Chef Elise Wiggins in Panzano’s kitchen (credit: CBS)
Do you enjoy Italian food? If you haven’t had the chance to taste the difference between regular boxed pasta and truly homemade fresh pasta, then you are in for a treat. All of these restaurants make their pasta in-house, which brings a totally unique and very fresh flavor to each and every noodle. Fresh pasta is nothing like the dehydrated boxed stuff you are used to, so grab a few friends, make some reservations and head out to any of these wonderful Italian restaurants in town. You’ll never want to eat boxed pasta again.
955 Lincoln St., Suite D
Denver, CO 80203
Relaxed counter service doesn’t usually apply to high-quality Italian restaurants, but at DiFranco’s, it most certainly does while retaining the elegance and quality of an upper-scale Italian restaurant. You’ll find this restaurant to be relaxed and very laid back, but the food is not that way at all. With fresh-made pasta as well as a full menu of other Italian favorites, you’ll enjoy visiting for both lunch and dinner. DiFranco’s also works hard to incorporate foods from local farms to keep everything as fresh as possible, and just like the pasta, pretty much everything is made in house.
3651 Navajo St.
Denver, CO 80211
A meal at Patsy’s Inn is like taking a trip back in time. The service is slow but attentive, the servers all know the menu and take great care of each guest and the décor is right out of any well-known film. Of course, it’s the food that you’ll fall in love with. Patsy’s Inn bills itself as Denver’s oldest Italian restaurant, and it’s been serving fresh pasta dishes to the Highlands neighborhood since 1921. Enjoy all of the traditional dishes from lasagna and spaghetti to penne and more, you’ll love the food and the ambiance of this truly classic Italian staple in Denver.
Related: Top Italian Food in Denver
4401 Tennyson St.
Denver, CO 80212
Parisi is another fantastic spot in town to visit for homemade pasta and truly delectable dishes. However, it is also a quicker place to visit, with counter service and a family-friendly and casual environment. You order form the counter and the food is brought to your table, but don’t let the relaxed atmosphere fool you. The food is all very high quality and all homemade. You’ll enjoy the great pasta classics like carbonara, spaghetti pomodoro and even fresh-made gnocchi. Visit Parisi and you’ll see that fast food takes on a whole new meaning.
Panzano Italian Restaurant
909 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Panzano is a high-end Italian restaurant located in the heart of downtown Denver. The incredible food is created by Chef Elise Wiggins, who lives up to the motto that “Those who eat well, live well,” and the food certainly lives up to that motto. You can enjoy a multi-course meal featuring hand-rolled cannelloni or homemade ravioli, then enjoy features like pan-seared scallops or veal scallopini. With breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, this is one Italian eatery that you will be visiting over and over again, just so you can try everything on this impressive menu.
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3760 Tejon St.
Denver, CO 80211
Another Highlands neighborhood staple, Gaetano’s serves up incredible homemade pasta dishes in a traditional and elegant atmosphere. Make your reservations for this popular restaurant and you’ll enjoy a multi-course meal featuring all of the Italian classics like homemade fettuccine, spaghetti and linguini, all featuring the many different house-made sauces, including alfredo, pesto and carbonara. You’ll love the ambiance and you’ll really love the food in this great neighborhood restaurant.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.