The people of Denver have a lot of fantastic choices to consider when it comes to dining out. In fact, with the colossal growth the city has seen in recent years, the options now available to the casual restaurant goer have become too numerous to count. It’s for this reason that we’re combing through reviews, word-on-the-street and a little ‘insider information’ to arrive at a list of the Top 10 Restaurants in Denver. These restaurants span all spending categories and variety of cuisine, from American to Japanese to Indian, and the restaurants are ranked according to overall value and dining experience.
Number 10: Vesta Dipping Grill – 1822 Blake Street
This LoDo landmark restaurant has been serving up creative dipping dinners for many years, and the menu has something for everyone. Because of the modern, casual atmosphere and fun food options, this would be a great place for a date or girls night out. If you like to get funky with your food (in a good way), be sure to check out Vesta.
Number 9: Osteria Marco – 1453 Larimer Street
When you have that certain craving for good Italian food, that’s when you know the time is right for a trip to Osteria Marco. Offering cured meats and cheeses, hand-crafted pizzas and other Italian fare, this comfy, cool basement restaurant has built up quite a cult following. Visit often enough and you’ll start to see why the regulars keep coming back. Mangia!
Number 8: Freshcraft – 1530 Blake Street
Soon to be Denver’s number 1 spot for late night ‘munchies’, Freshcraft blends awesome American food choices with a huge selection of beers both local and otherwise. What will make a believer out of you is sure to be the constantly changing menu – the chefs and owners are always tweaking the food choices to come up with the most popular dishes to satisfy the ever-demanding Denver market.
Number 7: Tocabe – 3536 West 44th Avenue
Do you dig American food? How about Native American food with a modern twist? Tocabe brings the goods with a zesty, authentic menu that is inspired by food created by the Osage Indian tribe. A feather in the hat of the new Tocabe is that they’ve been contacted by the Food Network just from the fan mail that their customers were sending in. Now that’s an indication that Tocabe’s future is bright!
Number 6: Osaka Sushi – 3940 East Exposition Avenue
When you find a good sushi place, you sometimes walk a fine line between wanting to shout it from the mountaintops and wanting to keep the secret for yourself. Osaka is the kind of sushi secret that you will invariably want to share with friends, if only because of the sheer quality of the sushi served here. For a genuine Osaka experience, try the Salmon Teriyaki and Tempura or the Samurai Combo.
Number 5: Pop’s Place – 2020 Lawrence Street
Denver now has a new go-to spot for brunch: Pop’s Place! The new restaurant serving ‘Comfort Food’ is conveniently located just a block from Coors Field, and the menu is truly unique. Gravlax, Reindeer Sausage and Porkbelly Burgers make up only a few of the exquisite dishes being crafted by longtime Denver chef Stephen Kleinman. Pop’s Place sports a full bar and even brings in local musicians to play for customers.
Number 4: Mercantile Dining and Provisions – Union Station
Now that we’re getting close to number one, the stakes are getting raised. Coming in at number four is a restaurant known for its commitment to farm-to-table meals that stay true to traditional means of cooking. Take the roasted butternut squash soup, for example…and for a fitting compliment, check out the vast array of wines to choose from. The dining environment is second-to-none, as you’re sitting inside Denver’s historic Union Station.
Number 3: Uncle – 2215 West 32nd Avenue
Funny name for a restaurant? Perhaps. But there’s nothing funny about the food quality and ambiance at Uncle. This is fast becoming the Denver ramen-and-noodle-bowl headquarters, with an impressive sushi offering to boot. The restaurant is run by Tommy Lee, a master of all things Momofuku. If you ever find yourself in the LoHi area of Denver, be sure to swing by Uncle and try the Kimchi Ramen.
Number 2: Acorn – 3350 Brighton Boulevard
There is a reason that 5280 Magazine ranked Acorn the number one restaurant in Denver. To be fair, there are actually many reasons: world class cocktails, a menu of wood-fired foods, and a fun, funky location in the same building as the popular ‘The Source’. Here’s an insider tip – if you like eggplant, come to Acorn. You won’t be disappointed!
Number 1: Little India of Denver – 2390 S. Downing St
Our list brings us to the final, top spot, and taking the crown is Little India of Denver, a tried-and-true hallmark of fine Indian cuisine prepared just as you’d expect to find it in New Delhi. Little India of Denver has some real staying power – they’ve been rated the top Indian restaurant in Denver for over 15 years; they’ve also received awards for offering the best lunch buffet. What adds to the delicious food is the authentic Indian ambiance that often includes tapestries, musical instruments and other, Indian-inspired artwork that lends a comfortable warmth to the dining area. The service is unparalleled, too, and customers often remark that what keeps them coming back is the predictable promptness and kindness displayed by Little India employees.
And there you have it – the Top 10 Restaurants in Denver. While there is a lot to explore in the Mile High City, you won’t want to leave any of these spots off your ‘must see’ list while in Denver. So bring your appetite and enjoy all that Denver has to offer. I am headed to Little India of Denver for dinner tonight! – Bret D.