You'll flip for the flapjacks at Peppers. Light and fluffy but still substantial enough that a stack of two makes a full meal, these slightly sweet, slightly malty hotcakes are the diner pancakes of your dreams. A ball of butter and a pitcher of warm syrup complete the picture. Of course, Peppers makes everything from scratch (the pies are marvelous, too), and owner George Strompoulos keeps checking in with customers to see if everything's okay. It always is.

Best Place to Score With a Sixty-Something Who Loves the King as Much as You Do

Lookin' Good Lounge & Restaurant

Uhh, huh, huh, oh, yeah, this is a shrine to Elvis, and the folks who frequent the Lookin' Good love the King almost as much as they love the Greek, Mexican and American fare that this kitchen has been cookin' up for 23 years. Lookin' Good's owners, Tim and Angela Melisaratos, love the King even more: They've filled their place with all manner of Elvis memorabilia, including plates, clocks, singing mannequins, dolls, posters, even custom-made miniature couches with guitars and record albums sewn on. Single men and women of a certain age gather here for both the bargain fare and the free-flowing conversation, which often carries over into the attached lounge. Food of choice: homemade pies or prime rib, which is quite tasty. Love it tender.

Best Place to Score With a Sixty-Something Who Loves the King as Much as You Do

Lookin' Good Lounge & Restaurant

Uhh, huh, huh, oh, yeah, this is a shrine to Elvis, and the folks who frequent the Lookin' Good love the King almost as much as they love the Greek, Mexican and American fare that this kitchen has been cookin' up for 23 years. Lookin' Good's owners, Tim and Angela Melisaratos, love the King even more: They've filled their place with all manner of Elvis memorabilia, including plates, clocks, singing mannequins, dolls, posters, even custom-made miniature couches with guitars and record albums sewn on. Single men and women of a certain age gather here for both the bargain fare and the free-flowing conversation, which often carries over into the attached lounge. Food of choice: homemade pies or prime rib, which is quite tasty. Love it tender.

Columbine Steak House & Lounge
Mark Antonation
Columbine is less about the steaks and more about the scene -- one of the most interesting you'll find in this town. People from all walks of life pass through the forty-year-old joint, and some even order the steak. Which means that group, at least, will go away happy, because when the grill guy is in a good mood, the twenty-ounce porterhouse, which costs less than half of what it would at a big-name steakhouse, arrives juicy and tender, with a nicely charred edge and a big pile of twice-fried French fries on the side. When the grill guy's not in a good mood, order a beer and pick up a burger on your way home.
Columbine is less about the steaks and more about the scene -- one of the most interesting you'll find in this town. People from all walks of life pass through the forty-year-old joint, and some even order the steak. Which means that group, at least, will go away happy, because when the grill guy is in a good mood, the twenty-ounce porterhouse, which costs less than half of what it would at a big-name steakhouse, arrives juicy and tender, with a nicely charred edge and a big pile of twice-fried French fries on the side. When the grill guy's not in a good mood, order a beer and pick up a burger on your way home.
Need a shot of liquid courage before you check to see if that United flight is leaving anywhere near on time? Stop by Que Bueno!, which also happens to serve the best food you'll find at the airport -- big, fat burritos filled with your choice of commendable fillings and topped by salsas that range from mild to so fuerte that nothing will put out the fire. But the real surprise here is the sizable selection of tequilas tucked into a nook in the little eatery -- just the thing to jet-propel the rest of your trip.
Need a shot of liquid courage before you check to see if that United flight is leaving anywhere near on time? Stop by Que Bueno!, which also happens to serve the best food you'll find at the airport -- big, fat burritos filled with your choice of commendable fillings and topped by salsas that range from mild to so fuerte that nothing will put out the fire. But the real surprise here is the sizable selection of tequilas tucked into a nook in the little eatery -- just the thing to jet-propel the rest of your trip.
When most people in this town talk about great Mexican food, they're talking about the kind of burrito you find at El Ranchito. Don't bother telling them that the burrito was invented by Mexicans working in California, not Tijuana; and don't dare suggest that this style of burrito was designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. In fact, since you can't beat them, you might as well join them in digging into an overstuffed, cheese-covered tortilla smothered with Denver's take on green chile. El Ranchito's burrito supreme is an exemplary version of this quasi-Mex mainstay, bursting with well-seasoned meats mixed with diced tomatoes, and topped by thick, heavy guacamole, lots of sour cream, a quilt of melted yellowish-orange cheese and a sweet, gravylike green.
When most people in this town talk about great Mexican food, they're talking about the kind of burrito you find at El Ranchito. Don't bother telling them that the burrito was invented by Mexicans working in California, not Tijuana; and don't dare suggest that this style of burrito was designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. In fact, since you can't beat them, you might as well join them in digging into an overstuffed, cheese-covered tortilla smothered with Denver's take on green chile. El Ranchito's burrito supreme is an exemplary version of this quasi-Mex mainstay, bursting with well-seasoned meats mixed with diced tomatoes, and topped by thick, heavy guacamole, lots of sour cream, a quilt of melted yellowish-orange cheese and a sweet, gravylike green.
Get stuffed at Playo de Oro, a quiet, corner eatery that's half takeout, half eat-in -- and all about delicious, soft chiles rellenos. While many Denver diners are fans of the egg roll type of relleno, that's probably because they've eaten one too many disappointing soft versions, which too often go wrong in the cooking process. But Playa de Oro knows how to avoid all those grease pitfalls. It packs long, skinny poblanos with Monterey Jack, dunks them in a thick egg soufflé of a batter, and then fries them until just the thinnest, crispiest, golden-brown shell forms around the chile. That means no soggy goo that turns to lead in your stomach, and no fast-cooling cheese that turns to lead outside of your stomach. This relleno is the stuff of dreams, a crunchy beauty until the very last bite.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of