Yes, the internet is an information superhighway, but it’s not my first stop for finding restaurants while traveling. You can’t beat personal recommendations from locals or friends! I asked some trusted advisors for their favorite places to eat in the Denver area and these are their direct quotes. Click here for a Google map of all these places. Also be sure to spend some serious quality time on Shakedown at DICK’s for the greatest Phish food scene in America!
Avanti – 3200 Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211
Awesome rooftop bar and beer selection, blissed out vibe!
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs – 2148 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Distinctive dogs (rattlesnake, reindeer) & toppings, microbrews, a biker vibe & late weekend hours.
City O’ City – 206 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
All vegan and absolutely phenomenal. The bbq plate is to die for, even for hardcore carnivores.
Crooked Stave – 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
Brewery with a tasting room and amazing sour beers.
Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge – 930 Lincoln St, Denver, CO 80203
Jazz club with a name like a strip club. The tapas and cocktails were dope! Great vibe there.
El Tejado – 2651 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
Fantastic mexican restaurant. Their shrimp cocktail is second to none. Mariachi band on sundays.
Illegal Pete’s – 1530 16th St #101, Denver, CO 80202 (Multiple Locations)
Basically Colorado’s version of Chipotle (yes, Chipotle is from here too). Locally-owned, multiple in both Denver and Boulder. I’m a fan because unlike Chipotle, they mix everything up inside your burrito before they roll it! Sounds silly, but it makes a huge difference.
La Abeja – 508 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Best Mexican hole in the wall.
Lucille’s Creole Cafe – 2124 14th St, Boulder, CO 80302
Phenomenal Cajun-style breakfasts. The Boulder one is really an institution and is in a cute little old Victorian house, but the Denver one is equally delicious.
Los Gallitos Taqueria – 7255 E 72nd Ave, Commerce City, CO 80022
This place is Commerce City so you can stop by after DICK’s for epic tacos. Skip their more Americanized dishes and get the traditional tacos which are to die for.
Mercantile Dining & Provisions – 1701 Wynkoop St #155, Denver, CO 80202
The brûlée marrow bone was AMAZING. In beautifully renovated Union Station. Great if you’re high.
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox – 1215 20th St, Denver, CO 80202
A brand new venue/restaurant/hostel with great local food and an really eccentric atmosphere, including a wall covered in old radios. So far they been graced with shows by David Grisman, The New Mastersounds, and many more.
Punch Bowl Social Denver – 65 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
Hipster spot known for their basement diner (chicken and waffles!), bowling alleys, 3 bars, darts, and more.
Rosenberg’s Bagels – 725 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80205
The only thing close to a real bagel out here. The owner had a reverse filtration machine made that literally adds minerals to the Denver city water to replicate Manhattan water, and therefore, makes awesome NY-style bagels.
Sassafras – 2637 W 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Cozy breakfast spots with Southern-style food and decor. Two locations in Denver.
Snooze An A.M. Eatery – Multiple Locations
With 4 spots in Denver and 1 in Boulder, Snooze serves heady breakfasts and is also a sustainable business that gives back to the community. Heady brunch offerings to satisfy every craving.
Sputnik’s – 3 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
Awesome locals’ diner on South Broadway. Unique menu for a diner.
Station 26 – 7045 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207
Very close to Dick’s. Making some of the best beer in the state with food trucks outside.
Steuben’s – 523 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Specializing in “American Regional Classics” to give you that taste of home, wherever you’re from. Daily sandwich and dinner specials. Also serves brunch.
Table 6 – 609 Corona St, Denver, CO 80218
Make reservations for a swanky dinner here for highbrow twists on New American classics.
Tacos Alcapulco – 8890 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220
If you’re looking for “great while you’re high” food, this place has really amazing pupusas.
The Kitchen Denver – 1530 16th St, Denver, CO 80202
A small chain that started in Boulder focused on locally-sourced ingredients.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub and Grill – 1605 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
Modern pub with an ample selection of drinks & gourmet comfort food, plus a patio.
Vine Street Pub & Brewery – 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206
Dank beers and gastro-heady comfort food.
Watercourse foods – 837 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
A cute cafe for vegetarian dishes and vegan pastries.