Denver Restaurant Guide

A searchable directory of recommended local restaurants

AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q

Chef Jared Leonard made a name for himself in Chicago with fried-chicken sandwiches and Texas-style barbecue before taking aim at Denver. Not content to simply lease restaurant space and serve food traditionally in a new city, Leonard first unveiled Au Feu, a lunch and dinner counter dishing up Montreal-style brisket sandwiches and poutine inside Zeppelin Station. Then he launched the Budlong Hot Chicken, a mobile spinoff of his sit-down joint named after the Budlong Woods neighborhood in Chicago. But AJ's is his most unusual venture: It's a weekend-only smokehouse serving meats slow-roasted in a smoker bolted onto the back of an old farm truck. While AJ's has an actual street address, food is served inside a commissary kitchen with enough dining space for long rows of tables, and it's only served from 11 a.m. to when the food runs out. And once a month, Leonard throws a special "pit-to-plate" dinner on Friday night during which he serves whole roast pig and other specialties he'd never be able to pull off on a daily basis in a traditional restaurant.
Courtesy Stone Soup Collective
  • Price: $$
  • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Reservations: Not accepted
  • Parking: On-street
  • Extra Services: Catering