I spend a lot of time in Denver; it’s the place I travel to most outside of New York City. While I’m usually in Denver for the outdoor scene, there are so many great options for food and drink, and the options get better every time I’m there. Denver has long been a beer town, but it's quickly becoming a place known for an exciting craft cocktail scene, and there’s also an amazing food scene with a lot of really great restaurants. This is by no means a final list, but if you're going to Denver for the first time, or maybe you haven't been in a while, these places will help guide your visit.
Work & Class: Latin American small plates. No reservations and can get crowded, but you can have a drink at the bar while you wait.
Super Mega Bien: From the Work & Class team. Asian-Latin American small plates. Also no reservations and gets crowded, but Death & Co is in the same building and you can go there while you wait.
Cart Driver: Small pizza and wine joint in a spot made from shipping containers.
Acorn: New American and seasonal with an oak-fired oven and grill.
Little Man: Best ice cream in town, hands down.
Linger: Restaurant with nice views and interesting, international small plates and a solid happy hour.
Root Down: Global and seasonal menu with a great boozy brunch.
Avanti: Food hall-type place with great views of downtown and a great bar.
Highland Tap & Burger: Craft beer joint with amazing burgers.
Old Major: Meat-focused restaurant with a great bar and brunch as well.
Ash’Kara: A new addition to LoHi serving Middle Eastern fare w great pitas (and good gluten free pita!)
Williams & Graham: Located in LoHi, Williams & Graham is consistently ranked one of the best cocktail bars in the world. It quickly gets crowded so put your name in and hit up the myriad other places at that intersection while you wait (Lady Jane, LoHi Steak Bar, Old Major, Highland Tap and Burger).
Family Jones: From the same family as Linger and Root Down, they make spirits in house and also have a decent bites. Make a reservation as this place gets crowded.
Avanti: Food hall-type place with great views of downtown and a great bar. There’s also a large bar downstairs with a lot of TVs for watching sports.
Infinite Monkey Theorem: An urban winery in RiNo making pretty solid wines + cider. They also sell cans to-go which is a great way to bring rosé into the mountains (or insert other outdoor activity where you’d want wine).
Lady Jane: A 70s-ish inspired bar with interesting cocktails, beer, and wine.
Death & Co: A Denver outpost of the acclaimed NYC spot, D&C has a perennially packed downstairs where you need to put a name down, or a first-come first-served upstairs patio with similarly exciting cocktails.
Crooked Stave: One of my favorite breweries of all time. They have a bar in The Source in RiNo and they make some of the best sour beers out there. The rosé sour is my personal favorite.
Great Divide: One of Denver’s OG craft brewers, Great Divide has a brewery and tasting room near the ballpark.
Pucker Up: Our article on sour beers and the category’s growth, featuring Crooked Stave.
Eater Denver publishes a lot about the city’s drinking and dining scene and are the best publication to follow for what’s trending in Denver.
5280 Magazine is also a great resource. They’re more all-purpose Denver, but they have a great food and drink section.
Brianna is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Hook & Blade. She is based out of New York City where she enjoys exploring the city, trying new foods, and people watching. She works as the Global Email Marketing Manager at Global Citizen, and tries to travel as much as she can.