56 Best Denver Restaurants in 2022 (Where to Eat, By Locals) – Travel Lemming

Travel Lemming’s 3 Denver local writers – Nate, Abigail & Laura – collaborated on this absolutely epic guide of the 56 best Denver restaurants. 

Whether you’re looking for a fancy place to impress a date, or just where to eat out on a budget, you’ll find something on this list of our favorite places to eat around Denver.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

56 Best Restaurants in Denver

To get the most out of this guide, be sure to use the handy filter buttons below to narrow your search for the types of restaurants in Denver that fit your budget and culinary preferences.


?️ Latin American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 269-4695

Arepas de Queso on a plate and a glass of beverage in SuperMegaBienArepas de Queso

While dim sum style Latin American fare may not be a culinary combination you’re used to, SuperMegaBien is known for unique experiences that break the mold. Located below the Ramble Hotel in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, and just across the street from its sister establishment Work & Class, this energetic restaurant draws a young and hip crowd. 

SuperMegaBien is a great place to eat in Denver for a date or with a group of friends.

Dishes are served in small “dim sum style” plates. Popular dishes include the puerco negro (braised pork, Yucatan style), carne asada, and arepas de queso. SuperMegaBien’s menu is mostly gluten free. And no reservations are accepted.


?️ Asian Fusion | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 993-3120

Travel Lemming founder's partner, Clara in front of the Linger in DenverClara posing for a drink in front of the famous Linger neon sign

Located inside a former hillside mortuary overlooking the LoHi neighborhood, Linger is definitely one of the most unique restaurants in Denver. The menu consists of an array of street food dishes from around the world, with menu sections like “India” and “Americas & Europe.” For desert, be sure not to miss the Italian Coffee & Doughnuts, a personal favorite of Nate’s. 

Linger also features an expansive where cocktails are served from a converted van under a giant neon sign. The lighting for the sign, originally created for “O’Linger mortuaries,” has been tweaked to only light up “linger eatuaries”. It’s a popular place for happy hour or sunset drinks. 

Advance reservations strongly recommended. 

Misfit Snack Bar

?️ International | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 353-4207

A glass of whisper Sister gin cocktail, corn ribs, and soft-shelled crab tacos on a table in Misfit Snack BarWhisper Sister gin cocktail, corn ribs, and soft-shelled crab tacos

If Abigail had to pick one cocktail bar in Denver, Middleman and Misfit Snack Bar might be it. The establishments share one trendy lounge on East Colfax. The vibe is moody and the ambiance is modern, but it’s a non-pretentious hangout that draws a variety of patrons. Come in for a happy hour or any hour and be treated to boozy cocktails and creative bites. 

Kachina Cantina  

?️ Mexican | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 460-2728

Travel Lemming's founder, Nate enjoying his queso fundido in Kachina CantinaNate trying Kachina Cantina’s queso fundido

Kachina Cantina is such a fun Denver restaurant that it even makes our list of the top things to do in Denver. If you have friends visiting town, this is the place to take them out. It’s located in the middle of Denver’s hip Dairy Block microdistrict in Lodo.

The menu features adventurous spins on traditional Mexican fare like tacos and pazole. The bar serves up creative margaritas, sangrias, and a range of cocktails. What really makes this place special is the ambiance – the bright and fun interior is the perfect place for socializing. 

Advance reservations are recommended. 


?️ Mediterranean | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 820-2282

Two glasses of sangria with lemon and limeTasty sangria at Rioja!

While you can pop into Rioja for a cocktail and some apps at the bar, it’s one of those restaurants that’s best appreciated with a full sit-down dinner. Rioja consistently ranks as one of the best restaurants in Denver, and Chef Jennifer Jasinski is a local legend. 

Be sure to order a dish featuring her handmade pasta. You can also ask for a tasting menu if you want to sample some of the kitchen’s best (we’re right there with you). 

While you don’t want to come just for the cocktails, you’ll certainly want to indulge in one or two! The sangria, in either red or white, was delicious and went great with tempura artichokes as a starter. 

El Taco de Mexico 

?️ Mexican | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 623-3926

People enjoying their meal in El Taco de Mexico

When you’re looking for authentic Mexico City-style food without anything fancy or fussy, this is your spot. There’s always a line. There’s a good chance you won’t get your food quickly. But when you do, your cheese-covered burrito drenched in chile verde will be well worth the wait. It’s the kind of meal that can only be eaten with a knife and fork! 

Work & Class 

?️ Southern & Latin American | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 292-0700

Travel Lemming's senior writer, Laura with her husband in Work & ClassLaura & her husband in between bites!

Work & Class has simple, delicious food that’s not overly fancy, along with solid cocktails. The bartenders are friendly and chatty, and the atmosphere is relaxed so we felt like old friends the first time we visited. 

The mojitos are made with house-made ginger beer, and you can definitely tell the handcrafted difference. The food (currently) includes green chili cheese fries, red wine-braised ribs, and shrimp & corn grits. 

Everything is served in metal pans so no one gets too fancy-pants about anything. Actually, considering the restaurant is in a shipping container, that’s hard to do anyway. In keeping with this casual atmosphere, you can’t make reservations either. Grab a drink and hang out with the bartender for a while until a table is ready.

The 9th Door 

?️ Tapas | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 832-7027

The 9th Door signage at the entranceThis Capitol Hill tapas bistro is a great Happy Hour spot!

If you’ve been eating out in Denver for a long time, you might remember the LoDo location of The 9th Door. This spot in Capitol Hill has been open since 2013, and it’s a lot smaller, with a more intimate vibe than the original. 

Fortunately, years later, the menu still has plenty of original favorites! The Spanish tapas make this a great happy hour spot, or a stop on a foodie tour of Denver. The menu covers both hot and cold small plates, plus some great wines and cocktails.  

Bistro LeRoux

?️ French | ($$$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (720) 845-1673

A dish on a plate at Bistro LeRoux with fork and knife on the side

Bistro LeRoux is found between YumCha and ChoLon, all of which are part of the restaurant group by Chef Lon Symensma. Unlike the Asian menus next door, LeRoux is a fine dining establishment known for contemporary European cuisine. 

The beautiful interior creates a warm, romantic ambiance. Elevate the mood with a bottle of wine, charcuterie, and chilled bites from the oyster bar. Try the French onion soup and short rib with Gruyère potatoes, a main course favorite — for now. With an ever-changing menu, each visit to LeRoux offers a unique dining experience. 

Sassafras American Eatery

?️ Southern American | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 433-0080

Different kind of dishes and drinks in Sassafras American Eatery

Sassafras American Eatery has two locations that serve sumptuous Southern-inspired dishes. One is found in nearby Golden and another lies in the Highlands neighborhood, one of the best places to stay in Denver. Regardless of which you visit, expect matching menus, mismatched furnishings, and down-to-earth charm.

Here, award-winning bloody marys are served alongside generous brunch plates. Favorites on the menu include the fried green tomato benedict and smoked bison hash with chicken fried eggs. You won’t leave Sassafras hungry, that’s for sure. 

My Neighbor Felix

?️ Mexican | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (720) 826-4880

Aztec Bowl and Market Salad on a plate in My Neighbor FelixThe Aztec Bowl and Market Salad, part of their daily “pick two” lunch special.

With locations in LoHi, Centennial, Boulder, and Colorado Springs, My Neighbor Felix is a favorite in the Mile High City and across the Front Range. Each colorful and spacious dining room serves up traditional Mexican dishes from all seven of the country’s regions. 

Start your meal with the salsa trio served with house-made hibiscus chips. Order a personal entrée, or better, a shareable meal of fajitas or Felix’s “legendary” rotisserie chicken with mole de castilla. Libations are also abundant at this casual restaurant, with a number of flavored margaritas and a lengthy tequila menu. 

The Wolf’s Tailor

?️ New American | ($$$$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (720) 456-6705

A signage pointing the entrance to The Wolf’s Tailor

The Wolf’s Tailor is one of the most experimental restaurants in Denver, CO. Behind its unassuming doors, Chef Taylor Stark creates ambitious multi-course menus. Their Sommelier ensures that each taste is paired with the perfect wine. 

Summer plates highlight fresh produce. Winter brings about innovative uses of grains and fermented foods. With a heavy emphasis on meat-based dishes, this may not be an ideal choice for vegetarians or those with less adventurous palettes. But if open to the kitchen’s creativity, you can expect the experience to be nothing short of stellar. 

The Capital Grille

?️ American | ($$$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 539-2500

People enjoying their food on the outdoor dining area in The Capital GrilleDuring warm weather, The Capital Grille offers outdoor dining right on Larimer Square

No list of the best restaurants in Denver would be complete without Denver’s iconic The Capital Grille. Long considered one of the fanciest places to eat in Denver, The Capital Grille feels half like a country club, half like a steakhouse. 

The restaurant is located in Denver’s Larimer Square, and during the warmer months it’s possible to dine outside under the lights of Larimer Square. If you have a company meeting or just want somewhere to impress a date, consider The Capital Grille. 

The Kitchen American Bistro

?️ International | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 623-3127

People inside the The Kitchen American BistroThe interior of Denver’s The Kitchen

The Kitchen is one of the best restaurants in Denver for large groups, corporate events, or family nights out. Located in LoDo on the 16th Street Mall, The Kitchen has an expansive and warm interior that is perfect for social gatherings.

The menu is a mix of American and international fare, with favorites including dishes like gnochetti, double cut pork chop, and lobster rolls. There’s a good selection of options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free diners. 

The Kitchen also has a long bar that is fun to sit at if dining solo or with a friend, and the craft cocktails are top notch. Overall, it’s a can’t miss choice for where to eat in Denver.

Machete Tequila + Tacos 

?️ Mexican | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 612-7698

Sampling tacos from Machete Tequila + TacosA sampling of Machete’s tacos

Nate has been gnawing at tacos and downing tequila at Machete’s Union Station location for almost a decade. The reason? His friend Wilbert insists Machete has the most reliably solid tequila and mezcal drinks in town. And, well, he’s not wrong. It’s definitely one of the best Denver restaurants for cocktails.

The food is also solid though, and the interior makes for a fun vibe if you’re getting ready for a night out. Reservations are recommended, but there are usually seats at the long bar. 

Vinh Xuong Bakery 

?️ Vietnamese | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 922-0999

Clara having a first bite of tofu banh mi in Vinh Xuong BakeryClara enjoying her first bite of a tofu banh mi

If you’ve never tried banh mi, the crunchy and flavorful Vietnamese sandwich, you’re missing out. Thankfully, Denver is one of the best restaurants to give your taste buds a tour of this flavorful creation.

Vinh Xuong Bakery is an unassuming but incredibly popular cafe and bakery located off West Alameda Avenue. You can dine in at one of the self-service tables, or pick up your food to go. The menu offers something for everyone, including traditional bbq pork, gluten free options, and tofu banh mi. It’s definitely one of the top lunch restaurants in Denver! 

Señor Bear 

?️ Latin American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 572-5997

A dish topped with fries and egg in Señor Bear

Señor Bear is always one of the most lively restaurants in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver. The menu includes modern spins on Latin American fare, like Argentinian chorizo or milanesa de chuleta (pork chop). The bar also serves fun cocktails with equally fun names like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Matcha Business.” 

The interior features an expansive wrap-around bar, the perfect place to sit and socialize if visiting for Señor Bear’s popular happy hour. Or you can settle at one of the window side tables or the outdoor patio. 

Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs 

?️ American | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 746-9355

A balanced meal on a tray from Biker Jim’s Gourmet DogsFried mac and cheese sticks and one of the famous dogs at Biker Jim’s

Rattlesnake? Reindeer? Fried mac and cheese sticks? 

Yes, yes, and yes! Biker Jim’s is definitely one of the most creative eateries in Denver. It’s unusual sausages and dogs have attracted the likes of Anthony Bourdain, and earned Biker Jim’s something of a cult following in the Denver foodie scene. 

Located on 24th and Larimer, right in the middle of LoDo’s nightlife district, it’s one of the best cheap places to eat in Denver before (or after) a long night out.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

?️ American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 736-6200

A breakfast meal at Snooze A.M. Eatery

It’s worth going to Snooze just to try the incredible pineapple upside down pancakes. If that doesn’t float your breakfast boat, they also serve strawberry shortcake pancakes, 

Snooze isn’t just about pancakes though: you can also order benedicts, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and more. The drink menu features spins on classic brunch drinks like bloody marys and mimosas. 

Snooze has several locations around Denver and Boulder, including a large location right in the middle of Denver’s Union Station. If you’re just visiting Denver and want to visit one of the most unique and famous restaurants in town, Snooze is it! Just be aware it is very popular, so we suggest joining the waitlist before heading out.

Stoic & Genuine 

?️ Seafood | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 640-3474

People eating inside the Stoic & Genuine

Stoic & Genuine is consistently heralded as the best seafood restaurant in Denver. It sits in a prime location in Denver’s Union Station, and is the perfect Denver restaurant for a date night, corporate meeting, or just a fancy dinner before a night out in Lower Downtown. 

The open air kitchen serves up octopus, calamari, oysters, tuna, and a variety of other seafood favorites. You’ll also find a few steak, salad, and noodle dishes on the menu.

Visit Monday through Friday from 2 pm to 5 pm for “Oyster Hour,” for $2 chefs-choice oysters (they call it “two buck shuck”!). 

Cozy Cottage

?️ American and Mexican | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 855-9800

People enjoying their food at the outdoor patio of Cozy CottageThe outdoor patio is sublime on a sunny Denver day

Cozy Cottage is the perfect place for a homey and comfortable brunch in Denver. The menu is a mix of traditional American and Mexican breakfast fare like omelets, skillets, and breakfast burritos. There’s a rustic dining room interior, and a large patio exterior that is perfect for brunch on a sunny day. 

The Cozy Cottage is located right on Tennyson street, which makes it a great restaurant to visit for brunch before an afternoon of strolling and window shopping the many nearby boutiques. 

Citizen Rail

?️ American | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 323-0017

A brunch meal on a table in Citizen RailBrunch at Citizen Rail

Citizen Rail is a classic American restaurant with a posh interior located near Denver’s Union Station in the Hotel Born, one of the top Denver hotels. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, and hearty dishes like oak grilled swordfish, roasted ricotta dumplings, and braised oxtail. The restaurant butchers its own Colorado lamb, and ages their meat in Citizen Rail’s dry aging room.  


?️ Italian | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 605-1889

People enjoying their food outside the Tavernetta

If you’re looking for one of the best high-end restaurants in Denver, look no further than Tavernetta, located right next to Union Station. Enjoy handmade pastas like rigatoni and balanzoni, as well as an extensive wine list composed entirely of vintages from Italy.

The upscale layout features a fireplace lounge, a community table, and an outdoor terrace. Tavernetta also has several private dining rooms, making it a good Denver restaurant for corporate events or gatherings. 

If Tavernetta’s dinner menu is just a tad too luxurious for your wallet, check out their popular happy hour from 4 to 6 pm.

CRÚ Food & Wine Bar

?️ New American | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 893-9463

The author's husband during their date in CRÚ Food & Wine BarAbigail’s husband sitting within their gorgeous covered patio

CRÚ Food & Wine Bar has a number of locations around the country, each in trendy urban neighborhoods. Set in Larimer Square, Denver’s establishment is no exception. Visiting this swanky block is one of the best things to do in the Mile High City, and a glass of wine (or two) only elevates the experience. 

Here, flights of artisan cheeses are paired with vintages from around the globe. Sharable small plates, stone-fired pizzas, and full entrées make a meal. On a warm summer evening, opt for outdoor dining on their lovely patio.  

Lazo Empanadas

?️ Argentinian | ($) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (720) 526-5514

Empanadas and two glasses of Malbec wine in Lazo EmpanadasEmpanadas and chimichurri, paired with a couple of Malbec glasses

Empanadas are one of Denver’s must-try foods, and Lazo Empanadas is part of the reason why. Unlike many Argentine restaurants, their empanadas are baked, not deep-fried. Along with that, their dough is unique in that it’s light and flaky, similar to phyllo dough.

There are a dozen tasty options to choose from at each of their locations. Pair your pick with a glass of Malbec to get the full experience. 

Marco’s Coal Fired

?️ Italian | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 296-7000

Travel Lemming Editor, Abigail having a cheers with her husband in Marco's Coal FiredPizza Margherita and house-made limoncello shots

On this downtown Denver food tour, Abigail discovered what she believes to be the best pizza in Denver. Certified by Italian pizza purists, their classic Margherita is simply unparalleled. Chewy crust, salty buffalo mozzarella, sweet tomatoes, and fresh basil — it’s a flavor combination worth toasting! Obviously, with sugar-rimmed, house-made limoncello shots. 

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Cherry Cricket 

?️ American | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 297-3644

A green chile on a bowl and a wrap on a plate at Cherry CricketMany agree that the vegetarian green chile is even spicier than the traditional pork!

Famed as “one of the best burger joints in America,” Cherry Cricket has been serving up beef patties since 1945. Despite its approachable menu, the Denver eatery first appeared in the ritzy Cherry Creek neighborhood. Still, its legacy and laid-back vibe draw even the wealthy locals craving a hearty burger and hot green chile. 

Cherry Creek has another location in Ballpark right by Wynkoop Brewery, which actually took ownership of the restaurant in 2000. Given that it’s one of the best breweries in Denver, consider visiting both eateries. Afterward, catch a game at nearby Coors Field, one of the best things to do in the Mile High City.

Happy Camper

?️ Italian | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 259-1044

People enjoying foods with their friends in Happy Camper

Happy Camper is the perfect place to eat in Denver when you just want good pizza, a lively atmosphere, and a spacious accommodating to groups of friends or families. The large astro-turf covered patio seating area is fantastic on those warm Denver summer evenings, and there’s a fire pit perfect for spring and autumn. 

Pizza is the main food on offer, but you’ll also find “happytizers” like pulled pork nachos and elote dip. The bar serves fun and cleverly named cocktails (care for a “Trailer Park Queen?”) and Happy Camper is also a popular spot for weekend brunch.

Overall, Happy Camper is one of the best restaurants in Denver for a fun night out with friends or family.

Vital Root

?️ Vegan / Vegetarian | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 474-4131

Different kind of foods in Vital RootA selection of the fresh offerings from Vital Root

Owned by Edible Beats (the same group behind the Denver restaurants Linger, Root Down, and El Five), Vital Root describes itself as a “fast-casual approach to the Omnivore’s Dilemma.” This Tennyson Street mainstay serves up hearty plant-based meals made of fresh ingredients. 

If you’re looking for a healthy place to eat in Denver, Vital Root is a great choice. They offer pickup, delivery through Uber Eats, and an expansive dining area with both indoor and outdoor seating. 


?️ Italian | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps (LoHi location) | ? (303) 433-6363

The OMG Grilled Cheese with dip on a wooden plate in PostinoPostino’s famous “OMG Grilled Cheese”

Postino is a popular chain of wine cafes with several locations in the Denver area, including in LoHi and on South Broadway. In our opinion, the cozy booth style seating, energetic vibe, and accessible wine menu make it one of the best restaurants in Denver for socializing with friends before a night out on the town.

Try the OMG Grilled Cheese, the Maitake Mushroom, or one of the many bruschetta boards (perfect for sharing). 

Glo Noodle House

?️ Ramen | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 993-4180

A bowl of dumplings with noodles and a glass of drink with lime in Glo Noodle HouseExcellent dumplings…and noodles, of course!

When ramen started becoming trendy, I had a hard time mentally switching from the 13-cent noodles I ate in my dorm room to the creative noodles chefs make today. Back in my day, kids…

The moral of this story is that the noodles at Glo Noodle House are flavorful, interesting, and exceptionally tasty. And while they’re the focal point, there are lots of other excellent dishes. I had the Takoyaki Hush Puppies (highly recommend) and pork dumplings. The cocktails are great, and you can stop in for a happy hour each day from 4-6 pm.

Found at 38th and Tennyson, Glo Noodle House is near the original location of Elitch Gardens. The restaurant’s fun area is just one more reason to stop by.  

Adrift Tiki Bar 

?️ Polynesian/Caribbean | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 784-8111

Musubi on a plate in Adrift Tiki BarTasty (and pretty!) musubi!

Adrift is a fun tiki bar that goes beyond kitsch to celebrate Polynesian culture with authentic food and drinks. Cocktails are often rum-based, and you’ll find Polynesian and Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken, coconut shrimp, and musubi (Spam sushi – it’s delicious!). 

Venice Ristorante & Wine Bar

?️ Italian | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 534-2222

A hand holding a glass of wine and a mural on its background inside Venice Ristorante

Opened in 2022, the classic Venice Ristorante & Wine Bar remains one of the best Italian restaurants in town. Situated just across the street from the entrance to Union Station, Venice serves Venetian style Italian cuisine, like ravioli, gnocchi, and veal. The restaurant has a long-earned reputation for reliability, so you can be sure your pasta is going to be delicious. 

The white tablecloth and mood-lit interior makes it a great restaurant in Denver for romantic dates. Venice also features a popular happy hour, with some of the best small plates you’ll find at any happy hour in Denver. 


?️ Mexican | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 542-3721

View when you enter the Bellota in Denver

Bellota is a fun and energetic Mexican restaurant located in The Source, a hip food and retail complex located in a former industrial site in the River North neighborhood of Denver. 

Tacos are the highlight of the menu. Bellota even serves cochinita pipil, a famous pork dish popular in the street stalls and restaurants of Valladolid, Mexico. If you can’t decide what taco you want, try a “taco flight” and sample them all. 

City O’ City

?️ Vegan / Vegetarian | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 831-6443

Close up view of a pasta on a plate in City O' CityPasta at City O’ City

City O’ City is one of the most popular Denver restaurants for plant-based Denverites (and those who dine with them). The cozy bohemian interior is always buzzing with some of the best ambiance in Capitol Hill. The progressive crowd attracts everyone from the politically-minded to popular poets.

City O’ City offers delicious vegetarian and vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a late night happy hour from 10 pm to midnight. 

If you have food allergies, City O’ City is also one of the more accommodating Denver restaurants.

Humboldt Kitchen + Bar

?️ American | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 813-1700

View of a bar counter inside the Humboldt Kitchen + BarOne of several interior bars at Humboldt Kitchen + Bar’s expansive space

Executive Chef Luke Enockson’s menu focuses on a variety of New American fish and meat dishes, including charred octopus, hickory smoked pork ribs, and steelhead trout. Cocktail and craft beer lovers will also find plenty to satisfy their cravings. 

The expansive and fun interior, which sometimes hosts live performances, makes Humboldt a fun place for date in Denver or for dining out with a group of friends. 

Humboldt Kitchen + Bar is also a popular brunch restaurant in Denver. Brunch is served from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Just be careful with the $20 pitchers of mimosas! 

Barcelona Wine Bar

?️ Tapas | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 816-3300

View inside the Barcelona Wine Bar in Denver

If a trip to Spain isn’t quite in your budget, you can still get a taste of Spanish-style tapas right here in Denver. Located in the RiNo district, Barcelona Wine Bar is one of the highest-reviewed Denver restaurants. 

Patrons love the rustic industrial dining room and the wide selection of award-winning Spanish and South American wines. For food, try the paella or enjoy your dinner Spanish-style by selecting a variety of small plates like “Queso a la Plancha” or “Spiced Beef Empanadas.”

Overall, Barcelona Wine Bar is one of the best restaurants in Denver for a romantic night out. It’s also home to a popular happy hour. Reservations are recommended at Barcelona. 

Jelly Cafe

?️ American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 831-6301

The Jelly Cafe in Denver from the outsideJelly Cafe’s Capitol Hill location

When friends come to town, Nate always brings them to Jelly Cafe for brunch. It’s just one of the most fun and unique places to eat breakfast in Denver. The walls of the retro themed interior sport vintage cereal boxes, and the pastel color scheme makes for an energetic vibe. 

As the name might imply, Jelly’s menu is heavy on the sweeter side of breakfast, with highlights including french toast, pancakes, and the signature made-to-order donut bites. But if you have a savory tooth, you’ll also find the benedicts, scrambles, and biscuits and gravy attractive. 

Be aware that both locations consistently draw a line during peak weekend brunch times. Pro tip: you can use Yelp to get on their waitlist as you head out in the AM. When you get there, grab a cup of coffee from the bar while you wait for your seat. It’s worth the wait! 

Osteria Marco

?️ Italian | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 534-5855

For 15 years Osteria Marco has been serving up casual Italian cuisine in the middle of Larimer Square. This rustic restaurant serves delicious cheese boards, pizzas, pastas, and cured meats. 

Nate recently took his sister here to celebrate her recent wedding and absolutely loved it. It’s perfect for smaller groups or for date nights. The ambiance is energetic but relaxed enough to carry on a conversation. It’s definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in Denver! 

D Bar Denver

?️ American | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 861-4710

A fancy dessert on a plate in D Bar Denver

Found in Uptown, one of Denver’s best neighborhoods, D Bar Denver offers “fun dining at its finest.” The restaurant is most known for its sweet confections created by pastry chef owners Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey. Sitting at their bar, visitors can watch these incredible desserts come together — which is almost as enjoyable as tasting them. 

Caramelized crème brûlée, lemon beignets, and molten chocolate cake are a few crowd favorites. But if you can’t decide, go for the 3-course dessert tasting. Here, no one will judge if you order sweets first. But if you’re in need of sustenance, you’ll find savory plates on the menu, too, alongside an extensive wine list. 

Root Down

?️ New American | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 993-4200

View of the Root Down in Denver from the outside

Root Down is a Denver classic with a cult following. This Highlands-area restaurant is a sister to Linger, and focuses on fresh, locally-sourced foods. It’s housed in an old filling station and has a retro, funky vibe and a great patio for warmer weather. 

While there’s meat on the menu, veggies are a big part of the dishes and often are the star. Dinners include vegan options, and the carrot cake French toast at brunch is definitely a wise choice! 

Avanti Food & Beverage 

?️ Italian, American, Mexican | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 269-4778

View of the outdoor patio in Avanti Food & BeverageAvanti’s outdoor patio is a great spot at sundown!

Avanti is my favorite spot when I’m headed to dinner with several people! The six restaurants and two bars mean everyone can pick the type of food they want. 

There’s plenty of seating, indoors and out, with lots of communal tables that make this a friendly atmosphere. You’ll also get great views of the city, and it’s a special feeling to sit on the deck for a summer sunset and watch the buildings light up for the night. 

The Ginger Pig

?️ Asian | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 324-8416

View of The Ginger Pig sign outside the store

The Ginger Pig began as a food truck, serving up Asian street food. It was the creation of former lawyer Natascha Hess who began working on some of these recipes while living with a host family in Beijing. 

In the middle of the pandemic, The Ginger Pig nabbed a permanent spot in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood. You can order the famous Bangkok Balls (red curry rice balls), vegan egg rolls, and tasty Vietnamese garlic noodles. Then, sit down and enjoy eating these tasty bites on-site. 


?️ Sushi | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 476-4643

A conveyor belt sushi in Sushi-Rama

Conveyor belt sushi is a wild ride! The thrill of grabbing a plate before it passes you by… the new rolls you try because they look so tasty as they’re sauntering past you… the fact that you can fill awkward conversation gaps with a little activity while you grab a new dish. It all combines for a fun night where you have to work a little bit for your dinner. Try some sake or a Sapporo to wash down your rolls and sushi. 

Sushi-Rama has several locations, but we like the RiNo spot. Also, if you’re unfamiliar with conveyor belt sushi, you’ll be charged based on the number and color of your plates when you’re all done with your meal.

Hop Alley

?️ Chinese | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 379-8340

View of the entrance to Hop Alley in DenverIt’s a little hard to find, but a treat once you’re there!

This RiNo restaurant is named after Denver’s Chinatown, which existed in the 1800s and was called Hop Alley. Owner and chef Tommy Lee puts a modern twist on classics like fried rice and drunken chicken. Even the cocktails are unique – try the Old Fashioned with smoked tea. 

The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe & Brewery

?️ American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 598-6863

Travel Lemming founder, Nate posing for a photo at the entrance of The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe & BreweryNate posing with the Grateful Gnome

The Grateful Gnome is a casual New York / New Jersey-style deli combined with a brewpub. It’s located just off Tennyson Street on 44th Ave. The open industrial interior is quintessentially Colorado. The tap offers 12 rotating craft beers, a cider, and a non-alcoholic root beer. 

The menu features cold and hot sandwiches, including favorites like reubens and grilled cheese. They also serve salads, soups, and wings. Overall, The Grateful Gnome is one of the best lunch restaurants in Denver (especially if you like grabbing a beer with lunch!).

Cheba Hut 

?️ American | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps (Colfax location) | ? (720) 420-0806

Travel Lemming founder, Nate ready to eat the Cheba Hut's famous subsNate about to dive into one of Cheba Hut’s famous subs

The first three digits of Cheba Hut’s phone number are “420” and, well, that ought to tell you what you need to know about the crowds this iconic Denver restaurant attracts. 

Just imagine what would happen if a bunch of stoners opened a Subway, made the food actually taste good and fresh, and tossed in a fun and lively bar for good measure. 

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, Cheba Hut is one of Nate’s favorite places to dine on a budget (or when the munchies strike). You’ll find several locations around town, including in the Central Business District, on Colorado Avenue, and on both West and East Colfax. 

Watercourse Foods

?️ Vegan / Vegetarian | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 832-7313

A hand holding a Cuban sandwich for vegan in Watercourse FoodsRich and flavorful, you wouldn’t guess that their Cuban sandwich is completely plant-based!

Watercourse Foods persuades many that plant-based is an equally flavorful alternative. Since 1998, the vegetarian-turned-vegan restaurant has served meals you wouldn’t guess were meatless. 

Cauliflower is transformed into savory “chorizo” and “fried chicken.” Mushrooms, tofu, seitan, and other ingredients create umami flavors to mimic meat, and vegan cheeses are made in-house. The same care goes into their house-infused spirits, featured in a seasonal menu of craft cocktails.  

Uchi Denver

?️ Japanese | ($$$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 444-1922

View of the Uchi Denver from the outside

Translating to “home,” Uchi holds a fitting title. Here, James Beard Award winner Chef Tyson Cole and his culinary team welcome visitors into their home’s upscale atmosphere. Whether visiting for happy hour or the ten-course omakase tasting menu, expect a warm welcome and incredible Japanese cuisine. 

Signature dishes at this sleek restaurant include yokai berry, oak-grilled walu walu, and fried milk dessert. An extensive sake menu, Japanese-style old fashioned, and yuzu-infused G&Ts add to why this is one of the best restaurants in Denver, CO. 

Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina

?️ Mexican | ($$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 778-1294

View of the entrance to Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina

For stellar Mexican food and a fun, approachable ambiance, head to Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina. This South Broadway restaurant serves mouth-watering tacos, tamales, fajitas, and other traditional fares. 

If you prefer family-style plates, order the molcajete, a bubbling bowl of vegetables and cheese in a spicy tomato sauce. A surf and turf option is also available, and both are served with warm tortillas. To complete your square meal, order Adelitas house margarita or one of their “world famous” micheladas. 

Sushi Den

?️ Japanese | ($$$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 777-0826

View of the entrance to Sushi Den

One of our top Denver travel tips is that when here, eat like a local. Since 1985, Denverites have been supporting Sushi Den on Pearl Street. It’s a sophisticated restaurant that’s perfect for date night and any special occasion. 

You might not think that you’d find stellar seafood in land-locked Colorado. But owners Toshi and Yasu Kizaki source and prepare only the highest quality ingredients. With this, they create delectable platters of sashimi and sushi rolls. Ask your server for sake pairing suggestions, and save room for dessert. You don’t want to miss a Japanese take on a banana cream pie.  

The Bindery

?️ New American | ($$$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 993-2364

View of the patio in The BinderyThe Bindery patio is a great spot for weekend brunch!

Set in a former book bindery (see what they did there?), this is a popular spot for brunch on weekends. If you don’t want a full brunch, you can grab a spot on the patio and simply have coffee and something from the bakery. 

The Bindery is also a great hangout for cocktails, and dinner is an upscale event where you’ll want to dress up a little. There are some delicious seafood menu offerings, along with smoked rabbit pecan pie if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Comal Heritage Food Incubator

?️ Latin American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (720) 500-3455

View of plants outside the Comal Heritage Food IncubatorYou know where your food is coming from when it’s right outside the door!

The Comal Heritage Food Incubator is a working restaurant that teaches immigrant and refugee women the skills they need to find a job or even start their own business. Meanwhile, you get to eat the mouth-watering dishes the women create, you lucky duck. 

A garden just outside the restaurant space grows many of the vegetables used in their food, and everything served is made from scratch. The menu does change every day, as the women work on their recipes and dishes, but generally reflects a Latin American flavor. Then again – you never know! Come with a spirit of adventure and see what they surprise you with. 

Fruition Restaurant

?️ New American | ($$$) | Website | ?Google Maps | ? (303) 831-1962

Chairs and tables outside the Fruition Restaurant

The small kitchen at Fruition Restaurant produces some of the greatest, most memorable flavors in all of Denver, CO. Since opening in 2007, celebrated Chef Alex Seidel has refined and redefined farm-to-table cooking. 

Located less than an hour south, his 10-acre pasture grows seasonal produce and raises local heritage pork. The Fruition Farms Creamery on-site also supplies the downtown establishment with fresh ingredients. From the lamb tartare amuse-bouche to the pork belly carbonara and lemon meringue pie, this cozy restaurant is a delight.

Torchy’s Tacos 

?️ Mexican | ($) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 436-1704

Chicken tacos with a dip at Torchy’s Tacos(photo: Josiah True / Shutterstock)

If you want affordable, quick, and tasty tacos, Torchy’s is your spot. Several locations are found throughout Denver and the surrounding suburbs, each serving up street food favorites. Visit in the morning for breakfast tacos, or join the lunch crowd to sample more than a dozen options. Like a true Denverite, get ‘em with a side of green chile — and maybe a mid-day marg, too. 

Denver Biscuit Co. 

?️ American | ($$) | Website | ? Google Maps | ? (303) 377-7900

View of people outside the Denver Biscuit Company(photo: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock)

Hands down, Denver Biscuit Co. is one of the greatest highlights of the city’s brunch scene. Come hungry, because their giant breakfast sandwiches are practically enough to feed two. Still, most order their own — it’s too hard to decide on just one plate when overviewing their mouth-watering menu.

Locals start with coffee and a stout-infused bloody mary. Order their giant biscuit cinnamon roll for the table, then move on to the mains. The Dahlia sandwich is a favorite, a combination of eggs, sausage, maple syrup, and house-made apple butter. Or wear your stretchy pants and opt for the Franklin, featuring buttermilk fried chicken, cheddar, and bacon. 

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FAQs About Where to Eat in Denver

Is Denver a foodie city? 

Denver is a foodie city, home to eateries that please all types of hungry guests. From innovative, award-winning restaurants to authentic, global cuisines, the Mile High City is a melting pot of flavors. 

What is Denver famous for food?

Denver is famous for foods like green chili, Colorado lamb, and Rocky Mountain oysters. Locals’ favorite restaurants also serve iconic dishes. These include french onion soup dumplings at ChoLon, breakfast sandwiches at Denver Biscuit Co., and lamb ragu hummus at Safta. 

What drink is Denver known for?

The drink Denver is known for most is its craft beer. With hundreds of breweries and the annual Great American Beer Festival, the city is a top travel destination among hop heads. Locals agree that taking a Denver beer tour is one of the best things to do when visiting

What food can you only get in Denver? 

Foods you can only get in Denver, CO includes turnip cake with black garlic sauce at Hop Alley, a fusion Chinese restaurant. Grilled beef tongue and marrow toast at Annette is another dish exclusive to the city. For an approachable yet unique option, try the elk jalapeno cheddar dog at Biker Jim’s. 


We hope this guide helped you find the best Denver restaurants for you. For more helpful guides, be sure to check out all our free Denver travel guides.

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