Best of Denver

The Ten Best Denver Hotels for Food and Drink

Super Mega Bien makes the Ramble Hotel a food-lover's destination.
Super Mega Bien makes the Ramble Hotel a food-lover's destination. Danielle Lirette
If your family is coming to town and you'd rather not deal with the stress of putting them up and feeding them during the holidays, there are plenty of hotel options where they'll still feel special — and where you can join them for dinner without doing the dirty work yourself. And even if nobody's visiting from out of town, you can still stop by these ten hotels for great food and drinks.

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Ship Tavern is a classic example of old Denver dining.
Danielle Lirette

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

321 17th Street

A visit to Denver isn't complete without at least stopping inside the stunning lobby of the Brown Palace to ogle the stained glass, burnished wood and old-world decor. And once you're there, stay for drinks and prime rib sandwiches at the Ship Tavern, which opened in 1934 with its seafaring theme. Or, for a true taste of the Gilded Age, book dinner at the Palace Arms. A recent change in hotel ownership has resulted in a new focus on the menu, modernizing the cuisine while preserving the stellar service and posh surroundings. The dinner tab won't be cheap, but maybe you can get your rich aunt and uncle to pick up the bill.

The Crawford Hotel

1701 Wynkoop Street

A stay at the Crawford comes complete with the entirety of Union Station as your playground — and dining hall. Lunch and snack options abound, but make sure you stay for dinner at some of Denver's most exciting eateries: Mercantile Dining & Provision (which just earned chef/owner Alex Seidel the James Beard Best Chef: Southwest award), and Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia, two unique establishments (serving seafood and Spanish, respectively) from chef Jennifer Jasinski, another James Beard winner. Hang out at the lively Terminal Bar for drinks, or head upstairs to the more sedate and serious Cooper Lounge. And a Denver layover should always include pancakes at Snooze.

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If you stay at the Halcyon — or even if you don't — you can try this unique lasagna at Quality Italian.
Mark Antonation

Halcyon Hotel Cherry Creek

245 Columbine Street

Cherry Creek has been loading up with boutique hotels of late, and the Halcyon is one of the best for food and drink. Go pan-Asian with celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet's Departure, or experience a fun and quirky take on tradition with New York City transplant Quality Italian. There's also a rooftop bar and pool for summer visitors and a hidden speakeasy in the bowels of the hotel called B & GC for a sultry night of lounging.

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The wood grill is one of the central features of Hearth & Dram inside the Hotel Indigo.
Danielle Lirette

Hotel Indigo

1801 Wewatta Street

The Indigo is located behind Union Station in one of Denver's hot 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 international sandwiches, or book ahead for a whole-beast feast for a special occasion.

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The quality of the Italian cuisine at Panzano makes the Hotel Monaco a great choice for a Denver stay.
Mark Antonation

Hotel Monaco

1717 Champa Street

The Hotel Monaco just celebrated its twentieth birthday, and Panzano has been dishing housemade pastas and fresh-baked bread for that two-decade run. Once a brash upstart amid stodgy downtown hotels, the Monaco now feels lived-in and cozy. And Chef Nic Lebas is ushering in a new era of dining at the restaurant, continuing the Italian tradition while dotting the menu with modern sensibilities.

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Citizen Rail is one of two restaurants at the base of the Hotel Born.
Danielle Lirette

Kimpton Hotel Born

1600 Wewatta Street

Just a block from the Indigo Hotel, the Born opened at about the same time, but with two restaurants — Citizen Rail and Tavernetta — at its base. Citizen Rail offers a sleek, art deco-style dining room with an emphasis on dry-aged beef (you can see big slabs of meat hanging in the display window). Tavernetta is the slightly more casual Denver sibling of Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine. Regional Italian specialties and a stellar wine cellar are the main attractions.

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The interior design is one of the draws of the Maven, including the bar at Poka Lola Social Club.
Danielle Lirette

The Maven Hotel

1850 Wazee Street

The Maven is filled with art and fanciful decor — like an Airstream trailer in the lobby — nearly to the point of sensory overload, and the food and booze options hit with equal dazzle. Start at Kachina Cantina for fry-bread tacos and margaritas before ending the evening at Poka Lola Social Club, which combines soda-jerk amusement with serious cocktail chops. Stroll through Denver Milk Market for more than a dozen food counters peddling everything from bao buns to gelato, with market offerings if you're looking for gifts or food to cook at home.
Urban Farmer adds modern touches to the historic Oxford Hotel setting.
Mark Antonation

The Oxford Hotel

1600 17th Street

The Oxford Hotel has seen hard times during Denver's lean years, but it has returned to its former glory in recent years, especially with the addition of Urban Farmer, which takes the modern trend of housemade everything to new levels: Beehives on the roof provide honey, and the kitchen makes its own oversized English muffins for a decadent burger. The Cruise Room has long been a draw, with its Great Gatsby style and classic cocktail bar, but new management and a recent overhaul have made it better than ever.

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Go ahead and act like a tourist at the Ramble Hotel; it's all photo-worthy, even the food and cocktails.
Danielle Lirette

The Ramble Hotel

1280 25th Street

Despite gentrification, Larimer Street in RiNo still feels a little gritty, at least until you step inside the Ramble, with its flowing lobby that acts as check-in for guests as well as bar and restaurant by New York City's acclaimed Death & Co. With that in mind, a cocktail is nearly a necessity, but don't forget about Super Mega Bien, chef Dana Rodriguez's Latin American slant on dim-sum cart service, with bold flavors to match the lively dining room.

Safta is one of several restaurant options at the Source.
Mike Thurk

The Source Hotel + Market Hall

3330 Brighton Boulevard

Brighton Boulevard still feels like the hinterland of Denver growth, so the ten-story Source Hotel sticks out amid its industrial surroundings. But inside, there's good food happening, whether from New Orleans chef Alon Shaya and his ode to his Israeli roots at Safta, or the savory, down-home goodness of Smok BBQ next door. For a real surprise, take the elevator to the top floor for barrel-aged beers and good grub at The Woods, which offers great views of the city and an excellent taste of Colorado's craft-brewing scene.
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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