In recent years, Denver has become one of the fastest growing and most diverse metropolitan cities in the West. The city’s eclectic population and its proximity to some of the world’s greatest outdoor recreation has drawn people from all over the world, especially trendy millennials and adventurous outdoorsmen. With such great natural resources and diversity, Denver’s restaurant scene has made the city one of the most unique and distinguished food capitals in the United States. Here are 10 restaurants to check out if you’re in town.
This upscale Mediterranean inspired restaurant is often called the best restaurant in all of Denver. Rioja offers more of a one of a kind dinning experience, rather than simply a meal. Its menu features creative and innovative dishes that blend Mediterranean ingredients and recipes with local and seasonal American products. Food is treated and presented like art with an impeccable wine-pairing list. The interior cosmopolitan ambiance, and the restaurant’s location in the beautiful and historic Larimer Square, makes Rioja the perfect destination for a special celebratory diner or romantic date night.
Tag is another favorite of the historic Larimer Square neighborhood of Downtown Denver. The eclectic combinations of various cuisines and offbeat cocktails make this trendy restaurant a truly unique and out of this world experience. Tag refers to its cuisine as “continental social food” and the restaurant’s brick lined walls, upscale decor, and beautiful location prove this popular spot is perfect for a fancy diner or just a night out on the town.
Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Cuban, Wine, Beer, American, Vegetarian
Cooking etc. | Flickr
When you first stumble upon Cuba Cuba, you’d think you were mistakenly walking into someone’s home. Instead, you’ll find delicious Cuban food in an adorable and charming oasis, right in the middle of Downtown Denver. Latin Americans have always had a strong influence in the Colorado capital. And Cuba Cuba exhibits just how influential Latin American food is to the Denver restaurant scene with its authentic and top-notch cuisine. The tropical colors of the restaurant and outdoor patio will make you feel you’ve been transported from the Rocky Mountains to the Caribbean.
The Kitchen, Denver | Image Courtesy of The Kitchen
Located right on the popular 16th Street Mall shopping district, The Kitchen is a progressive and innovative dining experience. This restaurant prides itself on providing fresh, organic, and healthy American dishes ranging from seafood to steaks and burgers. The trendy and hip interior makes it a perfect urban dining destination to meet with family and friends, or make new ones. Its Community Hours and Community Nights allow all guests to sit and enjoy a meal together with community table seating. Trendy millennials, organic food fanatics, Denver residents, or visiting tourists all enjoy the exceptional food at this cozy and inviting restaurant.
A timeless Italian dining experience in every way, Osteria Marco offers classic Italian dishes in a cozy and upscale basement setting. Their menu is made up of delectable handcrafted pizzas, pastas, and cured meats and cheeses. Its food not only makes Osteria Marco one of the best Italian restaurants in Denver, but its romantic charm adds to the amazing experience. The restaurant’s brick basement interior and location in the historic Larimer Square evokes a sense of old world Italy.
The stylish ambiance of Zengo will make you feel like you’re in an upscale Las Vegas restaurant, the food, however, is entirely unique. Chef-owner Richard Sandoval’s innovative blend of Latin American and Asian cuisines has made this a top destination for Denver food lovers. Combinations such as Thai Chicken Empanadas and Pork Carnitas Rice Noodles all make for a truly one of a kind culinary experience. Zengo is located in the trendy and revitalized neighborhood of Lower Downtown Denver and draws a variety of eager and hungry restaurant goers for a nice dinner or casual meal.
For all the different cuisines and ethnic foods Denver has to offer, nothing beats a classic American diner. Steuben’s has become a neighborhood favorite, offering a trendy spin on the retro diner experience. The ambiance is far from outdated however, as the restaurant boasts a stylish and modern environment. All sorts of regional favorites are featured here; from Southern comfort food to deli sandwiches, and New York strip steaks to Maine lobster rolls. Steuben’s is so popular that it was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
No doubt Bistro Vendôme is probably the best French restaurant in all of Denver. Its authentic bistro food features classic French meat dishes, seafood, desserts, and even brunch specials that are excellent and reasonably priced. The restaurant is tucked away in a courtyard off the historic Larimer Square, and its impeccable decor and theme offers a quiet oasis in the middle of Denver.
Panzano, one of the best Italian restaurants in Denver, offers the epitome of the Italian fine dining experience, while still maintaining a casual atmosphere. The light interior and classy decor creates an ambiance that feels first rate, but still maintains a warm and inviting aura. The food is exceptionally delicious and predominantly features contemporary Northern Italian cuisine. This is the restaurant to take your special someone on a romantic date, woo investors at a business dinner, or celebrate a special occasion.
Bar, American, Fast Food, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
The third restaurant from the owners of Rioja and Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen is also located in Downtown Denver’s historic Larimer Square. The restaurant bills itself as a high-concept and eclectic American tavern. The cuisine predominantly features high quality and innovative pub food with an extensive beer and cocktails selection to match. The food combines classic gastro pub dishes with cuisine from all over the world, such as tacos, sausages, poutine, burgers, and even bone marrow. The trendy ambiance creates a perfect environment for all types of people, especially young people, to meet up for a casual meal and drink.