Food & Drink

Mile-High Delights: 15 Must-Try Local Restaurants in Denver!

Welcome to the Mile-High City, where the food scene is as diverse as the population. Denver boasts an impressive selection of local restaurants that cater to all tastes and budgets.

Whether you're in the mood for a fancy night out or a quick bite to eat, there's something for everyone.

From farm-to-table eateries to classic diners, Denver's culinary landscape is constantly evolving. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go.

That's why we've put together a list of the best local restaurants in Denver to help you narrow down your choices and make the most of your dining experience.

Our list includes a mix of established favorites and up-and-coming hotspots that are making waves in the culinary world.

We've taken into account everything from the quality of the food to the level of service and ambiance. We've also made sure to include a variety of cuisines, so you can explore different flavors and cultures.

So, whether you're a Denver local or just visiting, be prepared to indulge in some of the best food the city has to offer.

From mouth-watering barbecue to innovative vegan dishes, there's no shortage of delicious options to choose from. So sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the best local restaurants in Denver.

1. Guard and Grace

Guard And Grace
1801 California St, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Guard and Grace is a modern steakhouse with a raw bar and patio. The restaurant serves delicious chops, small plates, and fine wines in an airy space.

The wait staff is knowledgeable and attentive, and the atmosphere is great for special occasions. The restaurant is a bit pricey, but the quality of the food and service justifies the cost.

The steaks are the centerpiece of the menu, and they are cooked to perfection. The sides are also exceptional, especially the black truffle mac n cheese and whipped potatoes.

The restaurant can get a bit noisy, but it doesn't detract from the dining experience. If you're looking for a great steakhouse with a contemporary twist, Guard and Grace is worth a visit.

2. Sam's No. 3 Downtown

Sam's No. 3 Downtown
1500 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Sam's No. 3 Downtown is a long-standing diner that serves up big portions of comfort food from breakfast through dinner.

The menu is extensive, offering a variety of options for vegetarians and those with gluten-free diets.

The atmosphere is authentic and the service is excellent. Prices are a little above average, but it is right in the heart of the city.

A great spot for a quick meal, but expect a wait on weekends. The food is on point and always delicious.

3. D'Corazon Mexican Restaurant

D'corazon Mexican Restaurant
1530 Blake St unit c, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

D'Corazon Mexican Restaurant offers classic Colorado-style Mexican food in a small and busy space.

The house margaritas are a must-try and the quality and taste of the food are excellent.

The hot salsa is a standout, but unfortunately, you can't mix and match your enchiladas or tacos.

The service is friendly, and the staff is courteous, making it a great spot for a quick lunch or dinner. Highly recommended for anyone looking for great Mexican food in the area.

4. Work & Class

Work & Class
2500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (Google Maps)

Work & Class is a cozy and relaxed restaurant that serves homestyle Southern and Latin American cuisine.

Their dishes are made for sharing and pack a punch in flavor. The staff is attentive and gives great recommendations.

The atmosphere is fun, but can be loud. The menu changes seasonally, so there's always something new to try.

Work & Class is a great spot for a casual weeknight meal or a fun night out with friends.

5. Rioja

Rioja
1431 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Rioja is a must-visit restaurant for those who love Mediterranean cuisine. The food is creatively presented and made with locally sourced ingredients.

The staff is knowledgeable and engaging, making the dining experience exceptional.

The ambiance is cozy and intimate, perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.

Don't forget to try the beignets, a menu item that has been a hit since 2005. Reservations are recommended at this high-energy dining room.

6. Safta

Safta
3330 Brighton Blvd #201, Denver, CO 80216 (Google Maps)

Safta is a modern Middle Eastern restaurant that serves wood-fired Israeli food.

The place has a stylish and airy ambiance that complements the delicious food. The menu offers a range of dishes that are well-balanced and flavorful.

The pita bread is fluffy and fresh out of the oven, and the lamb ragu hummus is exceptionally flavorful. The whipped feta, soft-cooked egg hummus, and lamb kebabs are personal favorites.

The wait staff is friendly and helpful, and the drinks are top-notch. Safta is a must-visit restaurant for anyone who loves Middle Eastern cuisine.

7. El Five

El Five
2930 Umatilla St Unit #500, Denver, CO 80211 (Google Maps)

El Five is a tapas restaurant with a funky vibe and sweeping views.

The flavors are Mediterranean with Spanish influence. The garlic dip and mushroom pastries are must-tries.

The paella with meat is out of this world. The service is great, and the place has nice decor.

It's a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner with a view.

8. The Plimoth

The Plimoth
2335 E 28th Ave, Denver, CO 80205 (Google Maps)

The Plimoth is a local restaurant that offers a creative and impressive New American menu. The decor is rustic and cozy, with reclaimed-wood counters adding to the charm.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, providing excellent service. The menu changes frequently, with fresh and seasonal ingredients used in all dishes.

Vegetarian options are available, and the clam chowder and pork rillette are highly recommended.

Prices are on the higher side, but the quality of food and service make it worth it. The Plimoth is a great choice for a special occasion or a romantic night out.

9. Avelina

Avelina
1550 17th St, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Avelina offers refined New American cuisine in a modern and chic atmosphere.

The clever contemporary plates and drinks are a must-try for any foodie.

The restaurant's cosmopolitan vibe and striking decor add to the overall dining experience.

Highly recommended for those looking for a unique and upscale meal.

10. Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs
2148 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (Google Maps)

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs offers a unique dining experience with its exotic meat options and customizable toppings.

The staff provides excellent service in a casual atmosphere, making it a must-visit spot for hot dog lovers.

The menu boasts a variety of gourmet dogs, including rattlesnake and elk jalapeno cheddar. The fries and sides are also worth trying.

While the prices may be higher than expected for a hot dog restaurant, the quality of the food and service make it worth the visit.

11. Table 6

Table 6
609 Corona St, Denver, CO 80218 (Google Maps)

Table 6 offers a cozy and casual fine dining experience with creative and superb food.

The constantly rotating menu ensures something new to choose from, while the attentive and knowledgeable staff make the dining experience even better.

The restaurant has a rustic and intimate setting, with an open kitchen that allows diners to see the chefs in action.

While the menu is small, all the entrees are amazing, with the duck confit being a go-to dish. The restaurant is a bit pricey, but the quality of the food and service is worth it.

12. Panzano

Panzano
909 17th St, Denver, CO 80202 (Google Maps)

Panzano is a posh yet casual restaurant that offers sustainable Northern Italian cuisine.

The menu is well-thought-out and includes a variety of options, from seafood pasta to bison short rib. The food is made in-house and tastes delicious.

The service is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience even better. The ambiance is elegant, with works of art on the walls and subtle music in the background.

Panzano is a must-visit for anyone looking for an authentic Italian dining experience.

13. North Italia

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

North Italia is a must-visit Italian restaurant with a rustic ambiance and a handcrafted menu.

The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including gluten-free pasta, pizza, and appetizers like carpaccio and burrata.

The service is fast, timely, and friendly, making it a perfect place for a romantic date or a night out with friends.

The restaurant also offers takeout and is reasonably priced. If you're looking for a great Italian dining experience, North Italia is definitely worth checking out.

14. Senor Bear

Senor Bear
3301 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 (Google Maps)

Senor Bear is a trendy Latin American restaurant that offers a unique mix of food, drinks, and flavors.

The menu features beautifully plated small plates and seafood dishes that are perfect for sharing. The cocktails are also excellent, with a variety of options to choose from.

The service is friendly and attentive, and the ambiance is lively and hip. The outdoor seating area provides a nice atmosphere with hanging lights.

Senor Bear is definitely worth checking out for a fun night out with friends or a romantic date.

15. True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen
2800 E 2nd Ave Ste 101, Denver, CO 80206 (Google Maps)

True Food Kitchen is a relaxed and eco-chic restaurant that serves a variety of health-conscious fare, including vegan and gluten-free options.

The menu offers plenty of choices, ranging from edamame dumplings to salmon and lasagna.

The atmosphere is cool and inviting, with indoor and patio seating available. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the service is quick.

The restaurant is moderately priced and well worth a visit for anyone looking for upscale healthy food. Reservations are recommended as it can get busy.