Best of Denver

The Twelve Best New Restaurants in Denver in 2018

The pastry counter at Call.
Danielle Lirette
The pastry counter at Call.
We've been eating our way across Denver for the past year, keeping an eye on every new opening to see how each new restaurant measures up to the competition. Now 2018 is coming to a close, so it's time to look back and pick our favorites. Here are the twelve best new restaurants to open this year:

click to enlarge Goat crepinette with carrots, carrot purée and dukkah. - MARK ANTONATION
Goat crepinette with carrots, carrot purée and dukkah.
Mark Antonation


2843 and 2845 Larimer Street

Beckon and Call are two separate eateries united by a common culinary team and vision. Call was the first to open in the two neighboring cottages on Larimer Street. It's a sleek, next-gen cafe with plenty of flair and attitude, serving breakfast and lunch in a space that feels almost like someone's home kitchen. Early risers will love the fried-egg sandwich with such thoughtful accents as finely chopped, housemade giardiniera and house-cured meats on brioche, and aebleskiver, barely sweet pancake balls — akin to Scandinavian doughnut holes — with ricotta and jam. At lunch, check the daily specials that expand the concise regular menu. Beckon joined its sibling this fall, offering seventeen seats around a chef's counter where multi-course tasting menus evolve from week to week and season to season. Together Beckon and Call serve as a signal that Denver's dining scene is evolving into something new and exciting.
click to enlarge Spaghetti carbonara at Chow Morso Osteria. - MARK ANTONATION
Spaghetti carbonara at Chow Morso Osteria.
Mark Antonation

Chow Morso Osteria

1500 Wynkoop Street
Chow Morso isn't breaking new ground or inventing a new cuisine, but as a spin-off of Barolo Grill, one of the most consistent providers of culinary excellence and hospitality in the city, the more casual osteria provides the same level of perfection and reliability in each plate of pasta and glass of wine. You know you're in good hands as owner Ryan Fletter attends to every detail, making sure that customers leave thinking of nothing other than their next reservation.
click to enlarge The steaks at Corrida will cost you a few bones. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
The steaks at Corrida will cost you a few bones.
Danielle Lirette


1023 Walnut Street

Bryan Dayton and Amos Watts have already impressed Denver and Boulder with their work at Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn; with Corrida, they've turned their attention to beef, in the form of a Spanish-style steak served in a fourth-floor aerie overlooking the Pearl Street Mall. But beyond the wagyu tri-tip, dry-aged rib eye and Angus filet, there's a vast array of tapas and pintxos to keep nibblers happy. And with Dayton's background in the bar world, expect outstanding gin tonics, an impressive wine list and a surprising selection of vermouth by the glass. Corrida is the place to blow your children's inheritance or just relax over sips and snacks.
click to enlarge Deviled snails atop Anson Mills rice "grits" at Julep. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Deviled snails atop Anson Mills rice "grits" at Julep.
Danielle Lirette


3258 Larimer Street

Yes, you can order biscuits, macaroni and cheese and chicken-fried steak at Julep, an industrial-chic Southern restaurant in RiNo. And by all means do, because chef/owner Kyle Foster’s versions are terrific. But don’t limit yourself to the classics. Julep serves sophisticated Southern cuisine that you’d never expect in such a laid-back spot. Vegetable-forward starters such as radishes over a cloud of lemon curd, or chicory-coffee tuile with beets and watercress display the creative pairings for which this chef is known. Some have a woodsy char, like asparagus with pretzel crumble; others are elegant, like an onion tarte tatin. Paired with elevated bar snacks, the inventive starters can easily make a meal, but entrees shouldn’t be overlooked, nor should the family-style supper that varies nightly. Julep is helping us rediscover a part of the South that we never knew we'd lost.
Is it beer or wine? It's both, and it goes great with the Roman cuisine at Liberati. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Is it beer or wine? It's both, and it goes great with the Roman cuisine at Liberati.
Danielle Lirette

Liberati Osteria & Oenobeers

2403 Champa Street
At most brewpubs, the food is meant only as a base for soaking up pints of beer, but at Liberati, which built a lovely restaurant and gleaming brewery in a former printing press, the food is taken as seriously as if it opened in the heart of Rome, and the beers are as distinct and enticing as the cuisine. Housemade breads, pastas, cured meats and other Italian staples go hand in hand with brewer/owner Alex Liberati's unusual grape-based beers, which subtly intertwine the best of old-world wine and rare European beer styles. Enjoy street food-style snacks at the marble-topped bar while tasting your way through the many taps, or relax at a table for a leisurely meal of dishes not often seen outside of their home country.
click to enlarge Halibut wrapped in Swiss chard with avocado béarnaise and celtuce at Morin. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Halibut wrapped in Swiss chard with avocado béarnaise and celtuce at Morin.
Danielle Lirette


1600 15th Street

Restaurateurs Juan Padro and Katie O'Shea, along with chef Max MacKissock, saw something special in the space occupied by the Wazee Supper Club for more than forty years at 1600 15th Street. So they transformed the corner into Morin, an upscale eatery with roots in modern Parisian cuisine as well as the chef's French family background. MacKissock and his team have put together a menu of original creations built around French ingredients and techniques, but without slavish devotion to tradition. So you won't find such Gallic standards as French onion soup, crepes or cassoulet, but you will notice a combination of luxury ingredients (lobster, foie gras, caviar) and humble farmhouse fare transformed as only the French can do.