Shells and Sauce
Shells and Sauce

Shells and Sauce

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.italianrestaurantdenver.com/
  • Phone: (303) 377-2091
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Marcus Jimenez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 12th and Elizabeth
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Easy to find parking on the street, or park in our lot behind the restaurant.
A word from Shells and Sauce
Serving authentic Italian American food in the heart of Congress Park, Shells and Sauce brings Old Country taste to a cozy neighborhood restaurant. If you’re craving home-made lasagna, meat or fish, Shells and Sauce has a variety of savory appetizers and entrees to chose from. We also boast an extensive wine list to pair with anything you choose, and we offer delicious desserts to top off your evening. Whether you sit on our rooftop or in our main dining room to watch our open kitchen, Shells and Sauce is a great place to entertain friends or family in an inviting setting. Step into our kitchen and let us share our passion for food!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Shells and Sauce reviews from OpenTable diners
220 reviews since August 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (187)fit for foodies (93)great for outdoor dining (62)special occasion (49)great for brunch (46)hot spot (40)good for groups (37)romantic (32)kid-friendly (24)great for lunch (20)notable wine list (19)vibrant bar scene (14)late-night find (7)scenic view (3)Show More
  • Fay
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    Real Italian, not all tomato sauce based either (Northern cuisine). Ample portions and we savored every bite. We found it because it was within walking distance from the Botanic Gardens but it is now a destination for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for brunch
    deboVIP
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    We brought friends who had never enjoyed the restaurant. They so enjoyed their experience. A wonderful experience. As always, the food, staff, and service continues to excel. Thanks for all you do.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • so tasty
    Full
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I tried a dish that I normally wouldn't have and it was fantastic, i ate every bite. it was the shrimp mussels in saffron grand marnier sauce. WOW! Great service too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I loved this restaurant. The food was excellent. I can't wait to go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    We picked Shells and Sauce because of it's proximity to the Denver Botanic Gardens but it turned out to be the highlight of the evening. The service was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The food was fantastic. The only negative is limited parking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot in capital hill
    DateNight
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Amazing wine list. Food was incredible. Service was top notch. Awesome little spot in the middle of a neighborhood. Would highly recommend to anyone, especially for a date or romantic evening out.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fantastic eaterie
    Scoots
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Shells and sauce was fantastic. Service was very good and the food excellent. Everything was served timely and to temp. The flavors were fun and interesting, even different but delicious. I would highly recommend Shells and Sauce. Fo and enjoy you won't be sorry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • boulderdiner24
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Love this place. Great food, fun wait staff, good ambiance. Best in the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great brunch
    Adventure
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    lots of variety and all very good food. Our first time here but we will go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great for brunch
    reviewVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Great place to go for brunch, huge portion sizes! Cute location in a fun neighborhood
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    SarahDVIP
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Shells never lets me down. Whether it be a cold, snowy night or a summer evening, there is a good variety of dishes to either leave you warm for the winter or perfectly satisfied in the summer. I'd recommend this cute neighborhood restaurant to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food and Service, But Noisy
    NoKidsInBarsPlease
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Shells & Sauce has been a Capitol Hill neighborhood mainstay for many years and is graced with an efficient and freindly staff. The traditional Italian menu and wine list are great and the restaurant has a hip, comfortable atmosphere, if a bit cramped. My only complaints are that the "kid-freindly" environment means there are lots of children running around unsupervised, but they don't make as much noise as the large groups of hard-drinking adult revelers that frequent the restaurant at night. Not a place to go for quiet conversation or a romantic dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Fun
    Saturdayevefun
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    As always, I was totally happy with the food, service, and atmosphere of Shells and Sauce. It continues to consistently meet my expectations of great food, excellent service, and an energetic and fun atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The reservation for 7 was on time and in a good location. Very busy and good food. our 1st time there and a repeat.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • S&S, BFFE
    delectable
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Tucked back into the Cheesman Park neighborhood, Shells and Sauce is a treasure of Denver. Traditional and comforting Italian dishes anchor the menu but the real standouts are the nightly specials; truly wonderful dishes that go beyond taste to a total body experience. One of my favorite restaurants in Denver.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy but Nice
    SuperZinette
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I have heard about Shells and Sauce for years and finally made it over there. The atmosphere is fun and vibrant, but too noisy to have much of a conversation. The food is good basic Italian, nothing fancy, and lots of it. The service was very good. I won't be rushing back, but I will go again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Noise level was, unfortunately, so loud, it was difficult to carry on a conversation. The food was delicious, in particular the caesar salad! The portions were substantial.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We'd go back!
    YoungatHeart
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Wonderful service, delish crunchy brussel sprouts (who knew?!), all around good food (tho' the spaghetti needed more sauce and less meatball). Cozy and not too loud. You do need to enjoy sitting close to your neighboring diners. We're not big drinkers so I can't speak to the wine list/bar scene, but we will go back on our next trip to the Botanic Gardens. We walked the five or so blocks and enjoyed the diverse architecture of the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really nice evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Great local find! food was really good except a little too much spice in the linguine and clams. It was also a bit noisy but that kind of added to the fun. The only real complaint was that it took a while for the entrées to come. But we would definitely return and the shrimp Diabalo was fantastic!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Back off on the hot pepper flakes
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The chef is going way over board on the hot pepper flakes. They were almost in every dish and sauce. It kills the tastebuds and takes away from what otherwise would have been a great dish.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The only thing quick was the check
    Mdevo
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Shells is a neighborhood place. We go back because of the GREAT food. The service is shaky though. Being a neighborhood place, our waiter did a great job yakking with the regulars...meanwhile we sat around waiting for drinks, wine came half way through dinner, and we watched our desert sit on the counter and melt before it was brought to the table. I have to say, though, that the check showed up on the table in light speed fashion.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • As always-Fantastic
    PartyAVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Never disappointing-both the food and service fantastic. A neighborhood favorite!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TIme2dineVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    This is an excellent neighborhood restaurant as became obvious when we arrived on a Thursday evening and the place was already full of diners. The food and service has always been excellent and I keep returning and I will continue to do that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eats near Botanic Gardens
    foodlover
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We picked this place for dinner before visiting the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanic Gardens. The food was interesting and quite good. The noise level shows here as "energetic", but for aging ears, it was too much. The service was less than stellar, which may have been due the fact that the place was very busy. While someone asked at one point how our meal was, and later whether we wanted dessert, there was no water service, and we had to flag our waiter to get the bill. May try it again, but not when it is busy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the Patio
    JennifetVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    This was my first brunch at Shells have always done dinner. Brunch was delicious and would go again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Authentic original dishes done expertly. The specials are spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amber
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Wonderful food! Two of our party ordered the lasagne, but were told they were out. They were satisfied with their second choices, though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saucy
    shdelish
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Been here several times..never disappointed...waiters always great
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious but very loud
    Mikey
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    I've been to Shells and Sauce before and thought it was good but not great. This time I had the mussels for an appetizer and a shrimp dish special. They were both simply delicious. I found a new favorite restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible neighborhood restaurant
    Debbie
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    What a GREAT FIND!!! This is one of the best kept secrets around. Loved the food and the atmosphere is lively, fun and friendly. I can't wait to get back here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Spot
    GeorgeMVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Very crowded (not a bad sign!), but claustrophobic to a degree. Could not find hostess at first, but were seated within minutes of our reservation. Food was delivered quickly, but appeared to have been in the window for awhile-the sauce had dried in spots. Server was attentive, though somewhat harried. Nonethesless, I love this restaurant and will retutn and recommend.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Poor service with a reservation
    foodiemon
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We had a reservation for 11AM and arrived on time but did not get seated until 11:30 - and while I had made the reservation with a patio seating request, that would have been a longer wait - with a reservation! Once we were seated, our orders were placed within 5 minutes but our food took over 30 minutes to arrive. There were no apologies. The food was good, and the prices reasonable which is why I had recommended it for our brunch spot. Had I known the service was going to be so poor I would have gone elsewhere. What is the point of a reservation if you're just going to wait like everyone else and starve in the meantime?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just too loud
    downtowndinerVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The food and service were quite good, however the noise level was way too high.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Have been here several times. The quality and selection of food do not disappoint. And the service is the best anywhere. We will always return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Little Disappointed this Time
    JennifetVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Rcvd a menu that showed a happy hour from 9pm until close. Was excited that we arrived there at this since it was just a few minutes to 9 and 1/2 price pizza and drink specials sounded like a great way to end the day. Now keep in mind this was not something read on the internet or any other form that may have had incorrect info but on the menu handed to me. When our waiter arrived I ordered a bottle wine that they no longer had and when we asked for a happy hour menu told they no longer do night happy hour. I somehow had a menu that was outdated and I should have never recvd. It was taken out of my hand and given a new menu. They used to have great customer service where they would have least done something for their mistake. No longer.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A neighborhood gem that draws many
    Nancy
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Always a treat to eat here. Great food, service and an energenic crowd
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of our favorites!
    deboVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    George and the crew do an excellent job. The menus creative and changes seasonally. Very friendly staff who acknowledges you upon return. Nice happy hour and decent wine list. Keep up the good work. One of the better chicken marsala's in town. The arriabata pasta is also spicy the flavorful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good neighborhood restaurant.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    The food is basic comfort Italian with really large portions. I like the dollar salad you can add to the entree. The bread is a meal to itself.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Truly Great
    Denver
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Always great service and excellent food. Would recommend to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Very nice neighborhood bistro
    LarryS
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I took my friend from out of town to a 7 PM reservation for two. The small restaurant was quite full of patrons and all seemed to be enjoying themselves, with the result that the noise level was quite robust, but in a happy vibrant way. My creamy salmon piccata was delicious as was my friend's eggplant Parmesan, and the barrata appetizer, which featured creamy buffalo mozzarella that was exceptional. Nice drinks and good service, I'll be back! Accommodated my powered wheelchair.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic