Denver's Best American Restaurants

Classic Americana
July 12, 2016
·
by Zagat Staff

Restaurants in Denver that refine and reinvent the classics.

Tables
New American · Park Hill · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.4

"Hidden away in Park Hill" , this neighborhood "magnet" "deserves top billing" for its "creatively delectable" , upscale New American dishes courtesy of a "personable" couple and their "extra-special staff" ; filled with charming "old tables" , the "cute" , "funky" space spells "comfort" to "family and friends" – though if you want to be "labeled a complete genius, take a date here on a summer night" for an alfresco rendezvous.
Root Down
American · LoHi · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

From the "adventurous" , "farm-fresh" New American plates that "won't cost an arm and a leg" to service that "bends over backwards" against the "cool-funky" backdrop of a "converted filling station" , "everything is done extremely well" at Justin Cucci's "high-energy" hall of postmillennial "hippiedom" in LoHi – so it's no wonder you'll need "good luck getting in" ; P.S. there's a newer offshoot in Denver International Airport's Terminal C.
The Kitchen
American · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

Having “set the standard” for the “farm-to-table experience” in Boulder, this “lovely” , “ecologically minded” “institution” “still delivers” on the promise of “elegant” yet “wholesome” seasonal American dishes paired with “fantastic” wines by a “helpful” , “professional” staff; though no less “trendy” , the LoDo offshoot has “its own personality” (not to mention a raw bar), as does the Fort Collins branch with its “neighborhood feel.”
Vesta
American · LoDo · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Still "holding its own" after many years, this "funky" LoDo "classic" (sibling of Steuben's and Ace Eat Serve) is "renowned" for building a "creative" New American menu around a "gazillion" "inventive dipping sauces" , a "unique concept that works" alongside "amazing" if "spendy" cocktails, delivered by "hip" servers with "extra-special" care; "updates to the interior have kept it current" , which means the “young” scene’s as "sexy" as ever, "perfect for a date" – or "finding one" at the "expansive bar.”
Fruition Restaurant
New American · Country Club · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.7

This Country Club "diamond" boasts a menu that reads "like a foodie romance novel" and brings to life a "seductive" approach to "garden-to-table" New American cuisine, by turns "rustic" and "ethereal" , "nuanced" and "startling" (and matched by a "well-thought-out" , "value" -oriented wine list); meanwhile, the "deft" manner of the "astute" staff makes even the "crowded" , "close quarters" seem "charming" – though getting into them at all can be "difficult" : "book far ahead."
Acorn
American · River North Art District · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

“Get ready to share – and be wowed” by – “astounding” New American small plates with “huge flavors” “that light up your mouth” at this RiNo sibling of Boulder’s acclaimed OAK at fourteenth; though the somewhat “noisy” setting in “popular” “warehouse” -turned-marketplace The Source is “hipster heaven” , you’ll “never feel slighted” by either the “dynamic, attentive servers” or the “master mixologists” at the bar.
Tag Restaurant
Eclectic · Central Business District · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

While "it's difficult to peg" the "unexpected" , "unreal" “small-plates extravaganza” – matched by ”off-the-wall" cocktails and wines "you won't find” elsewhere – at this New American LoDo “favorite” , it’s proof that chef-owner Troy Guard has retained his "magic" touch while expanding his dining empire; service is “excellent” , and if the sharp-edged, brick-walled dining room filled with "upbeat pop music" is "noisier than a train station" , well, that's the (admittedly "pricey" ) cost of "cool" , so "dress hip" to fit in.