There’s nothing better than a great burger… except maybe a great NEW burger, which is why we’ve thoughtfully rounded up 9 new additions to the Denver dining scene you can’t afford to pass up. You’re welcome!
LOHI Luau Burger
Highland Tap and Burger (address and info)
If you thought the LOHI Luau Burger gracing the menu at Highland Tap and Burger these days would come with a tiki torch toothpick, fire dancers, and a woman a grass skirt, well you’re ambitions are a little high, but not by much. It starts as a traditional Hawaiian themed burger, with pineapple and black forest ham, etc., but then the flavor gets cranked up via Korean Kalbi sauce and a house-made sriracha mayo. Which’re almost as good as women in grass skirts.
The Goodnight Burger
Hopdoddy (address and info)
Until recently, “Goodnight” was just a way of saying goodbye after the sun set. Now it’s how you order one of the sweetest burgers to hit the Mile High this summer: in between two brioche buns, the Goodnight Burger comes with Tillamook Cheddar, hickory BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, sliced jalepenos, and Sassy Sauce. And the best thing about this burger (besides Sassy Sauce!) is that $1 of the cost goes to Camp Courage, a free camp for families affected by childhood cancer.
7X Ranch Wagyu Burger
The Nickel (address and info)
The good things about The Nickel’s 7X Ranch Wagyu Burger: the 100% Japanese beef patty, the aged white cheddar, the traditional fixin’s, and the brioche bun. The one bad thing: it doesn’t cost a nickel. But the price tag is worth it when only 5 purveyors in the country are using this type of beef! And if you’re feeling really 2 Chainz about it, add “Billionaires Bacon,” which confusingly enough only costs $2.50 extra.
Old Major (address and info)
If you really want to show your parents you're taking your life seriously then either move out and get a girlfriend, or get the Breakfast Burger at Old Major. It’s a serious burger that, like most things at Old Major, starts with pork, and then gets topped with American cheese, a fried egg, and Denver Bacon Company bacon, with a pickle on top.
NW Pub Burger
Thirsty Lion Pub (address and info)
You could get a normal burger that’s topped with normal cheese, and everyone would just pass you by like the normal dude you are -- OR, you could start turning heads by ordering the NW Pub Burger at the Thirsty Lion Gastro Pub. Get ready to explain to every passerby that it’s a gorgonzola-infused burger stacked with sweet onions, maple pepper bacon, arugula, horseradish cream, and, since there is nothing really wrong with more cheese, some white cheddar on top.
Hail Hail Caesar!
Sunnyside Burger Bar (address and info)
Should you feel guilty about eating this all beef patty, American cheese, corned beef, fried egg, lettuce, and Caesar-dressing-topped masterpiece? Not when monthly proceeds from this go to Project Pave, a program to empower youth to end relationship violence. 1,500 calories have never felt better.
Au Poivre Burger
Bistro Vendome (address and info)
The Au Poivre or “Pepper” Burger is called that ‘cause in addition to a hearty portion of ground beef -- and gruyere, grilled onion, arugula, tomato, aioli, etc -- this sucker gets loaded with pepper bacon, then served on a potato bun, with a healthy portion of their not-so-healthy pommes frites.
Summer BBQ Burger
BURGERFI (address and info)
The burger focused people of BURGERFI took everything you love about summer and piled it high between two toasted potato buns: coleslaw, white cheddar, American cheese, pickles, and tender BBQ pork. All the stuff you hate, like sunburns, rainy days, or your Aunt Karen’s potato salad, was thankfully left out.
The American Burger
Punch Bowl Social (address and info)
Most will think they have the American Burger at Punch Bowl Social figured out at first glance. Sure, it’s a fairly unassuming two-patty burger topped with lettuce, cheese, yellow onion, and tomato. Boring, right? Right… until you realize it’s also covered in bacon jam. Yes, bacon jam! God bless America.
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Connor Green is a Thrillist contributor that can believe it’s not butter, but is too afraid to tell anyone.
1. Highland Tap and Burger2219 W 32nd Ave, Denver
2. Hopdoddy Burger Bar1747 Wynkoop St, Denver
3. The Nickel1100 Fourteenth St, Denver
4. Old Major3316 Tejon St, Denver
5. Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill1605 Wynkoop St, Denver
6. Sunnyside Burger Bar3759 Lipan St, Denver
7. Bistro Vendome1420 Larimer St, Denver
8. BurgerFI Broadway1147 Broadway, Denver
9. Punch Bowl Social65 Broadway, Denver
A patio with a fire pit might draw crowds during the colder months, but 16 52" TVs, an exclusively Colorado tap list, and significant happy hour deals keep them coming the rest of the year. Of course, some people do come to Highland Tap and Burger for the food itself, which constitutes surprisingly original takes on the usual pub grub. Fair warning: most of the crowd is college-age.
The philosophy at Hopdoddy is fresh & natural, so they do it all from scratch. They grind their own meats, hand-cut potatoes for fries, and bake homemade buns twice a day. Add a selection of craft beers and cocktails and you have a surefire winner.
A rooftop hive and in-house pickling service elevate The Nickel's American menu to finely tuned standards. Prices are relatively high but barrel-aged cocktails, Colorado craft beers, and posh snacks like crispy quail and boiled peanuts justify the fancy experience. Most of the dishes are made on a wood-fired grill, which like the menu itself, changes seasonally: cherry wood might be fueling your lamb ribs one month, and peach wood the next.
Located in a rustic, farmhouse-style space, Old Major -- named after the advising pig in George Orwell's Animal Farm -- is "dedicated to seafood, swine, and wine." Restaurateur Justin Brunson's Highland Park eatery sources sustainable seafood (read: not the farmed stuff from China), has in-house butchery and charcuterie programs, and an extensive wine list (note: every bottle is half-off on Sundays). The menu often changes, but one dish reigns throughout: the Nose to Tail. Let's just say it's a heaping pile of pork (of varying cuts, cures, and preparations) on a plate, and it's not to be missed.
This is the first of the gastropub's Colorado iterations, sporting 52 taps backing a menu that ranges from across-the-Atlantic faves (Scotch eggs, beer-braised corned beef & cabbage with white cheddar mash, IPA-battered fish & chips) to other worldly fare like Baja fish tacos, Kung Pao chicken, and hand-tossed brick oven pizzas.
Not only does this spot have great burgers, they also run two different happy hours (!!) seven days a week (!!!) from 3pm - 6pm and 9pm until close. Select beers are only $3, and house wines and well cocktails are only $4.
Living up to it's bistro name, this spot brings the Left Bank to denver. Modern updates on French focused dishes make it unique, but they also keep classics like steak frites available.
This Denver outpost of the beloved nationwide burger chain takes a modern approach to an old classic: good burgers made with natural Angus beef, hot dogs, fresh cut fries with different toppings, and homemade custard. Unlike your local fast-food joint, Burgerfi also serves beer and wine, which is reason enough to check it out!
It might advertise itself as a restaurant and bar, but Punch Bowl Social is first and foremost a game hall. The 24,000sqft space features skeeball, shuffleboard, bowling, and a handful of arcade games. Though the whole set-up is kiddish in nature, retro decor gives it a cool, mature boost and polished bites like truffle kettle chips and cauliflower nachos elevate the experience to a tasteful level, making it worthy of the reservations you'll likely have to make.