The Populist

4.5
241 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 241 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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m
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
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 3 days ago
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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T
Denver
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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
91 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
1 review
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
1 review
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
6 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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NY
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Populist tops my list of must-try in Denver. Even without knowing what’s on the tasting menu, I was already set on it. Located in the Five Points neighborhood, The Populist perfects the craft of the small plates. And the tasting menu is the best way to experience The Populist.

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H
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the Populist! It never disappoints

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LV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and delicious food. The beverage pairing was great

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AJ
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

We had the chefs tasting and found it to be far from what we expected for $60 person. Underwhelming. Left much to be desired, then to top it off Both of us had Horrible GUT BOMBs all night after . Would not recommend

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JG
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our food, however, the portions were a little smaller than we thought they would be. We'd still recommend it though

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p
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just ridiculously good. Bacon and seafood together ... who knew?

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OT
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Still my favorite restaurant, even as the dining landscape changes.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Valentine’s Day tasting menu with drink pairings was amazing

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tasting menu was on hit

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ER
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I really loved the food we had. Creative and delicious which is what I love! The restaurant is very small which is kind of cute. Very close to the people next to you only down side.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A delicious and memorable birthday dinner. We’ll definitely be back! Thank you!

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TH
Little Rock
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fun spot with nice vibe and excellent service. Food both creative and good, but would say that it wasn't "great" and that it didn't quite meet its price point.

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R
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Chefs taste testing menu was underwhelming.
Apples w/honey, A broth soup, A single prawn on a stick were 3 of the offerings.

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Was quiet and nice. The menu didn’t excite me but the flavors were amazing and I was blown awag

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