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Feb 9, 2009 12:09 PM

Denver: Restaurants with a 'neighboorhood' feel

I'm visiting Denver from Chicago on a Thursday evening. I'm particularly interested in any restaurants with a "neighborhood" feel -- lots of locals, decent prices, unpretentious food and not exactly on the tourist map. Oh, and of course wonderful food and service.

To help narrow it down a bit, I'd like to spend less than $16 on an entree and any cuisine works, but one important consideration is that one person in the group is a vegetarian -- so no steak/seafood places.

Places in central Denver or the western suburbs would be fine as we're driving into the mountains after dinner.

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  1. We like Gaetano's Italian at 38th and Tejon. DH thinks thinks that the sausage and peppers are the best that he has ever had. I love the fresh, house-made salad dressings, especially the creamy gorgonzola.
    Further out 38th Ave. is Tacos Jalisco for pretty good Mexican food. They serve really good breakfasts.

    1. Here is one you will want to skip: Beatrice and Woodsley. Very over-rated and very unfriendly waitstaff/hostesses.

      6 Replies
      1. re: olddogeyes

        Many of the regular posters here very much like Beatrice and Woodsley. It's on my to try list.

        1. re: RobynS

          Rioja on Larimer. Everytime I go I think, "I wish this was in my neighborhood."

          I'm not strictly a veggie, but I've had their "vegetarian 4 squares" entree (with changing selections) and it's not only delicious but doesn't seem like an after-thought like the veggie options at some places. Entrees are a bit higher than what you listed as a price goal (16.50 for a full serving of saffron fettucine or 9 as an app, 18.50 for the veggie 4 squares, 22 for chicken and quail, and 28 for a beef filet with a 1927 sherry reduction), but it's highly-regarded by locals and travelers alike and they source high-quality ingredients. Check out their menu and see what you think.

          1. re: RobynS

            To each his/her own. But the attitude and arrogance (of the staff) is so thick in this place that you can cut it with a knife. Personally, enjoying where I'm at and having a good time is just as important as the actual food. Placed like Beatrice & Woodsley's stress me out. YMMV.

            1. re: olddogeyes

              I don't think I've read anything about bad staff experiences to date on many reviews here, maybe you just caught them on a bad night?

              1. re: RobynS

                I had wonderful, wonderful experiences my first few times there—and a really disappointing experience more recently, both food- and servicewise (they weren't rude, but nor were they terribly on the ball). I haven't been back since the latter, but I was deeply concerned that the success over there might have gone to their heads; I hope not, and will of course return to find out, because I was such a huge fan from week one.

                These might be a little over your price range, but not by much, and the food is top-notch in precisely the neighborhood setting you seek: Table 6, Deluxe, Black Pearl; I'd also give bang!, Encore at its best, and (slightly more grudgingly) Cherry Creek Grill a nod.

                (By way of comparison:


                1. re: RobynS

                  Magic Eight Balls says I'm not the only one ...

                  Several similar experiences here:

          2. Bull and Bush in Glendale. Veggie can have nice salads, mashed smothered with green, other sides, the rest of you can enjoy hoofed animals in many forms, and hand-crafted brews. Truly a neighborhood spot, but they will let you in.

            1. Le Central is pretty much a locals spot. Nothing mind blowing, but always a good meal and in your price range. A safe bet, and a fun place. There new small plate happy hour is fun, but ends at 5PM.

              The others are a bit more interesting, and none have a tourist crowd from my experience. You may be limited in your menu selection a bit more to stay in your range. You can google any of these for address and menus on some.

              Domo, for japanese food with great atmosphere

              Sushi Sasha for great sushi

              Z Cuisine, great little neighborhood french (see the web menu, under $16 will be a challenge, but worth it).

              1. Perhaps Mona's, either on south Broadway or in the Highlands. I like their French onion soup and their salads are great. So are breakfasts.

                Don't miss My Brother's Bar for burgers. It's on the corner of 15th and Platte, just down the block from Mona's (in Highlands). There is no sign. It's a very local kind of place.