With an influx of people also come new ideas, passions, and drives to create and contribute to this flourishing, colorful community. Lucky for us Denverites, these artistic expressions are cropping up all around us in the form of award winning, innovative restaurants and bars.
While we could never fully encapsulate the myriad mouth-watering eateries the Denver food scene has to offer, we highlighted some of our favorites below. Dig in!
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Eat Your Way Through the Delectable Denver Food Scene One Meal at a Time
- Pete’s Kitchen. Local celebrity, Pete Contos, has owned and operated a variety of eaters in Denver for 50 years now. Open 24/7, this diner has garnered awards such as ‘best hashbrowns’, ‘best breakfast burrito’, and more. Soak up last night’s whiskey with a salty, greasy, breakfast scramble.
- Habit Donut Dispensary. This quirky bakery off Platte serves up chef-inspired creations and guarantee a donut addiction after only one visit.
- Sassafras. This southern style eatery serves up Louisiana style cuisine that will transport your taste buds straight to the Bayou. Awarded by the likes of Paula Deen Magazine, USA Today, and more, Sassafras is a must when dining in downtown.
- Sam’s No. 3. A favorite among natives, long-time residents, and transplants, Sam’s No. 3 always has a line around the block come breakfast time, and it’s well worth the wait. On average, they service 3,900 people each weekend.
- Rosenberg’s Bagels. New York style bagels right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Fresh lox, Challah bread, salty capers – this place will fill all your East Coast bagel needs and then some.
- Olive & Finch. Olive & Finch is sweet and homey, perfect for those mornings you’re missing mom’s cooking – if mom was a top-notch baker, innovate barista or methodical chef.
- The Bindery. Uova alla Flamenca. La Emmabella. Fun to say but even more fun to eat. Eggs in brioche with truffle butter and duck prosciutto for brunch? Yes please. Each and every item on the brunch menu is straightforward, yet exquisite.
- Linger. Do bottomless blood-orange mimosas on a Highlands rooftop overlooking Denver’s skyline and the Rocky Mountains sound like your perfect recipe for a brunch to remember? Look no further than this tasty Denver favorite.
- Señor Bear. Inspired by Central and South American cuisine – this LoHi joint offers brunch-time empanadas, queso fundido, mofongo and more. This bright, airy space is the perfect locale to shake off the Sunday-scaries with friends and neighbors.
- Denver Milk Market. Not in the mood for a sit-down, 4-hour brunch in the city? Check out this open-space dining hall and indulge in decadent crepes, grab a mimosa, or wake up with a latte. Plenty to do, see, and eat at this market.
- Old Major. It’s all (humanely raised) meats and sweets at this Highlands eatery.
- City O’ City. Whether or not you’re vegan, this local joint served some of the best breakfast around. From vegan Chicken and Waffles to kimchi pancakes, literally everything on this menu is a ten. With a full bar and breakfast served until 2am, City O’ City has it all!
Also, enjoy our updated best brunch spots in each Denver neighborhood.
- Marczyk’s Fine Foods. This uptown market provides Denver dwellers with fresh, local ingredients for all their culinary needs. In addition, the deli makes insanely good sandwiches, soups, and salads.
- Las Delicias. For over 40 years, this restaurant has been serving up authentic south-of-the-border fare to hungry locals. Cheap, quick, and packed with flavor: get your fix here.
- Tavernetta. Lunch, Italian Style, is served daily at Tavernetta. The menu is loaded with hearty pasta dishes as well as light, flavorful antipasti.
- Tupelo Honey. Fresh, seasonal ingredients with good ole’ fashioned southern comfort. Sweet-tea braised chicken and low-country catfish will have your tastebuds whistling dixie.
- Whole Sol Blend Bar. Affordable and healthy – give your system a boost with any one of Whole Sol Blend Bar’s blended fruit bowls. All organic, all the time.
- Star Kitchen. Authentic Chinese food and Dim Sum that truly is to die for. Situated quietly in a little strip mall, this unassuming restaurant will have you returning time and again to fill your belly.
- Uchi Denver. Fresh seafood and good prices are what make this happy hour a must. While Uchi is a fantastic dinner spot as well, you can score big from 5-6:30 on fish flown in daily from Japanese markets.
- Cart-Driver. $5 Prosecco on tap and market oysters. Wash away the work day at this locally loved spot.
- Ultreia. Cheap eats and drinks at this Union Station location. For just a few bucks, guests can enjoy sangria, olives, shishito peppers and other small plate offerings.
- Steubens Uptown. This inventive take on home cooking always delivers in the Happy Hour category. Dollar wings, dollar highlifes, and for just a few more dollars, you can grab a mini shrimp po’boy and Moscow Mule.
- Adrift. Styled after your grandma’s beloved 50’s backyard Tiki Bar, Adrift on South Broadway is a blast from the past with fruity, tropical drinks to put your mind on island time.
- Ignite. You really can’t beat eating Philly Cheesesteak mac n cheese on this downtown rooftop. The menu is packed full of options, and boasts some of the best Mac n Cheese in Denver.
- Ash’Kara. From falafel to dolas, and wood fired dish to duck tagine – this Israeli restaurant spotlights dishes that are meant to be enjoyed, shared, and celebrated.
- Chook Charcoal Chicken. What’s better than a hot, juicy rotisserie chicken? Chook Charcoal Chicken believes the answer to that question is, nothing. Just one bite of their savory, succulent chicken and we have to agree.
- Watercourse. A sister restaurant to previously mentioned City O’ City, check out this restaurant’s take on traditional vegan dishes. Inspired, unique and filling – Watercourse will delight even the most die-hard meat lovers out there.
- Table 6. Lovingly curated and thoughtfully ran, nothing speaks to hospitality quite like Table 6. The wine list is not only impressive but speckled with quirky one-offs that resemble the owner’s eccentric taste and individual style.
- Root Down. Can’t decide what you’re in the mood for? Check out Root Down. Their internationally inspired menu has a bit of everything, for every craving. They focus on local sourcing and a slow, meaningful dining experience. Come to sip and taste, tell stories and kick back.
- Domo. Stepping into this restaurant feels like you’re stepping back into time, walking through a small, countryside Japanese village. Plates meant for sharing will cover the table, inviting guests to sample everything from earthy sides to spiced meats.
- D Bar Denver. Cakes, cookies, milkshakes and more – this dessert bar is decadent and varied. Satisfy your sweet tooth by cracking into their creme brulee or downing a salted caramel martini.
- Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. Touted as a Denver tradition – this corner ice cream store south of Cherry Creek is a neighborhood favorite (find our top picks of Cherry Creek restaurants here). With zany flavors on rotation all the time, come in for a scoop of anything from classic mint chocolate chip to tart pineapple pistachio.
- The Long I Pie Shop. Who doesn’t love pie? The Long I Pie Shop packs their pies full of goodness and crafts some of the most unique pies this side of the Mississippi. Oh, they have some pretty fantastic cakes too.
- Make, Believe Bakery. This 100% vegan bakery creates their treats from consciousness and with great care. These desserts are just as rich and decadent as the cupcakes your grandma made growing up.
The Late Night Denver Food Scene
- Atomic Cowboy. Slices as big as your head! Strategically located next to some of Broadway and Colfax’s best bars, head on over to either location for a delicious, greasy slice of pizza after a night on the town.
- Vesper Lounge. Some of the best burgers in town, dive into a fully loaded cheeseburger in the low lighting and secluded, comfy booths.
- Breakfast King. 24/7 serving up delightfully greasy diner fare perfect for any time of the day or night. Let its bright orange sign beckon you into the warm, plastic booths of this best loved Denver eatery.
- Euclid Hall. During the week, the kitchen stays open until midnight, making this one of the most convenient spots downtown to grab a late night meal. Handcrafted sausages and an extensive tap list make Euclid’s a Denver favorite.
- Jerusalem Restaurant. Just a short walk down from DU, this Middle Eastern restaurant dishes up hot falafel, creamy hummus, and more.=
Whether you’re moving to Denver, visiting Denver, or just looking for a new favorite spot, we hope this list gives you a few new places to check out. Living in Denver, we often feel spoiled by the delicious food, creative plates, and cozy atmospheres. There’s something for every craving and every mood here in the Mile-High City.
Eat Your Way Through the Delicious Denver Food Scene 24/7
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Abigail is a freelance writer who loves exploring new places - especially in the southwest - and moved into her van full time last fall. When she's not working on writing gigs to support her #vanlife endeavors, she loves packrafting alpine lakes, floating lazy rivers, and trail running.