You can’t stay on top of the Denver dining scene without knowing what’s new – which is why we offer this indispensable list of the most notable restaurant openings around town. We’ll update the guide every week, keeping the latest openings at the top of the page.
LoDo adds another steakhouse to its stable with this flashy outpost of a national chain, where global influences put a contemporary gloss on the standard roster of chops and shellfish with all the trimmings – while kicky cocktails and a convivial lounge atmosphere lure the nightlife crowd.
Gaia Bistro, a longtime Platt Park fixture, has moved down the street into the intimate, softly lit space formerly occupied by another old staple, Black Pearl – and voilà, a new neighborhood gathering place is born, serving diner-inspired American fare from breakfast through dinner alongside drinks from the full bar.
Set in Aurora's Stanley Marketplace, this lively watering hole offers a wide array of craft brews and an easygoing menu of American and bistro-style fare – think poutine, fried chicken and steak frites – in an industrial space featuring black-and-white murals and materials reclaimed from the aviation factory formerly at the site.
Low-key refinement defines Jeff Osaka's Congress Park bistro, where California-influenced New American small plates (from ricotta gnudi to lamb tagine) and large-format daily specials meet a varied wine list plus a well-edited selection of craft beer and cocktails. Art gallery-like in its crisp simplicity, the narrow, L-shaped space boasts a chef's counter, a back bar and a small patio.
It's “hard to go wrong” at these “contemporary” cantinas (spun off from the popular hot-pink food truck) that offer a “unique” take on “killer tacos”, gorditas and other Mexican snacks, accompanied by a “wide array of salsas” and craft margaritas; meanwhile, the branches at The Source and the Stanley Marketplace serve a Sunday brunch that further reveals the subtle Southern influences on the regular menu.
At this upscale Mexican in Platt Park, consulting chef Dana Rodriguez (Work & Class) and executive chef Vicente Sosa craft sophisticated twists on traditional comida, from shareable small plates to tacos and elevated entrees. Soaring ceilings, sculptural chandeliers and elaborate Mayan-inspired artwork set a sultry mood inside the bi-level setting, with two bars pouring margaritas, pisco sours and other Latin cocktails for dinner dates and late-night crawlers alike.
Restaurateur Jesse Morreale has turned an old LoHi dive into this cozy, stylishly retro tavern where classic cocktails and craft beers meet American bar food both old-school (sloppy joes, potato skins) and new-school (butifarra dogs, shishito poppers) courtesy of Solera chef-owner Goose Sorensen.
Factory meets hacienda at this brewery and taproom in Aurora's Stanley Marketplace, where colorful tiles and tin pendant lights brighten the steel-beamed backdrop of the industrial setting (a former aviation plant) while German-, Belgian- and Mexican-inspired beers flow from the taps.
Funky art, dramatic woodwork and other chic details distinguish this date night–worthy LoHi izakaya, where a diverse menu of Japanese plates – including yakitori, ramen, sushi and more – awaits alongside an equally varied list of beverages from the bar.
Patrick Mangold-White's modern taquerias take the farm-to-table approach to Mexican street food, serving tacos and tortas made with local produce (some sourced from the restaurants' own farmland or greenhouse) as well as tequila drinks and craft beer in cheerfully funky digs.
NewMexicanCentral Business District
With a prime location on the 16th Street Mall, this Central Business District sibling to a Fort Collins fixture offers an extensive menu of contemporary Southwestern dishes – supplemented by burgers and accompanied by margaritas, sangria and such – in an artsy space dominated by sun, sky and earth tones.
From the owner of beloved candy company Helliemae's Salt Caramels comes this quaint Saturday-only lunch counter in Wheat Ridge, serving Houston-style savory and sweet treats including po’ boys kolaches, coffee cakes, icebox desserts – and caramels, of course.
An instant cult hit in LoHi, this tiny counter-serve lunch joint serves up Hawaiian staples such as poke and Spam musubi in a colorful 20-seat space with picnic tables.
NewRiver North Art District
Chefs Alex Figura and Spencer White (both formerly of Lower48) turn out the traditional and original fresh pastas that star at this RiNo counter serve, also offering smart Italian small plates and drinks from the full bar in a minimalist white-on-white setting.
Globe-trotting restaurateur Richard Sandoval is behind this flashy Mexican spin on a gastropub, turning out tacos, tlayudas, tortas and more in the small LoDo lounge space next door to Zengo. The mural-lined setup is fast-casual for lunch, while dinner brings table service, complete with a bar pouring margaritas, cervezas and other libations.