Good Eats in Denver

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009

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Dining out in Denver. Courtesy of Visit Denver.
Dining out in Denver. Courtesy of Visit Denver.

Denver’s delicious dining scene

DENVER, Colorado – Got a mile high sized appetite in Denver? No problem, Denver has a sophisticated dining scene with options to please every palate. Perhaps it will be a Western adventure to the Fort in the Colorado Rockies foothills west of Denver, a stroll over to Elway’s in Cherry Creek in downtown Denver or a trip back in time in the elegance of the Palace Arms or Ship’s Tavern at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver.

Steak for dinner in Denver

Let’s talk steak. Denver’s omnivore dining options are a cut above traditional beef. Try the Buckhorn Exchange near downtown Denver where the menu includes elk, buffalo and even (strangely) alligator, and enjoy the trophy room décor on nearly every inch of wall space.

At the award-winning Fort restaurant in nearby Morrison choose from elk, quail, buffalo, beef or trout all served up in an 1840s replica fort. Named for its owner and football champion John Elway, Elway’s has distinguished itself as a serious but fun steakhouse in recent years. The Brown Palace Hotel is an experience of luxury from a bygone era where you choose between a handful restaurants, including the Palace Arms and Ship’s Tavern.

Eat your beer

Beer, it’s what’s for dinner? Denver has become known as a beer town thanks to numerous microbreweries and playing host to the annual Great American Beer Festival. While you can get a good ale to wash down any meal, what’s more fun is to eat your beer. Places such as the Wynkoop Brewing Company and the Breckenridge Brewery have included beer on the menu by adding the brew to everything from barbeque sauce to desserts. Get a traditional pub meal or a hearty hamburger to totally fill up.

Denver dining is fresh as can be

The buzzword in dining right now is “local” and that means buying from the many local farmers’s markets, such as the Cherry Creek Fresh Market and the Boulder Farmers’s Market–or selecting restaurants that do it for you. Among the best who offer a seasonal and ever-changing menu to keep up with the local farms are Potager in Capitol Hill, Gaia Bistro on South Pearl Street, Z Cuisine and Duo in Highlands, Il Posto in Uptown and The Kitchen and Black Cat Bistro in Boulder.

Denver dining has ethnic options

There are also a few surprises in Denver’s dining scene, some off the beaten path, but worth the drive. On South Pearl Street, don’t miss terrific sushi at Sushi Den while near the Auraria campus in downtown Denver there is authentic country Japanese food at Domo. West of downtown Denver, around Federal Boulevard, there are a number of Vietnamese Pho restaurants and Thai eateries with excellent spicy noodles. East of downtown there are Middle Eastern places like the House of Kabob.

In Denver, eat and go

Chances are you’ll be doing a lot of walking or cycling around Denver to see the sights or just enjoy the thin, crisp air and abundant sunshine. When you need a quick and affordable bite, you can dependably find something that will fill you up in just about every Denver neighborhood.

In Highlands, hit La Casita for a breakfast tamale while on South Broadway it’s all about the smothered burrito at Senor Burrito. In downtown go to Cook’s Fresh Market for sandwiches, salad or soup and a little people-watching next to the huge windows. In uptown try Marczyk Fine Foods for a fine sandwich with the freshest ingredients or if you’re in LoDo head to the Market for a deli lunch or morning coffee and pastry.

The Denver dining scene has something for everyone from the foothills to downtown, from casual to dressy and everything in between.

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