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Colorado, and especially Denver, has seen a lot of increased tourism over the past year or so, mostly due to the fact that a certain recreational activity was recently legalized. Whether or not you’re visiting for that or for the fact that the weather is almost always gorgeous, the scenery is amazing and there’s a near-unlimited amount of things to do, you’re going to have to eat at some point. Instead of heading to the nearest chain restaurant, though, why not check out some of the best food that CO has to offer? Some of these restaurants aren’t unique to only Colorado, but all of them were started there, and if you get the chance to try them out, you won’t regret it.
Breakfast, Brunch: Snooze
Snooze is a breakfast restaurant that’s open for eight hours and busy the entire time. There’s almost always a wait and they don’t take reservations, but the food and drinks are oh-so-worth it. Serving unique cocktails, pancakes and benedicts, Snooze was almost instantly a success thanks to their kitschy decor, expert service and delicious food, and even the wait to get in the door is fun thanks to cornhole, free coffee and a buzzing atmosphere. There are locations all around the Denver area.
My Menu Suggestion: Cold Pressed Coffee with Hazelnut to drink, Benny Duo with the Chile Verde (pork and green chili) and Bella! Bella! (ham, arugula and balsamic glaze) options to eat.
Asian: Tokyo Joe’s
As the name may suggest, Tokyo Joe’s specializes in Americanized Japanese food, and in one word… it’s addicting. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi or a teriyaki steak and rice bowl, Tokyo Joe’s won’t disappoint. It’s fast-casual, so you can be in and out in minutes if you’d like to eat in one of Denver’s many beautiful parks, or you can stay in and enjoy the modern, hip atmosphere. Tokyo Joe’s is currently Colorado-only, so this will be your only opportunity to try it out… don’t miss it!
My Menu Suggestion: Combo Bowl (chicken and steak) with Brown Rice, Extra Teryaki and your choice of Veggies!
American: CB & Potts
If you’re in the mood for a good burger and a cold beer, you can’t go wrong with CB & Potts. The restaurant is also a brewery and a sports bar, but it’s very family friendly. Just about everything on the menu is delicious and all of the beers are unique enough to warrant a try, so this is a great alternative to any chain restaurant offering a similar menu. There are a few CB & Potts’ around the Denver area, but my favorite is the Highlands Ranch location, just south of Denver.
My Menu Suggestion: Beer Cheese Soup to start, Curler to drink (unless the award-winning Oktoberfest is on tap), Faburge Burger (fried egg, onion crisps, sliced ham, and cheddar) for the entree.
Mexican: Platte River Bar & Grille
Platte River Bar and Grill has the best chili rellenos you can find in Denver, so while it’s not strictly a Mexican restaurant, that fact alone makes it my favorite place to get Mexican eats in the area. The bar tends to draw in quite a lot of bikers, but the atmosphere is still very friendly and inviting. The massive patio that wraps around the restaurant makes Platte the ideal outdoor dining spot for a cool summer night or crisp autumn day.
My Menu Suggestion: Queso to start, Chili Rellenos for the entree. Wash it all down with one of Platte’s excellent margaritas.
Fine Dining: Elway’s
Yes, that Elway. The ex-Broncos superstar and beloved Colorado celebrity has his own small chain of restaurants right in Denver, and the steaks are to die for. The wait staff is top notch and the kitchen is always on-point, delivering high quality food at prices which really aren’t as high as they could be. Dining on the terrace makes for a fantastic experience, so whether you’re out for a high-stakes business dinner or simply spending a birthday or anniversary with a loved one, you can’t go wrong with Elway’s. Spend the day shopping and exploring the ritzy Cherry Creek neighborhood and end the night here. It’s worth it.
My Menu Suggestion: 8 oz Filet (Medium Rare) with Maytag Bleu Cheese Butter, add a Lobster Tail and get the Sauteed Asparagus and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes on the side.