The 12 most beautiful Denver restaurants to visit right now

Photo credit: David Lauer Photography for Room For Milly
The Roaring Twenties-inspired interiors at Room For Milly in Denver include olive-green banquettes, eclectic wallpaper, and a rotating art collection.

Dining out can be an all-sensory spectacle in Denver, where a clutch of beautiful restaurants remind us that dazzling interiors have the power to level up even the greatest meals. 

Gilded arches and marble columns add grandeur to tea service in one of Denver’s oldest hotels. At a cocktail lounge downtown, a dramatic pearl-themed chandelier is the undeniable focal point. A sleek Japanese oasis channels Kyoto with kimono fabric covered-lanterns and a bamboo garden.

Denver’s most drop-dead gorgeous restaurants offer both far-flung escapes and glimpses of the city’s colorful roots. Read on for a guide to the 12 most beautiful restaurants in the city.

Room For Milly (LoHi)

Room For Milly’s Roaring Twenties-inspired interiors include a wraparound bar with a hand-painted mural. | Credit: David Lauer Photography

Owner Fiona Arnold’s design chops are on full display at this Roaring Twenties-inspired cocktail lounge. There’s a rotating art collection and a wraparound bar with a hand-painted mural depicting elephants and camels—a tribute to the art found in turn-of-the-century European salons. Green banquettes and marble tabletops round out the library-like space, ideal for sipping eclectic cocktails like a Beijing mule, made with jasmine-infused vodka, and snacks including caviar with olive-oil crisps.

Ash’Kara (LoHi)

Ash’Kara takes its design cues from Tel Aviv’s cafes. | Credit: Ash’Kara

Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus buildings inspired the bright interiors at this modern Israeli gem. Which explains the geometric pink and green wallpaper, and other Middle Eastern touches, like lanterns with macramé coverings and vibrant rugs on display. On the menu, expect wood-fired hits like roasted carrots with herbed labneh, fluffy made-to-order pitas, and perfectly charred baba ganoush. 

Call Me Pearl (Downtown)

A chandelier made from over 1,000 glass orbs steals the scene at Call Me Pearl. | Credit: Call Me Pearl

This downtown bar has design cred for its striking pearl-themed chandelier, made from over 1,000 iridescent glass orbs. Antiques, throw pillows, and plants complete the granny-chic atmosphere. Call Me Pearl’s super central location makes it a go-to for a solid weeknight happy hour. But if you’re looking for a more leisurely evening, settle into an armchair and order a couple of martinis, ahi poke wontons, and oysters on the half shell served on a plate of big faux—you guessed it—pearls.

Ultreia (Downtown/LoDo)

Beaux-Arts accents and Iberian influences co-exist at Ultreia. | Credit: James Florio

The Union Station backdrop definitely informed the Beaux-Arts vibe at this mural-lined, split-level beauty. But a Spanish and Portuguese menu by award-winning chef Jen Jasinski means there are also Iberian design accents, including fiery red banquettes and lots of wrought iron. Get a goblet-sized gin and tonic, a plate of jamón, and tinned fish, and you’ll be shuttled straight to a cafe in Bilbao—especially if you grab a spot on the patio, adorned with a bubbling fountain, potted plants, and lanterns.

The Family Jones Spirit House (Highlands)

A striking copper still soars above the seating area at The Family Jones Spirit House. | Credit: The Family Jones Spirit House

A majestic copper still towers above the blue velvet booths, live plants, and floor-to-ceiling windows at The Family Jones Spirit House—a visual reminder that all the liquor in the cocktails here, including olive oil-washed gin and jalapeño-infused vodka, is distilled onsite. Despite its soaring ceilings, there aren’t too many seats, making it a sought-after spot. TL;DR: Book well in advance for an evening at this stylish distillery and tasting room. 

Quality Italian (Cherry Creek)

This handsome Italian American steakhouse is decorated with custom art and light fixtures made from butchery tools. | Credit: Quality Branded

This handsome Italian American steakhouse by Quality Branded is the younger sibling to a New York City restaurant, but it’s far from a copy-and-paste job. The sultry Denver edition stands out for custom art installations, light fixtures made from butchery tools, and framed photographs of Italian icons such as Sophia Loren. Theatrical food, like lobster rigatoni flambéed tableside and larger-than-life cannoli-cream sundaes, amps up the old-school Italian mood. 

Izakaya Den (Platt Park)

 Izakaya Den is a sleek Japanese oasis, complete with a summer patio with a retractable glass ceiling. | Credit: Izakaya Den

Brothers Yasu and Toshi Kizaki gave Denver a Japanese oasis when they opened this small-plates paradise, known for Kobe beef sliders and lobster spring rolls, in 2013. A bamboo garden and summer patio (bonus points for the retractable glass ceiling) contribute to the izakaya’s obvious wow factor. But it’s the more subtle design accents, like lanterns covered in antique kimono fabrics and sliding doors with hand-painted poetry, that take this sexy two-story space to the next level. 

Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa (Downtown/LoDo)

The stained-glass atrium at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa turns into the setting for one of Denver’s most elegant afternoon teas. | Credit: Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

It doesn’t get fancier than afternoon tea service at Denver’s oldest and most elegant hotel, which unfolds in a stained-glass atrium, surrounded by gilded arches and marble columns—there’s even live music by a harpist or pianist. It’s the ultimate setting for celebrating just about anything over finger sandwiches, delicate pastries, and fresh scones with Devonshire cream, plus silver teapots filled with everything from masala chai to organic Earl Grey.

Le Bilboquet (Cherry Creek)

Le Bilboquet thoughtfully reimagines the Parisian bistro. | Credit: Le Bilboquet 

One of Cherry Creek’s swankiest French restaurants is an opulent riff on the Parisian bistro, decorated with smoked-mirror columns, purple lacquer tables, and chandeliers. Snag a blue velvet banquette and dig into sophisticated classics like Wagyu beef tartare, foie gras with housemade compote, and mussels in white wine. In the summer months, check out the patio with woven rattan chairs and tables, which you can get to from a set of French doors in the dining room.

Cretans (Cherry Creek)

Lowlights and a trendy gold, pink, and green color palette make Cretans feel like a club. | Credit: Quality Branded

New York-based Quality Branded is behind this low-lit Mediterranean lair inside the Clayton Hotel. There’s no wrong place to sit, but the two half-moon shaped bars make particularly pretty perches. Zebra-print wallpaper and a trendy gold, pink, and green color palette give Cretans its see-and-be-seen edge. Go with a group to maximize on shareable snacks like flambéed pistachios, Moroccan fried chicken bites, and “dip towers” featuring beet muhammara and whipped goat cheese.

Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant (River North)

This family-run winery breathed new life into a former manufacturing warehouse when it opened in 2017. | Credit: Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant

This sprawling family-run urban winery screams “industrial chic,” thanks to its past life as a manufacturing warehouse. Chandeliers hang from 30-foot timber ceilings, wine barrels double as tables, and there’s exposed brick everywhere. Get a glass or bottle—it’s all made in house—plus wine-friendly food like artichoke bruschetta, French onion short rib sliders, and charcuterie boards. When the weather is nice, sprawl out on the lively light-strung patio.

Cantina Loca (Highlands)

Four-time James Beard semifinalist Dana Rodriguez’s Cantina Loca is a bold and beautiful ode to Mexico City. The restaurant’s undeniable centerpiece is a massive tree decked with fake purple flowers; mural-covered walls and clay light fixtures, made from mezcal cups, fuel its playful ambiance. It all makes a great match for top-notch Mexican street food like beef barbacoa tacos, tequila cocktails, and a creamy can’t-miss flan.

Freelance journalist Linnea Covington lives and eats in Denver, the best place for green chili and epic hikes with fantastic sandwiches. She’s written about restaurants in her hometown for publications like Westword, The Denver Post, and Forbes Travel Guide.

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