Food & Drink

Mangiare! The 17 Must-Try Italian Restaurants in Denver

Denver is a city that is known for its diverse range of culinary experiences. With a large population of Italian-Americans, it is no surprise that the city is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in the country.

From traditional family-owned trattorias to modern upscale eateries, Denver has no shortage of Italian dining options.

What sets Italian cuisine apart is its simplicity and emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Many of Denver's Italian restaurants pride themselves on sourcing their ingredients locally and importing specialty items from Italy to ensure authenticity. The result is a menu that is full of flavor and showcases the best of Italian cooking.

Whether you're in the mood for classic pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara or innovative creations like truffle risotto, Denver's Italian restaurants have something for everyone.

And let's not forget about the pizza. Thin-crust, wood-fired pies topped with fresh mozzarella and locally-sourced ingredients are a staple in Denver's Italian dining scene.

In this blog post, we'll be highlighting some of the best Italian restaurants in Denver. From the cozy neighborhood spots to the upscale fine-dining establishments, we'll be exploring what makes these restaurants stand out and why they are worth a visit.

So grab a glass of Chianti and get ready to indulge in some of the best Italian cuisine Denver has to offer.

1. Tavernetta

Tavernetta
1889 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Tavernetta is a glamorous Italian restaurant that serves delicious food and offers impeccable service. The open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant adds a unique touch to the ambiance.

The chefs prepare each plate from scratch, including the pasta. The dessert is a must-try and will leave you speechless.

The restaurant offers a two-course lunch menu and an extensive wine list. The staff is knowledgeable and provides excellent recommendations.

The Chefs table is a great place to sit and observe the staff weave their magic and create a symphony. Tavernetta is a gem that should not be missed.

2. Postino LoHi

Postino Lohi
2715 17th St, Denver, CO 80211 (Google Maps)

Postino LoHi is a rustic Italian kitchen and wine bar that offers a wide range of delicious bruschetta and wine in a cozy and chic atmosphere.

The restaurant has a great selection of wine and the service is top-notch. The small plates are especially good and perfect for sharing.

The bruschetta sampler is a must-try and the Monday and Tuesday night deal is a steal.

The outdoor patio is a nice spot to enjoy the view while sipping on a glass of wine. Postino LoHi is an ideal spot for a fun night out with friends or a romantic date.

3. Odyssey Italian Restaurant

Odyssey Italian Restaurant
603 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 (Google Maps)

Odyssey Italian Restaurant is a cozy trattoria that serves up rustic Italian dishes made with family recipes.

The ambiance is dimly lit and homey, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.

The menu boasts a wide variety of delicious options, including the shrimp Alfredo and the veal braciole. The waitstaff is attentive and knowledgeable, and the wine selection is top-notch.

If you're looking for a taste of authentic Italian cuisine, Odyssey Italian Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.

4. North Italia

North Italia
190 Clayton Ln, Denver, CO 80206 (Google Maps)

North Italia is a must-visit Italian restaurant for anyone who loves authentic Italian cuisine.

With a great selection of food and drinks, the restaurant offers a fantastic atmosphere and exceptional service. The fresh pasta and all-beef meatballs are particularly noteworthy.

Whether you're looking for a casual night out, a quick lunch, or a romantic date, North Italia has got you covered.

The restaurant's rustic, farmhouselike space and outdoor seating add to the overall charm of the place. Highly recommended!

5. Maggiano's Little Italy

Maggiano's Little Italy
Pavilions Mall, 500 16th St Mall Suite 150, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Maggiano's Little Italy is a semi-upscale Italian restaurant that serves classic Italian dishes in a polished and relaxed space.

The restaurant offers family-style portions and has a great selection of gluten-free, vegan, and kiddo options.

The staff is friendly and provides excellent service. The atmosphere is soothing and perfect for a date night or a special occasion.

Maggiano's Little Italy is a great choice for anyone looking for delicious Italian food in a comfortable setting.

6. Restaurant Olivia

Restaurant Olivia
290 S Downing St, Denver, CO 80209 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for a delightful Italian dining experience, Restaurant Olivia is the place to be.

The menu offers fresh pasta dishes and a cornucopia of flavors that will leave your taste buds satisfied. The cocktails are also well-crafted and curated, adding to the overall enjoyment of the meal.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. The only downside is the parking, but using the valet or calling an Uber can easily solve that issue.

Restaurant Olivia is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a delicious Italian meal in a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

7. Spuntino

Spuntino
2639 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Google Maps)

Spuntino is an Italian restaurant that offers a unique twist on traditional Italian cuisine.

The menu features a mix of non-traditional Italian dishes, incorporating Indian-inspired flavors and local ingredients. The wine list is varied, with both inexpensive and expensive options available.

The house-made gelato and limoncello are must-try desserts. The service is attentive and knowledgeable, and reservations are recommended.

The cozy and inviting atmosphere makes for a great dining experience.

8. Lechuga's Italian Restaurant

Lechuga's Italian Restaurant
3609 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 (Google Maps)

Lechuga's Italian Restaurant is a hidden gem that offers classic Italian fare. Their tangy sauce and homemade goodness make the food delicious, and the portions are large.

The restaurant has two separate dining areas, one with a Greek feeling and the other with an Italian bistro vibe.

The staff is attentive and helpful, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. The wine list is unique and offers affordable choices.

If you're looking for a fantastic Italian restaurant in the area, Lechuga's is definitely worth checking out.

9. Shells and Sauce

Shells And Sauce
2600 E 12th Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (Google Maps)

Shells and Sauce is a hidden gem that offers a unique twist on classic Italian dishes. Their fragrant drinks and delicious pastas are a must-try.

The patio seating is perfect for a relaxing meal, and the service is top-notch. The menu has a variety of options, including gluten-free choices.

The happy hour is a great deal with mini pasta dishes and drink specials. The restaurant is small, so reservations are recommended.

Don't forget to try the cheese curds as an appetizer. Shells and Sauce is a great spot for a fine dining experience at reasonable prices.

10. Viale Pizza & Kitchen

Viale Pizza & Kitchen
1390 S Colorado Blvd Suite 190, Denver, CO 80222 (Google Maps)

Viale Pizza & Kitchen is a must-visit for Italian food lovers. The restaurant boasts a wide variety of dishes, including mouth-watering pizzas and pasta dishes.

The menu is extensive and offers something for everyone, from classic Italian dishes to creative new options.

The staff is attentive and friendly, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant is clean and well-maintained, and the outdoor seating is a great option for those who want to enjoy their meal in the fresh air.

If you're looking for delicious Italian food in a cozy atmosphere, Viale Pizza & Kitchen is the perfect spot.

11. Cattivella

Cattivella
10195 E 29th Dr Suite 110, Denver, CO 80238 (Google Maps)

Cattivella is an upscale-casual Italian restaurant that offers a varied menu in a modern setting. The restaurant features an exhibition kitchen, chef's counter, bar, and patio.

The food is amazing and the service is excellent. The mushroom pizza and lamb ragu with fresh pasta are highly recommended.

The drinks are also great, and the bartender really knows how to mix a great Old Fashioned. The atmosphere is lively and welcoming, making it a great spot for date night or a night out with friends.

Cattivella is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a delicious Italian meal in a trendy setting.

12. Bruno's Italian Bistro

Bruno's Italian Bistro
560 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (Google Maps)

Bruno's Italian Bistro is a family-friendly restaurant that serves traditional pasta and meat dishes of Italy.

The homemade food is delicious and reasonably priced, making it a great spot for a night out with friends or family.

The knowledgeable staff provides excellent service, and the ambiance of the restaurant is cozy and inviting.

If you're looking for an authentic Italian dining experience, Bruno's Italian Bistro is definitely worth a visit.

13. Cucina Bella

Cucina Bella
9660 E Alameda Ave #104, Denver, CO 80247 (Google Maps)

Cucina Bella is an Italian restaurant that offers authentic and delicious food. The staff is professional and kind, making the dining experience enjoyable.

The restaurant has a nice ambiance, perfect for a romantic dinner or a casual lunch.

The menu has a variety of options, including a classic margherita pizza and a Penne with Gorgonzola sauce topped with a crispy fried chicken breast.

The peach bundino dessert is a must-try. The restaurant is reasonably priced for the quality of the food. Cucina Bella is a great neighborhood spot for Italian food that will not disappoint.

14. Bar Red

Bar Red
437 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204 (Google Maps)

Bar Red is a cozy Italian restaurant with a unique atmosphere. The staff is friendly and attentive, adding to the overall experience.

The food is excellent, with standout dishes like the Spinach and Artichoke dip and the Chicken Alfredo.

The cocktails are also a must-try, with creative blends and reasonable prices. The decor is charming, with brick walls and interesting lighting.

If you're looking for great Italian food and a fun atmosphere, Bar Red is a great choice.

15. DiFranco's

Difranco's
955 Lincoln St D, Denver, CO 80203 (Google Maps)

DiFranco's is a hidden gem that serves authentic Italian food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Their homemade pasta and sauces are a must-try, and the meatball sandwich is a favorite among customers.

The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make for a great dining experience. Don't forget to try their delicious desserts, especially the lemon cookies.

Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a romantic dinner, DiFranco's is definitely worth a visit.

16. Trattoria Stella

Trattoria Stella
3470 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Google Maps)

Trattoria Stella is a must-visit Italian restaurant for those seeking quality dishes with unique flavors.

The homemade pastas are tender and sauces are exciting, bursting with flavor. The staff is friendly, competent, and attentive, making for a welcoming atmosphere.

The cozy patio is perfect for date night and the seasonal menu offers a variety of options.

Don't miss out on the gorgonzola appetizer and the tiramisu for dessert. Despite the small space, this restaurant is a hidden gem that won't disappoint.

17. Quality Italian

Quality Italian
241 Columbine St, Denver, CO 80206 (Google Maps)

Quality Italian is a modern steakhouse that serves up some of the best Italian-American dishes around. Their menu is expansive and features everything from classic pasta dishes to hearty steaks.

The restaurant's contemporary design is sleek and sophisticated, making it the perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.

Service is top-notch, with knowledgeable and attentive staff who are always on hand to help with recommendations or answer any questions.

Whether you're in the mood for a perfectly cooked steak or a delicious plate of pasta, Quality Italian is definitely worth a visit.