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Hop Alley’s lazy Susan table is ideal for family-style dining. Photo by Aaron Colussi

Best Restaurants 2018: Hop Alley

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Sure, Hop Alley is raucous and trendy and often filled with bearded hipsters knocking back porrons of Albariño and flagons of punch to the beat of hardcore hip-hop. Oh, and Hop Alley is located on the RiNo stretch of Larimer Street, undeniably the cool kid avenue of 2018 Denver. But owner Tommy Lee is pretty damn cool himself, and his fun-loving, hardworking persona comes through at Hop Alley. Lee’s chef de cuisine, Geoff Cox, keeps that vibe going in the kitchen, too, with playful, modern takes on American-Chinese classics—including beef (bavette) and broccoli (rabe); a riff on fried crab wontons (filled with tobiko and cream cheese, served with house-made duck sauce); and, of course, Hop Alley’s beloved (bone marrow) fried rice. Something else all the popular carnivores know: Cox’s umami-bomb char siu pork shoulder, served with fluffy steamed buns, spicy pickled cucumbers, and mustard greens, is a don’t-miss feast. $$$, 3500 Larimer St., 720-379-8340

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