Under Colorado state mandate, some restaurants have started to reopen for dine-in service as of late April, but we still recommend takeout/curbside pickup/delivery when possible for safety. We'll keep updating you as the situation progresses.
Denver’s officially been told by Mayor Hancock to “stay at home” until at least April 26, but restaurants are continuing to pivot to meet their community’s needs. With their status as essential businesses, restaurants (and breweries) can remain open for takeout and delivery only; those that have chosen to continue operations are taking new safety precautions for their staff and for you so they can continue to provide tasty culinary escapes. Along with more typical restaurant dishes, many are also adding brand new options like family-style meals, take-and-bake dishes, and even grocery provisions in case you want to skip the supermarket sweep.
There are a lot of restaurants in the Mile High; we’re highlighting some stand out options here, but be sure to check in with your favorite neighborhood spot if you don’t see them listed. The hospitality community is getting creative, and each and every local food and beverage business needs support right now.
If takeout and delivery food isn’t on the table for you right now, you can still offer support by purchasing gift cards or merchandise, or by taking some quarantine time to write positive reviews for businesses you love or giving them some love on social media. You can also keep up with the latest by searching and following #ColoradoCurbside.
This Italian spot is run by the team behind Barolo Grill, so you know they’re not cutting corners, even in the face of a pandemic. Treat your family to the ultimate Italian comfort food, available via curbside pickup. You can also add on select provisions like asparagus bunches, Maldon sea salt, dry pasta, and ground coffee. Cost: $25; order online via the website
The line to get into Star Kitchen on a typical Denver weekend is legendary. The line may be no more (for now), but this spot is still serving up all your favorite dim sum dishes, to-go. Not sure where to start? Some must-have items include the fried shrimp dumpling with mayo, salt & pepper squid, pan fried noodles, and egg custard tarts for dessert. Cost: Depends how many orders of dumplings and noodles you get; call (303) 936-0089 to order
Sometimes you just need a fix of all-American comfort food. Thankfully, both the Highland and Sloan’s Lake locations of this favorite for juicy burgers are still serving up plenty of your favorites. The menu is currently pared down, but you can get creative with the build-your-own options along with popular Tap & Burger classics like the shroom luvas. And don’t skip the wings and the mac & beer cheese selections. Cost: Burgers start at $8; call 720-287-4493 (Highland) or 720-456-6779 (Sloan’s Lake)
When the former chef and co-owner of the now closed Rebel Restaurant started slinging eats from a window at Middleman on Colfax, food lovers in Denver rejoiced. And though the bar scene is looking a lot different these days, Bo Porytko is keeping things interesting with a rotating menu of creative eats like pepperoni pizza pierogis, a spring vegetable tamale terrine with Rice Krispies, and a mapo tofu sandwich. Offerings change regularly so follow Misfit on Instagram to keep up with the latest. Cost: Varies depending on that day’s menu; text Bo at 201-679-7079 to order
Feeling cooped up? Take a culinary trip to New England with Maine Shack’s selection of lobster rolls available via pickup and delivery on GrubHub, Postmates, and DoorDash. You can choose from several varieties, including brown butter, naked, and the signature Main Shack with mayo, sea water, and drizzled butter. They’ve also added 1- and 2-pound lobster roll kits if you’ve got a quarantined crowd to feed. Cost: Individual lobster rolls start at $20 and kits start at $70; order via their website
In an incredibly impressive feat, the husband and wife team who run this neighborhood favorite for creative Italian eats have managed to pivot so expertly and quickly, they’ve had (according to an Instagram post) “no layoffs, no benefit cuts, paid sick leave,” and been able to continue to use local purveyors for their new all curbside pickup program. The food remains a can’t-miss, but the real treat is the chance to enjoy another thing at home that they’ve always done at an expert level: cocktails. There are currently five on the menu, including a negroni and a spritz, along with a fabulous wine and beer selection. Cost: To-go cocktails start at $5; call 303-433-0949 or order online for curbside pickup and neighborhood delivery
Your brunch, dinner, and late-night cravings haven’t changed just because you’re staying safe indoors. Fortunately you can still get all of your favorite dishes delivered right to your door, while also supporting the restaurant industry that has given you so many meals and memories. Uber Eats is making it possible for you to give directly to your favorite restaurants at checkout, and 100% of contributions go directly to the restaurants. You can also eat, save, and support local restaurants with a one-month free trial of their Eats Pass. Uber will give $1 to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund for every new Eats Pass subscriber. See app for details.
Really, anything from El Taco de Mexico can’t miss. This is a Denver institution and home to the best green chile in town (yeah, I said it, fight me -- or, like, debate me kindly, we all need a distraction). In February, this small counter service only spot cemented its rightful spot as a national food treasure when it won the James Beard Foundation America’s classic award. Whether you opt for a smattering of tacos, a smothered burrito (the chile relleno is most popular but the carnitas is essential), or the 100% perfect special breakfast complete with eggs, rice, (the best) beans (ever), ham, bacon, potato and tortillas, this is the ultimate ColoMex comfort food. Cost: The special breakfast is $7.95; call 303.623.3926 or email email@example.com to order or order online via Postmates or Grubhub
Coy and Rachael Webb have been the modern pioneers of modern Colorado BBQ since opening their small spot on South Downing in January 2015. And despite the dining-in shutdown, they also just opened the doors at their second location in Golden. Typically, they run a weekend-only $3 BBQ sandwich special: a simple yet oh so delicious saucy, smoky pile of meat on a hamburger bun. Now, they’re slinging these every day at both locations (along with plenty of other smoked meats and sides). You can even request a family pack to-go, with the meat and bun separate for an easy at-home dinner. Cost: $3/each; call to order ahead; Denver: 303-722-2226, Golden: 303-794-9696
Austin Carson, Heather Morrison, and Ty Leon bought Cafe Marmotte near Wash Park in late 2019, and reopened to much well deserved buzz in January 2020 as Restaurant Olivia. While it’s normally tough to score a reservation, now you can get a taste of what they’re cooking up curbside. In addition to a to-go menu of prepared dishes, you can also grab to go kits featuring Leon’s impeccable handmade pastas and a choice of sauce. For every $10 donation added to a to-go order, they will also provide a pasta kit for four to families in need. Cost: Pasta kits for four are $35; to order, call 303-999-039 or text 303-506-2577
Was there ever a time before Denverites happily stood in line for restaurateur Tommy Lee’s ramen at Uncle? The spicy chicken is iconic, but a variety of choices are available via curbside pickup and delivery, from both the original Highlands location and the newer West Wash Park spot. You should also check out the options from his other spot, Hop Alley, which include bone marrow fried rice, Sichuan fried chicken, and Duck rolls. Cost: The spicy chicken ramen is $15; order online via Uncle’s website for pickup and delivery
After years of providing Polish comfort food via their food truck, Katherine and Jeremy Yurek were set to open Baba & Pop's Pierogi Kitchen & Bar on Colfax Avenue on March 13... and then, well, you know. But they’re not letting that stop them from providing pierogi to the masses via free delivery to the nearby Denver area along with pickup. Cost: Frozen pierogi by the dozen starts at $13; order on their website
Caroline Glover and her team have been serving up award winning food from their small spot in the Stanley Marketplace for just over three years, and not even a pandemic can slow them down. Along with weeknight dinners, they’re also still bringing brunch to the people via curbside pickup and now, in house delivery. Keep an eye on their Instagram for weekly specials including weekend biscuit and kolache flavors. And don’t miss their burger on a housemade English muffin, a crowd favorite that wasn’t previously on the regular menu but is not a takeout staple. Cost: Brunch entrees start at $7.25; call 720-710-9975 or 720-710-9974 to order
Pizza is a classic delivery option, but Blue Pan stepped up the pizza game in Denver when it brough crispy, cheesy crusted Detroit-style pies to the scene. They’re staying on top of new no-contact delivery procedures, and are still cooking up favorites with toppings like fresh ricotta and cupping pepperoni. Cost: Large pies start at $20; order on their website for contactless pickup or call for delivery; West Highlands: 720-456-7666; Congress Park: 720-519-0944
This local butcher shop has long been a leader when it comes to whole animal butchery and local sourcing, with all their meats coming from within 250 miles of Denver. They remain open, and fully stocked. Purchasing meat here in turn supports local farms, who are also a vital part of the service industry. They also stock many locally made food products, so this is a one stop shop for supporting many small businesses at once. Cost: Depends what kind of cut you’re looking for
Like local meat farmers, grocers, and butcher shops, our Colorado farms also need support right now as an essential part of the food chain that makes Colorado restaurants great. With a decrease in purchases from local restaurant partners, many farms are also pivoting in the face of new “stay at home” orders. Miller Farms is one example, as they’re now offering delivery to Denver; options include a cinch backpack loaded with 15 potatoes, two onions, five cucumbers, and three zucchini. They also have tomatoes, eggs by the dozen, and corn and flour tortillas from a local tortilla company. Cost: Produce bags are $20 each; check their website for current pricing and availability of other items
Colorado has loved craft beer for a long time -- there has literally never been a Denver Thrillist weekend guide that didn’t include a beer fest of some kind. Breweries have been proactive in making sure they’re part of the list of essential businesses, so make sure you’re showing spots like Woods Boss, Ratio, Empourium, and so many others some love too. Cost: Depends on where you go, check out your favorite brewery's latest social media posts for the latest options -- some are also doing delivery -- and pricing.
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Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer who is probably currently ordering take out from her favorite local spots and leaving big tips to support the Mile High hospitality community. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on Denver’s food and beverage businesses.