The Populist

4.6
255 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
In Denver, the dining options are ever increasing and The Populist is making a splash with unique seating options and an exquisite menu. A meal should be shared, which is why The Populist dining area includes community tables and the menu is mainly sharable small plates to enjoy together with friends and family over great conversation.



Open daily for dinner with happy hour specials Tuesday-Friday, The Populist provides high quality service with a unique menu. Highlights include House Made Pastas, Smoked Jackfruit, Colorado Grass-Fed Burger, and Tandoori Chicken. A chef's tasting menu with seven courses is available each evening.
What 255 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

I was very disappointed in my recent outing to The Populist. It was a restaurant I'd been wanting to try ever since I heard about it. However, the food was a big miss. The description of the fried rice sounded as if it would be delicious, but was only so-so. The lamb was chewy and lacked flavor, although the ramps and beans served with it were tasty. The server offered us something to replace the lamb, so we asked for the pasta with crab. It was equally disappointing and after a few bites we abandoned it. I won't be back despite the fact that the server tried her best to ensure we left as satisfied patrons. There are too many other restaurants calling my name.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an lovely anniversary here. The staff is great and the food is amazing.

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DB
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely great experience at The populist! We celebrated our anniversary last night and the staff is a class act through and through. They greeted us to some bubbly to help us celebrate. We chose the chef’s menu and wine pairing, and were delighted with it all. I highly recommend the wine pairing, as the sommelier has done a great job of taking you from light to full body and balances very well with each dish. Last night our favorite items on the menu were the Brodo(broth) to start, the pasta was fantastic, and we finished of with Duck confit!

This is a chef’s menu that is well thought out, that delivers both in creativity and leaving your belly satisfied. It can be disappointing at times to go a chef’s menu route and leave feeling hungry. The Populist does it well!

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l
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food and ambience. Had to move inside due to rain, but the inside was great too. The inside definitely gets a little loud, but to be expected.

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NB
Denver
70 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This was my 4th time to the Populist and I have always considered it one of the best restaurants in town. However, my husband and I both agreed we were a little disappointed. The gem salad and the broccolini-like appetizer were both really good. However, the buratta and prosciutto were both lacking flavor (compared to others we have had) and the fritter special was just not very good. Overall, we had a nice meal, but it just was not as impressive as it has been on our previous visits.

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D
Louisville
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the tasting menu, and it was incredible! Can't wait to go back. Recommending this place to everyone I can.

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MP
New England
12 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect. Can’t wait to go back!

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AT
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

The Tasting Menu was worth it, perhaps even a deal, when it was $40/person. Simply not worth it anymore now that it is $60/person. Lots of other ways to spend that kind of money in Denver and not nearly as indulgent and special as it should be for that price. Sorry Populist but we are looking elsewhere for our next special occasion.

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

I ate here a while back and was excited to go for my fiancé’s birthday and we were underwhelmed. When we arrived the host was working on seating another couple who wanted to move from inside to outside and she failed to acknowledge us, which in such an intimate space wouldn’t have been difficult to greet us. The food was not exciting and the description of each dish didn’t match what was served. We told our server we had not been there and instead of walking us through the menu she told us to let us know what questions we have. I ordered a glass of wine and when the server delivered it she informed me it was the last glass of that wine and it was apparent by the half glass she served me. The starters were disappointing. The dessert was tasty and unique and probably the best part of the experience. I’d like to try again on the patio because the atmosphere looks so magical with the vines and strung lights, but I don’t know if the food is worth it.

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DZ
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything from beginning to end was a wonderful experience. Food was impeccable and the atmosphere was memorable. I never write reviews and I highly reccomend it.

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SL
Denver
27 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful anniversary meal. Service was marvelous, wine selection excellent, food wonderful (roast chicken was truly amazing). A wonderful meal.

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Service was great but our sourdough was burnt as well as my husband's burger. The buratta was amazing and my short ribs were really good. The server surprised us with champagne to start the meal since we were there to celebrate our birthdays.

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NM
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for a wonderful night celebrating our employees. Every dish (and I think we may have ordered the entire menu) was beautiful, balanced in flavor, and great portions even when shared among the five of us. We left fat and happy. I'm still dreaming of the roasted chicken. Great values on the wine list and service was friendly and authentic. What more can you ask for from a dining experience!

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m
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

If you are looking for excellent service, a kitchen staff that cares about allergies and food intolerance, or just an overall good experience, do not come here. I cannot say enough about how rude the wait staff was and how indifferent the kitchen staff was to answering basic questions on what ingredients were in the food. Just as one example, a member of our party had multiple food allergies and trying to find out what was in the food was equivalent to asking for a small miracle. I will never come back to this restaurant.

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w
Denver
10 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food is good, but not what it used to be. That coupled with what appears to be purposeful “disinterest” of the wait and server staff means that we won’t be coming back soon.

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DG
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The burrata was to die for! Great service and amazing cocktails. The wine list was impressive!

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T
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

This was possibly the worst meal I have had in Denver. I could have looked past the weird and uncomfortable stools, bad lighting, and a long wait for our food but not past how bad everything tasted. While we were seated right away, we had to ask for water, and for plates to go with our appetizer. We got the burrata to start, which was good and the only decent thing we had all night. However, it did come with extremely burnt toast that we had to send back. We ordered the roast chicken, salmon, and the lamb chops. The roast chicken tasted like soap (and something I could have made a thousand times better myself), the Caesar salad had so much anchovies in it it was impossible to eat. The fish was not salted at all. We were never asked how we wanted the lamb chops cooked, and they came out raw, also with no seasoning. A very disappointing meal. The patio did look lovely maybe for a drink, but with so many lovely restaurants in Denver eating here was a waste.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great.

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SC
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was awesome. We loved his suggestions. The food and the cocktails were amazing! He was first class. His name is escaping me but he was wearing a fabulous wild shirt. Thank you for a fun date with very special friends and a birthday.

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Service not so good. Food average. Cost was reasonable, but the tastes and flavors pretty unspectacular. I was disappointed after having loved it in the past!

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DE
Denver
93 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Tasty foodies. Lively atmosphere. Slightly pricy for every day outing but overall, a nice experience.

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AW
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the chefs tasting menu. It was 5 courses compared to the advertised 7. The desert is paired with sake instead of another wine. Was not a fan of the sake

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second time here, and it was every bit as excellent as the first. You could throw a dart at this menu and feel totally confident that you'd get an outstanding meal - everything on the menu is exquisitely designed to be an unexpected and amazing combination of flavors. Don't miss the celeriac dish (I've now tried two versions, both incredible). Kudos!

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b
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

A lot of precious without a lot of substance. We had our waiter bring us his favorite items with no restrictions on quantity or type. He brought 3 light starters and 3 entrees to feel 5 people. The starters were interesting but not at all ground breaking or satiating. The entrees were tasty but each one had an element that pushed it into the category of “a little off.”

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CB
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Expensive for how little food you get. Food and service are solid though, just wish the portions were more right-sized for price. I’ve left there twice still hungry after paying $125-150 for two people.

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t
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place, great service, great food and good scene

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W
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here the other night for a date night. We’ve been driving by here for years and since it’s one of the few restaurants with a tasting menu in Denver we decided to give it a try. We had good service and really enjoyed the food. I’m not a big fan of duck but the Duck Confit was really good. We also had the wine pairings. This is one area which could use a little improvement. The wine selections were good but a I like more explication as to why this wine was selected and how it pairs well with the food. Not just this is the type of wine. Ultimately one of the good things is the price. For a tasting menu and wine pairing we thought this was a pretty good price point for what we got.

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EH
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our office booked the semi-private room for our company dinner. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. They made the entire process easy, from booking to our late arrival and everything in between. They were able to provide the perfect table for conversation between a group of 12. We would highly recommend their services for your next company dinner!!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

This was one of the best restaurant visits this year so far. Keep it up!

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JJ
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We arrived 5 minutes early for our reservation and were asked to take a seat at the bar. We waited at the bar for 25 minutes for a table and were only sat when they decided to open up an additional area of the dining room that had been empty the entire time we were waiting. Throughout our dinner we were the only patrons sat in this area. Because they were not planning to sit people in this area we waited an additional 5 minutes for anyone to come to the table to greet us and take our orders. If we had finished our drinks by this time we would have walked out. We ordered an appetizer which was brought promptly to our table however we were not brought any dishes to eat off of and due to the lack of service my husband had to walk up and grab plates for our table so that we could eat. Food was good, but pricey and the service was horrendous. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone as the wait staff and management obviously do not care.

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A
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Populist didn't live up to the hype. Overall, we didn't have a bad experience, it just wasn't one worth repeating. We split 2 starters (potato and orange) and 2 mains (chicken and campanelle) between 2 people and both left hungry. My favorite dish was the pasta which sadly was also the smallest portion. The other dishes weren't memorable.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent tasting menu. Wonderful service. Highly recommended.

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A
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food - AMAZING!
Waiter - Incredible!
Noise level - so loud. Hard to hear the man across from me at my table.

Still loved it.

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MB
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always have a great time at the Populist; I ended up at the bar and made some friends over the tasting menu. Fantastic bartenders, too!

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MB
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for a date night! Seasonal menu with a lot of locally sourced ingredients. And a great selection of wines at very reasonable prices ($36!) Pretty small dining room so it gets a little noisy, but its totally worth it. I'd recommend making a reservation since seating seems kind of limited for the dinner rush.

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JZ
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We did the tasting menu paired with the wine and loved everything about it. Everything was so good we ordered more entrees!

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b
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Populist is fantastic, and their tasting menu is one of the best deals in town.

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S
Denver
30 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic. We liked the Cara Cara Orange dish a lot. The home made campanelle pasta with oxtail and blue crab was also incredible. I'll definitely recommend this place to friends.

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s
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

The Populist was our worst disappointment in the Denver restaurant scene. We have been to all of the restaurants that float in and out of the Top 25. We chose the tasting menu and were really disappointed in the majority of the courses. The good - the hostess was welcoming and the service was stellar. The main and dessert courses were excellent. The other three courses were very thin in quality, complexity, and even presentation. The overall value for what we paid was poor. The tasting menu should have been priced at about 60% of what it is. This is the first time we have been disappointed in a restaurant in the entire Denver area.

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MR
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always reminds us why it's one of the most underrated restaurants in Denver. A magical night, thanks for making our anniversary special year after year.

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