Best Places to Eat In Denver

Denver is the capital of Colorado, dating back to the era of the Old West.  There you will find Larimer Square, which is Denver’s oldest block that features landmark buildings from the 19th century.  If you love history you can visit one of the many museums including the Denver Art Museum.

This ultramodern complex is famous for the collection of indigenous works featured throughout.  You can also see the Molly Brown’s mansion, the famed Titanic survivor.  If skiing is your thing, you will be happy to know that Denver serves as a jumping off point for the many ski resorts nearby in the Rocky Mountains.

Denver is home to a large crop of farmer’s markets through the summer and fall that offer visitors and shoppers a lively street festival atmosphere that includes plenty of music, art and amazing food and drink.  These fun farmers’ markets that spread throughout Denver are not just about the farm-fresh, locally grown produce, delicious prepared foods and tasty baked goods, you’ll also find plenty of family-friendly activities, crowds of locals, and live entertainment.  Going to a Denver Farmer’s Market is a fun event for the whole family.

There are many incredible restaurants in Denver that are a reflection of this diverse city’s remarkable, ever-changing culinary experience.  They have an allegiance to the local ranchers, growers, and farmers to stock their kitchens with the freshest, highest-quality foods available and are constantly raising the culinary bar.

Whether it’s fresh sushi or deliciously aged steak you’re craving, Denver will have several places to choose from that will provide everything you are looking for and much more.  We have listed the best places to eat in Denver below to help make your culinary journey a little less overwhelming.  These restaurants exemplify the dedication to innovative ideas, impeccable service and delicious food that will make your dining experience one you will never forget.


Visit: Panzano

“Those who eat well, live well”. This motto is the foundation of Panzano restaurant and is reflected in the lively atmosphere and warm service. The menu is a reflection of Italy, with ingredients that come from close to home, supporting the area’s local ranchers, famers and growers. Panzano offers guests the best in Northern Italian cuisine that focuses on seasonal, local and organic foods that are creatively and talentedly turned into incredible dishes for you to enjoy. The unmatched service and award-winning wine list add to your dining experience. Panzano has been named one of Zagat’s best restaurants in the United States and has also been awarded 4 diamonds by AAA.  You will love the menu choices.  Consider trying the delicious Capesante. This incredible dish features pan-seared scallops that are served with Umbrian lentils, baby carrots, cotechino, along with walnut oil and orange jus.  If you’re celebrating an anniversary or having a romantic dinner for two, you can try the Chef’s 5-course Tasting Menu for a truly lovely experience neither of you will forget.   Whether you are having dinner before attending the theater or having an elegant weekend brunch, you will enjoy having a little bit of Italy right in downtown Denver. 

Tacos Tequila Whiskey

Visit: Tacos Tequila Whiskey

It used to be common to have to stand up while enjoying the tacos at Tacos Tequila and Whiskey but not anymore. Now you can get these delicious, award-winning tacos anytime you want. Their expanded menu and lively atmosphere creates a fun place to go to enjoy their modern twist on Mexican street food. They have a great selection of small-batch, quality tequila and whiskey along with many other delicious drinks. They are dedicated to using local ingredients while still staying true to authentic Mexican recipes. Their specialty is street tacos and if you haven’t tried one yet, you will certainly want to remedy that at your first opportunity. You can choose from a variety of street tacos including the delicious Pollo Agave which featuring Agave-dipped fried chicken, fried to a golden brown and topped with slaw and chimichurri. Or how about the Barbacoa? This delicious street taco is made with slow roasted shredded beef, salsa salpicon and sour cream. There are many more selections to choose from and the prices are fantastic.  Try to or three and make a fantastic authentic street taco meal out of them.  Finish your meal with an order of yummy churros that are housemade. The churros are served with a Mexican hot chocolate sauce for dipping.

The Buckhorn Exchange

Visit: The Buckhorn Exchange

The Buckhorn Exchange is one of Denver’s original steakhouses. This restaurant is located in the neighborhood that is sited as Denver’s oldest. It is a Western Museum and Historic Landmark Nationally that has served guests exceptional Old West food starting in 1893. For lunch, a lighter fare is served including delicious items like Grandma Fanny’s pot roast sandwich, bratwurst platters, large meal-sized salads, or their gigantic beef and buffalo burgers. Dinner choices consist of prime rib from buffalo, baby-back ribs, game hen, prime grade beef steaks, and a host of other choices.  If you’re feeling exotic and adventurous, consider trying the alligator tail appetizer. You can also try the Rocky Mountain Oysters which is the house specialty. Finish your delectable meal with a tasty dessert such as the Dutch apple pie served ala mode style and served with rum and cinnamon sauce or the double-chocolate Rocky Road brownie.  You will leave The Buckhorn Exchange satisfied, full and ready to come back again. Reservations are recommended to ensure that you get a table for your special occasion no matter what it is.

Osteria Marco

Visit: Osteria Marco

In October of 2007, Osteria Marco opened its doors. This wonderful restaurant is named for the youngest Bonanno son and the restaurant was opened just in time to celebrate young Bonanno’s 4th birthday. The Chef/Owner of Osteria Marco was opened to be the “little brother” of his first and highly successful high end restaurant Luca which happened to be named for his oldest son. Osteria Marco was a more relaxed, playful version of Luca but possessed the same impeccable service and artisan tone. The striking awnings in black and white stand out to welcome guests and are a tribute to the grocer’s shop that stood in its place in the 1880s. The restaurant inside and out, is decorated with pigs…metal out on the street and on canvas inside the Osteria. They were crafted by Ironsmith Michael Mancerella and Denver’s artist Quang Ho. They were created as a tribute to the butcher in the grocer’s shop of the late 1800s but also bring good fortune and luck to everyone who enters the restaurant. Osteria offers guests classic hand-tossed Italian pizza, house-crafted cheeses and meats and fantastic wine. The ambience is one of rustic elegance that relaxes and soothes you after a long, hectic day. Here you will be able to relax with friends and family, enjoy delicious food, drink fabulous wine and enjoy a dining experience that will stay with you.

The Atomic Cowboy

Visit: The Atomic Cowboy

If you’re looking for the perfect place to enjoy excellent food and exceptional service with a comfy, neighborhood feel, The Atomic Cowboy is your place. After one visit here, it is sure to become your favorite place to hang out. There are two places inside one when you’re at The Atomic Cowboy. The Atomic Cowboy is the home of the famous Fat Sully’s Pizza and The Denver Biscuit Company.   One of the things you can say without fail about Fat Sully is that he LOVES pizza.  All of the pizzas you can order here are made with the finest ingredients that are fresh and tasty. Whether it’s fresh mozzarella that comes straight from the farm in Wisconsin or the Carmelina tomatoes that are direct from Italy via a boat you will be able to taste the exceptional difference in Fat Sully’s fresh-made pizzas from other places.  If you’re not feeling like pizza, don’t worry just try one of the delicious creations at Denver Biscuit Company, also located at The Atomic Cowboy. DBC has been named Denver’s Best Breakfast and has been featured on many TV shows from Diner’s, Drive Ins, and Dives to CNN Headline news.  Choose from delicious and unique offerings like the Franklin featuring buttermilk fried chicken, tender bacon, and cheddar cheese that has been smothered in sausage or vegetarian gravy; or how about The Elmer? This tasty dish features pulled pork that has been smoked for 10 hours, and is served with BBQ sauce, fried onions, homemade pickles and Cole slaw.  It doesn’t matter whether you are in the mood for mouth-watering pizza or delicious biscuits; The Atomic Cowboy has you covered. 

The Capital Grille

Visit: The Capital Grille

The best two words to describe The Capital Grille are comfortable elegance. With African mahogany paneling on the walls and beautiful Art Deco chandeliers hanging overhead, there is definite warmth that you will really enjoy for any occasion. They are known for their dry-aged steaks, incredible seafood and world-class wines. The service is attentive and gracious, adding to your perfect dining experience even more. The staff and Chefs at The Capital Grille want to make sure that everything, and they do mean everything, arrives to your table thrills you completely.  They accomplish that by only using the freshest and finest ingredients that have been carefully prepared into dishes that will please all of your senses. The secret to The Capital Grille’s extraordinary steaks is the pre-preparation that has been done before they ever touch the grill. Each piece of beef has been dry-aged on-site for over 18 days which achieves a flavor and texture that is unmatched.  Then they are hand carved by the in-house butchers to specific standards of excellence.  It is an involved process but one that The Capital Grille and all the guests that try a steak agree is worth it.

Shanahan’s Steakhouse

Visit: Shanahan’s Steakhouse

Come to Shananahan’s Steakhouse and experience the modern interpretation of a classic Denver steakhouse. They have raised the bar by providing guests with USDA prime meats including specialty bone-in cuts of meat and a huge selection of fresh seafood that is guaranteed to please. Here you will get to enjoy upscale dining that includes a beautiful bar, huge indoor/outdoor fireplace and an incredible wine display.  The cozy booths and European lighting creates an atmosphere that will enhance your dining experience even more.  There is an outdoor patio to enjoy during the spring and summer and plenty of plasma TVs in the bar so you can catch the game.  The incredible wine cellar display contains 4000 bottles of red wine and 1400 bottles of white wine and is an impressive sight.  There are beautiful, contemporary paintings on the walls that complement this elegant restaurant’s modern interior.  There’s no stuffiness here, despite the high end décor and food. You will feel relaxed and comfortable as you dine on what may well be the best food you’ve ever had.

Sam’s No. 3

Visit: Sam’s No. 3

At Sam’s No. 3 you will be offered a variety of cuisines, including their expansive Mexican food menu, along with authentic American and Greek dishes. Sam’s goal is to serve their guests with the best quality and taste of food while providing them with the perfect atmosphere for any occasion. You can find tons of award-winning breakfast, lunch and dinner choices such as the delectable Honey Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad or any one of dozens of other delicious choices. There’s so many terrific dishes on Sam’s No. 3 menu that you will have a tough time trying to decide. They also have a Kid’s Menu that offers the kids plenty of choices too.  The bar serves everything from domestic beer to Mimosas or Manhattans and there is an Espresso Bar too for the coffee connoisseurs. Last but not least is the sinful dessert menu that you won’t be able to resist. (Who would want to?)

New York Deli News

Visit: New York Deli News

There’s something fun about eating at a real delicatessen. New York Deli News may SOUND like it should be in New York City, but Denver is the lucky recipient of this delicious establishment.  It’s been going strong in Denver for over 25 years.  The great service and New York inspired meals are definitely things you will want to experience when you are in town.  The bagels, rye breads and bialys come straight from New York and are par baked before shipment.  The deli meats are from the same place that provides some of the authentic New York famous delis and are trucked into Denver as well.  You can dine in, take out or use New York Deli News’s catering offerings as well. There are 25 different, incredible Deli sandwiches to choose from along with a breakfast and brunch menu and a full dinner menu also with selections like Brisket of Beef, Roasted Chicken or Spaghetti and Meatballs. All dinners are served with your choice of a tossed salad, Cole slaw or cup of soup and your choice of potato.  The hardest part will be deciding what to try first.

Ocean Prime

Visit: Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime in Denver is one of 14 locations that span from coast to coast. It is a modern American restaurant that offers guests stunning décor, vibrant energy and a vast, impressive menu that includes seafood, prime cuts of steak and much more. Along with exquisite food, you can choose from several signature cocktails and a wine list that is Wine Spectator honored. While the restaurant specializes in prime steaks and seafood, the staff and chefs are dedicated to providing their guests with an extraordinary dining experience that they will want to repeat again and again.  They offer some lighter fare for those who desire it, like their delicious shellfish Cobb salad and sushi and other dishes like the smoking shellfish tower.  Ocean Prime is dedicated to offering impeccable service that features sincere hospitality to every guest that comes through the doors. They want every guest to feel like a VIP and that is the treatment they give.  Ocean Prime is a restaurant that is in the business of serving outstanding food and helping to create incredible dining experiences as well.