- From food halls to fine dining, you don’t want to miss Denver, Colorado’s thriving food scene.
- Insider rounded up where you should eat when visiting the Mile High City.
- Visit Insider’s hub for travel guides, tips, and recommendations.
Whether it’s the taco truck on the side of the road or a five-star restaurant in the heart of downtown, Denver, Colorado, has a bustling food scene for every budget and taste.
When visiting the Mile High City, make sure to try the state’s famous green chile, which is a sauce typically served on Mexican dishes made from Pueblo chiles. Or, order Colorado-style pizza, a thick-crust pizza served by the pound with a side of honey.
It’s also not a trip to Denver without craft beer. The city boasts more than 80 microbreweries. If you don’t fancy beer, there are plenty of cideries, wineries, and meaderies sprinkled throughout Denver, too.
Keep reading for the best dining recommendations.
Tavernetta offers an upscale Italian dining experience with world-class hospitality in the Union Station neighborhood. This spot is nice for a special occasion or a memorable date night, but is known to have a wait, so reserve your table ahead of time online.
The burrata is incredible and makes for a shareable appetizer, and you can’t go wrong with the lamb ragù rigatoni or venison with blue corn polenta for an entree.
Denver Milk Market
Denver Milk Market is an all-local mix of restaurants and bars on the corner of the historic Dairy Block alley. The food is good anywhere you go, but the bustling Instagram-worthy atmosphere and lively energy inside Denver Milk Market are what makes it worth visiting. Before you visit, check out the market’s event calendar, which often hosts special brunches and themed dinners.
For delicious, spicy green chile, head to Onefold. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch where it serves mammoth breakfast burritos, eggs and potatoes fried in duck fat, and homemade flour tortillas. You’ll also find specialty dishes like pozole, which is a traditional Mexican stew, and congee with duck confit. Its original location is in Uptown, but the restaurant opened a second location in Union Station, as well.
Williams & Graham
Located in Denver’s Lower Highlands (or LoHi) neighborhood, Williams & Graham is a Prohibition-era speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf with an unforgettable, luxurious old-school atmosphere. Stop by for rotating craft cocktails or traditional favorites like the espresso martini. Grab a bite to eat too; the bar’s lamb shank or deviled eggs are true indulgences. It’s a popular Denver spot, so make a reservation before you go.
Lou’s Italian Specialities
For a quick, filling bite, head to Lou’s Italian Specialities. The New York-style Italian deli and marketplace serves sandwiches piled high with prosciutto, mozzarella, salami, soppressata, and other deli goods. There are also homemade soups, pastas, and salads. While Lou’s makes delicious food, there are only a few tables outside, so it’s a good option for a grab-and-go meal.
Finn’s Manor is a cocktail bar and food truck hub in the River North Art District (or RiNo). With 16 rotating taps and 800 or so spirits, this bar has a beverage for all tastes. In addition to the indoor bar, there’s a large patio area and stage for live music, drawing crowds in warmer months.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar is a couple of blocks from Union Station and the right spot when you’re in the mood for seafood and oysters. Daily happy hour runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with $US2 ($AU3) oysters. Outside of happy hour, Jax has a rotating menu featuring chilled shellfish, caviar, seafood pasta, and lobster rolls.
Linger is one of Denver’s best spots. Often packed with guests, it sits atop the former foundation of the Olinger Mortuary. It might seem morbid, but there aren’t any spooky happenings, just good brunch, lunch, and dinner, in addition to awesome views.
Inspired by global cuisine, Linger serves dishes like Korean chicken bao buns and falafel for dinner, and churro french toast and a breakfast dosa for brunch.
Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen
Known for having the best bagel in Denver, Rosenberg’s is your go-to stop for a fresh bagel with lox. Owner Joshua Pollack even went as far as replicating New York City’s water to create his soft, chewy bagels.
Located in Denver’s Five Point neighborhood, it’s an ideal area to explore and walk around with a bagel in hand. Make sure to order ahead online since the line is often out the door on weekends.
Avanti Food & Beverage
Try Avanti Food & Beverage for a variety of food and beverage options. Located in the Lower Highlands (or LoHi) neighborhood, it’s one big warehouse building packed with a lot of smaller restaurants inside. There are burgers, pizza, chicken, Asian street cuisine, Venezuelan dishes, and more. If the weather’s right, head to the rooftop deck for great views.
Sushi Den has the best sushi in Denver. Fish is incredibly fresh and purchased from a market in Japan, from where it is shipped directly to Denver within 24 hours. Don’t pass up on the restaurant’s sashimi or decadent sushi rolls, like the Aburi Bincho roll with seared Albacore tuna.
For a delicious brunch, add Denver Biscuit Company to your list. Here you’ll find huge portions and a whole lot of biscuits, so arrive hungry. Denver Biscuit Company has expanded to a handful of locations in Denver, including a spot in the Stanley Marketplace, which is a community of over 50 shops, bars, and restaurants.
Mister Oso has one of Denver’s best happy hours in RiNo. Every day between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. margaritas are offered for $US6 ($AU8), in addition to a discounted menu that includes guacamole, queso, empanadas, and nachos. It’s also steps from other lively restaurants and bars if you want to make it the first stop of your night.