Six years in the making my Denver Guide is finally live! I will be updating this on the regular and will put in the last updated date here as well – September 2018
Weekend Visit – Headed to Denver for the weekend? This guide can be a little overwhelming so I suggest checking out my Denver Quick Guide – I highlight some of the best spots in town that I take all my guest too.
A little disclaimer – I have been in Denver for 6 years and always lived in the South Denver area, so these are the hoods I know the best. The hottest neighborhoods for food and drink are by far RiNo and Highlands area. We frequent RiNo because its walkable and we love the vibe.
Wash Park/South Pearl Street
Sushi Den – This place has been packed every day since it opened in 1984. Yea you read that date right the 80;s. This South Pearl hot spot by Chef Toshi Kizaki dominates the block; I mean he literally owns three restaurants and parking lot on South Pearl. Sushi Den is just as busy on Friday night as it is on a Tuesday at lunch. The place is huge so the wait is never outrageous and they do take reservations. Put your name in and walk up and down South Pearl or snag a table at its beautiful sister restaurant Izakah Den in the upstairs bar.
Izakaya Den – Sister restaurant to Sushi Den the upstairs bar has a giant glass retractable roof and its drop dead gorgeous inside. Izakaya is a Japanese “Gastro Pub” so Sushi plus “world food” make this a hit for sushi lovers and non-sushi lovers.
Ototo – The third restaurant dominating South Pearl by Toshi Kizaki. Ototo means little brother so this little brother restaurant has a raw bar, Robata grill and has bomb.com ramen.
Taki Sushi – Cheap delicious Sushi with the most incredible service – Taki. I mean you water cup is never not full here. I LOVE the Sex on The Beach Roll. Want to Saki bomb? Totes cool here. I actually wrote a blog post on Taki back in the day you can read it here.
Max’s Gill & Grill – Gosh this restaurant just kills it on all fronts. It’s one of my all-time favorite seafood restaurant and its right in the heart of Denver. The decor is like an old ship, with a giant fireplace that keeps its toasty and cozy in winter. In the summer they patio doors are all wide open making it feel like you’re at the beach. Oh and in the way back – a tiki bar! Head here for great happy hours like $1 oysters and ribs night.
Acero Tacos – I feel like this place gets overlooked because of its proximity to another very popular taco joint but this place is HUGE. Perfect for groups and even a large party. Which remind me I kind of want to host a party there.
Park Burger – I honestly don’t eat a lot of burgers but Park Burger’s burgers are fire, as are their milkshakes sweet potatoes fries and waffle fries. I really love the turkey burger with avocado and bacon nuam nuam naum.
Lincoln’s Roadhouse – Part neighborhood drunk, part biker bar with a Cajun spin this place is a hoot. Live music almost every night and the dance floor will be popping the crowd is definitely older but oh so entertaining. lots of great people watching oh and the hush puppies are amazing
The Kentucky Inn – This Wash Park dive just got a huge renovation inside and to the menu as well. Pimento cheese anything is delicious there! Great dive bar and great food.
Moe’s – We frequent this location way too often. It also has a bowling alley and small venue so great for groups and kids too. Get the nachos with white queso they are incredible. I talked about them so much to a friend visiting he got us a $100 gift card for hosting – WINNING!
Cachino Tacos – We were stoked this spot opened up in Englewood, the food is great, service is great and the drinks are fantastic. Frozen Paloma’s are my ultimate drink. Great Happy Hour deals too.
Miyako Ra-men – Our go-to ramen take out. I also really like eating there, everything we have tried is good.
Taste of Thailand – Our neighborhood Thai spot has been open for over 20 years and uses only the freshest ingredients from their garden. Order in or get delivery.
Breakfast on Broadway – One of our favorite brunch spots in Denver for good food at great prices and of course bottomless mimosas.
Punch Bowl Social – Half restaurant half bar half adult playground. Adult arcade, bowling, shuffleboard, darts, and damn good food. Great for groups too.
Canopy Bar – this has been our go-to spot recently. I love the space and decor its great for groups and never too crowded. They don’t serve food but you can bring in whatever you want from a nearby spot.
True Food Kitchen – These are popping up all over the country and honestly it’s pretty damn good so if you haven’t been, go check it out.
Blue Island Oyster Bar – One of the best oyster happy hours in town! Great little patio in Cherry Creek North makes its a favorite for me.
Margs – One of the first places I ate in Denver! Their street tacos are super yummy but I particularly love the totally untraditional tacos they offer too.
Zaidys Deli – Looking for a true Jewish deli in Denver. This is it.
Linger – Fun, vibrant, different, this place is booked weeks out so go ahead and book now. So yummy and so fun. Plus the rooftop is fabulous. One of many Edible Beats restaurants in the city.
El Five – Probably my favorite rooftop restaurant in town. The views are simply amazing. Another Edible Beats restaurant in the city that just has the best vibe, great cocktails, and delicious food.
The Bindery – Sex in the city feeling for brunch – Go here. Read more in my brunch post.
Avanti – The crowd pleaser! This two-story food hall is centered around two giant bars and a huge balcony. Avanti has a constantly rotating group of restaurants so everyone in the group is happy.
Uncle – Hands down the best ramen in town and totally worth the wait every time They are opening a new location in Wash Park soon and I can’t wait!
Kachina Grill – Located in the Dairy Block downtown this swanky Mexican joint serves up delicious food. The Queso isn’t white but it gets 5 stars in my book. The tacos come on like Asian buns and are freak’in incredible.
Milk Market – My favorite Frank Bonanno just opened his own food hall where every single restaurant is his. Seriously, it’s ridiculous and so damn good. A great spot for happy hour or to start off your night. Also, the Pork Buns are so damn good. Everything is so damn good! I love you, Frank Bonanno!
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox – VIBEZZZZ like all the Edible Eats restaurant they have killer vibes. The building was once a brothel and they carried that theme over into the decor. It also has a downstairs intimate venue that gets tons of great acts, host reggae night and crazy brunch parties.
El Chapultec – It’s a live jazz bar – tiny loud and really fun, cash only.
Herbs – Live music every night – seriously the only bar I go to in this area beside El Chapultec
Rio – Cheap Mexican, killer margs, great queso and room for a large group – Rio! Denver staple.
Osteria Marco – This is my favorite spot on Larimer Square, especially if you can grab one of the four outdoor tables. Frank Bonanno is a restaurant legend in Denver and everything he touches is gold. See ^^ Milk Market above. I love the burrata, quinoa salad and the arugula pizza. Naummmm
Panzano – One of my first meals in Denver was Happy Hour here and it was so good. Their Happy Hour is bomb.com it’s basically all their main dished in small portions for half the price I still dream about the GRILLED Ceaser Salad, it is literally grilled and it’s amazing.
Snooze – It’s so damn good, which is why it is always packed. Go early and be prepared to wait but SO WORTH IT.
Bubu – For a quick power lunch downtown this is my go-to spot grain/salad bowls made to order. Plus you can order online.
The Pig & The Sprout – This menu is split into two parts, one part for the meat lovers and the other for the vegetarian or pescatarian. The Brussels our hands down my favorite Brussels in the city. Everything is yummy and I love their patio!
Blue Pan Pizza – Good lord, their pizza is amazing and they have the awards to prove it. Do you like New York style? How about Detroit or tradition Italian? Well, they offer all of them, every day and they are so damn good.
Wendell’s – Hands down the BEST Pankcakes in town. Great brunch with a great patio that’s good for groups.
Vital Root – Fast casual uber healthy food is real and it’s at Vital Roots. 99% Vegan and 100% gluten-free this place is incredibly good and no matter how picky your friends are they will love it.
Safta – James Beard award winner Alon Shaya second restaurant, Safta, opened in Denver this past August to rave reviews. I have seriously never heard so much buzz around a restaurant in Denver. Clay and I were lucky enough to eat there for the blog and had one of the most amazing meals we have ever had. Read what to order here.
Comida Tacos – Located in The Source this place is great on a sunny day for street tacos and margs.
Acorn – Like Linger this place has been HOT since it opened. The menu changes seasonally with a few staples that are always on the menu. Acorn is always a beautiful and delicious dining experience. Larger plates for sharing make it perfect for groups too. Or just two very hungry individuals.
Barcelona Wine Bar – I was stoked to hear a Barcelona Wine Bar was opening in Denver as its one of my favorite spots in Atlanta. Great vibes, tapas, and wine selection. Also, the patio is gorgeous.
Cart Driver – Delicious woodfire pizzas, oysters and rose. It’s my dream restaurant.
Rosenburgs Bagles – Simply the best bagels in town.
Moe’s – BBQ from Alabama so its damn good. I have a seriously bad obsession with their nachos because they use WHITE QUESO
Bones – Another wildly successful Frank Bonanno concept Bones was serving Ramen and buns way before anyone else. The buns are divine and the ramen is perfect. Gah, I need some pork buns ASAP!
Luca – “Fine Italian Cuisine” and it is that. Clay and I went here for our Valentines day dinner and totally overindulged in the most delicious pastas. Counting down the days till we return again. And yes its one of Frank Bonanno’s too!
Don’s – Are you from the south? Then you will probably run into someone you know at this bar. Saturdays in the fall it will be filled with USC Gamecock fans and will be rowdy at all hours
Angelo’s Tavern – Italian, oysters and great happy hours. This is one of our favorite happy hour spots. Great for date night too.
Congress Park/City Park/Colfax Area
Blue Pan Pizza – Good lord their pizza is amazing and they have the awards to prove it. Do you like New York style? How about Detroit or traditional Italian well they offer all of them and they are so freak’in good.
Pinche Tacos – Tacos, Tequila, Whisky – A few locations across town Pinche is the OG who started street tacos in Denver.
Steuben’s – Just really good food every single time. We love taking out of towners here for a reasonably priced meal that everyone enjoys. The trout almandine is perfection.
Ace Eat Serve – Asian fusion and a giant room of ping pong tables. The wings, buns, and ramen are all incredible.
Other Great Spots Around Town
Star Kitchen – If you are on the hunt for authentic dim sum brunch – this is the place to go
Domo – Travel across the world and back in time at this super authentic Japanese restaurant near 6th and i-25. Check out the menu and know you’re going to spend at least $20 a person if not more but you get a lot of food and you get to sit in a zen garden. Seriously, incredible restaurant experience.
Cavatelli – This Stapelton Italian restaurant is the worth the drive from wherever in the world you are. We had planned to eat at Stanley Market Place but everything was packed so we decided to try Cavatelli, cause well they have pizza. We got a seat at the kitchen bar, talked to the chefs and had one of the best meals we have had in Denver.
When I go out, its 75% of the time to a show. You can find live music basically any night of the week at these spots.
Cervantes Masterpiece Theater – Shows most nights of the week either in the Ballroom or “The Other Side”. Thursday nights is bluegrass.
Quxiotes – Jam bands & cover bands
Be On Keys -Jam bands & cover bands, sister to Quxiotes
Ophelia’s Electic Soap Box – Very cool restaurant with the downstairs venue. Fun brunches too.