The Ultimate Denver Food Guide

best food in denver

The Denver food scene still hasn’t grown as popular as Los Angeles (outside of tacos, that is), but it’s certainly up-and-coming. Tons of new restaurants are popping up all of the time, including the new Shake Shack.

While it’s easy to find great things to do in Denver, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cut through the noise and find the best food to enhance your trip!

To help you out, I’ve used my resources as a local Coloradan to create a guide to the best food in Denver (with some help from my foodstagram, @theplaincheeseburger!)

The best burgers in Denver: Crave Real Burgers

Crave has locations all over Colorado, and for good reason. Their burgers are not only fun and whacky, but crazy delicious. You can get a burger with donuts as buns, or even tempura fried cheddar cheese! There’s a flavor palette for anyone in your group, so it’s bound to be a hit. Make sure you grab a shake from there as well!

The best Chinese food: Zoe Ma Ma

This one is probably controversial, but Zoe Ma Ma is fresh, authentic, and delicious. Their dumplings are mouthwatering and handmade, their noodles are plentiful, and the ambiance is relaxing. While the menu isn’t endless like some other Chinese restaurants, Zoe Ma Ma hits the right notes with their street-style cuisine. Pro tip: while it’s not on the menu, you can order a scallion pancake!

The best desserts: D Bar

Owned by Food Network’s Chef Keegan Gerhard, D Bar is known in Denver for it’s amazing desserts, particularly the cake and shake. Located Uptown, D Bar is part restaurant, part-dessert shop, where you can sit down or grab some goodies to go. Everything is heavenly, but try to pace yourself. 🙂 PS: They also have an amazing brunch.

The best happy hour special: Panzano

Panzano is one of those restaurants that are quite expensive but their happy hour is dirt cheap. From 2:30 to 6 pm every day, you get the same high-quality food at the bar as the restaurant at a fraction of the cost, with nothing more than $8! If you’re looking for suggestions, I highly recommend the funghi pizza.

The best ice cream: Sweet Action Ice Cream

Because it needed its own category. 🙂 Most people would probably say Little Man, and it’s certainly the most popular by far. Sweet Action, however, is open late and has tons of amazing and crazy flavors, from butterscotch to Thai coconut curry, that make perfect midnight snacks. Plus, it’s vegan friendly!

Honorable mention: Peteybird ice cream sandwiches.

The best Italian food: Coperta

This restaurant is fairly new, and it’s completely delicious! The food is truly Rome-style Italian cuisine, and the portions are perfect. I highly recommend the smashed potatoes and the grispelle, which are Italian-style donuts.

The best Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food: Jerusalem Restaurant

Students at the University of Denver know this beauty well. Jerusalem Restaurant is open crazy late and is seriously some of the best food in Denver. While the location is small and parking is limited, it’s worth the effort to eat here, from the gyros to the desserts, to their plentiful vegetarian and vegan options!

The best falafels: Baba’s Falafel

Okay, I had to do a separate section for this one, because Baba’s Falafel is truly the best falafel you’ll ever have. They wrap it up in a pita bread with hummus, tahini and all the toppings you could want, and it’s completely and utterly heavenly. Alas, they’re food truck only, so finding them may be a difficult task.

The best pizza: Patxi’s Pizza

Regardless of your loyalties to New York-style vs. Chicago-style pizza (ahem Chicago > New York), Patxi’s is just good.

Every ingredient is fresh and delicious, and the pizza is huge! You can easily feed four people with a 12 inch pizza. Patxi’s also has a thin-crust style pizza, and make a vegan pizza for no extra charge.

Warning: it does take 35-45 minutes to cook. You can call ahead and have them place your pizza in the oven before you arrive, or you can order to go and bake it at home.

Honorable mention: Pizzeria Locale.

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Get ready for a controversial statement with this (slightly) blurry photo. Chicago style > New York style. I know! I am a heathen. I love Chicago deep dish, and I love that @patxispizza let’s me have some right here in Colorado! This stuff is legit. It’s so delicious and SO filling. We split a 14 inch between the four of us, and it was definitely enough. Our pizza was filled up basil, roasted mushrooms and roasted tomatoes, along with mozzarella, feta and fontina cheese. It was simple but completely delicious. And I may have converted some people. 😏 Seriously, if you’ve never tried Chicago style, go to Patxi’s. They will change your mind. Just be aware that they take a long time to bake! They also have vegan pizzas for no extra charge! ———————— #patxis #chicagostyle #pizza #deepdish #mushrooms #feta #fontina #uptown #denvereats #denver #milehighfood #5280eats #instafood #eaterdenver #foodie #cofoodies #theplaincheeseburger

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The best tacos: Tacos, Tequila and Whiskey

Mexican food all around Colorado can be considered some of the best food in Denver, but Tacos, Tequila and Whiskey is cream of the crop. TTW was originally a food truck called Pinche Tacos, but has since evolved into brick-and-mortar restaurants in City Park and the Highlands. Tacos here are authentic and fresh, and people know it—hence the huge crowd inside on weekends. Make sure you get here early if you’re hungry!

The best vegetarian/vegan restaurant: Watercourse

Does vegan comfort food sound like an oxymoron to you? Well, believe it! Watercourse serves breakfast all day, from challah french toast to a vegan Denver omelette, as well as plenty of choices for dinner. It is on the pricey side, but it’s a must-go for any vegan/vegetarian.

Do you agree? Disagree? Am I missing something you believe is the best food in Denver? Sound off in the comments and let me know your favorite places to eat around the Mile High City!

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best food in denverbest food in denver


12 thoughts on “The Ultimate Denver Food Guide

  1. Wow! Everything sounds so amazing! This post is making me hungry 😂 But being from New Jersey, I’d have to choose NY pizza every time!! HAHA!


  2. I have become such a foodie lately so this post is just amazing! Love the falafel place, one of my favs!! Thanks for sharing and I will for sure save this for when I head there!


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