Chauncey Billups, 46, and Donald Cerrone, 39, are some of the sport stars born in Denver, Colorado, United States, which is home to picturesque rivers, mountains and plains. Nicknamed the Mile High City, it has many attractions including its outstanding historical landmarks, breweries and collection of museums.
If you’re looking for easy access to nature, Denver is a great place to visit. The city has a comprehensive array of activities for all ages, including day trips and exciting places to explore.
One of the best ways to get to know Denver is by taking a food tour. It is a fun, unusual, entertaining and dynamic experience whether you’re on your own or you are with your kids and you want to keep them occupied.
Denver food tours can be booked in advance online. Some let you choose from different activities while others have a set itinerary.
While group tours are more common, you can book a private tour if you prefer to avoid the crowds. These tours take you on a stroll around Denver or sometimes a ride, whatever suits you best, to learn about its history and culture while sampling dishes from venues which are among the locals’ favorites.
Maybe you are thinking of putting together an unofficial food tour yourself but you have no idea where to start. If that’s the case, check out this list of the ten restaurants everyone should include in their own personal food tour of Denver.
- Dio Mio
This is the place to visit if you are big on handmade pasta. Owners Spencer White and Alex Figura have somehow made this diminutive venue work and it has become an essential part of the neighborhood. Check out the restaurant’s seasonal creations and starters that are to die for.
- The Greenwich
Born in New York, USA, chef Justin Freeman is the executive chef of this New-American restaurant. He is an expert in making simple dishes look wildly elaborate by adding crescenza cheese and mushroom conserva to pizza or lemon and a garlic paste to roast chicken zings to give just a few examples.
- El Five
With its unique decor and a breathtaking view of the mountains and downtown skyline, this bar comes alive with colorful cocktails, while the menu offers tasty bourekas and a beguiling range of soup dumplings.
- Frasca Food and Wine
This establishment is widely known for its excellent service, wine program and delicious Fruilian cuisine. It also boasts a multi-course tasting menu with seasonal options, some unusual pasta dishes and a handful of luxuries like truffles and foie gras.
- Kiké’s Red Tacos
Denver’s food trucks are essential for street-style dishes but nothing compares to Kiké’s, which offers birria in the form of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tortas and even ramen. You better get there early though because once they’re gone, they’re gone. That’s just how good they are.
- The Wolf’s Tailor
Considered one of Denver’s most unusual restaurants, The Wolf’s Tailor blends Asian and Italian foods to create extremely ambitious dishes, albeit ones which are prepared using down-to-earth cooking techniques.
- Brasserie Brixton
This venue pays homage to Montreal and Paris’ brasseries while maintaining an innovative and progressive vision and incorporating influences from Europe and Asia. Here, you’ll find Mexican corn combined with French onion soup and ricotta doughnuts bathed in miso caramel. Also of note is the wine list, which shows just how much the city has evolved in such a short time.
- The Blazing Chicken Shack II
If comfort food is what you are craving, look no further than this little joint in Park Hill, which serves the best hot wings, gumbo, and smothered pork chops you’re ever likely to taste.
- La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal
Jose Avila is single-handedly changing the Mexican food game in Denver, having opened the city’s first pozolería to instant buzz in 2021. Diners can expect to find chayote squash, pambazo, guisados and tacos on the menu, all accompanied by cocktails and a mean tequila.
- Biker’s Jim Gourmet Dogs
This place is well-known for its incredible selection of hot dogs, made from boar, elk and even ostrich meat. The toppings are just as offbeat, if not more so, featuring roasted cactus, curry jam, lemon aioli and bleu cheese, among others. A visit here will make for a memorable meal if nothing else!
This list includes several restaurants which combine classic recipes with innovative ideas, which are taking Denver by storm right now. Food tours offer a great opportunity to try out new things, which may not otherwise be your number one choice, and ensure a one of a kind experience.
While some of these venues pay homage to cuisine from all over the world, all of their dishes provide a unique twist which is hard to find outside of Denver. All of them play an essential part in the city’s history and culture.
Once you’ve made your way through this list, the next step is to ask locals for their recommendations. They’ll know where to find the real hidden gems, making your personalized food tour feel even more like an authentic local experience.
Nothing is off-limits if your goal is trying new things. Just remember to have fun and avoid tourist traps!