Best of Denver

The Ten Best Hotel Restaurants in Denver

The Ship Tavern is the prow of the Brown Palace Hotel.
The Ship Tavern is the prow of the Brown Palace Hotel. Danielle Lirette
The holidays are upon us, and friends and family are streaming into town to see the sights, hit the slopes and celebrate over good food and drinks. Hopefully they're staying at a hotel with one of these ten restaurants, which have turned hotel dining into something to look forward to instead of just a sad and lonely meal at the end of a day of meetings. Here are the ten best hotel restaurants in Denver, in alphabetical order:

click to enlarge Citizen Rail has aged well. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Citizen Rail has aged well.
Danielle Lirette

Citizen Rail

1899 16th Street
303-323-0017
citizenrail.com

Citizen Rail, beneath the Kimpton Hotel Born, was one of a wave of chef-driven restaurants to open in boutique hotels over the past several years. The kitchen focuses on artisan food production, with dry-aged steaks (some for up to a year) and handmade bread and pasta. The heart of the restaurant is an open kitchen with several wood-burning grills, where everything — from those flavor-packed steaks to cocktail garnishes — is kissed with flame and smoke. Behind the scenes, a larger kitchen holds a butchering room where sides of beef, pork and lamb are brought in and broken down, providing cuts typical of steakhouse slates but also leaving room for oxtail, lamb sausage, rabbit loin and a decadent burger made from fresh-ground short rib and brisket. Yes, it's a meat-lover's paradise, but it's also so much more.

click to enlarge Death & Co.'s bar blends seamlessly with the lobby of the Ramble Hotel. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Death & Co.'s bar blends seamlessly with the lobby of the Ramble Hotel.
Danielle Lirette

Death & Co.

1280 25th Street
720-330-2660
deathandcompany.com

New York City cocktail pioneer Death & Co. opened in the lobby of the Ramble Hotel in 2018, where tufted upholstery demands that guests settle in and enjoy a high-end cocktail in the decidedly swanky space. But this isn't just a re-creation of the East Coast original: The menus (both food and drink) are unique to Denver, while the service is characteristically Colorado (read: casual), so guests will always feel right at home, no matter what part of the country they hail from.

click to enlarge Look at all that whiskey behind Hearth & Dram's bar. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Look at all that whiskey behind Hearth & Dram's bar.
Danielle Lirette

Hearth & Dram

1801 Wewatta Street
303-623-0979
hearthanddram.com

The Indigo Hotel is located behind Union Station in one of Denver's hottest new instant neighborhoods. The draw here is Hearth & Dram, which combines wood-fired cooking perfect for meat lovers with a towering bar stocked with one of the best selections of whiskey in the city. Lunchtime is an eye-opener, with a variety of  sandwiches stacked with hearth-roasted meats, and a "whole-beast feast" awaits groups who book ahead for a special occasion.


The fry-bread tacos at Kachina Cantina are a must. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
The fry-bread tacos at Kachina Cantina are a must.
Danielle Lirette

Kachina Cantina

1890 Wazee Street
720-460-2728
kachinadenver.com

The Maven is filled with art and fanciful decor, and the lobby entrance to Kachina Cantina looks as much like an installation as it does a segue into a delicious meal. Quite frankly, we go for the fry-bread tacos and margaritas, but the entire menu is worth exploring, with the Southwestern allure of chiles, corn, beans and slow-roasted meats.

click to enlarge Panzano's Italian fare draws far more customers than just hotel guests. - MARK ANTONATION
Panzano's Italian fare draws far more customers than just hotel guests.
Mark Antonation

Panzano

909 17th Street
303-296-3525
panzano-denver.com

Now more than twenty years old, Panzano was one of the first hotel restaurants in Denver to prove that chef-driven cuisine could draw customers from the entire city, not just from the Hotel Monaco's rooms above the eatery. The culinary team at Panzano has as its motto "Chi mangia bene, viva bene" (Those who eat well, live well), and although we can't guarantee how you'll live, or even sleep, at the Hotel Monaco, you can certainly live it up in the elegant yet comfortable dining room that specializes in perfectly prepared northern Italian cuisine. In addition to the impressive menu, there are regular specials, and the attached bar has both an excellent happy hour and a few very cozy booths that are just the spot to sip martinis.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation