Dining in Denver

For the first time ever, we rank the top 25 restaurants in the region. Plus: Denver's best chefs and dining trends.

March 2010

Food Craze

Fads come and go, but these food-driven highlights seem here to stay. Where to find—and eat—these trends.

Street Eats
Downtowners line up at Gastro Cart (corner of 18th and Curtis streets) for the likes of pulled-pork sandwiches with smoked curry sauce, Granny Smith apples, and cabbage on a sesame roll.

Korean Food
Experience this fiery cuisine's many nuances at Silla (3005 S. Peoria St., Aurora, 303-338-5070). Or, go light on authenticity and try the Korean Reuben at Rack & Rye (1320 15th St., 720-620-4920, www.rackandrye.com)—ask for extra kimchi slaw.

Pork in all its glory can be found in the bacon flight at the Berkshire (7352 E. 29th St., 303-321-4010, www.theberkshirerestaurant.com). Four tasty strips, four different ways: garlic, cinnamon-chipotle, curry, and balsamic. At Il Posto (2011 E. 17th Ave., 303-394-0100, www.ilpostodenver.com) pork belly and sopressa (Italian salami) add density to stracci pasta with roasted baby eggplants and San Marzano sugo.

Creative Vegetarian
Shazz (4262 Lowell Blvd., 303-477-1407,www.shazzdenver.com) serves a veggie cassoulet—hearty with tender squash and cranberry beans—that puts all those years of portobellos to shame. The same can be said for Root Down's (1600 W. 33rd Ave., 303-993-4200, www.rootdowndenver.com) butternut squash risotto with spinach, pumpkin seeds, and sage-brown butter.

High-End Burgers
Park Burger (1890 S. Pearl St., 720-242-9951, www. parkburger.com) stacks our favorite combo: a Harris Ranch beef patty topped with ham, a fried egg, and melty Swiss cheese.

Nose-to-Tail Dining
We applaud chefs who make an effort to use the whole animal. Don't miss Twelve's (2233 Larimer St., 303-293-0287, www.twelverestaurant.com) delicate and crispy veal sweetbreads, Panzano's (1717 Champa St., 303-296-3525, www.panzano-denver.com) fried beef heart, or TAG's (1441 Larimer St., 303-996-9985, www.tag-restaurant.com) decadent roasted Wagyu bone marrow.

High-end pub grub is on the menu. Hit Argyll (2700 E. Third Ave., 720-382-1117, www.argyllpub.com) for the Indian-style mussels and Jonesy's EatBar (400 E. 20th Ave., (303-863-7473, www.jeatbar.com) for flaky curry samosas.

Underground Supper Clubs
These dinner societies have a certain cachet (you either know about them or you don't), and they're gaining traction. Here in Denver, we've got two—50 Top (invite only) and Hush Denver (www.hushdenver.com).

Agave Nectar
This darling of the sweetener world is showing up in main dishes­—like LoHi SteakBar's (3200 Tejon St., 303-927-6334) warm roasted chicken salad with avocado and goat cheese.