The 15 Best Restaurants in the Denver Suburbs

From mountside bistros to neighborhood classics.

Big Mac and Little Lu’s Seafood Restaurant

It’s no secret that Denver is a foodie city. Restaurants are constantly popping up left and right and cover every cuisine that a food-lover can conjure. And while many of Metro Denver’s most popular restaurants can be found in buzzing hubs and streets with heavy foot-traffic, we would be remiss to say that all of Denver‘s great restaurants are only found here. There are actually quite a few hidden gems found nestled within Denver’s surrounding suburbs, from mountside bistros to contemporary American fare in the heart of a neighborhood to eye-catching sushi north of the city. Clearly, Denver's suburbs have a lot to offer when it comes to good restaurants.

Arvada
For those who have yet to try German cuisine (as it can be hard to come by), be sure to check out the semi-hidden but definitely authentic Golden Europe Restaurant. The menu features, among other interest-piquing items, a wide variety of different schnitzels, meat-based mains like Jager pork and bratwurst, or a diner’s choice of the Czech, Austrian, or German plate, which offers guests a sampling of various meats and schnitzel as a nod to that region’s cuisine. In addition to a tasty and filling meal, you just might learn a thing or two about Eastern European food, too.
How to book: Call 303-425-1246 to make a reservation.

Louisville
If you ever discuss Italian food with someone from Denver, there’s a good chance that Louisville’s Parma might come up in conversation. The full name—Parma Trattoria and Mozzarella Bar—hints at the restaurant’s unique offerings (alongside quality Italian food, of course). Try a variety of mozzarella cheese and accompany them with fresh Italian meats, sample other appetizers like bruschetta, Sicilian zucchini blossoms, or something from the cicchetti menu, or dive into a delicious salad. But try not to fill up too fast—the pizza and pasta options (including varieties of gnocchi and risotto), entrées like chicken or veal, and an abundance of other fantastic dishes are all worth trying.
How to book: Make a reservation via Yelp.
 

Parker Garage

Parker
Sitting in the heart of quaint downtown Parker, Parker Garage succeeds at both elevated atmosphere and equally jazzy offerings. Located in a historical landmark building, the restaurant offers top-tier American fare using local ingredients and seasonally inspired menus. Kick back, relax, and share small plates like Brussels sprouts, poutine, or crudo, or save room for tantalizing mains such as the Skuna Bay salmon or bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. Plus, don’t miss out on brunch every Sunday from 9 am - 3 pm.
How to book: Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Evergreen
Off the beaten path of Evergreen’s main strip, Bear Creek Lane, and south a-ways on route 74 is the the most charming little bistro. Picturesque farmland and not-so-distant mountains provide exceptional views and sans-city solitude while dining, making it a perfect location for a romantic dinner or special occasion. The menu comprises a varied selection of appetizers, salads, pastas and entrées, with menu items that celebrate the best of French, Italian, American, and Mexican cuisines. Don’t miss out on the dessert menu, either—it’s hard to go wrong with the creme brûlée, Belgian chocolate mousse, or tiramisu.
How to Book: Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Sakana

Westminster
Westminster’s Sakana is your go-to spot for sushi that tastes as good as it looks. Expect beautiful flashes of color by the typical way of fresh fish, roe, avocado, and other toppings, all finessed so perfectly you almost feel bad eating it. And if sushi’s not your thing (or sashimi, or nigiri), definitely still visit the chic and airy dining spot for Japanese appetizers like gyoza or karaage that always hit, house made ramen, or noodle bowls and main dishes from the grill that will surely satisfy. You can even bring home a bottle (or bottles) of Sakana’s own sauces to enjoy at home if you can’t always make the drive over.
How to book: Walk-ins only, first come, first served.

Big Mac and Little Lu’s Seafood Restaurant

Westminster
Seafood might not be Colorado's biggest cuisine, but it’s certainly worth trying when a) it’s being flown in fresh from Florida and b) helps support a local and family-owned business. At Big Mac and Little Lu’s, catch seafood specialities from coast to coast like fried calamari, ahi poke nachos, and oysters on the half shell, classic seafood soups like clam chowder and lobster bisque, or indulge in grander seafood dishes like fish n’ chips, paella, or a full-on lobster dinner. No matter what you choose, you won’t be leaving hungry or disappointed.
How to book: Call 303-404-2722 to make a reservation.

Abejas

Golden
There’s nothing quite like Abejas in downtown Golden. From the charming and rustic interior—a testament to the building’s history—to the symbolic name (meaning “bee” in Spanish) to the flavorful bites, it’s always a solid choice whether dining for dinner or brunch. The seasonal menus are short but sweet, featuring fresh cocktails and farm-to-table dishes comprising everything from tagliatelle to braised Spanish octopus to Colorado bison New York strips. Enjoy the history and atmosphere of downtown Golden, which is always a treat, and a drink and meal that are, too.
How to Book: Make a reservation via ExploreTock.

Littleton
Café Terracotta is as quaint as it sounds, and might even be easily missed unless you’re looking for it. Located off Littleton’s relatively busy West Main Street, Café Terracotta has all the charm and intrigue of a neighborhood’s hidden gem. Sandwiches, salads, burgers, and tacos are all available as far as lighter lunch fare goes, though the dinner menu impresses with a Colorado lamb chop, risotto primavera, and chicken Wellington, to name a few of the offerings. Catch the café every Saturday and Sunday for brunch, and know that an extensive wine, and drink list will for sure keep the whistle wet.
How to book: Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Englewood
Like a little adventure while you dine? You don’t have to charter a plane to enjoy what the Perfect Landing has to offer. Instead, get comfortable with a house cocktail or glass of wine and enjoy the harmony between classy American dishes and a love of aviation. Keep things simple with a seafood-centric shareables menu or a bison burger, or opt for surf, turf, or one of each from the selection of entréés while you watch planes fly in and out of Centennial airport.
How to book: Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Bluebird Café

Thornton
It takes a lot for a breakfast-only spot to make it onto a list of places that have it all, so you already know the Bluebird Café in Thornton is special. Known for being “Colorado comfort food with a healthy twist,” what was once a part of the Egg and I franchise is now a breakfast eatery and brand all its own. Find frittatas, classic breakfast combos like eggs and pancakes, huevos rancheros, and omelettes, skillets, and benedicts galore. If you don’t happen to be an egg-fanatic, that’s okay too—the lunch menu has you covered with soups, salads, and plenty of sandwiches to choose from.
How to Book: Walk-ins only. First come, first served.

Lakewood
There are a few unique things about 240 Union that make it stand out from the crowd, aside from its killer menu. For one thing, the Lakewood restaurant’s been in business since 1989 and for another, it features a 60-foot open kitchen (we love a transparency moment). Then of course, there’s the food—a gathering of light bites, casual eats, and main dishes that make the heart sing. Try the crab cakes or tri-color Caesar salad to start and follow-up with a perfect, wood-fired pizza. There are pasta dishes available too for our noodle lovers out there as well as a well-curated selection of dishes from both land and sea.
How to book: Call 303-989-3562 or visit 240 Union’s website to make a reservation.

Hideaway Steakhouse

Westminster
Also rooted in Westminster is a special occasion steakhouse like no other. Choice cuts of meat cooked to absolute tender perfection await, with steaks having been aged for at least 35 days and a wide range of savory meal options including filet mignon, bison ribeye, Wagyu, pork chops, and elk loins (and that’s only a handful of the offerings). There’s also a whole portion of the menu dedicated to fish and seafood options, plus appetizers and sauces to seriously customize your upscale night out.
How to book: Call 303-404-9939 to make a reservation.

Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant

Lone Tree
Another great spot for Italian food but on the other end of the Denver Metro is Cranelli’s of Lone Tree. Also a local and family-owned spot, Cranelli’s is the spot where locals go for fine food and modern atmosphere, enjoying the restaurant’s generous wine list and multitude of pasta options. Oh, and don’t miss out on the garlic knots—you can never have too much bread at a good Italian restaurant, anyway.
How to book: Make a reservation via Yelp.

Willow Creek on Evergreen Lake

Evergreen
Evergreen is pretty picturesque all over, so it’s difficult to find a restaurant that doesn’t have great food and great views. Willow Creek is one such spot. The menu rotates seasonally but no matter what time of year you go, there will always be an impressive meal waiting. The entrées boast divine flavors and thoughtfully sourced ingredients, with the “Beginnings” (like house-made sourdough bread) setting the stage for an impeccable and memorable meal to follow. And of course, dining lakeside in a beautiful mountain town is essentially a peak Colorado experience. Lastly, if you just can’t get enough of what Willow Creek has to offer, pay a visit to its Provisions Market for foodstuffs and other culinary trinkets to bring home.
How to book: Make a reservation on OpenTable.

Arvada
Why yes, So Radish in Olde Town Arvada is pretty rad, thanks for asking. And you know how much we love a cool spot that’s also dietary friendly. The hot vegan spot has pretty much everything you’re looking for, from gluten-full to gluten-free beers, fun and fruit-forward cocktails, and a 100% plant-based menu that captures everything from breakfast to post-dinner dessert. There’s also a kids’ menu too, a vegan wine list, and non-alcoholic beverage options, plus a kickin’ happy hour menu and overall rad vibe.
How to book: Make a reservation via Yelp.

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Erica Buehler is a Thrillist contributor.