Food & Drink

  • Best Wine List

    Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar

    We fell head over heels in love with Row 14's wine list the first time we laid eyes on it. Curated with a heady mix of precision, nuance and a food-focused viewpoint by owner David Schneider, this list reads like a wine geek's all-star lineup of fantasy bottles, and is definitely edgier than other rosters in this city — edgier,… More >>
  • Best By-the-Glass Wine List

    twelve restaurant

    Like a glistening oasis in a seemingly endless stretch of desert, twelve reaches out to thirsty foodies with what is consistently one of the town's best wine lists — and definitely Denver's best by-the-glass list. Each version is more swoon-worthy than the last, and chef/owner Jeff Osaka and his talented right hand (and wine guru) Tristan Toney recently rolled out… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Axios Estiatorio

    Telly Topakas is a veteran restaurateur who also owns a Greek spot in Colorado Springs. But he wanted to give Denver a more upscale Greek restaurant, and he did just that when he opened Axios Estiatorio last fall. It occupies a prime address in the Berkeley neighborhood and channels the Mediterranean in its decor; the space is comfortable and seductive.… More >>
  • Best First-Date Restaurant

    A Cote Bar a Absinthe

    Few cultures are more romantic than the French, and À Côté Bar à Absinthe channels that spirit flawlessly. This cozy sliver of a spot can become whatever you want it to on a first amorous rendezvous — whether that's an intimate dinner location, a low-key happy-hour spot or a place to seal the deal with a nightcap. The restaurant has… More >>
  • Best African Restaurant

    African Grill and Bar

    Never had West African food before? No matter. Plop down in a wicker chair at African Grill and Bar, and owners Osei and Adwoa Ford-Wuo will walk your table through dozens of dishes, adding personal anecdotes about Africa, advising you on what kind of meat to order (goat, mostly) and sharing their favorite dishes: jollof rice, their number one; jollof… More >>
  • Best Pastry Case

    Wooden Spoon Cafe & Bakery

    It's easy to go crazy at the pastry case at Wooden Spoon, a tiny bakery tucked into a row of Highland storefronts. Every time we stop in, we want to order one of almost everything. We can't pass up the macarons; the egg white-and-almond-based cookies, filled with buttercream, melt away into nothing on the tongue. Nor can we turn down… More >>
  • Best Ethiopian Restaurant

    Queen of Sheba

    Denver has a large Ethiopian population, and as a result, we have a wealth of Ethiopian restaurants. The one we keep returning to again and again, though, is Queen of Sheba, a sparsely decorated spot on East Colfax. Owner Zewditu (Zodi) Aboye does all of the cooking here, and she doesn't rush, so service can be unbelievably slow. But the… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    Cellar Wine Bar - CLOSED

    We've visited a lot of wine bars in our time, and despite the fact that we should be their ideal customer — we're obsessed with wine! We have an insatiable thirst! — more often than not we end up disappointed rather than delighted. But that's never the case at Cellar Wine Bar, which is an incredibly comfortable spot with an… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Cocktail Bar

    Williams & Graham

    Denver is so into cocktail culture that ordering a drink — be it a Manhattan made with Colorado whiskey and handcrafted bitters or a Moscow Mule — can be an agonizing dilemma. Cocktail syllabuses are even beginning to outshine menus, both in breadth and depth. But Williams & Graham, the elegant new speakeasy in Highland, is not only packed with… More >>
  • Best Late-Afternoon Happy Hour

    Lola

    Come happy hour, Lola's covered patio fills up fast — and with good reason. The kitchen serves up an impressive board of bar bites — including tacos, ceviche and nachos smothered in goat-cheese queso and barbecued pork — paired with a beverage list whose components range from margaritas to Mexican beer and shots of tequila, all at discounted prices. And… More >>
  • Best German Restaurant

    Karl's FF Delicatessen

    For more than thirty years, Karl's FF Delicatessen has used the same ordinary Centennial strip-mall address to hawk extraordinary things. A small market features a vast array of imported treats, including jams, chocolates and cookies. The deli serves up a board of old-world-style sandwiches featuring thinly shaved beef tongue, head cheese or bierwurst, plus specials that include wiener schnitzel, veal… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Happy Hour

    Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar

    Late-night revelry? Yes, please! Welcome to the mother of all late-night happy hours, which runs from 10 p.m. to midnight and attracts a rowdy crew of industry folks, theater-goers and the rest of us who can't stomach another cardboard-crusted pizza delivered by a stoner in a stained shirt. Row 14 understands the rules associated with feeding and lubricating night-crawlers: Offer… More >>
  • Best Dive-Bar Happy Hour

    Park Tavern

    We're big fans of the grimy ambience at the Park Tavern, a dark, sprawling dive with a couple of pool tables and weekly trivia nights. When we want to relax after work at a neighborhood bar, there's no better place. In fact, when we want to relax at almost any hour, there's no better spot. That's because during happy hour,… More >>
  • Best Excuse for Happy-Hour Beers

    Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge

    Jazz-loving jivesters know that Dazzle has an extensive menu of happy-hour snacks and discounted drinks, including martinis that are shaken, not stirred, tableside. But our favorite item on the current menu is the Louisiana-style hot link sandwich, a delightfully messy, spicy, salty sausage, dressed with bacon-laced collard greens and served up in a bun that can hardly stand the heat… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Linger

    Linger has an excellent beverage program, with an impressive list of wine, beer and cocktails. But we're particularly awed by how well the bartenders here understand the classics — well enough that they can play with them without bastardizing the purpose of the drink. Consider this martini, for example: a 50/50 gin and Dolin white vermouth split, dashed with orange… More >>
  • Best Barrel-Aged Cocktail

    Steuben's

    We've noticed barrel-aged cocktails popping up on a handful of lists, making this a true trend in drink-obsessed Denver. Our favorite comes courtesy of Randy and Ryan Layman, who whip up barrel-aged martinis at Steuben's. The brother bartenders make a fifteen-liter batch of Martinez cocktail and then put it in a Peach Street Distillers barrel for five to seven weeks,… More >>
  • Best Manhattan

    Green Russell

    The speakeasy-style, subterranean Green Russell features an inventive cocktail list and a massive library of spirits, which makes it tempting to sample something new instead of sticking with a classic. But that would be a mistake. Order a Manhattan at Green Russell, and you'll get a question in response: "Bourbon or rye?" That's how you know you're in very good… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Pierre Michel Organic French Bakery Cafe

    Let's get one thing straight: If you snooze, you lose — literally. Forget what hours are actually listed on the website or the door: Pierre Michel Organic French Bakery Cafe, which is shoehorned into a tight space in a sprawling strip mall, often shuts an hour — sometimes two — before the posted closing times, thanks to the breadheads who… More >>
  • Best Single-Malt Scotch List

    Pints Pub

    Scott Diamond, who owns Pints Pub, has been collecting single-malt Scotches for twenty years, and while he claims to have the largest collection of the spirit outside of Great Britain, he's not just amassing bottles for sport. "One hundred and twenty-five distilleries have been making whisky in Scotland since World War II," he says. "We have whisky from 124 of… More >>
  • Best Rum Selection

    Cafe Brazil

    As cocktail culture ramped up in Colorado and many spots started focusing on gin-and-housemade-tonic or drinks that were brown, bitter and stirred, Café Brazil decided to give drinkers a place where they could learn about sugarcane spirits, so they added a beach-themed Rum Room. The best education is delivered in the rum flights, lineups that each showcase four of the… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar

    PS Lounge

    Like most dive bars in this town, the PS Lounge is a place we'd never want to see in the daylight; we're guessing the old sports paraphernalia and playbills lining the walls would look a lot more grimy and a lot less charming. But at night, the Lounge commands a special place in our dive-loving hearts. The place has its… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Bistro Vendome

    Tucked in an out-of-the-way corner of Larimer Square, Bistro Vendôme has none of the stuffiness and over-the-top pomp and circumstance that marks some French restaurants — but it has everything a Francophile could ask for. This is a gracious, romantic arbiter of French food, with a kitchen overseen by chef de cuisine Dana Rodriguez. You'll swoon over her steak tartare… More >>
  • Best Bartender's Choice

    Colt & Gray

    Colt & Gray has a clever drink list, a catalogue of classics, twists on classics, private jokes and new inventions, every one of which is testament to the talent of the bar staff, who have some of the deepest spirits knowledge in town. But the way to really experience what this bar can do is to plop down and order… More >>
  • Best Team of Bartenders

    Jax Fish House

    Many bars in this town turn out balanced drinks, but the team of bartenders at Denver's Jax Fish House exhibits a different kind of equilibrium. The restaurant employs a complementary cadre of professionals with varying skills. Some lend deep, geeky spirits knowledge to the list, contributing housemade sodas, knowledge of the classics and inventive mixology wizardry. Others have perfected the… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Jai Ho Indian Kitchen

    Before they opened Jai Ho in the spring of 2010, Sathya and Sujatha Narayan had never owned a restaurant. But they noticed a gap in this city's Indian offerings and decided to fill it — triumphantly. Jai Ho features a massive, mind-addling list of dishes rooted in the southern portion of the subcontinent, with specialties from Kerala, Hyderabad and Tamil… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    Williams & Graham

    It took longer than expected for Todd Colehour and Sean Kenyon, author of Westword's "Ask the Bartender," to get the doors open at their spot in Highland, but the wait was worth it: They created a sexy, sexy place with Williams & Graham. Step across a threshold concealed by a miniature bookstore and you're in a 1920s-themed world, filled with… More >>
  • Best Brewpub

    Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

    It's hard to imagine a brewpub with an ethos that better fits its community than that of Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery. From the amiable and eclectic staff members to the trippy decor, from the big, chewy beers, brewed right on site, to the menu specializing in fresh ingredients and new takes on old classics, Mountain Sun has a vibe… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Indian Buffet

    Masalaa

    Ravi Kumar and Ehmad Ansari, two strict vegetarians, opened Masalaa in an Aurora strip mall close to a decade ago, and it's still going strong — and is still meat-free. While some specialties from the north, as well as Indochinese offerings, have crept onto the list, the focus is definitely food of southern India — and not a single dish… More >>
  • Best Tap House

    Tasty Weasel Tap Room

    Taking a trip to the Tasty Weasel Tap Room is like journeying straight to the center of Colorado's craft-beer-pumping heart. You'll find a festive atmosphere powered by rollicking tunes and an unconventional attitude, the same one that Oskar Blues — now Colorado's second-largest brewery — was founded on. Play Skee-Ball on the tournament-style Skee-Ball lanes, take a tour of the… More >>
  • Best Indian Buffet

    India's Restaurant

    Every Indian restaurant in the galaxy seems to feature a lunch buffet, which boasts curry-splattered hotel pans glutted with lukewarm leftovers from last night's dinner service. But at India's, the well-organized midday buffet is always clean and replenished before you can blink, shining brightly with more than a dozen dishes that cater to both carnivores and herbivores. For $8.95, you… More >>
  • Best New Brewery

    Denver Beer Co

    When Denver Beer Co opened last August, owners Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford wanted to do something different, and they have largely stuck to their vision of constantly brewing new recipes, almost never returning to the tried and true. While that occasionally frustrates fans of one beer or another, it's easy to forget your cares while sitting inside the airy,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Brewery

    Renegade Brewing

    Is Denver oversaturated with neighborhood breweries? It's a question that gets asked a lot these days, but there is a simple answer: Denver can handle as many neighborhood breweries as there are vibrant neighborhoods. One of the most vibrant 'hoods in town was blessed with its own suds-seller last year when Renegade Brewing opened in the Art District on Santa… More >>
  • Best Chicken and Waffles

    Second Home Kitchen and Bar

    We love just about any dish where sweet meets savory in magical harmony, but the epitome of that blessed union may very well be chicken and waffles, an orgy of fried decadence. You'll find the best in the city at Second Home, a restaurant that commands much of the bottom floor of the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek. Each element… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

    Mecca Grill

    Like the stars in the sky, Denver's Middle Eastern restaurants look alike, indistinguishable carbon copies with similar menus that you can mumble by heart. Hummus, check; falafel, check; baba ghanoush, double check. Mecca Grill, however, separates itself from the rest by virtue of its unassailable hummus, a sumac-dusted smooth purée of chickpeas and tahini, garlic and squirts of fresh-squeezed lemon… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Encore - CLOSED

    We've never found a better reason to lift our head off the pillow than brunch at Encore. Start the day off right with a plate of ethereal ricotta-filled beignets and a bloody Mary to soothe the debauchery from the night before, then move on to one of the other marvels created by chef Paul Reilly. Our favorite is his magnificent… More >>
  • Best Brewery for Neighbors

    Copper Kettle Brewing

    You won't find a brewery with a more dedicated clientele than the Copper Kettle, and you won't find a brewery that caters more to its regulars than this spot owned by Jeremy Gobien and Kristen Kozik. Stuck in a hidden business park between Denver and Aurora, the Copper Kettle has had to expand three times in less than a year… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Domo

    Step into Domo and you feel like you're stepping into another world. The dining room resembles a dark, enchanted cottage in the forest, with its tables made from stone slabs and seats cut from tree stumps. And even if you score a seat in the sunny back yard, you're likely to be sitting on a stump in the midst of… More >>
  • Best Sushi Restaurant

    Land of Sushi

    Land of Sushi opened in a strip mall across from what was then Southglenn Mall — now the Streets at SouthGlenn — a dozen years ago, and quickly made a splash. Over the years, this spot has just gotten better. The restaurant itself doesn't look like much, but the bare-bones ambience just means there's nothing to distract your attention from… More >>
  • Best Tap Room for Food Trucks

    Great Divide Brewing

    Tap rooms and food trucks were made for one another. The former needs to offer something for its buzzing customers to put into their stomachs; the latter needs a reliable spot for hungry people — and a parking space. Great Divide figured this out early and has welcomed Denver's food trucks since they first hit the streets. Now you can… More >>
  • Best Tap Room for Wings

    Dry Dock Brewing

    Aurora has developed an unexpected taste for craft-beer culture, and nowhere is that more apparent than during the occasional 50 Cent Wing Night at Dry Dock Brewing. That's when the crew from the Wing Hut (motto: Hot Craft Wings, Cold Craft Beer) brings its spicy signature dish to the kitchen-less but newly expanded tap room and serves the wings for… More >>
  • Best Bottle Beer List

    Cheeky Monk

    Just because you can't pronounce it doesn't mean you can't drink it, and the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe gives you 150 reasons why. The restaurant, which carved out a new niche when it opened on Colfax Avenue in 2007, has always had a stellar lineup of Belgian and American craft beers, both on tap and in bottles. But earlier… More >>
  • Best Draft Beer List

    Falling Rock Tap House

    These days beer lovers in Denver have a lot of choices when it comes to bars, restaurants and tap rooms where they can find great craft brews. But when the besotted masses are looking for the most choices all in one place, they still turn to Falling Rock Tap House, where the 75-plus handles stretch the length of the long… More >>
  • Best Place to Pair Beer and Food

    Euclid Hall

    Euclid Hall was one of the first upscale restaurants in Denver to tailor its menu — full of rich, hand-cranked sausage, poutine and cheeses — to beer rather than wine, and Denver hasn't stopped loving the combination. Over the past few months, however, Euclid Hall has upped its game, hosting a variety of events and evenings featuring beers on tap… More >>
  • Best New Beer Idea

    Bull & Bush Pub & Brewery

    Brothers Dave and Erik Peterson love beer. That's why they added a brewery in 1997 to the venerable Glendale watering hole that their dad and uncle started in 1971. This year, the Petersons took that love and hopped it up with a tableside trick — they're calling it Whole Hops Infusions — that allows customers to experiment with the subtleties… More >>
  • Best New Beer Idea to Go

    Wit's End Brewing

    Growlers, those familiar glass jugs that allow beer-drinkers to take their suds to go, have been around for as long as, well, for as long as people have been drinking beer. But 64-ounce modern growlers can be unwieldy and impractical, and that often let beer go flat within a day. Enter Wit's End Brewing's stainless-steel forty-ounce canteens. You can buy… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse

    Capital Grille

    There are steak emporiums staked out all over metro Denver, but for a huge whiff of testosterone perfume — for the essential steakhouse experience — head to the Capital Grille. This is a rich man's utopia, an expanse of power suits and American Express gold cards, of glorious, charred, hand-cut slabs of beef more expensive than seats to Lady Gaga,… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Jax Fish House

    This LoDo shrine to aquatics — thankfully bereft of any Disneyland-under-the-sea nonsense — is quite a catch for crab cakes, catfish and calamari, paddlefish and luxurious caviar, as well as a lovely raw bar glistening with oysters, the true benchmark of a seafood restaurant. Purists will insist that fresh oysters need no adulteration; dispense with the cocktail sauce and the… More >>
  • Best Blowout Brunch

    Garden Terrace

    Buffets appeal to all-you-can-eat gluttons, but while most brunch buffets excel at quantity, rarely do they achieve the same quality as a sit-down brunch. But the extravagant Sunday champagne and mimosa brunch at the Garden Terrace, located in the Inverness Hotel, masters both quality and quantity with seemingly endless indulgences of made-to-order omelets, eggs Benedict, carved meats (including prime rib),… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Restaurant

    Cafe|Bar

    After they'd landed the lease for a spot on Alameda, Cafe|Bar owner Dane Huguley and chef Eric Rivera examined the area to determine what kind of restaurant would best fit. The result was a reimagined neighborhood joint, a spot that could lure nearby residents for any occasion, be it a dinner date, a nightcap or a working lunch. With a… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Neighborhood

    Pearl Street Mall, Boulder

    Pearl Street Mall, the pedestrian promenade that features everything from dreadlocked stoners to dramatic tightrope walkers, also happens to pimp some of the best restaurants in the state — and we're not just talking about Frasca Food and Wine. Frasca's next-door sibling, Pizzeria Locale, is just one of the many reasons why this quirky hub of grub houses continues to… More >>
  • Best New American Restaurant

    Fruition

    It would be nearly impossible to overestimate the magnetism of Fruition — or its chef, Alex Seidel, whose New American restaurant, barely bigger than a walk-in closet, can be credited in part for vaulting Denver's dining scene into the culinary limelight. Seidel's reverence for inscrutable seasonal ingredients, many of which he plucks from the soil on his farm in Larkspur,… More >>
  • Best American Restaurant

    Table 6

    Since Aaron Forman opened Table 6, his cheeky, upscale homage to American comfort food, the restaurant has been the subject of a lot of hype, and early raves in national magazines led to the predictable onslaught of food tourists. But if anything, the restaurant has only gotten better over the past decade. Exec chef Scott Parker's kitchen cooks up a… More >>
  • Best Rise From the Ashes

    Oak at Fourteenth

    Business at the six-month-old Oak at Fourteenth was on fire when the restaurant actually caught fire last March, forcing owners Bryan Dayton and Steve Redzikowski to rebuild their spot from the ground up. It was a long road back, but after nine months the partners finally reopened Oak's doors in December, revealing a restaurant that was even better than before.… More >>
  • Best Return to Glory

    Barolo Grill

    This past summer, when owner Blair Taylor took the staff of his twenty-year-old restaurant on their annual trip to Italy, he used the time to give the interior of Barolo Grill an update, keeping the red-and-gold color scheme but getting rid of the '90s-era wall hangings and artwork in favor of a cleaner, more classic feel. The menu, too, has… More >>
  • Best Sustainable Argument

    Fuel Cafe

    Fuel Cafe chef-owner Bob Blair is fervent on the topic of sustainability, and discussions about the importance of organic sourcing, local ingredients and where food comes from are frequent topics of conversation at his eclectic restaurant in the Taxi project. But Blair also practices what he preaches, turning out a menu of creative, seasonal and delicious fare that comes from… More >>
  • Best Chef's Counter

    TAG

    Long gone are the days when chefs sliced and diced behind an iron curtain. Today's toques like the limelight — and they love being the center of attention, which is all the better for voyeuristic guests who like to eavesdrop on kitchenspeak while also watching a floor show. And at TAG, Troy Guard's Asian-guided restaurant in Larimer Square, the highly… More >>
  • Best Chef-Inspired Restaurant

    twelve restaurant

    It's the blind leading the blind, those people who shun Jeff Osaka's twelve because they make the mistake of assuming it resides in a so-called "sketchy" neighborhood. It doesn't. And frankly, we'd go to far worse areas just for the chance to eat a meal from the likes of Osaka. He's a serious culinary craftsman, whose commitment to cooking —… More >>
  • Best Rising Chef

    Samir Mohammad - CLOSED

    Forget Smashburger and Chipotle. Samir Mohammad, the chef of Village Cork, is the best thing to emerge in Denver in years. Long before he could drive, the Miami-born kitchen king, who was raised in New Mexico, was blistering his hands cooking red and green chile, flipping burgers and tossing pizzas, shaping a culinary career that would ultimately lead him to… More >>
  • Best Patio for Brunch

    Gaia Bistro

    Gaia Bistro is one of the homiest restaurants around, not least because it's actually located in an old home. The inside is cozy and comfortable — especially in the winter, when the warren of rooms creates a warm, welcoming haven — but Gaia shines brightest outside. You can eat on the planter-lined patio or at one of the tables scattered… More >>
  • Best Chef

    Lon Symensma

    One hit restaurant won't be enough for Lon Symensma, whose prominence in Denver's culinary scene has risen like the perfect soufflé. But until the culinary luminary unleashes a spinoff to ChoLon, his Asian-influenced restaurant downtown, we'll continue to curtsy and bow at his feet for gracing our city with a remarkably refined restaurant and a menu that displays his pivotal… More >>
  • Best Xiao Long Bao

    Tao Tao Noodle Bar - CLOSED

    Making soup dumplings — especially really good soup dumplings — is a craft, and world-class dumpling-makers even fight over the correct number of folds required for the top of each bun. Tao Tao Noodle Bar goes with eighteen. But consuming soup dumplings is also something of an art, especially at Tao Tao, where we want to start shoving the little… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Pinche Taqueria

    More than 300 restaurants opened in metro Denver last year, and many of them added something new and special to an already vibrant dining scene. But none did it with the aplomb of Pinche Taqueria, a raucous, irreverent spot that grew out of Kevin Morrison's highly successful food truck. The menu here is focused and simple, featuring an array of… More >>
  • Best New Coffeehouse

    Denver Bicycle Cafe

    Drop by the Denver Bicycle Cafe for a bottomless cup of coffee from a local roaster, a freshly baked cookie or even a pint of Colorado craft beer, all welcome components of a solid neighborhood cafe. But where this place really pulls ahead of other new coffee shops is the other side of the business: While you enjoy your cappuccino,… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse for Food

    Crema Coffee House

    Our love affair with Crema Coffee House started over coffee: well-pulled shots, sexy cappuccinos and beans from kick-ass roasters across the country. But now Crema has given us even more reason to hang out: some of the best food you'll find in any coffeehouse, anywhere. Owner Noah Price brought on chef Jonathan Power to come up with a creative breakfast-and-lunch… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse for Conversation

    Bardo CoffeeHouse

    Bardo CoffeeHouse is mellow enough that you can hunker down and study for finals here, but you won't get hushed or scowled at if you stop in to grab coffee with your chatty girlfriends, either. The owners clearly spent a lot of time researching proper coffee-shop ambience, because Bardo has everything: booths, couches, meeting tables, two-tops, window seats, movable tables,… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse for Service

    Sugar Bakeshop

    With coffeehouses on just about every block in Denver, it takes a lot more than a good bean to keep people coming back. At Sugar Bakeshop, that something extra is the service. Every latte slinger here seems eternally happy to see you, as does owner Natalie Slevin, who can usually be found rolling dough for her exquisite pop tarts in… More >>
  • Best Manga Munching

    Boba and Crepes

    After you order your bubble tea at Boba and Crepes, a strip-mall spot tucked off Colorado Boulevard, head over to the shelf between the aquarium and the loveseat, where you'll find issue after issue of Slam Dunk, the sports-themed manga series about a high-school basketball team in Japan. There are more issues of Slam Dunk than you can read over… More >>
  • Best Hip Noodle Bar

    Bones

    We fell in love at first slurp with Bones, Frank Bonanno's homage to the noodle bar. The menu is small and well-edited, with French technique influencing a list of mostly Japanese specialties, which can be paired with a smart list of sake and well-chosen wines. But the noodles are the real reason we keep coming back, particularly the lobster ramen… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for a Last Meal

    Euclid Hall

    If you're going to go out, you may as well go out with a hedonistic, gluttonous, cardiac-arrest-inducing bang, and the best place to find that in this city is Euclid Hall, a restaurant just off Larimer Square that's devoted to suds and swine. Here you can stuff yourself on some of the richest foods the world has to offer: fat-laced… More >>
  • Best Dim Sum

    Super Star Asian

    Even a recent expansion hasn't thinned the impenetrable crowds that descend upon Super Star Asian. They huddle and mutter under their breath near the doorway, their eyes peering over the cavernous combat zone, where fast-moving carts dash between big, round tables covered with bamboo steamers of everything under the dim sum sun: terrific shu mai and congee, salt-and-pepper shrimp, barbecued… More >>
  • Best Lunch Under $5

    Tacos Acapulco

    Whether you're on a budget or not, you can't go wrong by making a lunch of the pupusas at Tacos Acapulco, a tiny shack way out on East Colfax. The griddled corn rounds, crispy around the edges and fat with juicy pork, cheese, beans or herbaceous liroco, come with slaw and salsa. Two are enough to make a meal, and… More >>
  • Best Szechuan Restaurant

    Chef Liu's Authentic Chinese Cuisine

    Chef Liu's, a strip-mall joint deep in Aurora, has a "secret" menu, and it features specialties from all over China, including Beijing-style pork with bean paste, fried pork livers and dan dan noodles. But Chef Liu's true specialties are the Szechuan dishes. Our favorites include mouth-numbing beef, twice-cooked pork, cumin-rubbed lamb and real Szechuan chicken. The best way to approach… More >>
  • Best Dinner Under $10

    Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

    Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs has been hawking fat sausages from a handful of carts for years now, but last spring, Jim Pittenger also opened a brick-and-mortar establishment that's quickly become a mainstay for those looking for a cheap dinner before a night on the town — or a cheap dinner at the end of a long night, since this spot… More >>
  • Best Expense-Account Dinner

    Sushi Sasa

    There are many places in town that disprove the notion that you have to be on one of the coasts to enjoy good sushi — and Wayne Conwell's stylish spot makes the most convincing argument of all. This restaurant between LoDo and LoHi doesn't just serve raw fish, though; it features Conwell's inventive take on the new-style Japanese cooking he… More >>
  • Best After-Midnight Menu

    My Brother's Bar

    We may not be totally sober if we're seeking out a meal after midnight, but we're often coherent enough to know that we don't want any old slice of pizza or a foil-wrapped burrito. That's why we often find ourselves at My Brother's Bar in the wee hours. This iconic Denver bar, which for the last forty years has occupied… More >>
  • Best Sandwich Shop

    Masterpiece Delicatessen

    You can get a sandwich just about anywhere, but if you want to wrap your muzzle around a monument, then you need to go to the master of sandwich-making. And that's Masterpiece Deli, the spot that Justin Brunson opened several years ago in Lower Highland, before this part of town was a hot restaurant neighborhood. The come-to-Jesus white-truffled egg salad… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Hong Kong Barbecue

    Hong Kong is famous for its siu mei, a blanket term that covers many roasted meats; siu mei shops in that city display whole, honey-glazed and five-spice-dusted, slow-cooked animals in their windows. Pigs and geese are the most popular critters, prized for the high fat content that makes the meat so moist as the fire melts the fat. Though siu… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Pho

    Pho 95

    Pho 95 has been drawing pho-natics for years, especially those of the non-meat persuasion — because this strip-mall Vietnamese noodle shop serves up the best vegetarian pho in town, featuring tofu sliced into triangles and fried, then added to an incredibly flavorful vegetarian broth swimming with rice noodles, slices of carrot, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas and thin strips of onion.… More >>
  • Best Salad Bar/Shop

    Fourleaf Chopped Salads

    The Denver Tech Center is full of green energy, thanks to Fourleaf Chopped Salads, a homegrown marvel. This subterranean spot is only open weekdays, and only at lunch — when it's always packed. The menu features a dozen specialty salads, as well as some basic choices of greens, a couple dozen dressing options and a dizzying number of proteins and… More >>
  • Best Ladies' Lunch

    Tres Jolie - CLOSED

    "I didn't know what I wanted it to be, so this is what I ended up with," owner Holly Smith says of her boutique/sandwicheria/teahouse. She'd always wanted to cook, but she also had a thing for France, for pretty things and for loose-leaf teas, so she combined all of her loves into Tres Jolie, a spot in downtown Littleton that… More >>
  • Best Yogurt

    Noosa Finest Yoghurt

    The raw material is locally sourced, with milk from grass-fed cows at the historic Morning Fresh Dairy Farm in Bellvue. The recipe (and the owners) come from a little burg in Queensland, Australia, called Noosa. The result is a creamy, full-bodied yogurt that's neither as sour as the Greek version nor as insipidly sweet as the American — and so… More >>
  • Best Pho

    Pho Duy

    The Denver area has dozens and dozens of pho shops, most of which serve up decent bowls of noodle soup. But only a few really stand out, and the one that rises to the top is Pho Duy. The menu is as spare as the decor at this strip-mall spot; save for a few specialties and spring rolls, there's not… More >>
  • Best Waffle

    City, O' City

    When we've maxed out our meat quota, the kitchen at City, O' City, one of Denver's few vegetarian restaurants, does a body good, especially at breakfast time. We're bewitched by the joint's savory waffle, a gluten-free marvel made with potato starch and tapioca flour, that's pelted with zucchini, flax seeds and carrots. Ringed with a creamy garlic-and-shallot-scented Taleggio sauce that's… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Glacier Homemade Ice Cream

    This Boulder-based outfit makes celestial ice cream, churning cream and sugar into sweet, silky confections, some of them studded with tiny bits of cake or candy. You can find more popular flavors packaged up at several retail shops around town — or offered on many restaurant dessert lists — but it's worth heading straight to the source. The Glacier Homemade… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Hot Pot

    DaLat

    It's no secret that some of the best cooking in town happens on Federal Boulevard, Denver's melting pot of noodles and pho, street tacos and salsas, dim sum and durian. If you aren't willing to duck into a seedy taqueria that's roosting next to a foot massage parlor, or a restaurant adjacent to a liquor store that reeks of stale… More >>
  • Best Wheat Meat

    Denver Seitan Company

    If you've ever cooked with store-bought seitan, you know how slimy and downright unappetizing the stuff can be. And while making your own seitan is a relatively easy process, it's tedious and time-consuming. But now Denver Seitan Company has packaged the convenience of store-bought seitan with the taste of the homemade stuff — and the result will have even your… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Saigon Bowl

    Saigon Bowl has held down its spot in the Far East Center for more than fifteen years, but it would probably take a lifetime to eat your way through its extensive menu. The kitchen cooks up a vast array of bun and worthy, consistent pho, but it also turns out stir-fried frog's legs, jellyfish salad, lobster tail, a variety of… More >>
  • Best Panang Curry

    Thai Flavor Restaurant

    It's not exactly convenient to jump on a plane every time you get a hankering for Panang curry, so we've spent some serious hours searching out a local replacement. Enter Thai Flavor, where you can get a brimming bowl of Panang curry, creamy and caramel-colored, pungent and peppery, swimming with tender strips of pork, scallions and basil, and laced with… More >>
  • Best 24/7 Restaurant

    Breakfast King

    Joints that operate 24/7 are as American as apple pie and chocolate pudding, but they're also a dying breed, especially in this city, where 10 p.m. — sometimes 9 — is the time du jour for turning off the lights. But not at this fluorescent-lit diner, whose parade of characters is most abundant when the bars go dim. Here you… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian/Vegan Food Truck

    Vegan Van

    Amie Arias took to the streets with the Vegan Van last November, bringing an international menu to different points about Denver. She changes her lineup regularly, so whether her van is pulling up to Great Divide or idling at a corner for lunch, there's always something interesting to try; the rotating winter selections have included a notable take on a… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Thai Street Food

    When Utumporn Killoran, who runs the Thai Street Food cart on the 16th Street Mall, opened a same-name brick-and-mortar last year in Aurora, it quickly earned a spot on everyone's you-must-go-here list. From her tiny exhibition kitchen, which she runs with her husband and son, Killoran turns out deeply flavored curries and soups, all of which boast bold spices. There's… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Meal From a Non-Vegetarian Food Truck

    Quiero Arepas

    The food-truck revolution in this city was kind to vegetarians and vegans, with almost every vehicle offering at least a couple of options for non-carnivores. Quiero Arepas drives down both sides of the street, catering to both meat-eaters and plant-eaters with a roster of arepas — corn-based, flatbread-style wraps — with filling choices that include beef and smoked salmon as… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Dish in a Non-Vegetarian Restaurant

    New Saigon

    The book-like menu at New Saigon is dizzying, an ocean of letters and numerals with a whole bay of vegetarian options. But we always land on 10N, Bun Tau Hu Xao Sa Ot, located under the noodle bowl section and highlighted in red. Described simply as "stir-fried tofu with lemon grass noodle bowl," this peanut-topped dish is a tangle of… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Han Kang

    A one-mile strip of Havana offers a quick tour of Korean food, but Han Kang should be your ultimate destination. Although almost everything on the menu is good and comes with an impressive number of sides to mix and match until you create a perfectly balanced meal, the barbecue is the real draw. Request a table on the tented platform,… More >>
  • Best Vegan Dish in a Non-Vegan Restaurant

    Virgilio's Pizzeria and Wine Bar

    Although many cuisine types are easily adapted to a vegan lifestyle, the cheeses and meats so prevalent in Italian cooking make it more difficult to find vegan versions of certain Italian staples, especially pizza. But not at Virgilio's. Many of the specialty pies at this very popular place (be prepared to wait for a table) lend themselves to vegan interpretations,… More >>
  • Best Fried Calamari

    Crimson Canary - CLOSED

    Crimson Canary channels the Hollywood version of Italian steakhouses that were popular in the 1970s, and several items on the menu are to die for. In particular, this spot makes killer calamari. The kitchen mixes lemon slices and spicy housemade giardiniera — the blend of pickled peppers and vegetables most often found on deli sandwiches — with the springy bodies… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    WaterCourse Foods

    WaterCourse Foods just keeps getting better. The atmosphere has always been lovely: The open, airy space features animals and landscapes painted across the walls by Ravi Zupa, with tall stools lining the bar and comfortable booths tucked by the walls. But over the past year, WaterCourse cut out its weekday breakfast hours, allowing chef Rachel Kesley to concentrate on the… More >>
  • Best Food Truck

    Manna From Heaven

    Talk about a movable feast! Manna from Heaven lives up to its name, turning out celestial Vietnamese street chow, including an amazing banh mi that's built with pork, cilantro and fresh vegetables, quality ingredients all heaped on a first-rate baguette streaked with a spicy sauce of sriracha and mayonnaise. But the congenial crew — it's a family affair — stakes… More >>
  • Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Mama Sanninos

    Jimmy Sannino, owner of Mama Sanninos, has decades of experience behind him; he jokes that he's been in the restaurant business since he was six years old. His family once owned the iconic Three Sons, and he's imported many of the recipes from that longtime north Denver spot to an Arvada strip-mall space that specializes in homestyle cooking and old-school… More >>
  • Best Food Cart

    Biker Jim's

    Hot dog carts continue to monopolize Denver's food-cart movement, but for a doggone good wiener that sizzles and drizzles with juices, Biker Jim's is the alpha Great Dane. The original cart, usually parked on the corner of 16th and Arapahoe streets, has been hustling franks from Continental Sausage for years. And clearly, practice makes perfect — because every day the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Patio

    Bittersweet

    How does your garden grow? Just ask Olav Peterson, the exec chef/owner of Bittersweet, who skillfully designed his fetching urban patio to ensure that his menu stays seasonal and fresh through much of the year. Strewn with shrubbery and shady trees that shimmer in the sun- and moonlight, as well as edible flowers, dozens of herbs and an abundance of… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Pizzeria Locale

    "There's no other style of pizza in the world that's as geeky as the Napolitano style," chef Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson proclaimed when he opened Pizzeria Locale. "And we're trying to do it exactly right." Doing it right included MacKinnon-Patterson and partner Bobby Stuckey bringing oven-makers from Italy to build a custom wood-burning stove in their new space near the flagship Frasca.… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Patio With a View

    Linger

    Justin Cucci's redesign of the old Olinger Mortuary is stunning, and the view of the skyline from inside Linger is lovely, too. But from high on the rooftop deck, tucked just below the old Olinger sign, the sight of the city stretching out before you is positively breathtaking. And while you point out features of the Platte Valley and downtown… More >>
  • Best Patio for Living the High Life

    Quixote's True Blue

    Come spring and summer, the back patio of Quixote's True Blue fills with the odors of hippie food on the stove, a few cigs and stogies, and often the sweet, skunky smell of other burning materials — not that anyone is condoning anything here. Snag a seat at the picnic table, where you can enjoy a post-Rockies beer or boogie… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Burrito — Eat In

    Los Trompitos

    The biggest difference between these breakfast burritos and all the others has everything to do with ratio: Priced at a bargain-basement $1.95 each, the pudgy, foil-wrapped marvels are stuffed with equal amounts of soft-scrambled eggs, melty cheese, crisp-edged potatoes, salty meat — bacon, sausage or chorizo — and searing green chile, which means that whether you're on your first bite… More >>
  • Best Mac and Cheese

    Hops & Pie

    While most people who head to the newly expanded Hops & Pie are looking for craft beer and pizza, we'd hop over to this friendly spot for the mac and cheese alone. An order brings a mound of elbow macaroni glazed in a sharp cheddar sauce mixed with pudgy peas and strands of smoky braised ham hock, then spackled with… More >>
  • Best Specialty Pizza

    Osteria Marco

    Osteria Marco is not a pizzeria. It's a shrine to handcrafted cheeses and salumi, to suckling pig on Sunday nights and panini paved with prosciutto. It also happens to be a restaurant whose repertoire includes some of the most superb pizzas to ever cross our lips. A few bites in and you're transfixed by the salty, airy chew of the… More >>
  • Best Burger

    Juicy Burger & Dogs

    Juicy Burger & Dogs, a buzzy joint in the 'burbs, makes the best burger around — and it's easy to see why. That's because the burger isn't all gussied up with elaborate toppings or brioche bread. Instead, a hand-molded, properly salt-and-peppered patty — made of freshly ground beef, lamb or chicken — is char-grilled until it gushes fatty juices and… More >>
  • Best Fancy Burger

    Highland Tap & Burger

    Denver's seen a boom in burger joints over the past few years, with some stripping the burger down to basics and others loading it up so that it's no longer recognizable. Highland Tap & Burger falls squarely in the middle, rethinking this iconic American dish while also celebrating what makes it remarkable. The chimi burger tops a fat medium-rare patty… More >>
  • Best New York-Style Pizza

    Virgilio's Pizzeria and Wine Bar

    If you want a perfectly pleasant conversation to turn contentious, just mention the word "pizza" and watch the dough fly. Or you can just shut your piehole and plop yourself down at Virgilio's, where the New York-style pizzas are generally known to silence even the most severe skeptics. The pizzas — sturdy, slightly raised, requisitely chewy and uniformly tinged golden… More >>
  • Best Vegan Burger

    City, O' City

    City, O' City got a new chef and a new interior this past year, but it wisely kept the burger known as the Maximus, a hearty quinoa-and-pinto-bean patty grilled and served up on a Kaiser with special sauce and cheddar. But not content with leaving well enough alone, Brendon Doyle devised an El Jefe option, which adds sautéed mushrooms, onion… More >>
  • Best Veggie Burger

    Park Burger

    Park Burger makes the best veggie burger in the city, hands down. A grain-based patty is bound together with egg and then smashed on the grill until it's perfectly browned; the chef then adds lettuce, tomato, onion, a special sauce and whatever else you might want, including a fried egg, mushrooms or onions. The regular fries make a perfect traditional… More >>
  • Best Eggs Benedict

    DJ's Berkeley Cafe

    You know the eggs Benedict that litter the breakfast menus of just about every cafe and diner in Denver? These are not those eggs Benedict, with hollandaise from a pre-mixed pouch. No, at DJ's Berkeley Cafe, eggs Benedict are held in higher esteem than your overall happiness; they're more sacred than marriage, more royal than Kate and Wills. Our favorite… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Italian Restaurant

    Sketch - CLOSED

    A few months ago, Brian Laird, the former executive chef of Barolo Grill, was flipping burgers at Rockbar. But he soon moved on to Sketch, where he's returned to his Italian cooking roots, turning out bowls of majestic housemade pastas, including pasta puttanesca — which, if you didn't already know, was allegedly invented by prostitutes, who relied on the sauce's… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Steve's Snappin' Dogs

    The first thing you'll notice as you browse the menu at Steve's Snappin' Dogs is that Steve is not a traditionalist. You won't find a proper Chicago dog here, for instance, nor will you find a Coney Island dog. Rather, Steve's reinvents the idea of what a hot dog can be, serving up Thumann's franks in creative ways — including… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Panzano

    From the beautifully baked breads that scent the dining room to the textbook-perfect gnocchi with rabbit confit to the twitchy egg that crowns the tagliatelle carbonara specked with house-cured pancetta, Panzano's kitchen just keeps out turning stunning fare. For that, you can thank chef Elise Wiggins, who interprets the cuisine of northern Italy with ingredients from Colorado farms and ranches… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Frijoles Colorado Cuban Cafe

    No matter how cold it is outside, the atmosphere inside Frijoles Colorado Cuban Cafe is downright beachy. This family-run spot that opened last year in a Lakewood strip mall moves to its own island rhythm. Roxana and Sergio Negrin man the counter and do the cooking, and they turn out excellent ropa vieja, lechón, Cuban sandwiches and Cuban empanadas, plus… More >>
  • Best Chicago Dog

    Mile High Vienna

    While we don't subscribe to the belief that the only good hot dog is a Chicago dog, we will acknowledge that the Windy City makes one hell of a frank. And here in Denver, you'll find a reverent homage to the Chicago dog at the two Mile High Vienna stores, where Sonny Jarock and Jeremy Williamson have created shrines to… More >>
  • Best Cuban Sandwich

    Buchi Cafe Cubano

    We've seen plenty of ham, pork and Swiss cheese sandwiches posing as Cubans, but the real deal is a rarity in this town. At Buchi Cafe Cubano, a sweet spot in Highland, though, the Cuban sandwich is absolutely authentic, right down to the Cuban bread: a slightly sweet, crusty white loaf similar to — but not the same as —… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Elway's Cherry Creek

    There are several strict rules of thumb when it comes to making french fries: First, the tubers — blanched, of course — must be hand-cut, with the skins left on for texture. Second, the potatoes shouldn't be cut too thin or, God forbid, too thick. Third, if the resulting fries aren't crisp, golden and hotter than a sidewalk sale in… More >>
  • Best Tricked-Out French Fries

    D Bar Desserts - CLOSED

    Dessert king Keegan Gerhard is renowned for his sensational sugar sensations, but his savory creations are just as inspiring — starting with the crue fries, an irresponsible mound of Parmesan-dusted thin potato strips buried under a rich cheese sauce that in and of itself has the ability to take over its victims' veins like a heroin injection. But Gerhard doesn't… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Tom's Home Cookin'

    Ensuring that you get your grubby little hands on a fat helping of super-crisp, super-delicious, super-hot fried chicken at Tom's Home Cookin' requires planning: You need to arrive before it's all gone, which can sometimes occur long before you're even considering lunch, and you'll need to carry a stash of cash, because the joint doesn't accept credit. But the planning… More >>
  • Best Central/South American Restaurant

    Maria Empanada - CLOSED

    Three years ago, Buenos Aires native Lorena Cantarovici decided to open a catering business using her mother's recipes for empanadas and other Argentine specialties. The business went so well that by last fall, she needed a bigger kitchen. She found it in a strip-mall storefront that looks oddly like a log cabin. Inside, she has just enough room for two… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Vine Street Pub & Brewery

    Though sports bars the world over serve up chicken wings, it's surprisingly difficult to find good ones: If they're not limp and soggy after being tossed in the fryer straight out of the freezer bag, they're smothered in some creative sauce that's no improvement on the original. But at Vine Street Pub, the chicken wings really soar. Large and meaty,… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Burrito — To Go

    Big Mama's Burritos

    Seven days a week, this campy chuckwagon pit stop and drive-thru crowned with a cherry-red roof turns out hefty gut grenades to satiate your morning lust or lingering hangover. Two bucks and tax rewards the hunger pangs (or thumping headache) with a hefty potato, egg and chile-blasted burrito, while the daily specials, all of which include cheese, sausage, shredded beef,… More >>
  • Best Pig Parts

    Euclid Hall

    Euclid Hall has given Denver foodniks more than they could possibly ask for: poutines, fried cheddar curds, bone marrow, the Tim T-boning Manhattan shot, housemade blood-blotted boudin noir and a fulfilling armory of other fantastic sausages, foie gras and...pig's ears. No matter how often we go, the pig's ears, expressively Thai in preparation, are our dream date: Salty, sweet, penetratingly… More >>
  • Best Taqueria

    El Trompito Taqueria

    El Trompito Taqueria is a smashing wonderland of Mexican street food dominated by the thud of cleavers in the open kitchen, where workers assemble tacos, huaraches, alambres, skyscraping tortas and aguas frescas made with fresh fruit. But the taqueria's essential dish is the mixiote de borrego, an overnight-braised lamb shank. The shards and slivers of meat, at once crunchy and… More >>
  • Best Mole

    Tarasco's New Latino Cuisine

    Mexican cuisine is awash in moles, and in Oaxaca, one of the best food cities in the world, there's a different mole for every day of the week. But in this country — save for in Los Angeles, where there are dozens of Oaxacan restaurants — mole, at least proper mole, is difficult to find. Lucky for us, we have… More >>
  • Best BBQ

    Country Time BBQ

    Jennifer and Lawrence Barkers, the owners of Country Time BBQ, aren't proponents of any one of the country's particular barbecue regions. Instead, they're true to just one style: their own. After Lawrence perfected his smoking technique — using two secret kinds of wood — he started a mobile business that grew into a restaurant. Or sort of a restaurant. The… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian BBQ

    Moe's Original Bar-B-Que

    Lovers of vegetarian barbecue, prepare to meet your maker. Moe's Bar-B-Que, a homegrown chain that got its start in the Vail Valley, prepares a heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth smoked tofu. You can order it as a plate, or smothered with coleslaw and slathered in barbecue sauce as a sandwich; you can also nix the slaw for a vegan version. To balance out… More >>
  • Best Salsa Bar

    Carnitas Estilo Michoacan

    "Burn, baby, burn" should be the slogan of Carnitas Estilo Michoacán,a superior taqueria whose savage salsas would knock Mike Tyson out of the boxing ring...after just one round. There are ten in all, in varying hues of green, orange, red and firecracker, residing in side-by-side metal buckets. There's a creamy avocado, jalapeño and tomatillo version; another with honey, fresh orange… More >>
  • Best Free Chips and Salsa

    Tacos Jalisco

    Sit down at Tacos Jalisco — an old, awkwardly partitioned joint at the edge of the Berkeley neighborhood — and your meal will start with free chips, straight from the fryer, and not just one delicious salsa, but a quartet of sips. One version pairs tomato with jalapeño and onion; another matches sweet mango to habanero heat; a third features… More >>
  • Best Nachos

    College Inn

    College Inn is a down-home sports bar that attracts regulars who want to watch a game and drink beer from the tap lines, but it could also educate the rest of this town's kitchens on how to make a perfect platter of nachos. Melted Jack and cheddar coat a bed of chips covered with fresh jalapeños, diced tomatoes and tender… More >>
  • Best Red Chile

    Twisters Burgers & Burritos

    This New Mexico-based chain, which has four locations in the metro area, doesn't serve fast food — as evidenced by its lengthy menu of made-to-order burritos and enchiladas, all of which come draped with either green or red chile. The red chile is a revelation: bright, pungent, sassy and even a little fruity. Made with New Mexican chile powder, chile… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Green Chile

    Sam's No. 3

    In its various incarnations, Sam's has been serving up classic diner fare for close to nine decades. The current Sam's No. 3 was featured in a recent episode of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives devoted to a "Porktastic" theme, so you know that its pig (and ubiquitous pork green chile) is up to scratch. But vegetarians have their… More >>
  • Best Green Chile After a Night on the Town

    Chubby's

    When she bought the old Chubby Burger Drive-In on West 38th Avenue back in the late '60s, Stella Cordova fueled it with her original chile recipe. Today the thick, porky stew is a Denver icon, spicy enough that the only real way to put the fire out is to keep eating it. While many restaurants in town — run by… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Under $2

    Araujo's Restaurant

    Rise and shine! Araujo's, a colorful storefront spot in the Federal Boulevard breakfast-burrito triangle that also includes a Santiago's and Jack-n-Grill, opens at 6 a.m. weekdays (7 a.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. Sunday) and starts handing out the city's best cheap breakfast just minutes later. Every day of the week, Araujo's offers a special breakfast burrito from opening until 11 a.m.… More >>
  • Best Green Chile in an Unlikely Location

    Westerkamps Meat Market and Restaurant

    The walls of Westerkamps feature an excellent collection of kitsch: Besides proclamations of love for the Lord, there are photos of '50s Western stars, tools that might have been used on the prairie, old skis hung in an X shape, and hubcaps from classic American cars. The place is part Norman Rockwell museum, part small-town butcher store and part shrine… More >>
  • Best Green Chile

    Tia Maria

    If you were born and raised in Denver, you are, by rights, a green-chile geek. And if you popped out elsewhere (New Mexico notwithstanding) and simply don't get why we're so besotted with suffocating our burritos, enchiladas, rellenos and french fries with verde, we can only assume you have yet to try the green stuff at Tia Maria. The affable… More >>
  • Best Tamales

    Tamales Moreno

    The building that houses Tamales Moreno is so small that there's no indoor seating; instead, every square inch of available surface area is covered with Ziploc bags full of tamales. Eager diners come in and grab their order — and many make it no farther than the picnic tables outside before they eagerly unwrap a tamale. Inside each corn husk… More >>
  • Best Street Taco

    La Villa Real

    Before gourmet trucks and new-style taquerias started fancying up tacos, old-school food trucks were turning out inexpensive, authentic street tacos. Many of these loncheras are still displaying their street smarts, including the pair of trucks that comprise the La Villa Real enterprise. This truck, usually parked at West Alameda at Raritan, attracts a constant crowd of patrons, some of whom… More >>
  • Best House Margarita

    Pinche Taqueria

    The Pinche Taqueria cocktail list is downright cheeky. The tequila- and whiskey-focused back bar serves up clever twists on classic Mexican cocktails, as well as wondrous new concoctions. But before the bar ventured off into wordplay and wacky flavors, it worked hard to make sure that it had nailed its house margarita, which also happens to be the only margarita… More >>
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