Le Central (credit: lecentral.com)
No matter what city one visits, the sure fire way of discovering the very best food the area has to offer is to ask the locals. The dynamic city of Denver boasts the culture of the Old West combined with the sophistication and charm of an urban hotspot. Locals know exactly where to find the fun places to visit, the fabulous food to eat and the best places to make lifetime memories. Whether someone is new in town or eager to explore all that the incredible city of Denver has to offer, ask a local and get outside.
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo St.
Denver, CO 80211
Very well known as the little Italy of Denver, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is the place to grab some of the best Italian food in Denver. This charming place opened in the early 1920s and has always been family owned. Customers soak in the nostalgic ambiance of the wall murals and old time bar while enjoying cheesy mozzarella on top of a delicious doughy and thick pizza crust. Patsy’s offers a wide variety of foods ranging from the most amazing pizza, fried trout and linguini, even a plate of gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs. The wait staff is very friendly, efficient and will recommend with all honesty what the best choices are. It is the ideal place for an intimate date night or a large celebration. The portion sizes are huge to match the extensive wine and beer list. Just minutes from LoDo, Patsy’s is a must see.
Leela European Cafe
820 15th St.
Denver, CO 80238
Open 24 hours, this gem of a café is a definite favorite hangout for Denver locals. Leela European Café has a unique personality that attracts every walk of life. This coffee house and bar is for the young and young at heart to catch up with friends, get to know that special someone and soak up the people watching. The crowd has a bit of a hipster feel with a fun and friendly vibe. The wait staff is efficient and the coffee and drinks are generously priced. One of the best parts is the variety of music the cafe has playing and the comfortable mis-matched furniture on which to forget about your cares. Tuesday nights are a treat not to be missed when Leela offers its Drink & Draw night between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. where artists and writers meet every week to sketch, write and network. The place is old and charming and most any guest will get hooked and make it an eatery habit
Steuben’s Food Service
523 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Smack in the middle of Denver’s Uptown neighborhood, Steuben’s Food Service brings out the home-style comfort cooking idea for starting out the weekend right. The cool patio and retro-style booths identify this restaurant as a fun old-fashioned diner with good eats and charming atmosphere. Steuben’s attentive and friendly staff mixes right in with the enjoyable vibe and decor. Extremely popular with the locals, there can a bit of a wait on weekend mornings. The only downside is there is definitely a chance of over-eating.
112 E. 8th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Le Central proves that there is indeed such a thing as affordable French food. It is not too good to be true and local Denverites know the place to dine is the charming and cozy little restaurant on 8th Avenue. If a weekend brunch is on the weekend plan, Le Central’s attentive waiters will serve up delicious bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas to go along with an amazing spread at a very reasonable price. On the last Tuesday of every month, Le Central offers cooking demonstrations featuring Le Central’s chefs. Each guest will learn techniques in buying, preparing and serving French favorites followed by a three-course meal and a recipe booklet to take home. This rustic yet chic restaurant is affordable and absolutely delicious.
1313 E. 6th Ave.
Denver, CO 80218
When the occasion calls for a little extra special treat, Denver locals know that Fruition is the place to dine. Its entrees and desserts are full of flavor and use as many local ingredients as possible. The knowledgeable wait staff guides diners through an experience of mouthwatering bread, incredible dinners and sinfully delicious desserts. With an intimate and quaint interior, visitors to this amazing restaurant will feel peaceful and relaxed. Fruition will make for a memorable experience well worth setting out the dressy and fun outfits.
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Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.