sampling their handmade pappardelle, seed-crusted duck breast, pollo girarrosto, or bucatini. Be sure to stop by during Tavernetta’s nightly happy hour from 4 PM to 6 PM to sample their bar bites and wine. Don’t forget to try their dessert wine with seasonal gelato and sorbet.
3500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Denver is no stranger to Chinese cuisine, so why not spend your night out in the RiNo neighborhood in a place with a modern and hip atmosphere?
You can find Hop Alley on Larimer Street, a couple of blocks from Reelworks Denver. From its dark lighting to its casual crowds, Chef Tommy Lee offers a wide selection of wine and Chinese favorites with a twist that anyone will love.
In my opinion, you should order their ginger-glazed summer squash, cumin lamb buns, Dan Dan Mian, or vegetable fried rice. If you’re in the mood for a refreshing cocktail, try their House Cosmo or Panda.
2930 15th St Unit #500, Denver, CO 80211
Curious about where to eat in Denver while exploring the downtown area? El Five, located on 15th Street, near Hirshorn Park, is your go-to destination for enticing Spanish and East Mediterranean tapas. I was taken away by their grand open-air patio and breathtaking panoramic view of the city from their dining room.
Their diverse menu encourages sharing with all your friends. My favorite menu options are their seafood paella, matzo ball soup dumplings, Iberico pork loin, and goat cheese croquettes.
Head over to their bar to try a Femme Fatale or Pineapple Mint Collins cocktail, or stop by for bottomless Sunday brunch mimosas until 3 PM. If you ask me, it’s the most fun you can have on the weekends in Denver.
3330 Brighton Blvd #201, Denver, CO 80216
Curious about where you can find Middle Eastern fare? Then, consider booking a reservation at Safta, located in The Source Hotel on Brighton Boulevard, near the South Platte River. Their culinary team, led by Chef Josh Gordon, creates unique dishes as you relax in a stylish setting.
Their lamb kebabs, crispy Moroccan sea bass, falafel, or lamb ragu hummus make the perfect dinner option while dining in or ordering to-go.
Safta also offers a wide array of dinner and brunch cocktails to add extra flavor to your festive night out. Don’t forget to try their King Solomon Cake or Hazelnut Babka for dessert!
2501 Dallas St STE 108, Aurora, CO 80010
You can find Annette on Dallas Street, by Westerly Creek. Out of the many restaurants in Denver, Annette is one of the best, with a great menu of American favorites.
Besides their decorated dining room, you can also enjoy your meal in their outdoor greenhouses. Chef Caroline Glover serves wood-fired fare that makes all her guests feel at home.
In my opinion, their best dinner dishes are pork tonnato, grilled beef tongue with marrow toast, house cavatelli, and pork schnitzel. If you want something light to start with, order their deviled eggs or popcorn. They host weekend brunch from 10 AM to 2:30 PM, so bring your kids.
The Wolf’s Tailor
4058 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211
Located on the corner of Tejon Street and West 41st Avenue, The Wolf’s Tailor is an excellent destination for Denver visitors interested in trying local delicacies.
It’s also a relaxing place where you can dine outside and try Italian or Japanese cuisine after a long day of walking through Denver. Chef Kelly Whitaker ensures quality by preparing his dishes with the best ingredients.
Their seasonal menu offers something new for you to sample at every time of the year, so I recommend their mafaldine pasta, onigiri, octopus skewer, pork rib, or bok choy. Each seasonal item tastes great with their draft beer.
Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club
1330 27th St, Denver, CO 80205
Are you eager to fully immerse yourself in Denver’s music and nightlife scene? If so, you should consider booking a reservation at Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club, found on the corner of 27th Street and Larimer Street.
This lively eatery has live jazz most of the week, setting the mood while enjoying a classic cocktail. You can also book small private parties.
Their elevated three-course dinner menu has bold flavors that will make your night here worthwhile. During my visit to Nocturne, I had their Confit Berkshire Pork Belly, Icelandic Arctic Char, and Affogato. Each menu item also offers a recommended wine pairing.
2826 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Nestled on Larimer Street, Owlbear Barbeque makes an excellent choice for anybody interested in classic barbeque favorites.
Although this casual space doesn’t currently offer in-person dining options, you can order lunch or dinner online. Although it’s not as classy as the other options on my list, it’s great for anyone who wants a simple pick-me-up.
Owlbear lets you decide how much meat you want (between ¼ to a pound) and whether you want it served as a sandwich or a pile. I recommend their brisket, tenderloin, pulled pork sandwich, or spare ribs with potato salad or mac & cheese on the side.
Comal Heritage Food Incubator
3455 Ringsby Ct #105, Denver, CO 80216
Located on Ringsby Court, overlooking the South Platte River, Comal Heritage Food Incubator is my top contender for anyone looking for an authentic Latin American lunch.
This tranquil spot uses locally sourced ingredients to create tasty scratch-made dishes. They also offer delivery within five miles.
One of the reasons I enjoy this restaurant is its ever-changing daily menu. During my visit to Denver, I tried their Tinga De Pollo Plate, Rajas con Queso Taco, Carnitas Plate, and Impossible Burrito.
They also offer the best rice and beans side dish and fruity Jarritos to satisfy your hunger. If you have room for dessert, order their arroz con leche.
1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
If you’re an avid sushi lover, I recommend stopping by Sushi Den, on the corner of South Pearl Street and East Florida Avenue, to sample the best sushi Denver offers. This sophisticated and welcoming restaurant is the perfect setting for a weekend dinner and offers Chef Toshi’s dishes for take-out.
If you plan on ordering from their award-winning kitchen menu, you should try their Sriracha-Garlic Shrimp, Teriyaki Chicken, Vegetable Sushi Dinner, or Nabeyaki Udon.
I also enjoyed their sushi roll and tempura options with a Lychee Margarita. Finally, try one of their Japanese whisky flights to fully embrace the city’s nightlife vibes.
2500 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80205
Next on the list is Uchi Denver, located off the corner of Lawrence Street and 25th Street. It has a modern yet relaxed setting suitable for enjoying its happy hour specialties. With his years of experience, Executive Chef Tyson Cole puts a new twist on Japanese entrees and sushi.
Uchi Denver’s menus are great for seafood lovers and vegetarians alike. I recommend sampling their bluefin crudo, pork belly, kinoko sushi, or chef’s choice omakase.
Think you’d prefer something lighter? Try their tastings or nigiri during their daily happy hour from 4 PM to 6:30 PM. My favorite drinks are their Summer Breeze and Dreamy Clouds.
3030 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80206
In my opinion, Barolo Grill is an excellent Italian restaurant you should narrow down on your list when considering where to date and dine. You can find it on the corner of East 6th Avenue and St. Paul Street. Its upscale and elegant atmosphere makes it the perfect setting for trying their extensive wine list.
You can choose between several menu options for their four-course meal. I recommend their Roasted Pheasant, Spaghetti Alla Bolognese Bianco, Semolina-Crusted Veal Tenderloin, and Granita di Prugna.
It’s good to know that several of their menu items are gluten-free. They also offer a la carte dining during the weekdays.
2843 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Beckon, located on Larimer Street, offers one of the most unique dining experiences in Denver. This casual restaurant incorporates quarterly menus and lets you dine on a gorgeous covered patio or at a 12-seat chef’s counter. It’s also prepaid, so you won’t have to worry about spending too much on Chef Duncan Holmes’ dishes during one sitting.
Most of their menu has Scandinavian-inspired flavors. My favorite dinner options are their prime rib for two, Scottish ocean trout, and winter truffles.
Don’t forget to browse their beverage menu for a wide selection of wines, beer, cocktails, and spirits to enhance your premium dinner in RiNo.
837 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
Denver’s City Park West neighborhood is the best place you can find healthier dining options. WaterCourse Foods, nestled on East 17th Avenue, is a cozy vegan restaurant serving dishes made with local produce. It’s a nice change of pace from Denver’s meatiest menus.
Order their chicken and waffles, Philly churrasco cheesesteak, buffalo chicken pizza, or udon noodle bowl when you stop by for dinner or lunch.
They also offer 25% discounts on their pizzas on Wednesdays and non-dessert items for service workers on Tuesdays. The host happy hour every day from 3 PM to 6 PM, so don’t miss out on their pre-batched cocktails to-go!
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
2148 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs is a step up from what you can find at the supermarket or ballpark, giving you endless possibilities on how to enjoy a hot dog.
You can find it on Larimer Street, blocks away from Coors Field. It has a casual biker-inspired atmosphere, emphasizing the best food to take on the go. Biker Jim’s also has food carts scattered across the city.
If you really want to take your taste buds for a spin, I recommend their ostrich, chicken peach chipotle, vegan, or elk jalapeno cheddar dog with a side of house fries or charred tahini cauliflower.
ChoLon Downtown Denver
1555 Blake St #101, Denver, CO 80202
Named after Saigon’s largest Chinese-influenced market and Chef Lon Symensma, ChoLon Downtown Denver, located on Blake Street, is the best option to consider when you’re craving Southeast Asian cuisine with a European twist. Its rustic yet sleek aesthetic gives it a touch of class. Their lounge and patio are an ideal backdrop for their happy hour.
In my opinion, their best dishes are grilled Vietnamese chicken wings, miso-glazed cod, summer vegetable fried rice, or BBQ pork spare ribs. My favorite cocktail I like pairing with my meal is Citrus Blossom. They also offer spiced donuts and Peach Passion tea for dessert.
2639 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
You can find Spuntino on West 32nd Avenue, next door to the Henry Lee House venue. This rustic Italian restaurant has a covered open-air dining area for anyone who prefers a different view than most dining rooms. Chef Cindhura Reddy’s dishes are some of the best the city offers.
Spuntino offers several pasta dishes and Italian favorites. I enjoyed their Pollo al Mattone, ravioli, lasagna, and Salsiccia. They also have a wide selection of cocktails and wines you can bring home and offer ever-changing themed weekly wine flights.
Be sure to book a reservation for their Festa della Stagione prix fixe dinner.
10195, 80238 E 29th Dr Suite 110, Denver, CO 80238
Nestled in the Stapleton neighborhood, on East 29th Drive, Cattivella is another one of the best restaurants in Denver where you can enjoy premium entrees in an upscale and lively environment.
Denver-born Chef Elise Wiggins creates mouth-watering wood-fired cuisine that leaves you wanting more. This restaurant also offers cooking classes where you eat what you make.
If you’re in the mood for something different, I recommend trying their rabbit gnocchi, garganelli, slow-roasted cinghiale, or buffalo mozzarella pizza. Every Monday, they host an all-night happy hour for guests enjoying dinner on their outdoor patio, so be sure to try a Naughty Girl Gimlet.
Jovanina’s Broken Italian
1520 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
Overlooking Blake Street, Jovanina’s Broken Italian offers a rustic yet charming setting for people to enjoy a modern take on Italian cuisine while exploring the Lower Downtown area.
Unlike the other restaurants on my list, this one resides in a three-story venue. Their Via Sopra room on the second floor has a great view of Blake Street.
Jovanina’s menu has everything every pasta, seafood, or meat lover could desire. But, in my opinion, you should start with their cheese plate and order Elk Bolognese, Chicken Parmesan, Carbonara, or Wood Oven Roasted Oysters.
Additionally, they offer several drink discounts during their weekly Wednesday Get Aways.
4262 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80211
You shouldn’t have trouble finding delectable Asian food on Lowell Boulevard when stopping by the Ginger Pig.
Chef Natascha brings a fresh take on Asian street-style food by incorporating everything she learned about cooking in Beijing. It has a relaxing atmosphere, bar, and outdoor dining space.
My favorite spicy options I liked during my visit are their Sichuan Spicy Eggplant, Korean Garlic Fried Chicken, Auntie Zheng’s Chinese Noodles, and Japanese Fried Chicken. Cool your taste buds down by trying their lemongrass vanilla bean or chili vanilli ice cream.
It’s also an excellent place to bring your children because of their vegetarian and gluten-free kid’s menu options.
1817 Central St, Denver, CO 80211
The Bindery is a casual Denver hidden gem you can find in the LoHi neighborhood, just off of Central Street by Highland Gateway Park.
This is the best place to try unique dishes taking inspiration from global favorites. So, whether you’re there for breakfast or dinner, it’s a great way to expand your taste palette.
Want to stop for dinner here? If so, I recommend their Saffron Pappardelle, 14-day aged ribeye, slow-braised oxtail with potato gnocchi, or beet ravioli.
Stop by on Wine Wednesday for great wine bottle deals all day or during Blu Hour for their cocktail of the day.
2267 Kearney St, Denver, CO 80207
Helmed by chef couple Amy and Dustin Barrett, Tables is the next restaurant I believe you should check out while walking through the Park Hill neighborhood.
You can find this cozy New American eatery on Kearney Street. It has a nostalgic Southern backyard aesthetic that heightened my dining experience, including a picket-fenced dining patio and mismatched tables.
All their dinner options taste great with their white and red wines. My top menu picks are their porcini dusted bison, pan-seared trout, crispy duck breast, and veggie stew. They also offer 15% off all wine bottles to-go. I also enjoyed their double chocolate s’mores as an after-dinner treat.
Potager Restaurant & Wine Bar
1109 N Ogden St, Denver, CO 80218
Another restaurant specializing in New American cuisine you should consider your next stop during your day in the city is Potager Restaurant & Wine Bar, located on North Ogden Street.
It has a rustic and comfortable atmosphere, ideal for enjoying Executive Chef Paul Warthen’s dishes made with the freshest, locally grown farm ingredients.
I recommend starting with their vegetable appetizers and trying their Hatch Chile Pork Chop, Parmesan Soufflé, Linguine, or Potager’s Gargouillou.
Don’t forget to ask about their daily specials, such as their Wednesday pumpkin and chevre ravioli. Each dish tastes great with sparkling or dessert wine, so be sure to ask your server about their pairing suggestions.
Denver Biscuit Company
3237 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Make your breakfast memorable by coming to Denver Biscuit Company, located on East Colfax Avenue.
It has a modern cowboy-like atmosphere where people from far and near can savor Southwestern breakfast sandwiches. If you’re looking for something other than waffles or eggs, this is the best option for you.
Start your day off right with their piping hot specials. My favorite options are their Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie, Dahlia Biscuit Sandwich, Three Run Double, and Giant Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls with a side of bacon, strawberry rhubarb jam, or Sully’s fries.
Their tangy orange juice enhances the meal’s flavor as you spend the morning with your friends and family.
Work & Class
2500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Located on Larimer Street, Work & Class is the best option for indulging Latin American and Southern dishes in a relaxing setting. Executive Chef Dana Rodriguez uses her seasoned skills to create iconic dishes every day.
Additionally, Work & Class offers catering services for specific events because they know sometimes you’ve got something special coming up and you need to leave a great first impression.
I started with their baked lamb meatballs and ordered half a pound of Green Chile Pork Carnitas with a large side of Cajun sweet potato fries and honey butter biscuits.
My favorite cocktails are their Grapefruit Habanero Rosemary and Extra Long Island Iced Tea. Every Wednesday through Sunday, they hold happy hour from 5 PM to 6 PM, so be sure to bring your friends.
1313 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
You can find Fruition Restaurant on East 6th Avenue, minutes away from the Denver School of Photography.
Chef Alex Seidel and his team offer avid food fans enticing New American dishes in a small yet refined environment. They have a menu that regularly changes, giving you many opportunities to try something new every time you dine in. They also offer patio seating for walk-ins.
Fruition serves excellent Bavette Steak, Wild King Salmon, and Shrimp & Grits. Additionally, they offer dishes for anyone following a gluten-free or vegetarian diet.
Try their wine pairings or Five-Course Tasting Cru Menu specials if you’re dining with friends for an engaging experience.
3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
Although Denver Acorn doesn’t offer in-person dining options, it’s still an ideal choice if you want to order lunch or dinner to-go.
You can find it on Brighton Boulevard, a short distance from RiNo Art Park. It has an industrial-style atmosphere with artsy walls, making the scenery stand out as you eat locally sourced New American food.
Their best dishes are Bronze Fennel Tagliatelle, Bone-In Dry-Aged CAB Ribeye, Wood-Fire Oven Roasted Half Chicken, and Dry-Aged Wagyu Tartare.
I also recommend these dishes with their Draught Acorn, Root of the Barbarians, or Vesper cocktails and holding a makeshift happy hour at home with your friends.
523 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Uptown Denver is home to many restaurants and bars that pique any traveler’s interest, so Steuben’s one place to consider when you crave classic American cuisine.
This lively and retro-style restaurant is on East 17th Street and has a grand dining room and two patios for outdoor dining. Executive Chef Sarah Cloyd creates delectable dishes with style for any occasion.
I recommend starting with their cheese curds or fried pickles and sampling their pot roast, Maine lobster roll, or patty melt. They also have daily specials, such as Thursday shrimp po’boys and Tuesday Nashville hot fried chicken sandwiches. You may also enjoy their ice cream flight dessert.
3638 Navajo St, Denver, CO 80211
Within walking distance from La Raza Park and Bernabe “Indio” Franco Park lies Wildflower, nestled on Navajo Street.
This robust yet relaxing eatery has an old western aesthetic, emphasized by the artwork and photos on its walls. Wildflower specializes in locally fermented beers and Italian and Mexican dishes of any size, satisfying the hunger of any passerby.
In my opinion, their best dishes are Grilled Lamb Chorizo, Goat Cheese Tortellini, and Spiced Rubbed Duroc Pork Shoulder. They also have a wide selection of cocktails and meads, such as Magdelena, Von-Yay, and Marigold de la Rosa.
Feel free to stop by their cafe for herbal tea or wellness lattes.
To the Wind Bistro
3333 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
You can find To the Wind Bistro on East Colfax Avenue, near the Colfax Avenue and Cook Street bus stop and Bluebird Theater.
This small bistro has a chef’s counter where you can comfortably wait for your food as you relax in its minimalist setting. I believe it’s a great option for anyone who loves comfort dishes.
I loved their cucumber salad, buttermilk chicken, and Alamosa striped bass. They also host their Spangalang Beer Dinner from October 20th to October 23rd, where you can enjoy a prix fixe five-course dinner.
Save some room for dessert if you want their chocolate cake or summer pudding.
2335 E 28th Ave, Denver, CO 80205
The Plimoth is in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood on East 28th Avenue.
This New American eatery has a rustic ambiance and wooden counters, making it an ideal backdrop for enjoying local and seasonal New American dishes crafted by Executive Chef Josh Abro with your family or friends after touring the city.
If you’ve got a large appetite, start with their zucchini toast or country-style pork rillette before ordering their Pan-Seared Pacific Halibut, Cracklin Chicken, or Grilled Colorado Lamb Ribs.
Additionally, I enjoyed their Colorado apple tart for dessert. Each menu item also lists a suggested wine pairing to complement each dish’s flavor.
609 Corona St, Denver, CO 80218
If you find yourself walking through Denver’s Alamo Placita neighborhood, why not stop for dinner at Table 6, just off the corner of Corona Street and 6th Avenue?
This casual and rustic restaurant is the perfect destination for indulging in New American comfort food after a long week. Chef Aniedra Nichols creates unconventional seasonal dishes using quality farm-to-table ingredients.
Most of Table 6’s menu appeals to vegetable, seafood, and meat lovers. In my opinion, I recommend ordering their roasted Alaskan halibut, duck confit, or squash and yam enchiladas after starting with their buffalo tots or butternut squash soup.
Be sure to try their hand-selected curated wines.
3421 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Can’t narrow down any Chinese restaurants in Denver’s East Colfax neighborhood? Then, consider booking your next family dinner at Q House, located on East Colfax Avenue, within walking distance from Bluebird Theater. Chef Christopher Yon uses his experience to create vibrant Chinese dishes for guests to relax in a modern and intimate setting.
Do you follow any diet restrictions? If so, Q House offers several of its appetizers and entrees with vegetarian and gluten-free substitutions.
I recommend trying their Shacha BBQ Spareribs, Shrimp Fried Rice, or Wok-Fried Cheung Fun. Although their dessert menu is limited, the coconut cheesecake is to die for!
The Capital Grille
1450 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
Nestled in the heart of Larimer Square, not too far from Denver’s Center for the Performing Arts, lies The Capital Grille, overlooking Larimer Street.
This upscale and clubby restaurant has the best steak and seafood you can find deep within the Mile-High City, so be sure to dress in your best evening wear.
They offer the most succulent filet mignon, sushi-grade seared sesame tuna, double-cut lamb rib chops, and seared tenderloin with butter-poached lobster tails. I also suggest trying one of their finest red, white, or sparkling wines.
You should also consider taking a grille box to-go for cooking their choice cuts at home.
1487A S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
Last but not least is Izakaya Den, located on South Pearl Street.
As the next-door sister restaurant to Sushi Den, this refined restaurant embraces its Japanese inspiration in dining rooms with hanging lights, bamboo partitions, and wooden rafters. If you’re in the mood for trying small Japanese tapas with global flavors, you’ll love it here.
I enjoyed their fresh Alaskan halibut, Wagyu NY strip steak, assorted tempura, and duck udon during my visit. They also have an extensive list of nigiri and sushi den rolls for avid sushi fans. I also recommend asking your server about their signature cocktails and hot sake.
As you can see, there are plenty of restaurants in Denver to stop by after a busy day of touring the city or celebrating with your friends. So, whether you’re in the mood for a small lunch or multi-course dinner, I assure you that you can find a new favorite.
Denver is also a great place to get craft beer, if you’re looking for the best breweries to visit, check out our list here.
Did I leave out any of your favorite restaurants on this list? Comment below so I can check them out and try your go-to dishes!
Best Restaurants in Denver
- Hop Alley
- El Five
- The Wolf’s Tailor
- Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club
- Owlbear Barbecue
- Comal Heritage Food Incubator
- Sushi Den
- Uchi Denver
- Barolo Grill
- WaterCourse Foods
- Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
- ChoLon Downtown Denver
- Jovanina’s Broken Italian
- Ginger Pig
- The Bindery
- Potager Restaurant & Wine Bar
- Denver Biscuit Company
- Work & Class
- Fruition Restaurant
- Denver Acorn
- To the Wind Bistro
- The Plimoth
- Table 6
- Q House
- The Capital Grille
- Izakaya Den
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