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Apr 17, 2011 06:44 PM

Foodies Coming to Denver . . . What to do and Eat?

Hi there

We're coming to Denver for a eight days this summer. We'll be staying downtown at the Sheraton. I'm there for a conference but have tacked vacation days on as well. We'll have a car and hope to head to Boulder/Red Rocks. etc

What food and drink hi-lights should we try and seek out while we're in the area?

What are the quintesential Denver food experiences?

We're not too concerned about price.

We're generally open to most food and drink experiences.

We like it all from street food/ to diners/dives to high end dining.

When we travel we like to try local experiences as much as possible and steer clear of chains.

I am coffee obsessed - any great coffee shops/roasters in the city that make a good fill-bodied dark roast?

We also love markets and gourmet food shops and would welcome any suggestions there.



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  1. I would start at Larimer Square (which is really just a block of Larimer street).

    Troy Guard has two restaurants, TAG and TAG Raw bar (that one is new) for both food and creative cocktails.

    Jen Jasinski has 3 restaurants: Rioja (spanish-ish), Bistro Vendome (French) , and Euclid Hall (kinda of a beer hall concept), All excellent.

    Frank Bonano has two restaurants in Larimer square: Osteria Marco is a good causal Italian, but they make their own cheeses and quality is high. Also Green Russell is a speakeasy like place hidden behind a pie shop (wednesday's pie) for bespoke cocktails.

    Then you could check out some places in the highlands area (NW of downtown but sill in cab distance). I would look at Lola, Root Down, and the Squeaky Bean. Oh also, take a look at Colt and Gray, in between downtown and the highlands.

    If the weather is nice, you might take a look at Domo, which has a nice Japanese garden as the dining room.

    Other hot spots include Frank Bonano’s other restaurants, Mizuna, Luca D’Italia, and Bones.
    Fruition is also very good. I have heard good things about “Twelve” and “Tables” but have not been myself.
    Vesta Dipping grill is another good spot…dang now I am hungry.

    I don't get up to Boulder much, but there are lots of good places up there as well, you should make the time.

    Not many great markets really. There are some big asian supermarkets, but nothing too special.

    No idea about coffee…

    225 East Seventh Avenue, Denver, CO 80203

    Osteria Marco
    1453 Larimer, Denver, CO 80202

    1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

    1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

    Bistro Vendome
    1420 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

    Larimer Square
    , Denver, CO 80202

    Root Down
    1600 W. 33rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80211

    2 Replies
    1. re: DrakeRemoray

      wow this is super helpful and good timing, i'll be there in two weeks! coming from the culinary hot spot of providence, RI, i've learned to keep my expectations lower when travelling, but many of the aforementioned suggestions have garnered high acclaim.
      i would also like to do some cooking for my hosts, if any suggestions can be offered as to where i should seek out great local beef, bison, lamb, etc?

    2. These two threads are great starters for Denver and Boulder.

      Not complete by any means, but more comprehensive than I could be in one post.

      1. If you're hitting Red Rocks, you need to visit either of the biker bars in Morrison during daylight, or finish up after dark at The Little Bear, upstream. If there is ANY show at Red Rocks while you are in town, GO if you have not been. It is beautiful even for running steps in the morning, it's a great state park.

        Little Bear
        28075 Highway 74, Evergreen, CO 80439

        1. The Fort in Morrison. Recreation of Bent's Fort on the Santa Fe Trail. It has a splendid view toward Denver and the plains, and a menu that reflects the food and traditions of the frontier with Anglo, Spanish and Native American strains.

          Markets - Boulder County Farmers' Market (Sat 8 to 2, and Wed 4 to 7 -- of thereabouts) is the best, esp Saturday. Market stalls & big "food court." It's in downtown Boulder, so lots to see afterwards

          Gourmet food - Marczyk's Fine Foods (17th & Clarkson, w/ a second opening soon at E Colfax and Fairfax -- or thereabouts). Simply the best..

          2 Replies
          1. re: ClaireWalter

            Excellent suggestions - I've been sharing them with my colleagues who are coming with me for the conference. They're not as food obsessed as we are but I'll forgive them.

            You've given me a lot to go on.

            Are there any Denver food items that we should try and bring home with us - thinsg that the city is well known for?

            1. re: JDeQ

              You could bring home something from the Leopold Brothers distillery or maybe Stranahan's whiskey...

     (I especially love the Rocky Mountain Blackberry Liqueur)


              Rocky Mountain Restaurant
              26 S Tejon St Ste 206, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

          2. All of the larimer square restaurants are nice and tasty, but not particularly unique- which is ok. It's definitely worth going to south Federal Boulevard and trying pho, I particularly like pho 79, but they are all tasty and unique. Also, Ba Le sandwich on federal and mississippi has great bahn mi sandwiches on bread that is baked on site. super cheap and delicious.There are two other great pho places in the same strip mall as ba le. I know this is denver, but the vietnamese population has made pho a staple of the city. Also, eat tacos. I really like tacos y pupusas acapulco on east colfax, before havana. They are little and great. If you keep heading east on colfax, and take a right on havana, there is a yellow taco truck about a block down on your right. It's amazing. have fun!