Favorite Local Restaurants in Denver

The OpenTable team

Denver, where the slopes are steep, the beer is cold, and the restaurant scene is hotter than that apres-ski jacuzzi. Few places have seen such a boom in new restaurants, with chefs from near and far dialing into the city’s forward-thinking, but laid back, attitude. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You’ll find James Beard Award-winning chefs, some of the freshest sushi flown in from Japan, and everything from decadent French bistros to fusion forms of Italian and Latin American fare—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. You'll want to follow their lead.

Restaurants:Root Down, Bar Dough, Izakaya Den
Price Range:$$$ - $$$
Cuisines:American, Italian, Japanese
Neighborhoods:Highlands, Wash Park

Root Down

$$$$·American·
Highlands
7,082 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
As the name might suggest, this festive eatery—named one of the best around for outdoor dining—seamlessly integrates vegetarian and vegan options into an already inventive menu. ThRead more
95% recommended
Healthy in Denver
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Bar Dough

$$$$·Italian·
Highlands
1,099 reviews
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
This spot is a straight shooter for delicious Italian. Their selection of pastas and pizzas are great, but the spicy pizza and pappardelle bolognese (if they have it) are must-getsRead more
100% recommended
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Izakaya Den

$$$$·Japanese·
Wash Park
1,711 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
This destination sushi spot serves the freshest fish in Denver, and is actually one of the first US sushi bars to order fish directly from Japanese markets. Izakaya is a large spacRead more
96% recommended
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The Fifth String

$$$$·Farm-to-table·
Highlands
180 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
These guys are old pros at all things pork, the dinnertime small plates are all pretty great. Don’t leave without ordering the ham and biscuits and the charcuterie plate. Most of tRead more
99% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Denver

ChoLon Modern Asian - Downtown

$$$$·Asian·
Downtown / LoDo
3,939 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
A spacious and elegant bistro putting out inspired Asian dishes with an inventive twist. A new kind of dim sum and then some, which can be seen in their soup dumplings (with frenchRead more
94% recommended

True Food Kitchen - Cherry Creek

$$$$·American·
Cherry Creek
1,959 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Healthy
They’re serious about health food here—which they hint at in the green design accents you see throughout their modern space—but they’re also serious about flavor and variety. This Read more
94% recommended
Healthy in Denver / Colorado

Rioja

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Downtown / LoDo
8,621 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Chef Jennifer Jasinski and her team are cooking up a solid menu of consistently delicious dishes worthy of a James Beard award (that’s why they won one). Despite what the name mighRead more
91% recommended

El Five

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Highlands
2,186 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
They know how to combine things beautifully, harmoniously, and deliciously at this chic fifth floor eatery. Their three distinct tapas menus—in addition to small plates and paellasRead more
94% recommended
Scenic View in Denver
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Linger

$$$$·International·
Highlands
5,950 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
This is another restaurant from the stellar team behind Root Down (also on this list), and linger is exactly what you’ll want to do in their cavernous space, especially if it’s warRead more
94% recommended
Scenic View in Denver
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Osteria Marco

$$$$·Italian·
Downtown / LoDo
5,011 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
This adorable Italian eatery—where red brick walls line the cozy dining room—could almost be mistaken for a chic little boutique from the street. Sounds surprising, but it’s prettyRead more
100% recommended
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Quality Italian- Denver

$$$$·Italian·
Cherry Creek
1,507 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
This one comes straight out of NYC, where Quality Italian—and the rest of the Quality family—are all big hits. This steakhouse with an Italian moniker is stunningly handsome, featuRead more
88% recommended
Italian in Denver / Colorado
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Il Posto

$$$$·Italian·
River North (Denver)
801 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
This Italian restaurant’s chic and modern space features small glass globe lighting overhead, which feels magical at night. It’s fun to sit at the counter, and watch the kitchen maRead more
90% recommended

Coperta

$$$$·Italian·
Uptown
1,164 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Authentic
They have fantastic housemade pastas and a Mozzarella bar, come quick! This Southern Italian spot—from the same sibling team behind Beast + Bottle (also great)—has three connected Read more
100% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Bistro Vendome

$$$$·French·
Downtown / LoDo
6,135 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
The ambiance at this French bistro, from James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski, is overflowing with charm. There’s a very romantic patio and one particular indoor seatinRead more
94% recommended
French in Denver / Colorado

Señor Bear

$$$$·Latin American·
Highlands
513 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
This very festive Latin American restaurant—from the same team behind Bar Dough (also on this list)—offers a fish-forward menu that celebrates the delicious variety within Latin AmRead more
100% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Citizen Rail

$$$$·American·
Downtown / LoDo
995 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
Located on the ground floor of the Hotel Born, this uber well-designed restaurant is a stunner. It’s surrounding windows offers great light to contrast the dark furniture with goldRead more

Duo Restaurant

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Highlands
3,302 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
Duo has been a Denver staple—for over a decade now—serving up food that people love to love. From the early days, brunch has been the star here and it still deserves to be. When yoRead more
99% recommended
Healthy in Denver / Colorado

North Italia – Denver

$$$$·Italian·
Cherry Creek
2,764 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Lunch
You can truly feel the love they cook into their food at this rustic and authentic Italian spot in Cherry Creek, with a staff that’s exceptionally warm and gregarious. Their housemRead more
98% recommended
Italian in Denver / Colorado
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Avelina - Denver

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown / LoDo
1,299 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
Avelina’s wide-open dining room—with big drum lights overhead and an exhibition kitchen—makes you feel like you’re stepping into a large-scale and incredibly well-designed lounge. Read more
87% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Tupelo Honey - Denver

$$$$·Southern·
Downtown / LoDo
1,738 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Comfort Food
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
At the helm of this powerhouse southern eatery—with multiple locations around the south—is two-time James Beard semifinalist, Chef Chris Kobayashi. Speaking of, it’s worth trying tRead more
92% recommended