Best New Restaurants 2014

March 2014


Neighborhood: Congress Park
Opened: February 2013

Of all the spots on this list, Cafe Max is the only one that 5280 staffers visit almost weekly. The clean-lined, midcentury modern design draws you in, as does the tight menu of savory and sweet dishes. Owned by Max Hopewell-Arizmendi and Yuki Koyama, the cafe feels both urban (it’s located on Colfax Avenue) and timeless with items such as the European-inspired panino with Brie, prosciutto, and fig spread on levain. Butternut squash soup is made with coconut milk and garnished with goat cheese, croutons, and olive oil; a hummus plate served with toasted ciabatta, caperberries, and a halo of vegetables is garnished with olive oil. A generous selection of buttery shortbread cookies, golden-crusted pies, and dainty madeleines beautifully displayed under glass domes rounds out the offerings. We like that Hopewell-Arizmendi takes risks: He stocks soba-cha (tea made from buckwheat) from Tea Wing in New York, serves a sweet pie made from navy beans, and bakes cookies tinted green from matcha tea. The coffee and tea offerings are deep, but come in the evening for lowered lights, votive candles, and chatter over a generous charcuterie platter and the agreeable wine list, and you’ll discover that Cafe Max is perhaps Denver’s best-kept dining secret. 2412 E. Colfax Ave., 303-333-0003, cafemax.net


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