What a difference a year makes. Denver’s restaurant scene is in the midst of a big transformation—you won’t want to miss a single bite.
—Photography by Carmel Zucker
14 The Populist (last year 12)
There’s much to love about the Populist, not the least of which is executive chef and co-owner Jonathan Power’s food. The agnolotti—sometimes filled with a purée of carrots, or beets, or the corn fungus called huitlacoche—is not to be missed for its tender bite. The of-the-moment, affordable menu always has surprises in store like salmon crudo with sea beans, yuzu gelée, and pickled Fresno chiles. Rely on the conversation-ready servers to fill in the menu’s esoteric descriptions. More than anything, however, we love that this restaurant takes risks: It opened in November 2012 on a then-desolate stretch of north Larimer Street; more than half of the seating is made up of communal tables; unusual ingredients such as jackfruit are menu fixtures; and when the patio is open, the dining space nearly doubles in size. The Populist is a perfectly atypical—and perfectly wonderful—restaurant in every way. 3163 Larimer St., 720-432-3163, thepopulistdenver.com