Not known for its especially diverse food scene, dining in Denver consists mainly of four food groups – Mexican, green chili, pho, and farm to table. But if you look beyond the obvious, there are some true hidden gems in the Mile High.
Here are a few favorites from the locals.
Serving breakfast all day, Syrup is a local favorite that has much less of a wait then uber-trendy Snooze. Order the pigs in a blanket with blackberry syrup or a small pancake flight with syrup tastings. There’s an entire menu to choose from with innovative twists on the traditional buttermilk and maple like butterscotch, Kahlua Cream or seasonal fruit flavors.
Voted the best Italian restaurant in the western United States by Zagat, Luca D’Italia is owned by celebrated local chef Frank Bonanno. Sicilian-style meats are cured in-house; pastas, breads and cheeses are made fresh daily, and the menu changes monthly to reflect the finest seasonal ingredients. Be sure to make a reservation for this hotspot.
A few miles from downtown, get in line for lunch at Tom’s Home Cookin’ to try the most authentic soul food you’ll find in the Mile High. Known for big portions and delicious country cooking, Tom’s serves food until it runs out, or 1pm, whichever comes first Don’t leave without sampling the peach cobbler and BBQ pulled pork.
Colorado is known for its wonderful farm to table cuisine and Duo is no exception. Priding itself on offering local, organic foods, besides the environmental advantages, Duo serves up home-style cooking with an edge. Sample menu items include: Grilled pork chops with bacon scallions, homemade mushroom ravioli, paprika shrimp, and truffle egg salad sandwiches.
A former mortuary (yes, you read that right), Linger defines quirky. International small plates, usually when a restaurant’s trying to do too many things, they all turn out fairly mediocre. Not Linger. With innovative dishes from Africa to Asia, they also get bonus points for a killer rooftop that serves drinks out of an old hippie van. Be sure to save room for a scoop of Little Man Ice Cream out front.
Another brunch favorite, Southern comfort food at Sassafras proves that good Shrimp and Grits can be found North of the Mason-Dixon Line. Their new location in Cap Hill is the only of the two with a liquor license, and despite their delicious bacon-chocolate shakes at both, they did not take their entrance into the cocktail game lightly. Four house-infused bloodies are to-die for, literally, being that one is garnished with an edible voodoo doll.
If you feel like venturing out of Denver proper, head south towards Highlands Ranch to explore a new area. Indulge Wine Bar has one of the best outdoor patios and with creative culinary delights like ahi tuna guacamole and grilled onion flatbread, you are bound to love the food just as much as the scenery. Their dessert options of chocolate fondue for two or croissant bread pudding are also to-die-for.