What goes better with drink than food? Nothing. Happily for Denver drinkers, local bars are upping their food game and taking the term bar food to new, delicious places. From a LoHi bar revamping the classic American burger to a remodeled mortuary re-imagining international dishes, patrons can find must-try plates at bars across the metro area. Below are five top spots for great bar food in Denver.
2030 W. 30th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
Linger is Denver’s favorite mortuary-turned-bar with its amazing views of the city from its rooftop patio and quirky interior which includes a Lite-Brite bar. Here chef Justin Cucci has perfected the use of pig, date and cheese in his Devils on Horseback appetizer. In these bite-size beauties, bacon wraps figs are stuffed with herbed goat cheese and drizzled with sambal gastrique, perfection. Along with the Devils, order the crispy cheese and roasted shishito peppers with orange-habanero jam from the Americas section of the menu (and extra dipping sauce because that jam is the jam), the Asian honey-Siracha duck wings, and finally from the bun section the fried chicken or pork belly bun to round out a delectable bar tasting menu.
3350 Brighton Blvd
Denver, Colorado 80216
Located in The Source, a market style complex in Denver’s RiNo district, Acorn is a bastion for artisan cocktails and amazing food. Opened for just under three years, owner/chef Steven Redzikowski’s new American cuisine has been raising the bar for good bar food in Denver (and Boulder where his sister restaurant Oak operates). The menu, which changes seasonally, is primarily small plates which encourage sharing and mean that you can sample several dishes in one sitting. Not to miss on the menu now is the kale & apple salad with candied almonds and togarashi (a Japanese spice mix), the ever so delicate wagyu beef tartare with its perfectly presented egg yolk, and the tomato braised meatballs which have become a customer favorite.
1215 20th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Another Justin Cucci venture, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox is a bar and music venue out towards Coors Field with a racy decor that pays tribute to its infamous past as a brothel. With the same kind of new American cuisine as its sister restaurant Linger, Ophelia’s menu has an eclectic mix of small and large plates. If you’re looking to just sample some interesting dishes, order the shishito pepper with cheese curds or the plantains from the small plates and noshes section of the menu. For a full meal, start with the green chile goat cheese cornbread served with fennel honey butter or the roasted beet salad with roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. For the main course a burger, Ophelia’s has bison burgers, veggie burgers, wagyu beef sliders and ostrich burgers to choose from. Finally for dessert, splurge on the butterscotch pudding — it’s rich, creamy and worth the calories.
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3242 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
Goosetown Tavern has been a fixture on Colfax for almost 20 years. Located across the street from the Bluebird Theater, this neighborhood bar isn’t upscale or experimental. It’s nostalgic and classic and has some delicious takes on Colorado comfort food. Highlights on the menu include the goat cheese quesadilla appetizer and the vegetarian green chili which sometimes also appears in a green chili mac and cheese special. From the sandwich section, the Rasta Jerk chicken sandwich on flatbread is the only way to go, made even better if you opt for the $2.50 up-charge and get a cup of their house-made soup as a side instead of the standard chips or pasta salad. Soup options change often, so check the specials board above the bar for daily selections, and if it says beer or cheese in the name of the soup odds are it’ll be good.
2219 W. 32nd Ave.
Denver CO, 80211
Highland Tap & Bar, The Tap to locals, is known for its burgers, a classic American bar food. The Tap Burger is a hearty selection that will have you unhinging your jaw to consume the burger, which is topped with Eli’s root beer pulled pork and extra large onion rings, and the Shroom Luvas burger with added foie gras was voted as one of the 15 Top Burgers in the U.S. by Zagat in 2014. However, while known for burgers The Tap also has options that take interesting twists on international dishes like the chicken tikka masala poutine and the crispy jalapeno and cheddar pierogies.
Related: Top Bar Food In Denver