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Inspector Picks: 11 Favorite Denver Restaurants

Courtesy of Guard and Grace/Guard and Grace
August 23, 2019
Planning a vacation to Denver? Check out these food places when you’re deciding where to eat. They are 11 of our local inspector’s favorite restaurants.
Dinner at Bamboo Sushi restaurant Denver.
AAA/Inspector 599

Bamboo Sushi

2715 17th St.
AAA Inspector 599: I appreciate that not only is the food delicious, but also it is responsibly sourced.
Located in Denver's popular LoHi area, this stylish venue has a mid-century-influenced décor and features a variety of dining spaces. Using only sustainable and responsibly sourced ingredients, the menu includes sushi, Wagyu beef, chicken and fish. In warmer months, enjoy outdoor dining on the spacious patio.
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Bang up to the elephant! Restaurant Denver
AAA/Inspector 599

Bang Up To The Elephant!

1310 Pearl St.
AAA Inspector 599: I really feel like I'm in the Caribbean when I come here; it's like a mini-vacation.
Featuring what owner Kevin Delk calls “Calypso” cuisine, this restaurant serves an eclectic combination of Caribbean, African, Chinese and Indian flavors. The most interesting dish, the "Bake and Shark," is a crispy flatbread stuffed with deep-fried shark. Other offerings include squash curry, jerk short ribs, bowl of chow mein and pork Cubano. Lush plants and bright colors throughout the space create a tropical atmosphere.
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Steak tartare at Bistro Vendome, Denver Colorado
AAA/Inspector 599

Bistro Vendome

1420 Larimer St.
AAA Inspector 599: I've been to France several times and I can honestly say this place truly resembles an authentic Parisian cafe.
This restaurant evokes the air of a family-owned Parisian eatery. Skilled staffers knowledgeably explain the French wine choices, which you can appreciate with varied courses of hearty French food. Start with the foie gras, escargot, or mussels, served in a savory broth. Entrees include duck confit, roasted chicken, and steak frites. On weekends, the brunch has an ardent following with the eggs Benedict; it's a major highlight.
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FNG Restaruant Denver
AAA/Inspector 599

FNG Restaurant

3940 W. 32nd Ave.
AAA Inspector 599: When I'm in the mood for an interesting handcrafted cocktail, this is my go-to spot.
Framed classic rock albums adorn the walls and rock music plays in the background at this eatery where the motto is "dine hard." A variety of comfort food is served, including burgers, sandwiches, steak and pasta. The handcrafted cocktail menu features eight drinks, all of which are modern interpretations of traditional concoctions.
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Courtesy of Guard and Grace/Guard and Grace

Guard and Grace

1801 California St.
AAA Inspector 599: There are several great steakhouses in Denver, but I think this one is the best.
Live plants, wood ceiling beams and hardwood floors add to the contemporary, urban décor. Select a premium Prime, Angus or grass-fed steak and top it with a rich foie gras butter, crab-heavy Oscar, or traditional brandy peppercorn sauce. Start with the perfectly balanced sweet-and-tart beet salad with charred cauliflower, pistachios, and a blood orange vinaigrette. Other standout starters include tuna from the raw bar, and the charcuterie and cheese plate. Although tempting, try not to fill up on the pillowy potato rolls and save room for the lightly sweet Belgian waffles served with strawberries and a Nutella sauce.
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halibut, lobster mac 'n' cheese, duck, custard, fine dining, 4 Diamond, appetizer, entree, dessert
AAA/Inspector 37


225 E. 7th Ave.
AAA Inspector 599: In land-locked Denver, it's rare to find a standout seafood dish. The butter poached lobster mac and cheese at Mizuna is my all-time favorite.
Locals head to this hot spot for cuisine prepared with an emphasis on flavors. The lobster macaroni and cheese lives up to the hype—it is truly sensational. The menu changes seasonally, but often features duck, Colorado lamb and Chilean sea bass. Be sure to take advantage of the outstanding sommelier for wine recommendations. Accented with rich oil paintings and dark wood panels, the dining room's classy, intimate ambience enhances the experience.
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Dip sampler platter.
AAA/Inspector 599

Pete's Central One

300 S. Pearl St.
AAA Inspector 599: My go-to spot to grab my favorite gyro in town!
This popular neighborhood café features traditional Greek favorites such as leg of lamb, spanakopita, gyros, kabobs, and much more. Every bite is filled with flavor. Colorful seaside murals adorn the walls, making the cozy dining room appear larger. Servers are friendly and efficient.
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Lobster roll
AAA/Inspector 599


523 E. 17th Ave.
AAA Inspector 599: The heated patio is my favorite place to be at the coolest diner in town.
Locals head to this restaurant to indulge in comfort food, decadent desserts and interesting cocktails. The retro, casually upscale décor is slightly fancy for a diner, but it's still a diner. Menu options reflect a creative flair enhanced by higher quality ingredients. Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and pot roast sidle up next to cayenne étouffée, trout amandine, and a lobster roll. It would be a sin to skip a milk shake, lemon icebox bar, or chocolate cake.
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Burrata at Tavernetta Italian restaruant, Denver Colorao
AAA/Inspector 599


1889 16th St.
AAA Inspector 599: I have yet to find a pasta dish that isn't delicious, and I have tried a bunch. I don't mind keeping up the search!
Rather than centering on regional cuisine, the menu takes inspiration from the entire country of Italy at this stylish venue. In addition to the signature housemade pasta, dishes include grilled lamb, roasted quail and rotisserie chicken. The location at the edge of the rail canopy in the booming Union Station area attracts locals and travelers alike.
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cheeseburger, mac 'n' cheese
AAA/Inspector 37

The Universal

2911 W. 38th Ave.
AAA Inspector 599: This is my chosen place to meet up with friends for a great breakfast, lunch or brunch.
This casual eatery quickly became a local sensation due to its simple menu consisting of high quality, local ingredients. Traditional breakfast dishes like eggs Benedict and buttermilk pancakes share space with unique items such as the cornbread huevos rancheros and custard toast, bread soaked in custard overnight, then grilled. Lunch items feature gourmet sandwiches, a grass-fed beef burger, chicken confit and a revolving grits special.
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Lobster roll at Wewatta Point in Denver Colorado
AAA/Inspector 599

Wewatta Point

1607 Wewatta St.
AAA Inspector 599: I think they have the best lobster roll west of the Mississippi.
Fresh ingredients make this coastal-themed eatery a great choice for seafood, although the land offerings are quite impressive as well. Menu options include a lobster roll, Idaho Snake River trout, braised short rib and pork chops.
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