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Explore the Best Women-Led Restaurants in Denver for 2019

March 8th is International Women’s Day. In celebration, we created a list featuring some of the most exceptional women in Denver’s culinary scene. From its Rocky Mountains and open-minded culture to vast beerscapes and ever-expanding food scene, this outdoorsy city is always reaching for more. Next time you’re in town, we invite you to celebrate women (and eat something delicious) at one of these top spots.

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The OpenTable Team
6 Restaurants
Updated March 02, 2020
Restaurants:Rioja, Ace Eat Serve, Spuntino
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Mediterranean, Asian, Italian
Neighborhoods:Downtown / LoDo, Uptown, Highlands
A photo of Rioja restaurant

Rioja

$$$$
Mediterranean
Downtown / LoDo
4.7
9227 reviews
"Rioja was the first restaurant opened by a team of two women who would later create an acclaimed mini-empire across Denver — executive chef/co-owner Jennifer Jasinski and general manager/co-owner Beth Gruitch. Jasinski claims a long list of impressive career achievements, top among them has to be winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013, the first Denver chef to do so. She was also a finalist on television's Top Chef Masters, was a protégée of Wolfgang Puck for a decade, and worked for some time at the Ledoyan in Paris. \n Rioja offers Mediterranean-influenced modern American cuisine designed around impeccable regional ingredients. When the weather's pleasant, outdoor patio seating offers prime people-watching along with top-notch cuisine, while seats in the dining room and at the copper-topped bar boast views into the exhibition kitchen. Critics and regulars rave about the bread basket, as well as standout dishes like grilled Spanish octopus puttanesca and chestnut fried quail. "\n Rioja offers Mediterranean-influenced modern American cuisine designed around impeccable regional ingredients. When the weather's pleasant, outdoor patio seating offers prime people-watching along with top-notch cuisine, while seats in the dining room and at the copper-topped bar boast views into the exhibition kitchen. Critics and regulars rave about the bread basket, as well as standout dishes like grilled Spanish octopus puttanesca and chestnut fried quail.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of Ace Eat Serve restaurant

Ace Eat Serve

$$$$
Asian
Uptown
4.7
740 reviews
It takes a certain kind of daring to open a ping-pong-based restaurant, but the married-couple team of Jen and Josh Wolkon, owners of the Secret Sauce Food & Beverage Group, took such a risk with Ace Eat Serve. It certainly paid off, with locals and visitors flocking to the 9,000-square-foot venue, an award-winning redesign of the old Storz Garage space, to play ping pong, dine on contemporary Asian-inspired cuisine, and enjoy the offerings of a top-notch drinks program. Food & Wine magazine called Ace Eat Serve one of the nation's best new bars in 2013, lauding its fun atmosphere and creative cuisine. The main menu features small plates, ramens including a duck duck ramen with fried leeks and a vegetarian Sapporo butter miso ramen, various baos, and bigger "for the table" options. The tiger wings are a firm favorite among regulars. Joining executive chef Thach Tran behind the scenes is executive pastry chef Nadine Donovan, who was called Denver's Best Pastry Chef by Westworld magazine and named to Zagat's 30 Under 30 list. Her stand-out desserts at Ace Eat Serve include bao donuts with five spice sugar and lime leaf Anglaise, and a miso caramel mousse.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Spuntino restaurant

Spuntino

$$$$
Italian
Highlands
4.8
1490 reviews
Sputino, in Denver's historic Potter Highland neighborhood, started as a gelato shop and transformed into a casual Italian eatery, currently owned by the married couple Cindhura Reddy and Elliot Strathmann. Reddy was already chef de cuisine and Strathmann the general manager under Sputino's previous owners, when they took over ownership in 2014. The couple met in Philadelphia where Reddy attended culinary school, and they honeymooned in Italy, exploring the culinary landscape of Abruzzo and Tuscany and working for a while on a farm. These influences are evident at Sputino, where as new owners Reddy and Strathmann took the menu in a thoroughly authentic, regional direction. The from-scratch kitchen turns out house-made charcuterie, digestifs, and gelati along with long-perfected handmade pastas. Sputino has a low-key vibe and ever-changing choices of cheeses, fish, and pastas of the day, along with a stunning seasonal vegetable plate. It's known among regulars as a place equally ideal for date nights and leisurely family dinners.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of Bistro Vendome restaurant

Bistro Vendome

$$$$
French
Downtown / LoDo
4.7
6463 reviews
Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, the owners of Rioja, purchased the neighboring Bistro Vendome (across Larimer Square) in 2006. With Missy Ihli as manager and Ben Ashworth as chef de cuisine, three out of four top team members at Bistro Vendome are women. While Ashworth runs the kitchen, the influence of James Beard Award-winner Jasinski is evident in the bistro's perfectionist approach to simple, fresh cuisine. Bistro Vendome is also recognized by James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader restaurant, which focuses on using healthy, sustainable food sources in the kitchen. The menus at Bistro Vendome showcase both casual bistro and haute cuisine classics, all very French but prepared with local Colorado ingredients, and brunch is a local favorite.The menus at Bistro Vendome showcase both casual bistro and haute cuisine classics, all very French but prepared with local Colorado ingredients. Options on the seasonal dinner menu might include escargot, confit de canard with roasted turnips and skiitakes, steak frites with a choice of classic sauces, and a seasonal bouillabaisse. Critics praise the breakfast sandwich and French toast as highlights of the popular weekend brunch menu.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of Ultreia restaurant

Ultreia

$$$$
Spanish
Downtown / LoDo
4.5
672 reviews
General manager Jessica Cann and executive chef Adam Branz join owners Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch in running Ultreia, a Spanish-Portuguese restaurant that opened in 2017. Along with its female-dominant team, Ultreia stands out from the Denver restaurant scene for its setting inside the Great Hall of the historic Union Station building downtown. A large-scale rustic mural wraps around a dining room inspired by a Spanish plaza complete with fountain and flowers, and a wrought iron staircase leads up to mezzanine seating that overlooks the open kitchen. Ultreia's menu is divided into "bare hands" offerings, such as sunchokes with piri piri creme fraiche and dates stuffed with goat cheese and jamon serrano; and "tools required" items including patatas bravas, fermented carrots with olive oil labnet, and cured trout. Larger plates are available after 4 p.m., although evening diners are just as likely to share a spread of small plates in an attempt to try all the delicious menu offerings.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of Coperta restaurant

Coperta

$$$$
Italian
Uptown
4.6
1203 reviews
Pastry Chef Jodi Polson's beautiful seasonal desserts are made with local ingredients and are inspired by traditional Italian delicacies like Olive Oil Cake, Cannoli, and Griselle. She works with fresh fruits and vegetables and treats each dessert like a piece of artwork.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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