Denver's restaurant scene can be described in one word: overwhelming. Last year alone, more than 230 eateries and bars opened, continuing a trend of growth that started more than five years ago. So how does an intrepid diner choose new favorites from the many restaurants vying for customers? That's where Denver Restaurant Week, the annual ten-day deluge of discounted multi-course meals, comes in. This year marks the fifteenth annual Restaurant Week, run by Visit Denver, and menus are available starting at noon today, Wednesday, January 23.
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More than 220 restaurants have already registered with Visit Denver, and menus will be added to the organization's website as they come in and as more establishments sign up between now and the big event, which runs from February 22 to March 3. While 220 is still a daunting number, there are several options that will make choosing a little easier. This year, you'll be able to sort the list by neighborhood or browse an interactive map to help you choose among those near where you live or in that hot new neighborhood you've been meaning to explore. And back for the third year is the tiered pricing structure that allows restaurants to offer either $25, $35 or $45 menus, so more places can participate. (Raise your hand if you remember back when all participating restaurants offered dinner for two for $52.80.) Visit Denver notes that of the hundreds of thousands of guests served last year, $35 was the most popular price point.
Visit Denver has a few more recommendations to get the most out of Restaurant Week: Make reservations as soon as possible, as dining rooms will fill up quickly; visit more than one eatery to sample a broader range of experiences; inquire about add-ons and drink deals to go beyond the set menus; and, of course, tip generously. This is an exhausting ten days for restaurant industry workers, and discounts on food shouldn't equate to discounts on gratuities.
When making your picks from this year's restaurant list, you'll also be able to sort by food type and amenities — vegetarian, vegan or "certified green," for example. And once you've picked your spots and have a gorgeous plate in front of you, snap a photo and share it with the #DenverRestaurantWeek tag. Your meal could be spotlighted on the Restaurant Week website.