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Cuisine > Contemporary

25 Best Restaurants

Blackbelly

303-247-1000
Chef Hosea Rosenberg's meaty menu focuses on charcuterie, small plates, and daily butcher specials. Try the heritage breed porchetta for two. Check out the butcher shop and grab-and-go market, Blackbelly Butcher, located next door.

Ivy at the Glenn

303-730-7200
Settle in with a glass of wine by the fireplace for a romantic evening meal. Try the cherry glazed crisp duck served with a seasonal vegetable and risotto or the garlic-rubbed lamb chops with mint and cured lemon.

Palettes

303-534-1455
After visiting the Denver Art Museum's galleries, make time to dine in the attached restaurant. Start the meal with something refreshing like the beef tenderloin carpaccio.

Bistro Barbès

720-398-8085
Jon Robbins, host of the popular pop-up Gypsy Kitchen, has created a menu inspired by the French, North African, and Middle Eastern flavors of Barbès, the Paris neighborhood where he spent three years.

Honor Society

720-420-0614
At this fine-casual eatery, guests pick their protein of choice (options include gluten-free chicken and sustainable Scottish salmon) to be enjoyed in a salad, sandwich, or plate.

Next Door (Stapleton)

720-930-4366
This casual community pub focuses on nutritious and affordable cuisine. Select from small plates, bowls, and locally sourced burgers such as the Pineapple Express (topped with pineapple, arugula, and honey-Sriracha sauce). Multiple locations.

Mizuna

303-832-4778
Chef-owner Frank Bonanno's seasonal cuisine capitalizes on fresh ingredients, and service is prompt, friendly, and knowledgeable. Don't miss the decadent beef Wellington or the legendary lobster mac and cheese.

Charcoal

303-454-0000
The smokeless bincho charcoal fires the grills to more than 2,400 degrees, leaving meats crisp on the outside and tender within. Try the smoked salmon on its new brunch menu.

Modern Market (16th St. Mall)

303-534-0190
Enjoy freshly prepared salads, soups, sandwiches and pizza made from simple and whole ingredients. Try a brick-oven baked pizza or the flatiron salad with steak, Gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions. Multiple locations.

Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

303-993-8023
This Edible Beats restaurant features quirky design details and a stage for live music. The "gastro-brothel" menu encompasses globally inspired pub fare like flatbreads, small plates, and stone-fire skillets. Try the green chile cornbread with goat cheese.

Neighbors

303-333-1149
Enjoy the feel of a cocktail party without the stress of being a host. With this small eatery's widespread array of tapas and appetizers, the atmosphere of this cozy restaurant ensures good conversation over a glass of wine or a cocktail.

Avenue Grill

303-861-2820
A mainstay of the Uptown neighborhood, this restaurant offers an eclectic menu that includes seafood, steak, and more. Try the Colorado lamb and bacon burger with boursin cheese and harissa mayo on a brioche roll.

Next Door (Union Station)

720-460-3730
This casual community pub focuses on nutritious and affordable cuisine. Select from small plates, bowls, and locally sourced burgers such as the Pineapple Express (topped with pineapple, arugula, and honey Sriracha sauce). Multiple locations.

Uncorked Kitchen

720-907-3838
This one-of-a-kind space offers interactive cooking classes in a wine bar setting. After you're done with your class, you can enjoy your culinary creation over a glass of wine.

Modern Market (Lakewood)

303-278-8284
Enjoy freshly prepared salads, soups, sandwiches and pizza made from simple and whole ingredients. Try a brick-oven baked pizza or the flatiron salad with steak, Gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions. Multiple locations.

Duo Restaurant

303-477-4141
With Duo, owners Stephanie Bonin and Keith Arnold have captured the true essence of the neighborhood restaurant: simple food, a low-key but polished ambience, and the hum of neighbors trading stories. The seasonal cuisine constantly surprises and comforts, and dessert is worth a visit in itself.

Cookery at Myrtle Hill

303-733-7448
This neighborhood restaurant offers breakfast all day, including a mean chicken and waffles. Its sister spot, Devil's Food Bakery, is located just four doors down and serves scratch-baked goods and coffee drinks.

D Bar

303-861-4710
Chefs Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey produce exquisite desserts and modern comfort food. Bonus: Check out the grab-and-go coffee and pastries.

Modern Market (Boulder)

303-440-0476
Enjoy freshly prepared salads, soups, sandwiches and pizza made from simple and whole ingredients. Try a brick-oven baked pizza or the flatiron salad with steak, Gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions. Multiple locations.

The Kitchen

303-544-5973
This community bistro serves seasonal, rustic classics. Head over during community hour for the green salad with chévre and hazelnuts, mushrooms on toast, and curry-spiced nuts; be sure to peruse the extensive beer and wine lists.

To The Wind Bistro

303-316-3333
This cozy neighborhood restaurant offers a fresh, casual take on bistro fare and a top-notch craft beer selection. You'll find eclectic plates like cornmeal waffles with roasted pork shoulder, kampachi poke, and buttermilk chicken with pink banana squash.

Chinook Tavern

720-266-6000
Indulge in signature European-inspired dishes like Jaeger schnitzel and Wasabi Pea Crusted Halibut. Sit in the Zermatt Room for traditional Swiss fare such as fondue and raclette.

Solera

303-388-8429
This contemporary American menu starts with anything-but-ordinary fried calamari and ramps up to savory roasted duck.

Platform T (Speer)

303-777-5687
This tea shop and cafe offers more than 50 varieties of natural loose-leaf tea and small plates. Try the fresh-baked scones in the morning, or visit in the evening for a salumi plate and an old fashioned cocktail made with chai-infused syrup.

The Populist

720-432-3163
This pared-down, old-fashioned eatery offers thoughtful small plates. Favorites include the bourbon-maple Brussels sprouts, Colorado grass-fed burger, and tandoori chicken. Or, settle in and order the chef's multi-course tasting menu with paired wines.

The Bistro at Stapleton

303-388-9463
Starting with a European-style continental breakfast, the Bistro's menu morphs into house-made charcuterie and cheese plates, tapas, and paninis as the day goes on. Try the rillettes or country pate, both made in house.

Colt & Gray

303-477-1447
This intimate neighborhood pub presents a superior roster of seasonal farm-to-plate options. Start with the roasted marrow bones with caramelized onions, grilled country bread, green salad, and herb vinaigrette.

North End at 4580

303-448-1500
Weekly specials, all-night Sunday happy hour, small and large plates, gluten-free options, and weekend chef-choice dishes keep this local joint interesting. Best bets include the red wine-braised short ribs, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo, and pan-seared salmon.

Modern Market

303-534-0190
Enjoy freshly prepared salads, soups, sandwiches and pizza made from simple and whole ingredients. Try a brick-oven baked pizza or the flatiron salad with steak, Gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions. Multiple Locations.

Modern Market

303-789-6096
Enjoy freshly prepared salads, soups, sandwiches, and pizza made from simple and whole ingredients. Try a brick-oven baked pizza or the flatiron salad with steak, Gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions. Multiple locations.

Delizios

720-897-6550
Sample elegantly arranged tapas and choose from more than 40 wines at this coffee and wine bar. Try the sicily panini with thinly sliced salami, ham, and provolone layered with tomato and olive tapenade.

Root Down

303-993-4200
Located in a refabbed 1950s service station, this hip restaurant serves globally inspired cuisine, with a focus on veggies and sustainable meats. Also try the DIA location.

Hideaway Kitchen + Bar

303-526-0556
A chic yet comfortable mountain spot offering modern Southern comfort food with Asian flair. Favorites include crab macaroni and cheese, braised octopus with house-made Andouille sausage, and braised beef short ribs with hush puppies.

Flagstaff House

303-442-4640
Located atop Flagstaff Mountain, this restaurant has a huge wine list and a spectacular view of Boulder. Try the ahi tuna tartare and, for dessert, have a piece of seasonal cheesecake.

Crú A Wine Bar

303-708-8053
With 50 wines by the glass and 250 more by the bottle, the greatest challenge at this chic locale is narrowing your choices. Try the pan-seared scallops or Australian lamb.

The Kitchen Denver

303-623-3127
This community bistro features consciously sourced ingredients and a raw seafood bar. The food reflects the simple and straightforward preparation of comfortable classics. Also try the Boulder location.

Under the Sun Eatery & Taphouse

303-927-6921
This eatery offers a casually upscale pub atmosphere. Try the roasted chicken, broccoli skillet, Palisade peach pizza, or one of the other artisan wood-fired pizzas. Find Mountain Sun and guest beers, wine, and margaritas at the bar.

1515 Restaurant

303-571-0011
Experience innovative, contemporary cuisine featuring local ingredients, plus fresh seafood, steak, and game. Stop by for lunch and try one of their popular burger options.

Assignments

303-778-6625
A student-operated restaurant affiliated with the culinary program at the Art Institute of Colorado. Three-course tasting menus offer regional American as well as international dishes.

Marlowe’s

303-595-3700
Casual favorite with a great patio on the 16th Street Mall. Seafood, chops, steaks, and a huge martini list. Stop in on a sunny for a weekend brunch.

Modern Market (Glendale)

303-757-1772
Enjoy freshly prepared salads, soups, sandwiches and pizza made from simple and whole ingredients. Try a brick-oven baked pizza or the flatiron salad with steak, Gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions. Multiple locations.

La Cave

(720) 963-2046
La Cave—located inside the Sheraton Denver West Hotel—is a wine-centric restaurant that riffs on upscale continental cuisine. Order up the New York steak au poivre or the seared sea scallops.

Rebel Restaurant

303-297-3902
Eastern European flavors mingle with contemporary influences in Rebel Restaurant's flavorful small plates. Menu selections change frequently, but include dishes like a rye pancake with fried chicken livers, foie gras pierogi, and whole roasted lamb's head. During lunchtime, Obey Sandwichery delivers take-out sandwiches from Rebel's kitchen window.

Root Down DIA

303-342-6959
Globally inspired cuisine for an international airport. Dine there morning, noon, or night; but if it's breakfast you're after—choose the fried egg BLT, made with local Tender Belly bacon and served with home fries, and pair it with the blood orange mimosa.

Bacon Social House

Chef Brian Crow brings the restaurant's beloved namesake ingredient, bacon, to the forefront of many of his dishes. You'll find bold flavors and plates crafted with fresh and local ingredients on the innovative menu.

Blooming Beets Kitchen

303-443-3479
This Boulder restaurant is dedicated to serving Paleo-diet friendly bites. Try the aerie nest: sweet potato bacon cakes, made with mashed sweet potatoes, bacon, and poached eggs topped in Hollandaise.

Crema Coffee House

720-284-9648
At this hip cafe, you'll find beans from the country’s top roasters and an all-day menu that offers flavorful picks like sweet potato waffles and a Korean reuben sandwich.

Next Door (Boulder)

720-542-8159
This casual community pub focuses on nutritious and affordable cuisine. Select from small plates, bowls, and locally sourced burgers such as the Pineapple Express (topped with pineapple, arugula, and honey-Sriracha sauce). Multiple locations.

Telegraph

720-440-9846
This friendly neighborhood bistro and bar is home to contemporary dishes with worldly influences. Order a bowl of ramen with house-made noodles or try the seafood tower, an edible sculpture of crab, shrimp, mussels, clams, and oysters.

Epernay Lounge

303-573-5000
This contemporary fusion restaurant features a range of cooking techniques—from raw/sushi to sous vide—and influences—Asian to French. Enjoy gastronomic marvels such as a vanilla sous vide lobster tail or tea-smoked duck breast.

Thyme on the Creek

303-443-3850
Located in the Millenium Hotel, this hidden gem offers something for everyone in a casual dining environment, from burgers and pasta to steak and salmon.

Platform T (Glendale)

303-756-1464
This tea shop and cafe offers more than 50 varieties of natural loose-leaf tea and small plates. Try the fresh-baked scones in the morning, or visit in the evening for a salumi plate and an old fashioned cocktail made with chai-infused syrup.

BookBar

303-284-0194
Endearingly coined "a book shop for wine lovers, a wine bar for book shoppers," this cozy nook of an eatery offers house-made hors d'oeuvres as well as delicious cups of java from Method Coffee Roasters.

Milk & Honey

303-997-7590
You'll find seasonal charcuterie and small plates at this underground restaurant in Larimer Square. Craft cocktails and a solid wine list complement modern American dishes such as seared scallops with black garlic.

Next Door (Glendale)

303-757-0878
This casual community pub focuses on nutritious and affordable cuisine. Select from small plates, bowls, and locally sourced burgers such as the Pineapple Express (topped with pineapple, arugula, and honey-Sriracha sauce). Multiple locations.

Bar Max

303-333-0003
Formerly known as Cafe Max, this European bistro offers a simple, curated menu. Pair the prosciutto, Brie, and fig spread sandwich with a glass of Prosecco.

Bar Fausto

720-445-9691
This hip, industrial, neighborhood hangout serves seasonal craft cocktails and shareable plates, both cooked and crudo.

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