Best Places to Eat in Denver, Colorado

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Are you planning a visit to Denver, CO and looking for some of the city’s best places to eat? Denver is the logical starting point for those wanting to experience the Rocky Mountains in all their glory. Depending on what city you depart from, flights into Denver International Airport may be less expensive and more direct (compared with flight options into Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc.). Whether flying in or driving through, Denver makes a great base camp for a night or two before you head off into the mountains for your adventures. So, if you happen to find yourself in Denver for more than just a quick layover, then you might as well indulge in some good food while in town. Without a doubt, also plan to try some of the plentiful craft beer that the city has to offer. 

The Outdoor Corps is based in Denver, so we know what the city excels at in terms of food and drink. This review, the second in our “Best Places to Eat Series” (check out our Moab, UT dining review here), features some of our favorite spots in the city and not the uber-touristy spots. We hope these recommendations will provide you with an authentic Denver food experience and help you dine like a local. Bon appetit!



Denver has an amazing array of great cafes, coffee shops, and roasters. For the “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list, we’ve winnowed the abundant competition down our favorite spots in the city to grab a cup of coffee. While you’re in town, please avoid the standard Starbucks fare and opt for something more original.

Corvus Coffee Roasters - Best Dining in Denver

Corvus Coffee Roasters

Why You Should Go Here:
Corvus is hands down our favorite coffee spot in all of Denver. Corvus’s South Broadway location is a bit removed from downtown, but it’s a worthwhile stop if you’re serious about java. Operating out of an industrial-style building, you’ll enjoy a relaxed, non-pretentious vibe. Sure, it can get crowded, especially on the weekends, but it’s worth a stop. If you’re looking to hang out for a bit, plan to arrive early to get a seat.

Corvus sources their coffee beans directly from coffee farms and small-batch roasts in-house. Their menu is fairly straightforward – standard espresso drinks, drip coffee, pour over coffee, and oh-so-good Kyoto and Nitro cold brew. Also, note that their food menu is fairly limited with mostly pastry options, so plan to grab breakfast before or after your visit.

What You Should Get:
Without a doubt, try Corvus’s Kyoto cold brew (straight-up or a concoction with interesting flavorings) or their Nitro cold brew, which is creamy and smooth. In our opinion, these drinks are a perfect start to the morning or after a long hike in the Rockies.

Port Side - Best Dining in Denver

Port Side

Why You Should Go Here:
Port Side is located in the RINO area and is a fantastic spot to grab a coffee and a quick bite to eat for breakfast (or lunch). Operating out of what looks to be a re-purposed shipping container, Port Side is small and cozy. If you get there early enough in the morning, you should have little issue finding a table. We particularly love this place because their menu is eclectic, the food is absolutely tasty, and the baristas are superb. Plus, when you’re done with your coffee, you can check out the Topo Designs (a Denver-based apparel and gear company) flagship store right next door.

What You Should Get:
For an espresso drink, try their cortado. In the mood for something other than coffee, opt for their tasty matcha latte. If you are hungry, try “The Duke” with eggs, pulled pork, arugula, pickles and mayo. Beyond sandwiches, we are also fond of their Avocado Toast (don’t forget to add an egg). Their Overnight Oats with coconut, almonds, cinnamon, and maple or their smoothies are other great choices too!


If there is one meal of the day that Denver does particularly well, it’s breakfast. There’s certainly no shortage of excellent breakfast or brunch spots. For our “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list, we’ve tried to avoid some of the standard tourist recommendations (e.g., Snooze, Denver Biscuit Co.) in favor or more original dining options and where you may be less likely to have to wait in line. With any of the options below, you’re bound to have a fantastic breakfast meal.

Weathervane Café - Best Dining in Denver

Weathervane Café

Why You Should Go Here:
We absolutely love the Weathervane Café for its cozy ambience and fantastic drink and food menu. This is one of our go to locations to grab a bite to eat and hunker down for a while with some good coffee. Operating out of a converted house, there are two levels of interior seating as well as some outdoor seats, assuming the weather cooperates.

Weathervane Café serves breakfast and lunch, as well as standard coffee concoctions. In addition, they have a great assortment of non-coffee options if you’re in the mood for something other than coffee. Reasonable prices, tasty menu options, and quality service keep us coming back to this spot.

What You Should Get:
If you are looking for something other than coffee, try one of Weathervane Café’s cambric teas with flower honey and house made vanilla syrup. Alternatively, give their golden milk latte a try, which is made with steamed milk, turmeric, and other spices – yum! For food, we like their Denver Turkey sandwich or Veggie sandwich. Don’t forget to opt for the side of dill and pepper seasoned cucumbers!

Olive & Finch - Best Dining in Denver

Olive & Finch

Why You Should Go Here:
Olive & Finch is probably our favorite breakfast spot in all of Denver! They have two locations: one in Uptown and another in Cherry Creek. We prefer their Cherry Creek location because it has far more seating and offers a few additional menu items. Speaking of the menu, they make some of the best savory breakfasts around. Olive & Finch’s skillet hashes are absolutely phenomenal and they also serve an excellent assortment of tartines, sandwiches, along with more substantial breakfast plates. Their coffee and juice options are also top notch.

What You Should Get:
If you are looking for something other than coffee, Olive & Finch is particularly known for their skillet hash options, such as the Bogota or Milano. We are also huge fans of Olive & Finch’s shakshuka breakfast plate, which is a baked skillet of stewed tomatoes, sunny-side up eggs, feta, and spices. This dish alone is probably the main reason why Olive & Finch makes our “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list for breakfast.

Rosenbergs Bagels - Best Dining in Denver

Rosenberg’s Bagels

Why You Should Go Here:
Rosenberg’s has the best bagels and bagel sandwiches in town, by far. They serve up New York style bagels and specialty breakfast sandwiches that will make you think you are actually in New York City. They also operate a full delicatessen, so you can pick up some deli meat, fish, or sides to go. We recommend Rosenberg’s Five Points location rather than the Stanley Marketplace spot, since it’s located central in the city. Of course, because it’s in the city, this spot can be busy and require a wait. Unfortunately, seating is limited, so get their early especially if you plan to go on a weekend.

What You Should Get:
You can’t go wrong with a bagel and cream cheese here. But, Rosenberg’s also has a great selection of breakfast sandwiches, if that’s what your heart desires. We like the standard Egg & Cheese breakfast sandwich on your choice of bagel, but others swear by The Heart Attack sandwich that loads your bagel with bacon, sausage, ham, egg, and cheese.


Many of the lunch options we’ve listed in the “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” can also be dinner restaurants, if you so choose. However, because these establishments have menus more catered to budget-friendly lunch options, we’ve listed them in our lunch category. Nevertheless, you’ll find an eclectic array of food-hall style options and vegetarian/vegan fare that are some of our absolute favorites in the city.

Avanti F&B - Best Dining in Denver

Avanti F&B

Why You Should Go Here:
Denver has recently expanded upon the number of food halls around the city. And, Avanti Food and Beverage (F&B) happens to be a fine choice out of the many options the city has to offer. Avanti is usually quite a busy place for lunch or dinner, but don’t worry because ample seating is available. Dubbed as a “collective eatery,” Avanti has seven different restaurants, an upstairs and downstairs bar, and a scenic rooftop deck with a nice view of downtown Denver.

What You Should Get:
The restaurant concepts at Avanti F&B change every-so-often. At the moment, we recommend Quiero Arepas, which has been one of their mainstay restaurants. Our go to choice at Quiero Arepas is the Queso Arepa. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for pizza, try Brava Pizzeria Della Strada. We particularly like their “Sonny” pizza with spicy Italian sausage.

City O City - Best Dining in Denver

City, O’ City

Why You Should Go Here:
City, O’ City is one of Denver’s best vegetarian/vegan restaurants. We like to come here for lunch, but they serve all meals throughout the day and evening. Even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan, you are bound to find something on the menu that you will love. Furthermore, the restaurant is located fairly close to the Capitol building and the Denver Art Museum for some nearby sightseeing.

What You Should Get:
City, O’ City has an extensive menu that features a considerable amount of tasty vegetarian options. For instance, some of our favorite dishes are the Cauliflower Chorizo Tacos, Seitan Wings, and the Chipotle Quinoa Bowl.

Maria Empanada - Best Dining in Denver

Maria Empanada

Why You Should Go Here:
Maria Empanada serves authentically delicious empanadas that are easily the best found in the city. For about $20, you can get a half dozen, surprisingly filling and very tasty empanadas. Considering how delicious these are, we think it’s a really good deal. Although Maria Empanada has a few locations around the Denver metro area, we prefer their South Broadway location for convenience and dining room spaciousness.

What You Should Get:
As mentioned above, the empanadas here are moderately sized, but filling. We recommend mixing it up and trying a few different varieties. For example, don’t miss their Ham & Cheese, Chicken Chimichurri, and Argentina empanadas. Also, don’t forget to pick up some of their salsa, such as the Asado Grill and Chimichurri.


With a city that is growing at the pace of Denver, it’s hard to keep track of all of the new restaurants that keep popping up around town. For our “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list, we obviously couldn’t list all of the amazing spots Denver has to offer. For dinner, we’ve recommended a few dining options that range in budget and experience that are proven crowd pleasers. 

Work and Class - Best Dining in Denver

Work & Class

Why You Should Go Here:
Work & Class is an excellent spot for some consistently great food and a cool ambience in Denver’s RINO neighborhood. Offering a blend of American and Latin cuisine, Work & Class has an affordable menu that offers diners an opportunity to try a bunch of different plates. The restaurant opens at 4pm and is closed on certain days of the week, so check their website first. Also, plan to arrive early because it can get busy. If there is a line, consider heading to their other restaurant, Supermegabien, or Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company for a beer.

What You Should Get:
Work & Class has a predominately meat-centric menu. So for non-vegetarians, try their Coriander Roasted Colorado Lamb and their Dry Rub Brisket. These are sold by the pound and are shareable. All of their sides are vegetarian, and delicious. Spiced Fried Sweet Plantains, Wisconsin Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Roasted Vegetables with Pepitas Pesto, and the list goes on.

Blue Pan Pizza - Best Dining in Denver

Blue Pan Pizza

Why You Should Go Here:
Blue Pan has arguably the best pizza in all of Denver. This pizza shop is known for their “Detroit Style Pizza,” which is like a deep dish, but has extra thick and crispy crust. They also offer other styles of pizza, such as Chicago Cracker Thin and New York Style. No matter what you choose, you really can’t go wrong. Blue Pan has two locations: one in the West Highlands, which is the (very small) original location and one in Congress Park, which is larger.

What You Should Get:
We’ve liked every pizza we’ve ever had from Blue Pan. If you want a thick pizza, opt for the Detroit Style. For example, we suggest their “3-1-3” pizza with ricotta cheese, genoa salami, peppers, arugula, and parmigiano reggiano. Or, if you’re in the mood for a thin pizza, go for the Chicago Cracker Thin. We recommend the “Louie Louie” with sausage, spinach, garlic, peppers, and cherry tomatoes.

Hop Alley - Best Dining in Denver

Hop Alley

Why You Should Go Here:
In our opinion, Hop Alley is the best spot for Asian Fusion cuisine in all of Denver. Located in the uber-popular RiNo neighborhood, Hop Alley is operated by Tommy Lee, well known in Denver for his ramen restaurant Uncle in LoHi. We think Hop Alley is must-visit, and it also happens to be near a ton of cool bars and breweries to stop by before or after dinner. Note that we highly recommend making a reservation well in advance (thankfully they now use Resy), as Hop Alley is popular and can get extremely busy.  

What You Should Get:
So much to choose from! For sharing, we highly recommend the Beijing Duck Roll, with shredded duck housed in a scallion pancake. Other favorites include the Gai Lan, Fried Wontons, and the Vegetable Fried Rice. For cocktails, try their House Margarita with Sichuan, lime, and passionfruit, or our favorite, the Hop Alley Old Fashioned.


If you are looking for some excellent micro-brewed beer, you’ve come to the right city. There are so many great brewery options in Denver, it was hard to list just our favorites for the “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list. Depending upon the style of beer you prefer, your choice of microbrewery will likely vary, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the below options.

Ratio Beerworks - Best Dining in Denver

Ratio Beerworks

Why You Should Go Here:
Denver has plenty of microbreweries to choose from, but Ratio Beerworks stands out as one of the best. If we were ranking breweries in our “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list, Ratio would easily take top-billing. They consistently brew well-crafted beer in a variety of styles. We often stick with our favorite styles, but when we try something new, we usually love it. Plus, their spacious taproom is located in the heart of the RINO District, close to great restaurants, bars, and more breweries!

What You Should Get:
Ratio Beerworks always has a great selection of beer varieties on tap. When they have it, try their New Wave, a strawberry Berliner Weisse. Also try their Dear You (a French Saison) and Repeater (an Extra Pale Ale), both of which are mostly offered on tap year-round.

Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co - Best Dining in Denver

Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company

Why You Should Go Here:
Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company is great spot for hazy IPAs. Their taproom, located in RINO, is fairly small but has a cool ambience and outdoor seating. Also, because Our Mutual Friend happens to be in an amazing location you can sample beers at a few other nearby breweries (such as Ratio, Epic, 10 Barrel, etc.) if you want to try other microbrews.

What You Should Get:
Our go to beers at Our Mutual Friend are, of course, hazy IPAs. Try the Neon Nail or the Inner Light, both of which are superbly delicious and juicy. Also, be on the look out for unique collaborations with other local microbreweries that are always worth a try.


If you are more of a cocktail drinker instead of a beer drinker, then you’re in for a treat. Denver has a number of excellent cocktail spots with amazing bartenders. For our “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list, we’ve recommended a few of our favorite bars in the city. You’re bound to have a memorable time and an amazing hand-crafted beverage at any of these locations.

Hudson Hill - Best Dining in Denver

Hudson Hill

Why You Should Go Here:
We love Hudson Hill because of its hip vibe, great cocktails, and good selection of craft beers on hand. It’s a small establishment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, but it never feels over-crowded. If you’re looking for a great place to hang with friends and try some well-crafted cocktails, this is a spot you shouldn’t miss.

What You Should Get:
For cocktails, try Hudson Hill’s Old Fashioned or their innovative vodka-based concoction called the Suze, Susie, Suzy. In terms of food, Hudson Hill mostly offers light snacking fare. Therefore, you should probably plan to eat before or after a visit here. But, if you’re hungry, try the spicy pickled okra and/or the grilled cheese sandwich, made with blue cheese and parmesan.

The Family Jones - Best Dining in Denver

The Family Jones

Why You Should Go Here:
The Family Jones is another amazing distillery and cocktail spot in Denver, located in the trendy LoHi neighborhood. Their Spirit House is unique, serves great food, and is in walking distance to other great dining spots (e.g., Avanti, Root Down, Happy Camper, etc.). They distill some fantastic spirits — bourbon, rye, vodka, rum, and gin. This spot has a relaxing aura and a lot more flair than your average cocktail bar.

What You Should Get:
There are a number of drinks we like on Family Jones’ menu. For instance, we like the Family Jewels Old Fashioned, the Lavender Collins featuring their Juniper Jones Gin, and their Ginger Turmeric Spice. Their bartenders are true professionals, so you really can’t miss with their menu.

Williams & Graham - Best Dining in Denver

Williams & Graham

Why You Should Go Here:
Williams & Graham is an excellent bar and restaurant in the LoHi neighborhood. It’s in a great location, so eat at one of LoHi’s many great restaurants and visit Williams & Graham for a drink afterward. Williams & Graham is a small, speakeasy style restaurant/bar, connected to the Occidental bar (which is a great option to get a drink if you are waiting for a table here). When you enter Williams & Graham, you’ll check-in at the front desk and they’ll buzz you into the bar via a hidden door behind a bookshelf, speakeasy style. It’s a cool experience you shouldn’t miss and is a major contributing factor for Williams & Graham making our “Best Places to Eat in Denver, CO” list. Reservations are recommended.

What You Should Get:
Williams & Graham has seasonal drink menus, so always check out their seasonal beverage options. Their standard drink menu is quite extensive and organized by spirit. Our personal favorite cocktails are on the Scotch Whiskey and Gin pages. For food, they offer entrees and small plates — the burger is a very popular selection.

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