Get ready for an influx of fresh, exciting spots in Denver to try. As per usual, pizza remains popular, but in Lakewood there’s a new Italian joint offering much more than just the pie. Tacos, too, are popping up more and more, and there are two new examples that can’t be missed. Each of these six places are absolute musts for your restaurant radar.
Roca’s Pizza & Pasta (Littleton)
Well-loved chef Alex Seidel—who’s also behind Fruition, Mercantile Dining & Provision, and Chook Charcoal Chicken—opened this pizzeria in his neighborhood of Lakewood, bringing a casual but refined Italian joint to the area. Taking over for Frontroom Pizza, the quaint eatery now serves classic entrees such as lasagna, chicken parmesan, spaghetti, and garlic bread, as well as a slew of pizzas using Seidel’s own dough recipe. It gets very busy, especially on the weekends, so a reservation is highly recommended.
Wild Taco (Capitol Hill)
Get tacos with an international kick, margaritas, and a vibrant atmosphere at this new place opened in April by co-owners Rico Aragon, Flor Aragon, and Yoon Terry. Here, diners get traditional Mexican fare with local and Korean accents thanks to the owners’ unique backgrounds. That means elk or buffalo tacos, dishes laced with kimchi, bulgogi tacos, and grilled cactus. Give the poke nachos, chicken and waffle, and birria chile relleno a try, too; it’s all fiery, fresh and craveable. Don’t miss the taco Tuesday special, when it’s two hard-shell tacos and a margarita for $10.
Sky Bar (Central Park)
Inside the Stanley Aviation building, this small but mighty cocktail spot, opened in May, provides comfortable seating, hearty cocktails, and enough space to feel like you’re in a luxury airport lounge. Once there, take a seat in the “frequent flyer” bar for a drink, or book the platinum status for the top floor and the best view of the skyline with a beverage in hand. The cocktails are themed on places—like a “Peru” with pisco or the “Tokyo” with Japanese whisky—or are classics that one might have found back in the day, such as martinis and gimlets. Plus, there’s beer and wine as well. The space proves small, so reservations are recommended.
The Post Chicken & Beer (LoHi)
The latest location of The Post from restaurant group Big Red F took over the Lola space in February. Now, the neighborhood has a large area to hang out, eat stellar fried chicken, and take advantage of the indoors and open-air patio for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Like the other six locations of the restaurant (the second in Denver), the focus is bone-in fried chicken that happens to also be gluten-free. Sides include green-chile macaroni and cheese, thigh fries, and an array of fresh salads, which can be eaten as is or topped with the signature chicken, and drinks run to house-made beer and margaritas. Bonus: there’s a bar downstairs called The Groovy for those looking for adult-only time and a solid old-school cocktail.
Point Easy (Whittier)
Perfectly plated new American fare with a local and vegetable heavy menu, a great cocktail and wine list, and a roomy patio in a modern-art-meets-historic-building setting is what Point Easy, opened in June, is all about. Look for charcuterie choices such as chicken liver pâté, local cheese, and rabbit rillette; entrees such as a pork chop, mussels with fries, and hand-made pastas; as well as local fare like the cure salad with greens grown just for the restaurant. Eat all this and more in the bright dining room, at the long wooden bar or outside on the best patio in the neighborhood. If the menu sounds too good, instead of picking, tell your server to let the chef decide what to present in a five-course-or-so tasting menu, all tailored to your likes and aversions.
Adobo XO (Highland)
In April, Highland got a grab-and-go Mexican-Filipino restaurant that’s won many awards, such as Westword magazine’s best taco truck and best green chile. Adobo XO serves breakfast burritos during the week, as well as lunch and dinner on Wednesday through Sunday. For the latter, expect a choose-your-own adventure of tacos, rice bowls, and burritos featuring an array of items. For example, dishes include Filipino chicken adobo with a choice of green chile, pineapple, and green onion or smoked carnitas with lime fig jam, chicharrones, and salsa. There’s also cheeseburgers, lumpia, nachos, deviled eggs with carnitas and green chile, chile cheese fries, smoked chicken wings, and more.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.
Freelance journalist Linnea Covington lives and eats in Denver, the best place for green chili and epic hikes with fantastic sandwiches.