7 Trendy Spots to Dine Out in Denver

Check out our guide to the best places to get your foodie fix in Denver, Colorado

Your guide to the best places to get your foodie fix in Denver, Colorado

With mountains, hipsters, amazing food and craft breweries, Denver is almost a sister city for Vancouver when it comes to cool eating establishments. Only a three-hour flight away, the Mile High City makes a fun foodie destination, with many restaurants, markets and bars concentrated in the historic two blocks of downtown’s Larimer Square and the emerging River North Art District (RiNo).

Here are our pick of places to dine out and drink in Denver…


1. Snooze, Denver Union Station

Denver’s historic Union Station dates back to 1881, but a 2014 renovation restored it to its former glory, complete with chandeliers and Beaux Arts styling that hark back to the grand old days of glamorous rail travel. Inside you’ll find an active transit hub, plus The Crawford Hotel and 13 shops and restaurants to explore—covering everything from delis to fine dining.

Fuel up for the day at Snooze, an ‘AM eatery’ that was founded by brothers Jon and Adam Schlegel in Denver’s Ballpark neighbourhood in 2006, and can now be found across Colorado, California, Arizona and Texas. Try the ‘pancake flight’ to taste three fluffy pancakes, including pineapple-upside-down pancakes, Snooze’s signature sweet potato pancakes or one of the daily specials.

2. Rioja, Larimer Square

Sparkling fairy lights line downtown Denver’s oldest block, and the spot where the city was founded, at Larimer Square. Over the last 14 years, two women, restaurateur Beth Gruitch and James Beard-winner and Top Chef contestant chef Jennifer Jasinski, have built a mini empire in the Square—helping to establish it as one of the most popular tourist spots in the Mile High City.

Rioja, Bistro Vendôme and Euclid Hall can all be found in the Square (with the team’s two new additions, Ultreia and Stoic & Genuine in Union Station). Mediterranean-inspired Rioja was the duo’s first venture; head here for handmade pasta like artichoke tortellini or the popular ‘vegetarian four squares’—a taster plate of four seasonal dishes.

3. Edge, Four Seasons Denver, near Larimer Square

Carnivores rejoice at Edge! Chef Simon Purvis serves up some out-of-this-world steaks and beef dishes, everything from Kobe carpaccio to Wagyu beef presented with Edge’s signature ‘900 degree hot stone’ so you can sear your own steak. Don’t miss the Wagyu ‘candle,’ which is made from beef fat and gently melts so you can dip bread in and soak up its awesomeness.

4. Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey

Home of America’s first single malt whiskey, Stranahan’s came to be when volunteer firefighter Jess Graber responded to his neighbour’s barn fire and it turned out to belong to brewery-owner and whiskey connoisseur George Stranahan. The pair bonded over a love of whiskey and began making their own from 100% malted barley, yeast and Rocky Mountain water in 2004. Take a distillery tour to find out more or take a seat at the bar to try a dram. Be sure to check out the bottles for the hand-written comments that let you know insights, such as who bottled your whiskey and what music they were listening to at the time.


5. Great Divide Brewing Companies, RiNo

Great Divide, the brewery/tasting room in the up-and-coming RiNo (River North) Art District neighbourhood, purposefully based itself in an industrial area to encourage other businesses to come to the once-gritty locale. After successfully helping to build up the Ballpark neighbourhood in the ’90s, Great Divide opened a five-acre brewery, warehouse and Barrel Bar in RiNo in 2015, and the city will be opening a riverside park and promenade to further develop the area. Talk politics over a pint of their strawberry rhubarb sour ale or look out for seasonal releases like the Roadie Grapefruit Radler.

6. Acorn, The Source Hotel & Market Hall, RiNo

Set inside a renovated 19th century foundry, The Source’s two market halls include 25 artisans selling everything from flowers and barber services to art and apparel, as well as tacos, barbecued food and brews. In May 2018, a 100-room boutique hotel will be opening, with a rooftop gastropub, beer garden and pool terrace with panoramic views of The Rockies.

Wild out on wood-fired dishes at Acorn, one of the market hall’s restaurants, where you’ll find hearty proteins such as chicken and pork chops to share, as well as inventive sides (try the oak-roasted pretzel and wood-fired baby yams if it’s on chef Steve Redzikowski’s seasonal menu). Bryan Dayton’s craft cocktails are split into no-booze, low-booze and high-booze categories, but each one packs a flavour punch.

7. Denver Central Market, RiNo

RiNo’s hipster haven, Denver Central Market, originated as a gift store in the 1920s but reopened in 2016 to bring local vendors together under one roof in this airy brick-clad marketplace. Inside you’ll find a butchers, a bakery and a bar, plus a fish market and grocery store. There are also plenty of places to pick up ready-to-eat food, including everything from veggie bowls at Green Seed to pasta at Vero Italian, charcuterie boards at Culture Meat & Cheese or an indulgent ice cream at High Point Creamery.