Eating Adventures

Great Places to Eat Near the Denver Performing Arts Complex

Paneer vindaloo at Mint Indian Restaurant.
Paneer vindaloo at Mint Indian Restaurant. Danielle Lirette
With the addition of Prelude + Post at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, restaurateur Kevin Taylor has added one more option for food and drinks before or after a show, along with his ritzy Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House. But downtown is filled with other great places where you can dine within easy walking distance of the theater complex, and some of them even offer deals to get you in and out without stress.

Here are eleven restaurants perfect for adding a little elegance to a night out before a ballet, opera, musical or symphony performance, or to keep things casual with a tasty, inexpensive meal that gets you in your seat before the curtain rises. Some require a reservation, while others welcome walk-ins, in case your idea of dinner and a show is more sandwich-and-fries and The Spongebob Musical than French wine and My Fair Lady.

click to enlarge Get a simple and tasty French dip at the Corner Office. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Get a simple and tasty French dip at the Corner Office.
Linnea Covington

The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar

1401 Curtis Street

Book a table at this casual eatery located across the street from the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The food is American with an international twist, so you can choose from banh mi meatballs, a Spanish Caesar salad, a falafel veggie burger, pork-belly ramen or barramundi fish and chips. Don't ignore the French dip, either; it's one of the best in the city. As the name suggests, this is also a good spot for a cocktail, either with a meal or after the show. Dinner starts at 3 p.m., so there's plenty of time to eat and get seated at your upcoming show, and if you're doing a weekend matinee, there's a fun brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

click to enlarge While dining at Corrine, notice the hotel's art collection, including Mia Mulvey's Arinae. - LINNEA COVINGTON
While dining at Corrine, notice the hotel's art collection, including Mia Mulvey's Arinae.
Linnea Covington


1455 California Street

Located inside Le Méridien hotel, this casual restaurant takes reservations and serves dinner starting at 4 p.m., perfect if you're trying to catch a 6:30 p.m. show. The buffalo cauliflower is a favorite appetizer, followed by the baked French onion soup. Entrees to consider include steak frites, wild mushroom Bolognese and a prime rib French dip. As a bonus, you can leave your car in the valet for $10 before 5 p.m., or for free if you dine after 5 p.m. It's cheaper than the Denver Performing Arts Complex parking garage, and you can beat the crowd out of the theater just by walking a couple of blocks. On your way back from the theater, land a free house wine or draft beer when you show your ticket.

Edge Restaurant & Bar

1111 14th Street

If you're in the mood for a Prime steak before that musical production of Mean Girls, make a reservation at Edge, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel. Chefs Simon Purvis and Stephen Bukoff dish out wagyu beef carpaccio, dry-aged buffalo ribeye, Colorado lamb chops, house-cut truffle fries and so much more. Book a table any time before your show starting at 5 p.m., or for brunch between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. As a bonus, when you dine here, you also get complimentary valet parking. This spot proves a little more upscale than other nearby options, but this is Denver, so you don't need to dress in your finest finery.

click to enlarge Euclid Hall's beer hall vibe and menu are great for a more casual dinner-and-theater night. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Euclid Hall's beer hall vibe and menu are great for a more casual dinner-and-theater night.
Linnea Covington

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th Street

Although chef Jennifer Jasinski is known for her upscale restaurants Rioja, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia, Euclid Hall offers a more laid-back, casual setting for pre-theater dinner. Four types of hand-cranked sausages, house-made pickles and mustards, duck poutine and BBQ carrots, to name some of the tantalizing tidbits, go great with the bar's intriguing selection of craft beers. You can, for example, make a reservation to secure a spot before Disney's The Lion King starts so you won't go into the Serengeti starving. Euclid Hall opens at 11:30 a.m. daily, with no break in service, so whether you're going for a pre- or post-matinee meal or early dinner, it's a great Larimer Square option.

Mint Indian Restaurant & Lounge

1531 Stout Street


We say yes to butter chicken with a side of garlic naan and strawberry lassie before sitting down to the shenanigans of the Spongebob Musical. Make a reservation at this casual Indian eatery and dine on fish shahi korma, chicken tikka masala, lamb rogan josh and other housemade curries. The restaurant is open at 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day — ideal when you need an early pre-theater dinner. Plus it's just a five-minute walk from the DPAC, so you can park in the theater's lot and walk over.

click to enlarge Rioja is one of downtown's best bets, with a show or without. - SCOTT LENTZ
Rioja is one of downtown's best bets, with a show or without.
Scott Lentz


1431 Larimer Street

The elegant Rioja can only add to a magical night at the theater, but make sure to reserve a table for right when the restaurant opens, at 5 p.m. The dinner menu includes handmade pastas, crispy duck confit, veal sweetbreads and other Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Rioja has been one of Denver's top dining destinations over the last sixteen years, and continues to offer impeccable service and innovative fare. Leave yourself about ten minutes to walk between the restaurant and the theater, or more in case you're too stuffed to hustle.

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Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington