Yazoo Barbeque Company
Cassandra Kotnik
Small place, big flavor. Sometimes we crave Yazoo's amazing pulled pork, at other times its ribs. But once when we stopped in for ribs, the tiny kitchen was out, so indeed we got a BOB — chicken breast wrapped in bacon and jalapeños. then smoked — and almost died from pleasure right on the spot. In fact, the only problem with Yazoo is that it sells out of certain things so quickly that we can't always get what we happen to be craving at that moment. But that's not a very big problem, because there's always another great option. Adding a second outlet down south has helped expand supply, but we remain faithful to the small downtown spot, which just keeps pouring out that big, big flavor.
Bacon is already cured. In some cases, it's even smoked before it ever makes it to your table. So why not barbecue it again, Korean style? At Han Kang, a big plate of raw bacon, cut into easy-to-eat chunks, is brought to the table with one of those propane-fired portable grills. Throw on the pork, let it cook, and prepare to pig out. (The menu says this is a dish for sharing, but if you've ever wanted to eat an entire pound of bacon by yourself, Han Kang is definitely the place.) A bowl of garlic oil comes with the bacon, but a spread of alien side dishes also arrives with every order, ensuring new taste treats with every bacon-y bite.

Best BBQ in the Last Place You'd Expect It

Jim 'N Nick's

Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q
Hunter Stevens
It's not odd to find good barbecue in Aurora, but it is unexpected to stumble across good barbecue in a gigantic outdoor mall. Because who in their right mind would go to a spot like Southlands looking for pulled pork and cornbread? And who would imagine that you could not only find it here, but you could get that good 'cue from a drive-thru? While the location may be weird, it's also welcome when you're driving around the 'burbs and the pork jones hits. Because Jim 'N Nick's takes its barbecue very seriously. Everything is made from scratch, and the 'cue goes through a twelve-hour smoke. And if your diet needs a little more starch, order the Pig in the Potato Patch, a baked potato loaded down with smoked bacon, butter, sour cream, cheese, barbecue sauce and more pulled pork. This spud's for you.
Big Papa's BBQ
On the best days, you can smell Big Papa's from across the parking lot. On the best days, you somehow manage to sneak in between the rushes and be out of the place in ten minutes, tops, with an order of Denver's best ribs. But even on bad days, those ribs are good enough to turn everything else around.

Best Big-Ass Burger With a Side of Rock and Roll

The Counter

The Counter
The Counter is a concept restaurant, a pure product of the 21st century, of the fast-casual boom and West Coast culture. The interior is spare and spartan; the staff wears blue jeans and tattoo-art-inspired shirts. The art on the walls is black and white, with a rock-and-roll theme. And the burgers? They're huge and bloody and sold sushi-bar style, with a slip of paper and a pencil so that you can choose from among a plethora of artful and interesting toppings. And then enjoy a bottle of beer or glass of wine while you wait for the mad-scientist burger of your dreams.
Watercourse Foods
Danielle Lirette
It's a measure of how far this city has come in the pursuit of dangerously untested culinary thrills (the eating of seitan, the serving of meals made of nothing but vegetables, creating a Buffalo wing made of tofu, which does not have wings) that a place like WaterCourse Foods — where all of these high-wire gastronomical games are played daily — now attracts more than just a dedicated clientele of twig-and-berry vegetarians, vegans and other ascetics. Although the restaurant can still look like a game preserve for the final holdouts of Denver's chipmunk-hugging Earth lovers, it's attracting a growing crowd of diverse diners — many of whom have a common goal: breakfast. Granted, a breakfast here must be eaten sans bacon, ham, hash or sausage (the four primary elements of any proper breakfast equation), but if you must go pig-free, WaterCourse is the place to go.

Best Breakfast Among the Hipsters

Snooze

Snooze
Lauren Monitz
Snooze has answered its wake-up call and settled into a vibe where the food is as good as the concept and decor, as nicely made-up as most of the customers clamoring for a table during the weekend breakfast rush. This is one of the very few spots in the city where hipsters go to see and be seen before noon on a Sunday. But they also pay attention to what's on their plates, because Snooze features a nicely modern American breakfast menu, well prepared and presented, with just enough oddness and quirks (breakfast tacos, pulled pork Benedicts and corned beef hash done in ring molds) to ensure that the food doesn't get swept away in the wash of design, style and attitude.
Santiago's Mexican Restaurant
Cassandra Kotnik
We've eaten a lot of breakfast burritos over the years. We've eaten what some people might consider a truly shocking number of breakfast burritos. And every time we're put on the spot and asked, straight out, for the best breakfast burrito in Denver, our answer is always the same: Santiago's. This homegrown chain offers a wonderful way to start the day: thin burritos, foil-wrapped and packed for eating on the go. A Santiago's chorizo-and-egg breakfast burrito is perhaps the truest expression of why we love living (and eating) in Denver — or, at the very least, it's an excellent reason for getting out the door before 11 a.m., when all nineteen Santiago's outlets stops serving the best breakfast burrito in Denver.
Tommyknocker Brewery & Restaurant
Nestled in Idaho Springs, less than a half-hour from Denver, Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub is going on fifteen years and boasts an ornery streak that can only come from watching, with a mix of business pleasure and nativist horror, as the traffic builds over the years. Still, Tommyknocker welcomes all comers and delights all kinds, from locals and tourists to tired skiers and kayakers in need of a cold one. While the brewpub's mainstays, such as its signature Maple Nut Brown Ale, are available in stores far and wide, some of its best offerings — Pick Axe Pale Ale, Black Powder Stout and Spleen Cleaver — can only be enjoyed on site or in a growler to go. Pair them (or a homemade root beer) with Buffalo Roadhouse Red Chili or a Smokehouse Pulled Buffalo Sandwich smothered in Big B's BBQ sauce, and you'll taste the best of the new and the Old West.
Beatrice & Woodsley
Brunch at Beatrice & Woodsley is like waking up in a dream — and it's not just because of the fantasy interior of this new restaurant, designed to resemble a turn-of-the-last century Colorado cabin. It's also because of the fantastic food. Chef Pete List and his crew of culinary hooligans serve turtle soup, beautiful frog's legs, pear clafouti, pork belly, pimento-cheese grits, curried lamb and flapjacks all off the same menu — their brunch menu. And they do it to a consistently packed house of Denverites who, convinced only by the expertise and brilliant execution of List and company, now realize that there's nothing at all strange about eating turtle, frog and pancakes for breakfast...in the middle of an aspen grove. In fact, it makes for the best brunch in town.

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