Your Essential Colorado Food Bucket List – 50 Things You Must Eat and Drink in Denver

I’ve written a lot about the Denver dining scene and one thing’s for sure — it’s not is boring. Eater called Colorado the world of new American cuisine. While approachable small plates and farm-to-table dishes are ubiquitous throughout the city, there are a few must-have eating experiences in the Mile High.

I’ve outlined the quintessential meals and dishes that define Colorado food from the signature dishes to the iconic restaurants and memorable eating experiences (no Rocky Mountain oysters required). How many have you checked off your Denver dining bucket list?

1. Put your pinkies up for tea at the Brown Palace

2. Indulge in ice cream from Little Man (yes, it is worth waiting in line for)


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3. Dine at Linger, the city’s only “eatuary” (a former mortuary turned restaurant)

4. Visit the local Top Chef restaurants – Carrie Baird’s Bar Dough and Hosea Rosenberg’s Blackbelly Market

5. Toss back an edible flower shot at the Refinery in LoDo


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6. Have a big, juicy burger from Cherry Cricket

7. Create your own Cheers at Denver’s oldest bar, My Brother’s Bar

8. Do a brew tour at Coors (it’s free and comes with three free beers) or make a DIY craft beer crawl

9. Splurge on sushi from Izakaya Den (flown in fresh from Japan daily)

10. Subject yourself to the worst Mexican food ever in a strip mall at Casa Bonita just to see the indoor cliff divers and Black Bart’s hideaway from South Park (yeah, it’s real)

11. Get a smothered green chile breakfast burritos from Santiago’s

12. Enjoy a purple margarita from the Rio at Coors Field (there’s a limit of two for a reason!)

13. Make your own burrito bowl at Illegal Pete’s with all the fixin’s

14. Experience Voodoo donuts….enough said (it is open 24/7 for late night cravings)


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15. See how strong Denver’s brunch game is at Snooze (get the pancake flight), Sassafras, or Lucile’s (don’t miss the beignets)

16. Make it date night at Beatrice and Woodsley


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17. Experience Denver’s robust food hall scene at Avanti Food & Beverage

18. Grab late night grub at Denver Diner (pro tip: the fry plate is big enough to share)

19. Transport yourself to little Asia with legit pho on Federal

20. Have a dim sum brunch at Star Kitchen


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21. Get down on some of Colorado’s best green chile from Sam’s No.3

22. Experience frontier and cowboy cuisine in the form of wild game from the Fort

23. Treat yourself to late night happy hour at Hapa (order the multiple orgasm roll and the Mork & Mindy roll – you’re welcome)

24. Get down on a crazy hot dog from Biker Jim’s (Jackalopes may not be real, but their meat sure is tasty)

25. Experience the wonder of pad Thai pig ears from Euclid Hall

26. Embrace the ramen trend that’s just about everywhere (but you’ll never go wrong at Uncle or Osaka)

27. Challenge your inner Man vs. Food with a giant biscuit sandwich from Atomic Cowboy (it was on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

28. Experience the Southwest’s best Tex Mex with tacos from Tacos de Mexico, Tacos Tequila Whiskey or Torchy’s (two Denver natives and a popular import)

29. Make it an unlimited meat feast at Rodizio Grill


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30. See Denver’s incredible revitalization at any of the restaurants at Union Station (personal favorites are Tavenetta and Mercantile)

31. Taste the flavor explosion of hamachi with pop rocks at Tag (Chef Troy Guard can do no wrong)

32. Pour yourself a flight of local microbrews at First Draft (an innovative taproom tracked via swipe cards)

33. Toss back a pickle shot at Retro Room (garnished with a scorpion if you’re brave)

34. Channel your inner lumbersexual with cocktails at Forest Room 5


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35. Enjoy tableside guac from Lola

36. Have a speakeasy experience at Williams and Graham or Green Russell

37. Dine al fresco under the stars in Larimer Square, Denver’s most historic block

38. Tuck in for a night of games at Punch Bowl Social (or the 1up if Punch Bowl’s too trendy)

39. Drink wine on tap from Infinite Monkey Theorem

40.Sign your name on the ceiling of the Sink in Boulder (even Obama’s done it)

41.Sample boozy shakes from Steuben’s


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42. Experience authentic vegetarian cuisine at City o’ City

43. Play dirty Bingo at Maloney’s

44. Pair Asian fusion with Ping Pong at Ace Eat Serve

45. Get sharable local favorites from Work & Class in trendy RiNo

46. Eat oysters and chicken liver from Cart-Driver


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47. Appreciate exceptional butchery with charcuterie from Beast and Bottle

48. Try Colorado’s signature pizza, Beau Jo’s with honey to dip the crust

49. Experience true stoner food at Ice Cream Riot (ice cream sandwiches made with pop tarts…there’s even Goldfish flavored ice cream)

50. Embrace your inner flower child at raw food night at Root Down (a four-course vegan dinner)

Am I missing anything? What are your must-have meals in the Mile High?

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Food porn has quickly become a way of life, and in the Mile High, there is no shortage of outrageous meals or beverages to shoot. From over the top cocktails to larger than life desserts, these Denver dishes were crafted to be as photogenic as they are tasty. Here are the best restaurants downtown in Colorado from cheap bites to bucket list brunch and dinner spots. #denver #food #colorado

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