Check, Please!

Give our food critic something to chew on.

Q: I have lived in Colorado since 1983 and Denver since 1988, but my wife and I will be leaving the sprawl in about six weeks for Bend, Oregon. I was wondering if you could give me a list of your top ten favorite restaurants in the city -- not just the high-end places, but some joints, too, if they deserve it, so that we can hit them all before we go.

Location Info


Mexico City Lounge

2115 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Downtown Denver

Mel's Bar and Grill

5970 S. Holly St.
Englewood, CO 80111

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Southeast Denver Suburbs

Papillon Cafe

250 Josephine Ave.
Denver, CO 80206

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Central Denver


2276 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Southeast Denver

A: The best way for me to answer this question was to imagine that I was the one moving -- and I know there are some restaurateurs who'd like to see that happen -- and list the places I'd miss the most. (Sorry, I couldn't be pinned down to just ten.) In no particular order: Mexico City Lounge (2115 Larimer Street, 303-296-0563) at lunch on Wednesday for the steak tacos that'll probably end up on my autopsy report; Aubergine Cafe (225 East Seventh Avenue, 303-832-4778), to tackle the Sunday-night chicken dinner one last time; Mel's Bar and Grill (235 Fillmore Street, 303-333-3979), Papillon (250 Josephine Street, 303-333-7166), Today's Gourmet/ Highland's Garden Cafe (3927 West 32nd Avenue, 303-458-5920) and Tante Louise (4900 East Colfax Avenue, 303-355-4488) for gracious service paired with top-notch wines and stellar food; El Taco de Mexico (714 Santa Fe Drive, 303-623-3926) for burritos and tacos; Damascus (2276 South Colorado Boulevard, 303-757-3515) for the best Middle Eastern food around; and New Saigon (630 South Federal Boulevard, 303-936-4954), Cafe Brazil (3611 Navajo Street, 303-480-1877) and Taste of Thailand (504 East Hampden Avenue in Englewood, 303-762-9112) for Vietnamese, South American and Thai, respectively. And good luck getting a burger like the one at My Brother's Bar (2376 15th Street, 303-455-9991) or the ribs cooked up at M&D's Bar-B-Que and Fish Palace (2004 East 28th Avenue, 303-296-1760) in Bend, Oregon.

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