You may already know where you'll be when the ball drops at midnight, but where will you go before that? With all the great options around town, from brunches to bird to baller caviar services, you should have no problem finding the perfect last meal of the year. Here are our top ten picks, followed by dozens of other options.
Dim Sum and Then Some
Ace Eat Serve, 501 East 17th Avenue
The Uptown ping-pong palace is a go-to for partiers all year ’round, with its excellent Asian-inspired food, strong drinks and games galore. On New Year's Eve, it's rolling out the red carpet — and the dim sum carts — with a dazzling array of bao buns, soup dumplings, shumai, wontons, and oyster, rice and noodle dishes. If your group is of one mind, though, you can opt for the king crab feast ($69 per person, four minimum), which brings a heaping pound of crab, plus soup, noodles, pickles, salad and sauces; it's so extravagant, the feast must be pre-ordered. Call the restaurant at 303-800-7705 for reservations.
New Beer's Eve
The Lobby, 2191 Arapahoe Street
Indulge in a different kind of bubbly this New Year's Eve. Starting at 6:30 p.m., eighteen-plus breweries (including locals Renegade, Great Divide and Novel Strand, along with New York-based Ommegang) will be pouring beers they've created over the past twelve months. Guests can start with dinner — three courses of beer-inspired dishes — or opt for pours alone, though pros know that a full stomach will help offset all those brews they'll consume before the clock strikes twelve. Dinner and drink packages start at just $50 at twoparts.com, so even the most frugal partiers will have a price point to celebrate.
New Year's Eve at Bettola Bistro
10253 East Iliff Avenue, Aurora
Reserving a table in an Aurora strip-mall restaurant may not be your first idea when planning your final meal of 2018. That's a shame, though, because Bettola's intimate setting (the kitchen is handled by Samir Mohammad, the front of the house by his wife, Rachel Firestone) is just the spot to enjoy an inventive five-course menu, with such options as oxtail tortellini, juniper- and red wine-braised beef cheeks, and Gorgonzola cheesecake for $80; wine pairings are available for an additional $65. Reservations are required; call 303-750-1580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make yours.
New Year's Eve Champagne Brunch
Ellyngton's at the Brown Palace, 321 17th Street
Ellyngton's legendary Champagne Brunch is usually served on Sunday mornings, but this year, it's also available on the morning of New Year's Eve. There's nothing that will make you feel fancier than starting the last day of the year in Ellyngton's elaborately decorated, old-school dining room, enjoying a buffet of sushi, seafood, carving stations, omelets, waffles, pancakes...and so much more it would take until 2019 to list it all. The meal alone runs $53.95, or add Domaine Chandon ($63.95), Moët et Chandon ($73.95) or Dom Perignon ($315 total). Visit brownpalace.com to book your brunch before it sells out.
New Year's Eve Scandinavian Brunch
Annette, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
The universally loved Annette is reprising its Scandinavian New Year's Eve Brunch with expanded offerings, from smørrebrød (open-faced Danish sandwiches served on rye bread and topped with pickled mackerel, shallots, dill and crème fraîche) to smörgåsbord (a spread of both hot and cold dishes, in this case sausage, potato pancakes, poached eggs with lingonberry jam and fennel and herb salad). Diners will also get apple aebleskivers (tiny pancake-like puffs fried in a pan that resembles a deviled egg tray) and a shot of housemade glogg; they can add a bottle of bubbly to the $35 brunch for $60, and caviar for $10. Make your reservation for one of three seatings (9 a.m., 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.) at annettescratchtotable.com.
NYE Coast to Coast
Epic Brewing Company, 3001 Walnut Street
What's better than an enthusiastic New Year's countdown? Four of them — one for each time zone. Epic Brewing Co. is taking its name seriously and throwing four parties over the course of one sprawling evening, with four buffets and beer pairings. From 9 to 10 p.m., Southern barbecue will celebrate the Eastern time zone; from 10 to 11 p.m, Louisiana Creole cuisine marks Central; from 11 p.m. to midnight, tamales are on tap for Mountain, and (in a reach), doughnuts from Portland-based Voodoo Doughnut will salute the Pacific time zone from midnight to 1 a.m. Stay for just one countdown, or earn your partying merit badge by making it through all four. Tickets, $60, are on sale now at eventbrite.com.
Soirée in the Parlor
Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street
Urban Farmer is upping the ante on the typical three- or four-course prix fixe menu; its New Year's Eve bill of fare boasts seven swanky courses. Such classics as oysters, wagyu tomahawk steak and croquembouche are represented, of course, but we're tempted by the menu's creative touches: a smoked cocktail paired with the oysters; confit egg yolk that accompanies the seafood bisque; a goat cheese truffle coated in vegetable ash and served with honey from the restaurant's own hives. A Veuve Clicquot toast will usher in 2019. The dinner, $150, includes wine and cocktail pairings; tickets are available at eventbrite.com.
Tower of Chicken
The Post Brewing Co., four locations
You want to end 2018 on a high note, with a dinner so memorable, so truly spectacular, that you and your friends will recall it for years to come — even if your champagne consumption renders other recollections of the evening a bit blurry. There's only one meal that meets that criteria: Post Brewing Co.'s Tower of Chicken. It's an epic spread, with 48 pieces of fried chicken, five large sides and three pitchers of beer for you and fourteen of your closest friends. Our biggest question: Will the chicken come in the form of the Eiffel or Leaning tower?There's only one way to find out: Call the restaurant to reserve your table for this $300 feast, which will be served all day.
We Are the Champignons
Beast + Bottle, 719 East 17th Avenue
Paul C. Reilly's kitchen is closing out 2018 with a particularly rousing installment of its popular Musical Chairs dinner series: We Are the Champignons, a culinary homage to Queen. The five-course dinner inspired by the band's bombastic songs will include dishes based on "Another One Bites the Dust" (pork belly and root veggies with leaf lard powder) and "Bohemian Rhapsody" (bacon-wrapped scallops with braised cabbage and pumpkin spaetzle) — and, given the name of the event, we expect an epic mushroom dish at some point. Dinner is $95 without drinks or $160 with wine pairings, and reservations are required; call the restaurant at 303-623-3223 to reserve your seat at the table.
New Year's Eve at Flagstaff House
Flagstaff House, 1138 Flagstaff Road, Boulder
Nothing says excess like caviar: It conjures images of big spenders swilling Champagne (the capital-C kind), slurping oysters and downing heaping spoonfuls of caviar before heading out on the yacht. But even if you're not a magnate, you can splurge on the Flagstaff House's caviar tasting flight for $78. Three varieties of the delicacy (Ossetra, Siberian and American) will be served with whole-wheat blini and traditional accompaniments. Need something to wash it down? The bar has created a fennel-infused vodka to go with the roe; half bottles will be available, or you can choose from the restaurant's award-winning wine selection. Call 303-442-4640 to book a table for this over-the-top experience.
Keep reading for even more New Year's Eve dinners and parties at Denver restaurants:
New Year’s Eve at 1515: Omnivores will drool over the four-course menu boasting escargot and surf and turf ($80), but their vegan friends aren’t being left out: A plant-based prix fixe menu ($50) is also available. 5-10 p.m., 1515, 1515 Market Street, 303-571-0011, 1515restaurant.com.
New Year’s Eve at Adelitas: Both locations of the Mexican joint are eschewing their usual fare for a fancy dinner of bistec y langosta (that’s steak and lobster to you); includes a house margarita and midnight tequila and champagne toast. 5 p.m.-1 a.m., $46.95, Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, 1294 South Broadway, and 2609 West Main Street in Littleton, 303-778-1294, adelitasco.com.
New Year’s Eve at Arcana: Offering a four-course prix fixe menu from outgoing chef Kyle Mendenhall, $75 per person, optional beverage pairings available. Arcana, 909 Walnut Street, Boulder, 303-444-3885, arcanarestaurant.com.
New Year’s Eve at Atelier by Radex: Indulge in inspired French(ish) fare that will send you into the upcoming year with a full belly and a happy heart; call to reserve your table for the special four-course prix fixe menu. 4-11 p.m., $125, Atelier by Radex, 2011 East 17th Avenue, 720-379-5556, atelierbyradex.com.
New Year’s Eve at Avelina: Offering a special menu from executive chef Josh Oakley, $75 per person, wine pairing available for $35 more, complimentary glass of champagne. Avelina, 1550 17th Street, 720-904-6711,
New Year’s Eve at Beckon: “December’s Cold Moon” tasting menu inspired by Scandinavia and other European regions, plus champagne. Beckon, 2845 Larimer Street, 303-954-0230, beckon-call.com.
New Year’s Eve at Carboy Winery: Guests get a special five-course wine dinner, as well as samples from the tanks and a bottle to take home and drink on the couch while waiting for the witching hour. 6:30-10 p.m., $150, Carboy Winery, 6885 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 720-531-5252, eventbrite.com.
New Year’s Eve at Coohills: Celebrate with a five-course prix fixe menu and 50 percent off premium bubbly all night. 5 p.m., $75-$115, Coohills, 1500 Wewatta Street, 303-623-5700, coohills.com.
New Year’s Eve at Corinne: The kitchen is offering a three-course prix fixe dinner with a vegetarian option and optional beverage pairings. 4:30-11 p.m., $65-$90, Corinne, 1455 California Street, 720-996-1555, corinnerestaurant.com.
New Year’s Eve at Corrida: Put on your fancy pants and leave your cell phones at home for this celebration offering bubbly, cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres and music. 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., $200, Corrida, 1023 Walnut Street, Boulder, 303-444-1333, eventbrite.com.
New Year’s Eve at Crú: A Wine Bar: The bar’s three-course prix fixe menu boasts all the classics: oysters Rockefeller, shrimp scampi, rack of lamb, filet mignon and chocolate lava cake; the 10:30 p.m. seating includes bubbly at midnight. 5-10:30 p.m., $55, Crú: A Wine Bar, 1442 Larimer Street, 303-893-9463, cruawinebar.com.
New Year’s Eve at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: Go luxe with a decadent four-course menu that includes fourteen-day dry-aged lamb and 45-day dry-aged strip steak. $150-$195, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, 8100 Orchard Road, Greenwood Village, 303-976-0100, delfriscos.com.
New Year’s Eve at Del Frisco’s Grille: Go early or go late; either way, you’ll get the same great three-course prix fixe menu with bites like artichoke beignets and short rib stronganoff. Call for reservations. 3-10 p.m., $48, Del Frisco’s Grille, 100 St. Paul Street, 303-320-8529, delfriscosgrille.com.
New Year’s Eve at Den Corner Restaurants: Celebrate with the Kizaki brothers at Sushi Den (omakase special), 1487 South Pearl Street, 303-777-0826, sushiden.net; and Izakaya Den, 1487-A South Pearl Street, 303-777-0691, izakayaden.net.
New Year’s Eve at The Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery: Forget champagne — Denver’s a beer town! Enjoy this five-course meal paired with five delicious ales. 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m., $90, Farm House Restaurant at Breckenridge Brewery, 2990 Brewery Lane, Littleton, 303-803-1380, breckbrew.com.
New Year’s Eve at Hilton Denver Inverness: The Fireside Grill will serve a special four-course dinner, with a complimentary glass of champagne, party favors, and live entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required at 303-799-5800. Hilton Denver Inverness, 200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood, www3.hilton.com.
New Year’s Eve at The Kitchen: The Kitchen Denver and the Kitchen Boulder will both offer special menus for New Year’s Eve; the Boulder dinner includes optional wine pairings. Kitchen Denver, 1560 Wazee Street, 303, 623-3127; Kitchen Boulder, 1039 Pearl Street, Boulder, 303-544-5973, thekitchenbistros.com.
New Year’s Eve at Lola Coastal Mexican: Take a beach vacay for New Year’s Eve at Lola, with a four-course prix fixe dinner downstairs for just $65 (including wine and tequila!) and mezcal and tequila flights and a champagne toast upstairs. Call for prix fixe reservations (required). 7 p.m., $65, Lola Coastal Mexican, 1575 Boulder Street, 720-570-8686, loladenver.com.
New Year’s Eve at Marcella’s: Celebrate with food and drink specials and complimentary champagne toast with hats and noisemakers at midnight. Reservations requested by phone or online; Marcella’s Restaurant, 1801 Central Street, 720-484-5484, marcellasrestaurant.com.
New Year’s Eve at Nocturne: Reserve a table at one of Denver’s most accessible jazz clubs and enjoy a delectable four-course meal from the underrated kitchen while listening to a set from the Peter Sommer Quintet. 6 and 9 p.m., $135-$185, Nocturne, 1330 27th Street, 303-295-3333, nocturnejazz.com.
New Year’s Eve at Ocean Prime: Enjoy unique New Year’s Eve menu specials at both Ocean Prime locations. Larimer Square: 1465 Larimer Square, 303-825-3663. DTC: 8000 East Belleview Avenue, Greenwood Village, 303-552-3000, ocean-prime.com.
New Year’s Eve at Safta: The Israeli restaurant will be turning out a prix fixe family-style feast with cocktail and wine pairings. 5-11 p.m., Safta, 3300 Brighton Boulevard, 720-408-2444, eatwithsafta.com.
New Year’s Eve at STK: The nightclub masquerading as a steakhouse is in its element on New Year’s Eve, when it will offer a premium open bar with Chandon and passed bites from 9 p.m. to 1:30 for $99. Sit down for dinner starting at 4 p.m. and get early access to the bubbly for a discount; NYE dinner specials available. DJ countdown, balloon drop and more at midnight. STK, 1550 Market Street, 720-597-8010, eventbrite.com.
New Year’s Eve at Tavernetta: Dinner is a four-course tasting menu (drink pairings optional) with seatings starting at 4:30 p.m.; the restaurant’s inaugural NYE bash kicks off at 9 p.m. and includes live music and dancing, food stations, champage and cocktails. $150 for dinner, $250 for party, Tavernetta, 1889 16th Street, 720-605-1889, tavernettadenver.com.
New Year’s Eve at Uchi: The culinary team at Uchi has created a special New Year’s Eve menu, including Ora King salmon, foie gras dumplings, soy-glazed Wagyu beef and much more. The dinner is $170 per couple; call 303-444-1922 for reservations. Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street, uchidenver.com.
New Year’s Eve at Urban Farmer: Soirée in the Parlor: Celebrate in style and sophistication with a seven-course meal that includes shellfish bisque, dry-aged Wagyu beef, croquembouche and drink pairings. 8 p.m.-midnight, $150, Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street, 303-262-6070, eventbrite.com.
New Year’s Eve at Vesta: Indulge in a delicious and classy meal at the Denver institution; the NYE menu includes housemade squid-ink linguine in lobster sauce and Colorado lamb with chimichurri and beurre monte. 5-10 p.m., Vesta, 1822 Blake Street, 303-296-1970, vestadenver.com.
New Year’s Eve at The Wolf’s Tailor: Choose an early or late seating for a family-style menu fusing Italian and Asian tastes. Enjoy a s’mores bar and some bubbly by the bonfire. The Wolf’s Tailor, 4058 Tejon Street, 303-456-6705, thewolfstailor.com.
Winter Wonderland and Midnight Brunch at Edge: Don your winter-white apparel and get white-out drunk at this party that offers bottomless champagne, mimosas and brunch bites from midnight to 2 a.m.; the ticket prices includes your first drink, and DJ Manos will be spinning all night. 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m., $113, Edge Restaurant and Bar, 1111 14th Street, 303-389-3050, edgerestaurantdenver.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.