When you think of places with a booming food scene, Denver probably isn’t the first to come to mind.
But the Mile-High City has a lot to offer in the culinary department. What makes Denver an even better destination for food aficionados is the eclectic nature of a lot of the cities best restaurants. From shipping containers to old mortuaries, Denver gives you good eats and an even better story. Check out some of our favorites below, and head to our newest market for a daystay you won’t forget.
From the outside, Linger looks like one of your normal everyday restaurant/bars. But this awesome eatery has a pretty eerie past. The building and restaurant space itself used to be a mortuary. That’s former site of Denver’s historic Olinger Mortuary is now a bar and restaurant. Rather than being skeeved out by the building’s history, owner Justin Cucci embraced the concept, darkening the first letter of Olinger’s prominent neon sign, and changing the word “mortuaries” to “eatuaries.’ The host stand is a former church pew and the decor also includes vintage funeral fans, and other little touches just on the whimsical side of macabre.
Acorn is the sister restaurant to Boulder’s OAK at Fourteenth. Like it’s sister restaurant, Acorn features an upscale New American menu centered around a large oak-fired oven. In addition to the main floor dining room, guests can relax at the bar opposite the open kitchen or the mezzanine which offers spectacular views of the mountains. Cement and graffiti accents and Emeco seating made from recycled Coca Cola bottles give the space an urban, eclectic feel, while the marble tabletops, ebonized wood banquettes, and well-appointed lighting provide an elegant counterpoint.
3. Avanti Food & Beverage
Avanti Food & Beverage is a culinary hot spot like no other. Its owners describe it as a food hall, a stand-alone food court, a food-truck rally minus the exhaust fumes and a food-and-booze lover’s heaven. Avanti packs seven different restaurant concepts from seven different chefs into shipping-container kitchens on two floors with two bars. Beyond hosting this culinary hub Avanti offers striking views of downtown, a cool and understated industrial design, and an eccentric group of restaurant goers that can make conversation with anyone.
4. Rebel Restaurant
Looking for something a little more grungy? Rebel restaurant is the perfect spot for you. This former dive bar got a major make-over after a Kickstarter campaign planned for a restaurant inside Black Shirt Brewing. The restaurant is in a different locale in RiNo after they realized they’d need more space. The remodel is a dramatic one, catapulting the dingy dive into its new standing as a modern eatery. The owners created a bright and welcoming space with a menu that stays true to their Ukrainian background in taste and presentation while also exploring carefully chosen international flourishes.
5. Root Down
Root Down is the sister restaurant of Linger, and you can easily see why. The restaurant is located in a converted filling station, and has a smaller location at the Denver airport. Root Down aims to connect the neighborhood to a dining experience in the same way ingredients are connected to food. If you are a sustainability lover it’s the perfect restaurant for you. They have 4,000-square-feet of garden in the middle of the city where they grow 20% of their own seasonal vegetables, they compost and recycle, and all of their cleaning products are biodegradable.
We hope we’ve changed your mind about how great the food scene in Denver is. Colorado itself has a lot of cities that are central culinary locales. Book a daystay at one of our great locations in the Rocky Mountain State, and find out for yourself today!
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