Guidebooks and dining critics can definitely point you to great restaurants. But let’s face it, we all think WE know the best restaurants. I’m no different. So here’s the start of what will be an ongoing guide to the best places to eat in Denver.
Lower Downtown: The neighborhood at the north end of the 16th Street Mall is loaded with bars and restaurants. Consider a couple of favorites:
- Jax Fish House: I can’t eat here often enough. The seafood’s great and don’t miss the oyster specials at the great bar. In fact, consider eating at the bar. It’s more fun than the tables. After the meal, walk across to the Oxford Hotel for a nightcap at the art deco treasure, the Cruise Room.
- Wazee Supper Club: Casual, fun, good food (excellent pizza) for everyone. Your wallet will thank you.
- Vesta Dipping Grill: There’s a reason this spot’s endured since 1997 in LoDo. Killer seasonal menu, cool space, great service and those dipping sauces.
Larimer Square: This historic block has become a high-end restaurant mecca in the past decade. You’ll spend more here, you’ll also find some of Denver’s best restaurants, including:
Rioja: Jennifer Jasinski gets plenty of praise for the seasonal Mediterranean menus she creates at this pricy but worth-it destination. She deserves the praise.
- Bistro Vendome: Warm, cozy space, great French food. It’s not Paris, it is great.
- Market: This isn’t a fancy dinner destination. But they serve a solid breakfast, lunch and dinner, great desserts and the coffee bar never stops. On a sunny day, sit out front and watch the world go by.
Head north from the city to the metro area’s hottest new food destination:
- Duo: Locally sourced, perfectly prepared New American in a warm space that’s instantly comfortable. Leave room for the insanely good desserts.
- LoHi Steakhouse: Get a good steak, salads and more at a fair price in a fun atmosphere. Great bar with a community table (a good option) to eat at if it’s crowded.
- Taqueria Patzcuaro: If you REALLY want authentic Mexican, head to this northeast Denver mecca not far from Duo for lunch and dinner. Totally casual, completely excellent. We can’t get enough of the Tacos Carbon sitting out on their sunny porch.
A few quick pops outside downtown.
- Potager: Consistently creative, seasonal New American offerings. The lively Cap Hill space is at once informal and classy, nearly always buzzing with a good crowd. Or are they just buzzing from the great selection of wine and micorbrews?
- Fruition: There’s a reason Chef Alex Seidel keeps winning all those awards. Brilliant food and relentless attention to detail, right down to the cheese created at his Fruition Farms.
More to come ….