Find the Best Restaurants in Downtown Denver

Whether it’s a fancy, five-star establishment or a hometown, divey diner, Denver’s Downtown restaurant scene is varied—and super delicious. That’s because Denver attracts top culinary talent. In 2022, no less than 13 Colorado restaurants and chefs were named James Beard Award semifinalists, and almost half of those are based in Denver. These Downtown Denver restaurants and chefs showcase their talents with a wide variety of cuisines and vibes.

Related to Best Restaurants in Downtown Denver: How to Find an Apartment in Denver

If you’re wondering where to eat in Downtown Denver, the answer could be “right outside your front door.” With AptAmigo’s help, you can live in the heart of Downtown in the perfect apartment building near your favorite restaurant.

Where to Eat in Downtown Denver

El Five

Neighborhood: Jefferson Park

Address: 2930 Umatilla St, Unit #500, Denver, CO 80211

Cost: $$$

Located just across the river from Commons Park, this fifth-floor restaurant offers a skyline backdrop for your meal (or your selfie). It’s part of a group of six restaurants run by Edible Beats. They promise to build all their businesses, including El Five, around eco-friendly practices, with a special focus on wind-power, responsibly sourced products, and certified humane ingredients.

The Mediterranean flavors here represent Spanish, North African, and Middle Eastern-influenced culinary traditions. They serve the food Tapas style (meaning small portions), so plan on ordering a variety of dishes for the table for everyone to taste. Even vegans and diners who need gluten-free options will rejoice that the majority of dishes can be made specially upon request. You’ll also love the extensive cocktail menu, which features a section of “sober curious” drinks.

What to Eat: 

Seafood Paella. The menu suggests starting with the caramelized rice on the perimeter of the dish and working your way inwards. And don’t worry; the Marine Stewardship Council certifies all the seafood used.

Nola Jane Restaurant and Bar

Neighborhood: Central Business District

Address: 1435 Market St, Denver, CO 80202

Cost: $$

Come to Nola Jane Restaurant and Bar for some “good ol’ fashioned southern food, drink, and charm.” From the moment you enter the exposed brick halls of this establishment, you’ll feel like a New Orleans local, even though you’re really in Denver’s historic district. The long bar, high-top tables, and patio areas are the perfect place to grab a drink and a bite and enjoy your night.

You won’t be disappointed with the food and drinks at this restaurant, named “Best New Restaurant” for Reader’s Choice 2021 by Westword. Everything is cajun/creole-inspired and delicious as all get out. Nola Jane also provides catering options and party space rentals for your next corporate or personal event.

What to Eat: 

Shrimp Po’boy. A staple of southern cooking, enjoy this sandwich with a side of hush puppies for maximum effect.

Sam’s No. 3 Downtown

Neighborhood: Central Business District

Address: 1500 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202

Cost: $

What do YouTube, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Jack Black all have in common? They all rave about Sam’s No. 3 in Denver. Started by Greek immigrant Sam Armatas in 1927, this restaurant garnered fame as his descendants moved and expanded it over the decades. The restaurant has been featured in everything from “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” on the Food Network, to indie films.

The whopper of a 16-page menu showcases classic diner foods alongside fun cocktails and an espresso bar. Breakfast is their main focus, with 19 omelets, 9 eggs benedicts, 17 potato and egg stackers, and 26—yes, twenty-six—burritos for the choosing. Early bird specials are available until 10am, and the restaurant closes at 2pm on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (it’s open until 8pm the rest of the week), so come early!

What to Eat: 

Anything covered in their signature Kickin’ Pork Green Chili will end up being the best meal you’ve ever eaten. Smother a burrito, or get a gallon (yes, they sell it in gallons) to take home.

The Pig & The Sprout

Neighborhood: Riverfront Park

Address: 1900 Chestnut Pl, Denver, CO 80202

Cost: $$

Head to the Union Station neighborhood to enjoy this amazing restaurant, featuring two important ingredients: meat and vegetables. While these food groups may sound like the staples on any restaurant’s menu, The Pig & The Sprout does it differently. They polarize their dishes into two categories: heavy and light, veggie or meat. The menu is seasonal for the most part, and ingredients are sourced locally. Everything that can be made from scratch is made from scratch.

Expect to adhere to a strict set of rules when visiting:

  • Imbibe responsibly and take a taxi.
  • No grumpiness, or you’ll be sent to a different restaurant.
  • And no naked dining.*

(*limited exceptions made)

All in all, hungry patrons will experience a fun atmosphere with communal tables, lounging couches, and patios for good weather. 

What to Eat: 

Absolutely get the brisket poutine. It’s a pile of fries smothered in cheese curds, brisket gravy, and scallions. You can even “brunchify” it by adding eggs.

Uchi Denver

Neighborhood: Five Points

Address: 2500 Lawrence St Unit #200, Denver, CO 80205

Cost: $$

We couldn’t assemble a downtown restaurant list without mentioning Uchi. Their James Beard Award-winning chef (Tyson Cole) is a sushi master, who trained in Japan, New York, and Austin before starting Uchi in Downtown Denver. The contemporary sushi & sashimi menu includes non-traditional options to cater to a wide variety of palates.

The space is a design marvel, with low-hanging wood beams, walls of windows, and a large sushi bar that will make your mouth water the moment you step in the door. On top of the restaurant sits their aeroponic greenhouse, which supplies ingredients directly to the kitchen. All in all, this is a not-to-be-missed place.

What to Eat: 

Make it special and go for the Omakase. You’ll choose between ten courses, six courses, or six vegetarian courses. What actually comes out of the kitchen is up to the chef.

Find Your Dream Apartment in Denver

Enjoying a fantastic dinner in Downtown Denver is easy when you live right next door. AptAmigo can help with that! Our experienced apartment locators curate your list of potential apartments based on your exact needs, and then help you through the touring and leasing processes. Give us a call today to see why we have so many five-star reviews on Google.

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About the Author
Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith is a writer, editor, and freelancer based in Dallas, Texas. Find out more at JeanettetheWriter.com.