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Inspector Picks: 5 Favorite Denver Restaurants

AAA/Inspector 599
October 19, 2021
Planning a vacation to Denver? Check out these food places when you’re deciding where to eat. They are some of our local inspector’s favorite restaurants.
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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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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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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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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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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