Food & Drink

The 9 Best New Burgers in Denver

Published On 07/23/2015 Published On 07/23/2015
Brad Beal/Highland Tap and Burger
Matt Lankes/Thrillist
Courtesy of The Nickel
Chris Bobek Photography/Thrillist
Thirsty Lion Gastropub
Connor Green/Thrillist
John Imbergamo/Thrillist
Courtesy of BURGERFI
Punch Bowl Social
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1. Highland Tap and Burger 2219 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

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.

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2. Hopdoddy Burger Bar 1747 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 (Northwest)

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.

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3. The Nickel 1100 Fourteenth St, Denver, CO 80202

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.

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4. Old Major 3316 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

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.

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5. Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill 1605 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

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.

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6. Sunnyside Burger Bar 3759 Lipan St, Denver, CO 80211 (Sunnyside)

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.

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7. Bistro Vendome 1420 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202

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.

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8. BurgerFI Broadway 1147 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

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!

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9. Punch Bowl Social 65 Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (Baker)

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.