El Five

2930 Umatilla St.
Denver, CO 80211
Critics' Pick
Best Of
El Five +

Danielle Lirette


  • Vegetarian Friendly, Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Rooftop, Takeout
  • Dinner, Snack Food
  • Full bar
  • Street Parking, Valet Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Online Reservations Available
El Five isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience. Perched on the top floor of a building in LoHi, the restaurant -- run by the group behind Linger and Root Down -- commands breathtaking views of downtown and the mountains. But the views inside the walls are just as mesmerizing. People are everywhere — down corridors that lead to view-drenched dining rooms, standing, sitting, ordering drinks, saving seats, sharing steel pans of paella, laughing and leaning in across velvety booths to be heard over the primal thump of a dance beat. Blackness envelops you in the inner sanctum that is home to the open kitchen, a blackness curated with dim lighting, a shiny black ceiling and ebony walls. Everything else glows in stark contrast, backlit with light pouring in through the open-air bar and wraparound windows. You strain to take it all in: the mosaic of hundreds of hexagonal mirrors reflecting faces and beams of light; the bold reds and yellows of vintage movie posters, their characters groaning in pain or pleasure (it’s hard to tell which since the words are in Arabic). The menu skews toward tapas, so everything is meant to share, from lamb sausage with hummus to patatas bravas to matzoh-ball soup dumplings. Don’t be shocked by the paella prices: Those steel pans of crisped rice loaded with rabbit confit or seafood are also designed to feed the table.

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