Dew Drop Inn

Uptown
In May 2021, Kiendl Smith teamed up with fellow bar mavens Leigh Jones and Margaret Moore (also of Horseshoe Lounge and Embassy Tavern) to open Dew Drop Inn, where well-shaken libations are complemented by a welcoming ambience of regulars trading stories. Whether you sink into a seat in a chic, gray leather booth at the globe-light-adorned bar or under an umbrella on the small, sun-drenched patio, browse the drink menu for usual suspects such as the Bee’s Knees and cheeky originals like the Aperol-laced Pilfered Paloma. Then, build your own family-style meal from the lineup of mostly gluten-free small plates. We like the crispy, chile-dusted karaage chicken, served with pickled vegetables, Sriracha, and Kewpie mayo, and the hearty veggie cakes, a medley of seasonal fritters accompanied by a tangy lemon and Old Bay aïoli.

Carrera’s Tacos

Greenwood Village
Go big and then go home stuffed at three-month-old Carrera’s, a fast-casual, brick-and-mortar location born of the food truck and catering service of the same name. There, brothers Josh and Ryan Carrera sling West Coast–style Mexican eats: killer street tacos, tortas, taquitos, and massive burritos inspired by the dense, french-fry-filled versions they ate growing up in San Diego. The stuffers were designed to be easy fuel for surfers and blue-collar workers, Josh says, so guests are encouraged to eat the burrito with one hand and pour on sauce (house-made salsa roja or verde) with the other. Other tips to make the most of your meal? Do get your burrito with birria, carnitas, or carne asada, but don’t request the fries on the side; traditional California-style burritos don’t come with rice or beans, so crispy potatoes fill the void. For a sweet ending to your Golden State experience, opt for a round of the house churro bites with horchata anglaise.

Voghera Ristorante & Apericena

Berkeley

Steak tartare and an Aperol spritz at Voghera Ristorante & Apericena. Photo by Sarah Banks

Marco Albertin is serious about apericena, the Italian custom of sharing small plates, wine, and cocktails at dinnertime with loved ones. That’s why the co-owner of 10-month-old Voghera Ristorante—and native of the eponymous city in Italy’s Lombardy region—is passionate about offering the pastime on Tennyson Street. Patrons who enter the velvet-booth-lined eatery are greeted by a likeness of the Mona Lisa that hangs at the entrance and by Albertin or co-owners Tony and Diane Hopson. In the kitchen, chef Everardo Macias and his team prepare snacks, such as bruschetta atop garlicky ciabatta and assortments of cheese and cured meats, as well as larger entrées like squid ink pasta tossed in basil-pistachio pesto and honey-kissed grilled lamb chops. Everything plays well with Voghera’s inventive sippers, including the Campari- and tequila-forward La Pausa.