As food writers, we know that keeping up with Denver’s ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we’re launching “The Highlight Reel”, a monthly review of everything you need to know about dining out in (and around) the Mile High City. We’ll talk about the month’s hottest openings and news, as well as closings and what we’re looking forward to in the month to come.

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Recent Openings

LoHi’s Sushi Ronin opened on January 2, making it the first official Denver restaurant opening of 2016. Chef Corey Baker’s menu emphasizes omakase-style dining..

Brider, the fast-casual restaurant from the team behind Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn, officially opened for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on January 4. Highlights include the house-made pastries (that apple fritter!), the rotisserie roasted meats, and hearty sandwiches like the porchetta with kimchi.

Sushi Ronin’s zensai (Japanese appetizer trio)

Big Red F Restaurant Group opened GoodBird Kitchen in Longmont on January 5. The Post Brewing Co.’s more casual sibling is slinging the same beer, pie, and fried bird.

The team behind the Arvada Tavern and Union Lodge No 1 opened Kline’s Beer Hall last week in the former D Note space in Olde Town Arvada. The menu features German-inspired eats and nearly 50 beers on tap.

Cherry Hills Sushi Company opened near Hampden and University on January 18. The fast-casual spot focuses on made-to-order hand rolls.

Image courtesy of GoodBird Kitchen

Chef Troy Guard opened his second location of TAG Burger Bar on January 21 in what was formerly Sunnyside Burger Bar.

On January 22, Vitality Bowls opened in Cherry Creek. The “Superfood Cafe” specializes in açaí bowls and smoothies, as well as panini and salads.

Temple Bakery, a baker’s collective housed in a former Jewish synagogue in Curtis Park, opened January 28. Expect treats both sweet and savory from Long I Pie and Black Sheep Bakers, as well as tenants Valhalla Cakes and Sixth Elegy Baking Company.

Fans of Wurstküche will have to go elsewhere for their sausage and beer fix.


L.A. import Wurstküche, a sausage-and-beer restaurant located on Broadway, closed its doors in mid-January (after less than a year in business).


Early Bird Announces Second Location

Westminster Favorite Early Bird Restaurant will bring its cheffed-up breakfast fare into Greenwood Village’s Landmark development sometime this spring.

Panzano Gets a Facelift

In addition to expanded seating, new tables, and a new bar top, Central Business District favorite Panzano is also sporting a new cocktail menu as well as new happy hour items.

Image courtesy of Panzano

Colorado Companies in the Spotlight

Colorado businesses won 10 Good Food Awards this year. Winners include local favorites Avalanche Cheese Company, Modern Gingham Preserves, and Big B’s Cider.

Boulder’s Dragonfly Coffee Roasters nabbed two spots (third and 22nd) on Coffee Review’s highly-regarded Top 30 Coffees of 2015 list.

Ice Cream Expansion

Local favorite Little Man Ice Cream is planning on expanding this year, with new locations planned for Congress Park (in the space that formerly housed the Daily Scoop) as well as the Sloan’s Lake area.

Meanwhile, Sweet Cow Ice Cream just opened up a new location on South Pearl Street, and has a new Stapleton location (in the forthcoming Stanley Marketplace) planned for this year as well.

Image courtesy of Aloy Modern Thai

What We’re Looking Forward to in February

Aloy Modern Thai will open on February 1 in the former Trillium space. The second restaurant venture from the Bangkok-born sisters behind Boulder’s Aloy Thai, the innovative menu features standout dishes like pomelo salad with lemongrass dressing and Massaman curry lamb rack.

Torchy’s Tacos, an Austin import widely revered for it’s deliciously cheeky tacos, is finally opening on February 2. The eatery has also laid out plans to open four more locations in Colorado next year.

A partnership between South Pearl Street eateries Kaos Pizzeria and Uno Mas Taqueria y Cantina, Mas Kaos is slated to open on Tennyson sometime in February with the promise of pizza and tacos under one roof.

Denverites have been patiently awaiting Humble Pie Store’s opening on Colfax and Monroe. The spot plans to serve sweet and savory pies, coffee, cocktails, and even pie shakes (!) sometime in February.

After 10 years in Uptown, Latin-American restaurant Limón closed in late December. Bread N’ Butter, a Southern concept, is slated to open in the space sometime in February.

The 12th Annual Denver Restaurant Week is scheduled for February 26 through March 6. With many of the area’s top restaurants offering multi-course menus for just $30, it’s a great time try new spots and save some dough.

Follow assistant food editor Callie Sumlin on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.