Skillets, sushi, succotash: Denver chefs have to be skilled to adjust to the altitude messing with their recipes in this famous ‘Mile High City’. Luckily, they’ve gotten very good at it. Look out for restaurant week, which offers discounts in late February, and take a trip on the Denver Beer Trail – this state has an ale obsession. Here’s where to eat in Denver.
Best for… Breakfast
The American breakfast is a delicious phenomenon, where savoury and sweet meet on the plate and the coffee keeps on coming. In Denver, go to Snooze to see breakfast made right--- this famous local brunch spot on Larimer Street is always buzzing. With its extensive breakfast cocktail menu, it’s easy to see why. If you have trouble choosing, the pancake menu includes a ‘mixed flight’ so you can sample a few, plus you can even choose your favourite type of hollandaise. It’s very busy, especially at weekends, but it closes at 2:30pm – presumably for a little nap. With a few more branches across the states, Snooze started in Denver in 2006 and will stay serving pancakes to Denver for as long as it’s flipping possible.
If you only eat one thing… Make it pineapple upside down pancakes with housemade vanilla crème anglaise – a star dish.
Find it: 2262 Larimer St. Denver
Sam’s No. 3
Best for… A big brunch
This famous Denver diner has over 100 dishes on its menu and it also has three locations. That’s a lot of eggs cooking – 22,000 a week, in fact – but it doesn’t mean that Sam’s No. 3 can’t juggle your order. This is an old-fashioned diner with all the classics and a few Mexican twists. Order eggs with green chilli, a burrito the size of your head, or build yourself a monstrous burger.
If you only eat one thing…. Take a gamble on anything with spicy pork green chilli. The Kitchen Sink Skillet is smothered in it… and a heap of other ingredients, too.
Find it: 1500 Curtis Street, Denver – its Downtown location
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Best for… Light lunch
The Kitchen is a light, airy bistro with a small, delicate menu. It’s the perfect date spot or meeting place for a civilised lunch. Choose crispy burrata crostini, buttery king crab salad or a robust pasta bolognese. Behind the scenes Kimbal Musk, the charismatic owner, heads up community projects, planting kitchen gardens in schools and supporting local farmers.
If you only eat one thing… Down ice-cold oysters at the bar.
Find it: LoDo, 1530 16th Street, Denver
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
Best for… Gourmet gastropub grub
Have a fun, hearty meal set in a historic hall. Like all good Denver dining, at Euclid Hall you can expect to sample the city’s remarkable selection of craft ale on tap, but even the beefed-up beer menu is outshone by the meat – the main star of the show. Open all day, this is American tavern with fluid borders – French boudin noir, Quebecois poutine and North African merguez all make up the menu of cuts, sausages, sandwiches and sides. Local celebrities, chefs Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, run several acclaimed Denver restaurants, all of which have garnered the respect of the city’s fine diners. Euclid Hall is their third.
If you only eat one thing… And you have a robust constitution, get the Duck poutine.
Find it: 1317 14th Street, Historic Larimer Square, Denver