Denver's dining scene encompasses both time-honored restaurants where generations of families have convened for meals over the decades and hot new eateries where the young and fashionable share bites and cocktails. The best of both are the ones we go back to again and again for great food, atmosphere, service and sometimes just the ineffable taste of Denver on a plate.
But choosing between them is no easy task. If you've lived in Denver your entire life, keeping up with the latest and greatest can be a mind-boggling task. And if you moved here recently, finding the neighborhood favorites and old classics can be equally daunting. So we've put together Eat Here, a list of our 100 favorite restaurants, from sandwich shops and taquerias to glitzy destination dining rooms for our most special occasions. Our bottom line: We went with the restaurants we simply couldn't live without. Places we hunger for.
What you'll find on Eat Here is a guide that you can dissect by neighborhood, price or restaurant name, or you can just scroll through and plan your outings based on what pleases you. What you won't find are market halls with multiple vendors (you can peruse Denver's variety in our recent tour of food halls), food trucks, bars (which we track in Drink Here), pop-ups or markets.
One hundred restaurants sounds like a lot, but trimming all the possibilities down to that number means leaving off many great Denver eateries that are definitely worth frequenting. (Your weekly haunt could very well be our number 101.) But many of those restaurants will no doubt pop up on our regular lists of the best places to find specific foods, dishes and culinary styles, as well as in our annual Best of Denver issue, which comes out at the end of March. Some of the restaurants that made last year's list are not on this one, because of changes in the kitchen or the concept that made them slightly less craveable. And a few places in the last Eat Here disappeared altogether, including The Populist and Concourse Restaurant Moderne; Colt & Gray will close on December 21, and Call is temporarily closed for a remodel.
Read on to find out if your favorites made the list, and tell us in the comments, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, what restaurants in the metro area you can't live without.
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