Say what you want, but Casa Bonita is a rite of passage for Denverites. Sure, the cafeteria-style mystery meat is tolerable at best -- but everyone knows that no one goes to this Lakewood institution for the food. You go for the experience. And the free sopapillas. Enough said.
My Brother's Bar
It’s no secret that Beat-generation luminaries Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady frequented the hallowed grounds at 2376 15th St. -- there’s a letter on the restaurant’s walls from Cassady outlining his debt. History aside, however, things just feel right at My Brother’s Bar. Although the area has seen much change over the past decade, the haunt is still serving up beers and burgers the right way: sans fanfare. Between the Girl Scout cookies, the classical music, and the jalapeño cream cheese that graces the buns of the JCB, here’s to hoping that nothing ever changes at My Brother’s Bar.
Something from Frank Bonanno, Troy Guard, Alex Seidel, or Jennifer Jasinski
Denver may not have any huge celebrity chef exports (yet), but we do have a handful of local heroes -- some of whom have been awarded prestigious James Beard awards, and all of which have pushed the city’s culinary scene to what it is today. Flagships include Mizuna, TAG, Fruition, and Rioja, from Bonanno, Guard, Seidel, and Jasinski, respectively.
Fresh sushi from Sushi Den
Far from any ocean, Denver may be the last place you’d expect world-class sushi. However, spots like the legendary Sushi Den legitimized the Denver sushi scene when it opened its doors in 1984. One of the first of its kind, the restaurant famously flies in the finest, freshest fish from around the world.