25 Best Restaurants
After countless lunches and dinners, tens of thousands of calories, and hours of careful deliberation and debate, our fourth annual ranking of the Denver area’s best restaurants is complete. Dig in for a comprehensive, of-the-moment snapshot of the local dining scene.
21 TAG Raw Bar (last year 14)
If there’s a restaurant on this list that truly pulses with urban energy, it’s TAG Raw Bar—but only if you sit in the main (original) dining space. There, tangerine orange barstools line the gleaming white counter and wooden tables. Just feet away in the adjacent space, however, the vibrant colors darken and feel detached. The same goes for the service. When you’re front and center on a barstool, the bartender and chefs (who may also be your servers) are attentive and chatty. When you’re tucked to the side, the service can be sluggish and distracted. But no matter where you sit, the food is bright, fresh, and innovative in a way that few chefs manage as well as Troy Guard. There’s kangaroo loin tartare with peach mustard and rice crackers, and kampachi sashimi marinated in orange soda and plated with citrus. Guard has always pushed the boundaries of Asian cuisine; now, if only he could reconcile the dividing lines inside Raw Bar’s tiny space. 1423 Larimer St., Suite #010, 303-996-2685, tagrawbar.com