Stroll and munch through Mile-High marketplaces.
Zagat named Denver the fourth Most Exciting Food City of 2018. What’s so exciting? Eating hyper-local by neighborhood. More than 250 new restaurants in 2018. Award-winning chefs, makers, and restaurateurs, four of whom were semifinalists in the 2019 James Beard Awards.
You can partake by food marketplace. Denver boasts seven of them, including chef Frank Bonanno’s Milk Market, which features 13 different concepts; Zeppelin Station, which serves as a train stop, work space, and international cuisine hotspot; and the Stanley Marketplace, which features the farm-fresh and intimate Annette, helmed by Caroline Glover, 2019 James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest.
Or partake by neighborhood. In historic Larimer Square, try Jennifer Jasinski’s artichoke tortelloni at the award-winning Rioja or taco sushi at TAG. In LoHi (Lower Highlands), explore the international cuisine at Linger, a former mortuary space; or creative new dishes at The Bindery, a former bookbindery. In RiNo (River North) Art District, the city’s current top restaurant hotspot, don’t miss Andrea Frizzi’s risotto at Il Posto or one of the best steaks in the city at Acorn. If Israeli food is your jam, head for award-winning Alon Shaya’s Safta at The Source Hotel, and Daniel Asher’s Ash’Kara.
Denver honors its agricultural heritage, so you’ll find plenty of lamb, trout, and Colorado-raised beef on Mile High menus. In the early fall, Palisade Peaches from the Western Slope are a must. Green chile is a regional specialty, too — Coloradoans like theirs served on or in breakfast burritos.
If you’re still hungry on your way out of town, Denver International Airport has the country’s best airport food (seriously!). Try breakfast or lunch at Root Down, local-maker fare at Denver Central Market, and craft beer at the New Belgium tap room. Coming soon in a multimillion-dollar airport expansion: a second location of Mercantile F&B from James Beard Award-winning chef Alex Siedel. denvermilkmarket.com, zeppelinstation.com, stanleymarketplace.com,
annettescratchtotable.com, riojadenver.com, tag-restaurant.com, lingerdenver.com, thebinderydenver.com, ilpostodenver.com, denveracorn.com, eatwithsafta.com, thesourcehotel.com,
Photography: Mike Thurk/Safta/Courtesy Visit Denver
From the October 2019 issue