Top Five Restaurants in Denver You Need to Know About
The Mile High City is one of the most fast paced and upcoming cities in the United States. Denver offers a variety of things to do from music to museums, to eating out at some of the most entertaining restaurants. Here is a list of the best restaurants in Denver that contain the most unique atmosphere and the best quality food.
1. Water Grill Denver
This restaurant is a family owned, southern California based seafood restaurant located on Market Street. The debut for this seafood spot was back in February and so far, people of Denver seem to love this new seafood restaurant. This place can sit 200 people, which is on the smaller side compared to their other locations in California and Las Vegas.
As soon as you walk in, you’re met with the heavy wood and brass decor. Water Grill wanted their customers to feel as if they were on the bow of the ship. The restaurant's distribution, King’s Seafood Company, has been in business for 70 years and opened its first Water Grill restaurant in Los Angeles 1989. Their menu consists of a lineup of appetizers and a decent selection of sushi like their honeymoon Oyster ($13). They have large shellfish platters ($54-$180), salads, sandwiches, crustaceans preparations, and a selection of wild alaskan halibut. With their new opening in Denver, King’s Seafood Company hopes to change the perception that Denver can’t do seafood.
2. Street Feud
Located on East Colfax, Street Feud is easily one of the most unique restaurants in Denver and it has been taking shape for years now. It first was a stall at Avanti where it first debuted in August, 2019. In February, 2020 the owner, Merlin Verrier, thought he had found a space for his restaurant on South Broadway but the pandemic put his plans on hold. Verrier moved into a venue/bar later that year in October; where Verrier spent five months attempting to arrange a lease for another location in South Broadway, but his plan fell apart, until he discovered a location on East Colfax.
Street Freud opened on December 22, 2021. As you step into Street Feud, you’re immersed in the theme of old-school hip-hop, street art, nike dunks and boomboxes. The walls are covered in layers of posters and magazines. "Your senses are just engulfed everywhere you look, and that was the goal, to replicate that here, with a nostalgia feeling that gets at some of those same senses, but provided differently." Verrier says, according to Westword. Verrier did a great job engulfing his customers in his restaurant. After you order, costumer’s choose a cassette tape. Pens sit at each of the tables where customers can write and draw. The menu has a large selection of bowls one of them being a Chicken Satè Indonesian Noodle Bowl ($14.50). Buns, like the Pork Belly Bao Bun ($5.50). Tacos, like the Papas y Rajas Taco ($5). Along with those, you as well have a selection of fries, wraps, and mixtapes which consists of quesadilla, nachos, tacos and taquitos. Verrier’s end goal is to expand to more locations in Denver. He believes Denver is a good launching spot and, “if you can do well in this region, then you have a chance for expansion.... Excited to have the opportunity to give it a go."
3. Hop Alley
In recognition of Denver's Chinatown history in the 19th century, Chef-owner Tommy Lee took the name for his modern Chinese food restaurant in RiNo. Hop Alley has been open since 2015. Lee’s food is inspired by Cantonese, Sichuan, and Beijing dishes. The restaurant is dark and has a theme of concrete and shou sugi ban (burnt wood).
Lee’s modern and hip Chinese restaurant treats Chinese cooking with respect all while putting his own spin on it. For example, the chilled tofu. The Tofu is immersed in sesame bang-bang sauce and topped with peanuts, herbs, and cucumbers ($14). The Gai Lan dish is grilled broccoli with schmaltz, oyster sauce and their very own house made duck salt. ($19). If you like some spice, try their La Zi Ji dish, consisting of fried chunks of chicken thigh, tossed with a dry sichuan chili spice.
Just outside of Union Station, Tavernetta serves delicious Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Tavernetta opened in September 2017 and is founded by the Frasca Hospitality Group, founded by Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey along with partner Peter Hoglund.
The restaurant has a beautiful bar and fireplace lounge. The open kitchen adds to the elegance of this beautiful Denver restaurant. Try their handmade pastas, like the Tagliatelle consisting of maine lobster, calabrian chile, preserved tomato and celery ($30). For your first course, the Crostini and Insalata Mista dish are on the cheaper side at $14. The Crostini consists of sourdough, orange-prosciutto marmalade, ricotta, and fennel. Insalata Mista is a dish consisting of farm lettuce, pickled shallot, buttermilk, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Last but most definitely not least, is A5. This restaurant opened on November 18, 2021 and takes the classic steakhouse vibes and combines it with a more modern and retro look, and it looks spectacular.
In terms of the menu, chef Max MacKissock pulls from traditional steakhouse classics and infuses it with the latest contemporary cuisine. Some of their steaks are Bone-in NY Strip ($90), Santa Maria Tri- Tip ($38), and the Denver Steak ($34).
Story By: Hannah Trollope '22