Photo credit: denver.org
Whether you’re looking to hike in the mountains, sample exceptional local microbrews or explore a hot new food scene, the Mile High City has something for everyone. People from all over the country are flocking to Denver for sunshine, (slightly) more affordable living and unparalleled outdoor access. So, start planning your next getaway and let Goodtaste be your guide. Here, our top places to eat, drink and sleep in Denver, Colorado.
WHERE TO STAY
The Crawford Hotel
Located in the heart of downtown Denver, The Crawford sits in the city’s working historic train station, Union Station. The gleaming, newly renovated hotel has 112 gorgeously appointed rooms and is housed in the same building as some of the city’s best dining options. Also, thanks to the newly added tram system, you can now take a train directly from the airport to the heart of Denver. No rental car needed.
The Source Hotel
For a completely different experience, stay at the brand new hotel at The Source Market Hall. The striking modern hotel is in Denver’s RINO district, a transformed industrial area with colorful street art, amazing restaurants and a concentration of breweries. In fact, this hotel is so beer focused, that Fort Collins-based New Belgium brewery opened their first Denver outpost in the lobby. Upon check in, each guest gets a beer straight from the tap at the front desk.
WHERE TO EAT
Safta, photo Credit: Mike Thurk/Safta
James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya recently opened Safta in the new The Source Hotel. The restaurant, which is his first project outside of his full-time home in New Orleans, is in a bright and airy space with panoramic views of the Rockies. Safta, which means grandmother in Hebrew, sets the tone for the elevated, but comforting Israeli food. Don’t miss the assortment of salatim, or salads, and Shaya’s out-of-this-world pita bread. Pro tip: Grab a drink at the upstairs bar The Woods before dinner for a great sunset and New Belgium’s beer cocktails.
Mercantile Dining & Provisions
Another James Beard Award-winning chef is behind this all day concept in Union Station. Chef Alex Seidel makes everything from buttery, tender-crumbed muffins to exquisite pastas and vegetable dishes with produce from his own farm. The restaurant’s market is also the perfect place to grab a sandwich to-go, or cheese from Seidel’s farm to create an epic picnic in downtown’s Confluence Park.
This modern French restaurant is from the team behind Denver’s super-popular restaurants Bar Dough, Señor Bear and the forthcoming lobster roll destination, Maine Shack. Head to this downtown spot for refined French cooking and very good cocktails.
Tavernetta is owned and run by the same team behind Boulder’s nationally lauded Frasca Food + Wine. Expect a superb wine list, flawless service, housemade charcuterie and creative fresh pastas at this downtown Denver hotspot.
Tavernetta, photo credit: @tavernettadenver
Lou’s Italian Specialty Subs
This Jersey-style sub shop sells hulking sandwiches and Italian specialty goods at its RINO location. From the same team behind Rosenberg’s Bagels and Famous Original J’s Pizza, you won’t want to miss the jam-packed Italian hoagie or the fresh ricotta-filled cannoli. There is no seating at Lou’s, so plan on picking up your food to-go and taking it to a local brewery.
Lou’s Italian Specialty Subs, photo credit: Eater Denver
WHERE TO DRINK
The Family Jones, photo credit: @thefamily.jones
The Family Jones
Visit this chic distillery in the Lower Highlands neighborhood (LoHi, to the locals) for carefully crafted cocktails made with its house spirits. The bar bites also are quite substantial, making it the perfect spot for pre-dinner drinks and snacks or a light supper.
Barcelona Wine Bar
This tapas-centric wine bar might be a chain, but don’t overlook it! It has one of the largest Spanish wine programs in the country and offers tapas, fresh vegetable plates and a huge selection of Spanish cheeses in a fun, lively atmosphere. The wine bar, which is in the RINO neighborhood, also has brunch on the weekends with dishes like Trout Benedict and Merguez Sausage with Baked Eggs.
Death & Co.
The NYC cocktail giant recently opened this outpost at Denver’s stylish new hotel, The Ramble. Grab one of its signature cocktails in the velvet-tufted, chandelier-lit lobby or on the upstairs terrace.
The Ramble Hotel + Death & Co., photo credit: Benjamin Rasmussen
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen
If you’re a beer aficionado who is trying to sample as many brews as you can over the weekend, then First Draft is the place for you. This RINO taproom has over 40 craft beers, ciders, wines, kombuchas and even cocktails on tap. Grab your own scan card at the front desk, then help yourself to the wall of taps. The card keeps track of your pours.
Visit RINO’s Ratio brewery for a mix of rotating experimental beers (Chocolate Rye Scotch Ale, anyone?) and easy-drinking classics like its French Saison. Grab a beer inside, then head out to its sunny courtyard. Getting hungry? There is always a food truck parked outside and Shake Shack has a location across the street.
Ratio Beerworks, photo credit: denver.org