Denver neighborhoods, ranked by their food and drink
Denver is a city blessed with many fine neighborhoods for drinking and dining, and it's always a good time to explore the offerings in different parts of town. But what if you couldn't do that? What if you were confined to a single neighborhood for all of your bar and restaurant options. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
We pondered that exact question and ranked nine prominent Denver neighborhoods according to their food and drink scenes. Come back and fervently defend your neighborhood in the comments.
A hop, skip, and an Uber ride away from Downtown is the suburb-y area of Glendale, and its small restaurant community of City Set. That means you have Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, The Kitchen [Next Door], Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria, Big Smoke Burger, and Jax Fish House (and their even cooler Hi^ Jax patio), all at your disposal. All that's within stumbling distance of 500+ brews at World of Beer, so all in all, you're in pretty good shape.
8. Cherry Creek
You'll come for the classic burger joint that is the Cherry Cricket, but you may find yourself staying in the divorcée haven of Cherry Creek for a few other food spots, like American eatery Second Home Kitchen + Bar, raw fish bar Sushi Tazu, French bistro Le Merise, and breakfast mainstay Syrup. And you'd be a fool to miss Harman's Eat & Drink for... eating and drinking!
7. Platt Park/South Pearl
This little section of Denver is a true eclectic eating/drinking oasis. You have Fourteen Seventy-Two dishing out low-country deliciousness, crave-worthy street style tacos at Agave, standout French sandos from Vert Kitchen, and top-flight Japanese from Sushi Den and Izakaya Den. Session Kitchen has also become a serious destination for inventive small plates and cocktails. And if you need a place to catch the game, Pub on Pearl is a fine spot to watch the Broncos/possibly get in a fight.
6. City Park West
Neighbor to the east of Uptown, City Park West serves up a delicious variety of eats, from Pinche Taqueria, to the well-executed seafood spot Humboldt Farm Fish Wine, to Thai Basil for... Thai. There's also P17, for when you're feeling like some duck meatballs, and Paxti's for some Chicago deep dish when you're feeling fat. Not to mention, drinkeries like Thin Man, Vine Street Pub, and Denver Bicycle Café.
What’s not to like when strolling down Broadway? There are watering holes aplenty in Sputnik, Historian’s Ale House, Punch Bowl Social, Irish Rover, Badger's Pub, Skylark Lounge, and TRVE Brewing... plus some serious sustenance with Pizzeria Locale, The Hornet, and Illegal Pete’s. Oh, and Sweet Action Ice Cream has your dessert course covered, which is important.
To be dubbed "Restaurant Row" you damn well better have restaurants (obviously), but more importantly, great restaurants. Uptown delivers, and at the top of the 17th Ave mountain is American comfort food-behemoth Steuben’s Food Service, as well as their Far East cousins, Ace Eat Serve. Further down 17th, you’ll find a delicious variety of restos like Avenue Grill, Park & Co., Beast + Bottle, Tony P’s, and at the end of it all, Argyll Whiskey Beer. If you find yourself parched, William’s Tavern, Horseshoe Lounge, and Tavern Uptown will gladly exchange U.S. currency for refreshments.
Narrowing it down when it comes to Downtown options can be tricky, and while there are plenty of places you can safely ignore, there's also an overwhelming number of quality options. Killing the fine-dining game is Vesta Dipping Grill, Elways, Tag, Ocean Prime, Cholon Bistro, Guard & Grace, and The Kitchen. Euclid Hall and Falling Rock Tap House are some of the best beer bars in the country. And that's just the beginning of all the boozy fun, what with Irish shenanigans at Nallen's, Pac Man battles at The 1-Up, and pickle shots at The Retro Room. And the overall options have grown even more expansive, with the retooled Union Station playing home to spots like Snooze, Mercantile, and so many others.
Quibble that "LoHi" deserves its own separate designation if you must, but there's no arguing that Highlands is a culinary powerhouse. Ultra-hip Linger and Root Down dish out some damn fine eats, Churchill’s and Ale House at Amato's do beer and bar fare like pros, and no one does meat like the folks at Old Major. Masterpiece Deli lives up to its name when it comes to sandwiches. My Brother's Bar is all over burgers. Uber Eats has your sausage needs covered (calm down). Forest Room 5, Highland Tap, Prost Brewing, and Williams & Graham headline a seriously impressive array of drinking options, and it helps to have a bit of a buzz while waiting five hours in line at Little Man Ice Cream.
1. Rino/Five Points
You’ve dipped into your savings just to spend more time here. Rapidly growing into the-place-to-be is Five Points, and the art district that resides in its borders, Rino. On top of it all is the seriously cool vendor-collective, The Source, housing Comida, Acorn, Crooked Stave, and The Proper Pour. Outside, the grass is just as green and soaked in beer, with breweries like Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Black Shirt Brewing, Epic Brewery, and River North Brewery all operating a few blocks from each other. The Matchbox is as fine a dive as you'll find anywhere. Huckleberry Roasters is all over your caffeine needs. Still hungry? You've got Los Chingones, Work & Class, The Populist, and Cart-Driver... you could spend a LOT of time taking in calories here. And you probably are.
*Full disclosure: The author is an employee at Steuben's, but it's not like Uptown was ranked number one or anything!
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