Colorado has quickly become a culinary hot spot for chefs and foodies alike, with the picturesque backdrop of the mountains providing the perfect setting for Denver’s thriving restaurant scene. In 2011, four of Denver’s hottest restaurants helped expand the city’s palate, and are now putting Denver on the culinary map.
Lunch Hours: Mon to Fri 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Mon to Thurs 4-10 p.m.; Fri to Sat 4-11 p.m.; Sun 4 – 9 p.m.
Blu Lounge Hours: 4 p.m.-Close
Looking for the ultimate surf and turf meal? You’ll get it at this elegant establishment, which offers the best in fresh seafood, steak, and handcrafted cocktails. The Chilean sea bass in champagne truffle sauce and their jumbo lump crab cakes get rave reviews, and the steaks are top-notch. If you’re out to celebrate an anniversary or special occasion, or just want an extravagant “supper club” experience, you can’t go wrong with Ocean Prime.
Lou’s Food Bar
Hours: Tues to Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Lou’s Food Bar offers a unique and cost-friendly environment that’s a perfect complement to the lively Highland neighborhood. The restaurant focuses on using the freshest ingredients to highlight the full-flavored profiles of their French-influenced, American-style dishes. With excellent service, gourmet creations and a wine list that deserves praise, Lou’s provides exactly what Denver’s foodies are craving.
Russo’s Kitchen and Tavern
Hours: Mon to Fri 11 a.m.-close; Sat to Sun 9 a.m.-close
Russo’s Kitchen and Tavern provides a cozy, neighborhood feel and top-notch Italian food. Much like the original Russo’s, this restaurant successfully creates a friendly atmosphere while serving up rustic dishes that hit the spot. Need a place to unwind? Russo’s Kitchen and Tavern is the place.
TAG Raw Bar
Hours: Tue to Thurs 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m.; Sun and Mon closed
We’ve featured this Larimer Square eatery in our roundup of top hotspot restaurants earlier this year, and we stand by our pick. Setting new standards in the Denver food scene, Tag Raw Bar takes food to an astounding level, serving each thoughtfully prepared dish raw (or “almost raw”). This unique restaurant uses the freshest seasonal ingredients in creating its light, healthy dishes and elegant cocktails and has become our go-to place for a night of refined dining.
Zack Christofferson, a self proclaimed beer geek from Denver Colorado, enjoys tasting and discussing Colorado’s wide selection of wonderful beers. His work can be found here.