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The view from the terrace at Flagstaff House. Courtesy of Flagstaff House

Where To Eat Now: Dining By The Decade

Think you know all the quintessential spots? Not so fast.



1909: License No. 1
Booze illegally flowed at this saloon (formerly called Catacombs Bar and Grill) until 1969, when it received the first liquor license in Boulder County. Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-0486


1919: Blue Parrot (RIP)
If you’re missing this now-closed Louisville restaurant’s beloved thick spaghetti, you’re not entirely out of luck: Jars of its porky marinara sauce are still sold at area grocers.



1927: Sam’s No. 3
Five words to live by at this longtime locals’ lair: Put green chile on it. Multiple locations


1934: Bonnie Brae Tavern
Pizza was added to the menu after World War II, and area residents still count it as some of the best around. 740 S. University Blvd., 303-777-2262


1947: Gaetano’s
This Sunnyside restaurant’s reputation for housing illicit activities—it was founded by a member of the Smaldone mob family—is a thing of the past, though its delicious Italian fare is not. 3760 Tejon St., 303-455-9852


1954: Flagstaff House
This landmark fine-dining spot boasts breathtaking Boulder views and a wine cellar that’s 18,000 bottles deep. 1138 Flagstaff Road, Boulder, 303-442-4640


1961: Columbine Steak House
Here, you can still, in 2018, get a complete New York strip steak dinner—with Texas toast, a baked potato, and a small salad—for less than 14 bucks. 300 Federal Blvd., 303-936-9110



1976: Campus Lounge
Dan Landes (of City O’ City) took over the Lounge in 2016, but he kept much of the lo-fi, party-ready vibe the same while, thankfully, updating the menu. 701 S. University Blvd., 720-535-7021


1983: New Saigon
As the Mile High City’s second Vietnamese restaurant—the first, T-Wa Inn, closed in 2014—this South Federal spot is where countless Denverites first sampled pho. 630 S. Federal Blvd., 303-936-4954


1997: Potager
Chef-owner Teri Rippeto has run one of Denver’s original farm-to-table restaurants for more than 20 years. 1109 Ogden St., 303-832-5788


2006: CoraFaye’s Cafe
This homey restaurant may have moved to Aurora in 2016, but the fried chicken is as comforting as ever. 16251 E. Colfax Ave., Suite 210, Aurora, 303-333-5551


2010: Green Russell
Frank Bonanno ushered in Denver’s craft cocktail movement with this still-hip subterranean speakeasy. 1422 Larimer St., 303-893-6505

Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor

Callie Sumlin creates stories for 5280's Eat & Drink section, manages the dining guide, and oversees 5280.com's digital food-related coverage and weekly e-newsletter, Table Talk.

Denise Mickelsen, Food Editor

Denise Mickelsen oversees all of 5280’s food-related coverage, and feels damn lucky to do so. Follow her on Instagram @DeniseMickelsen.

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