1. Blackbelly Market1606 Conestoga St, Boulder
2. Butcher's Bistro2233 Larimer St , Denver
3. Chefs Club315 E Dean St, Aspen
4. The Cherry Cricket2641 E 2nd Ave, Denver
5. Highland Tap and Burger2219 W 32nd Ave, Denver
6. J-Bar at Hotel Jerome330 E Main St, Aspen
7. My Brother's Bar2376 15th St, Denver
8. Park Burger1890 S Pearl St, Denver
9. The Squeaky Bean1500 Wynkoop St, Denver
10. TAG Burger Bar1222 Madison St, Denver
After his Top Chef victory in 2009, Hosea Rosenberg could have run off to join the celebrity-chef circus. Instead, he generously spread the roots he’d already put down in Boulder by launching Blackbelly Farm, Blackbelly Catering, and Blackbelly Market - the intimate, mod-rustic restaurant and butcher shop. Charcuterie is kind of Rosenberg’s jam, so a sampler’s a no-brainer, but don’t stop there. Don’t stop, in fact, until you’ve had meat at least three different ways (say, duck rillettes, raw beef, and smoked lamb), along with some delectable apple brioche pudding, you know, for balance.
This butchery-themed eatery gets the meat-party started with snacks like beef-heart crostini and short rib-stuffed potato skins, then seals the deal with tricked-out cheesesteaks for lunch, thoughtfully executed dinner entrées, and the option to choose your own cut from the retail case. Vegetarian tidbits like the spinach croquettes are just as great as the menu's meat options, and the steak offered here is some of the best in Denver. We highly recommend stopping here for lunch or dinner.
Opening this weekend to coincide with both the Aspen Food & Wine fest and the St. Regis Aspen Resort's hella pricey remodel, the hotel's Club has an open kitchen, a ceiling set off with giant, decorative inlaid snowflakes, and, most notably, a selection of seasonally changing dishes designed by a rotating team of chefs, all of whom have been dubbed "Best New" by Food & Wine mag at some point.
Backed by 50 years of burger history, Cherry Cricket's patties are a true legend, and its wings, sandwiches, and chilis are pretty damn good too. A champion of local beer, the bar is stocked with 27 taps of locally brewed craft beer.
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.
This hotel bar puts others to shame, pouring specialty cocktails and craft brews for the masses in Aspen.
My Brother's Bar, off 15th and Platte, is a city institution that has been pouring booze for Beat Gen folks like Neal Cassady (who still has a tab there) and plenty of other thirsty Denverites forever. MBB also flips a mean burger -- pair that with a solid beer list, and it's no surprise this place is still going strong.
Park Burger in Platt Park is just waiting to hook you up with fancy burgers (like the ahi tuna, truffle burger, and croque burger), as well as regular ones. Delicious guilty pleasures, too --- like their bacon ranch fries and Irish cream shake -- are available to enjoy.
The Squeaky Bean, based in Denver's LoDo neighborhood, is an American restaurant whose menu changes with the seasons, to the heightened satisfaction of your taste buds. If you visit their website, you can even get a 360° peek at the farm on which their ingredients are grown. And while their menu varies from crispy cauliflower one day to sheep's milk ricotta gnocchi another, it's always served in a light-filled space where the intersection of warm wood and orange brick offers your meal a homey context.
From acclaimed Denver Restaurateur Troy Guard, TAG Burger Bar is a neighborhood bar and grill with high-quality, inventive burgers, craft beers, and elevated New American food. Customize your own burger and mac and cheese -- build on the base (a1/3lb burger and pasta with cheese sauce and Goldfish-Cheez-it topping), with proteins, veggies, and various sauces. With 20 craft beers and seemingly endless burger and mac options, you may never have the same meal twice.