Food & Drink

Denver's best spots to party AND have dinner

Rebecca Feder Published On 12/06/2013 Published On 12/06/2013

You're going out on the town, and at some point, you'll need to eat dinner, so we've rounded up Denver's best spots for a party-filled meal that won't put a dent in your momentum.

Rebecca Feder

La Loma
Northwest
Fine dining Mexican and giant fishbowl margaritas = lots of tequila and plenty of spicy food to help you handle said tequila. This old school Denver institution is huge: a wraparound patio (when in season), two dining rooms, a bar area, and a pair of private rooms in case you have a big group/dislike dealing with other people in restaurants.

Central Bistro & Bar
Highland
The farm-to-table haven is classy without being fussy, letting you and your crew graze on cheese curds and confit chicken wings before diving in (not literally, hopefully) to some housemade sausage with creamy polenta. Bonus points for a stunning view of the city and the short stumble over the pedestrian bridge that takes you to more Downtown debauchery.

Vesta Dipping Grill

Vesta Dipping Grill
Northwest
The gigantic booths can fit a large party and offer an intimate dining experience... or just enough privacy to allow you to feel comfortable making a fool of yourself. Living up to the name, entrees (braised lamb shank, masala grilled chicken) come with your chosen trio of dipping sauces (they do provide recs) from a dozens-long list ranging from tomatillio chutney to barrel-aged hot sauce to smoked onion craime fraiche.

Courtesy of Linger and June Cochran Photography

Linger
Highland
This mortuary-turned-happening-restaurant (oh man, ANOTHER one?!) has two floors and a rooftop patio with a killer view of the Denver skyline. Oversized booths will hold your soon-to-be-oversized crew as you team up on internationally inspired shareables like Mongolian BBQ duck buns, French onion mussels, and kobe short rib tacos.

Rebecca Feder

Patxi's Pizza
Cherry Creek
Nothing says a party like pizza, except MORE pizza, which is why your crew is going to Patxi's to take down some cheese-tastic Chicago style pizza and some cold ones. The refinished wood and dim lighting makes for a comfortable atmosphere in which to ponder that "should I have another piece" decision.

Le Grand Bistro

Le Grand Bistro and Oyster Bar
Northwest
The bustling staple situated on some prime Downtown real estate is the perfect place to trot out those never-tired aphrodisiac jokes as you polish off platters of bivalves before attacking the Francophilic menu stocked with steak tartare, braised short ribs, and crispy duck confit.

Carmine's on Penn

Carmine's on Penn
Southwest
Family-style Italian and tables you can draw on? Seriously, don't let kids monopolize all the drawing-on-tables fun! Of course, you'll have an even better time because you know how to appreciate heaping bowls of vodka ravioli. And also vodka martinis.

Zengo

Zengo
Northwest
This Latin-Asian influenced restaurant is much larger than it appears from the street, packed with a lounge, three separated dining areas, and a private room depending on your ambiance preferences. Regardless of where you're situated you'll be able down Shiso-jitos as you also down (in between sips, be classy!) ceviches like mahi mahi w/coconut and charred pineapple and inventive "dim sum" like tempura asparagus tacos and hoisin pork arepas.

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1. Patxi's Chicago Pizza 185 Steele St., Denver, CO 80206

Bringing San Fran's famous deep dish 'za to Denver, Patxi's serves their slices up right, baked to perfection on a rotating oven to give you that optimal bite. Add whatever toppings your little heart desires and choose from one of their many craft beers on tap.

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2. La Loma 2527 W 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Northwest)

La Loma is a quality spot if you're looking for quality Mexican food. Their expansive menu has featured original Mexi-options, including homemade tortillas, since they opened their doors in 1981.

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3. Central Bistro and Bar 1691 Central St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

Central Bistro and Bar set out to be a true American restaurant and they met their goal with flying colors by serving classic and modern American fare (and a full bar) in a trendy atmosphere in Highland.

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4. Vesta Dipping Grill 1822 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

This go-to LoDo destination will impress with eats like a sofrito braised short rib and a green chili gastrique, as well as 'tails like the ginger beer/ Pimm's No. 1/ blackberry/ simple syrup Bitter Buck.

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5. Linger 2030 W 30th Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

If you think an ex-mortuary can't serve up some killer apothecary-esque cocktails, you're dead wrong. Ok, ok, but seriously, the views at Root Down's fancy sister spot are spectacular, and with a rooftop patio and dinner menu featuring gourmet dishes from around the world, you will definitely be tempted to linger.

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6. Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar 1512 Curtis St, Denver, CO 80202

Trafficking in classic French comfort dishes like frog's legs and steak frites, this Curtis Street bistro brings the cigarette-strewn streets of Paris to CO.

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7. Carmine's on Penn 92 S Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO 80209 (Southwest)

This neighborhood Italian has been drawing crowds for its legendary garlic-and-salt rolls and larger-than-life portions since 1994. Carmine's pasta dishes, like seafood marinara and four-cheese ziti, are not for the faint of heart, and they're so good -- and big enough -- that you'll be more than happy to take home leftovers. There's nothing sexy about the butcher paper-covered tables, but then again, there's nothing sexy about large family gatherings and loud reunions, which are the kinds of crowds you'll be seeing here.

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8. Zengo 1610 Little Raven St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year Richard Sandoval brings Latin-Asian flavor and over 400 tequilas to this Riverfront Park adjacent hot spot. Prepare your taste buds and your liver.

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