Denver is home to an array of attractions that can be explored on a date such as Larimer Square, the city’s oldest block, which features beautifully preserved landmark 19th-century buildings and the Denver Botanic Gardens in the Cheesman Park neighborhood of Denver. If you are looking for a good restaurant to take your date, the city boasts a wealth of places to eat from casual cafés to fine dining establishments – take your pick.
1.Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
© Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery an airy counter-serve restaurant that serves health-oriented New American cuisine and handcrafted cocktails in a casual, relaxed setting. Located behind Union Station, the laid-back restaurant features long community tables, whitewashed plank walls, barrels as light fixtures, and loud music, striking a trendy balance between industrial and homespun. Designed by Justin Brunson, the menu is built around five fillings that can be ordered in several ways: over three standard and four specialty salads, as a pre-set sandwich, or on a plate with two sides. Leaning towards the health-conscience eater, the menu also features some heavier bites like fried chicken and braised short ribs. A full-service bar offers everything from craft beer and cocktails to coconut water on tap. Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday.
1900 16th St #150, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 720-420-0614
Established by award-winning Denver chef Elise Wiggins, Cattivella offers an authentic and relaxed Italian dining experience. Located in the Eastbridge project in the Stapleton neighborhood, Cattivella, which translates to “naughty girl,” features an exhibition kitchen with a wood-burning pizza oven and a wood-burning grill where diners can watch the experts at work. A 26-seat chefs’ counter boasts views of the pastificio (pasta table) and the Butchers’ Corner, while a beautiful wrap-around patio boasts spectacular views of the mountains. In addition to serving delectable Italian cuisine prepared with locally sourced and imported ingredients, Cattivella also serves a wide range of globally-inspired wines, craft beers, and signature cocktails, and Elise Wiggins offers wildly successful cooking classes which focus on the wholesome bounty of Italy. Cattivella is open for dinner only Monday through Sunday.
10195 E. 29th Drive, Suite 110, Denver, Colorado 80238, Phone: 303-645-3779
Drip Denver is a cozy community-oriented coffee shop that serves casual cuisine, specialty coffee drinks and sweet treats in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The café features an upstairs loft and a charming patio for alfresco dining, sells local artworks displayed on the wall, and hosts spontaneous jam sessions with local bands and book signings for local authors. The menu boasts light fare like homemade quiche, breakfast burritos, homemade sandwiches, bagels, croissants, and paninis, and an array of coffee drinks, espressos, cappuccinos, and teas. Drip Denver is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch over the weekends.
955 Lincoln Street, Unit G, Phone: 303-832-0482
4.Rockit Bar and Grill
© Rockit Bar and Grill
Located in the heart of the booming River North Neighborhood, Rockit Bar & Grill is a trendy hangout with a full-service bar and a dance club and lounge downstairs. Established in 2002, the premier downtown bar and grill exude a raw warehouse feel with exposed beams and brickwork, a 75-foot skylight that floods the interior with natural light, and eclectic accents like metal sculptures by local artists and antler chandeliers. The grill serves a menu of classic American bar fare such as gourmet burgers and fries, chicken wings, and fried snack baskets, as well as fresh salads, and other light food. The bar offers an impressive selection of artisan and craft beers, globally-inspired wines, imported spirits, and signature cocktails. Rockit Bar & Grill is available to rent for private events and is open for lunch, dinner and Saturday and Sunday brunch.
22 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654, Phone: 312-645-6000
BookBar is a charming bookshop and wine bar in Denver's Tennyson Street Arts District, originally opened in 2013 by Nicole Sullivan. The independent bookstore serves as a literary event and meeting community space, striving to offer an alternative to big-box bookstores and online retailers and retain a space for the promotion of independent authors and rare finds. Guests can enjoy coffee, wine, and beer at the store's wine bar, served up alongside a selection of light cafe fare and hors d'oeuvres. Upstairs, the one-bedroom BookBed apartment space offers an overnight opportunity for literary lovers, showcasing book-themed decor, a full kitchenette and laundry area, and a quaint private balcony.
4280 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212, Phone: 303- 284-0194
© Masterpiece Deli
Masterpiece Deli is a bright and modern counter-service deli that specializes in gourmet sandwiches and freshly prepared salads using locally sourced and house-made ingredients. Executive Chef and Owner of Masterpiece Deli, Justin Brunson is committed to using on the freshest ingredients including braised, cured and roasted meats, an array of cheeses, spreads and sides, pickles, olives, and onions, and homemade salad dressings. Serving lunch and dinner, seven days a week, Masterpiece Deli also serves a variety of beverages, including specialty coffees, sodas, fruit juices, and a small selection of alcoholic drinks and craft beers.
1575 Central St, Denver, CO 80211, Phone: 303-561-3354
7.Lola Coastal Mexican
© Lola Coastal Mexican
Lola Coastal Mexican is a bustling cantina on Boulder Street that serves upscale Mexican cuisine and creative cocktails in a vibrant atmosphere. Named for the owner and its seasonally changing menu which is inspired by Mexico's coastal regions and agricultural harvests, Lola Coastal Mexican features a brightly colored dining space with a tableside guacamole service, an expansive tequila bar that serves an array of tequilas, cocktails, and house margaritas, an enclosed deck which ideal for both summer and winter dining and drinking, and a trendy basement space that can be used for private parties. In addition to authentic Mexican fare and eye-watering tequilas, the restaurant also offers fresh oysters, inventive specials, and taco-filled happy hours throughout the week. Lola Coastal Mexican is open for dinner Monday through Sunday and brunch over the weekend.
1575 Boulder St, Denver, CO 80211, Phone: 720-570-8686
© Finns Manor
Finn's Manor is a craft-cocktail bar and food-truck corral with an indoor/outdoor built on the grounds of an old salvage yard in RiNo. The hip bar is one of Denver’s top temples of mixology and serves an impressive array of libations, range from artisan, craft and rare beers on tap and by the bottle, wines from around the world by the bottle and glass, handcrafted cocktails, rum, whiskey and other rare spirits. The bar has an inviting outdoor patio and draws a diverse array of food trucks that serve a variety of food-to-go, including regulars like Owlbear BBQ, Taste of the Philippines, Tiger Monkey Korean, and the Night Shift, which serves worldly bao buns packed with goulash, garlic, and parsley. Finn's Manor is open in the evenings Tuesday through Sundays.
2927 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
9.Ace Eat Serve
© Ace Eat Serve
Ace Eat Serve is a unique dining concept that offers a relaxed space with an expansive indoor/outdoor bar, a dedicated Ping-Pong hall, and a year-round patio to enjoy Asian-inspired cuisine and drinks with friends. Housed in the old Storz Garage space at the corner of 17th & Pennsylvania, Ace Eat Serve features three unique spaces designed and built with repurposed and recycled materials to create an industrial design and comfortable setting that echoes the history of the building. Ace Eat Serve prepares Asian-inspired dishes that can be eaten in any of the spaces while enjoying a game of ping-pong with friends, and the bar menu features Asian beers, house-made sodas, fresh fruit juices, craft cocktails. Ace Eat Serve is open for dinner only, Monday through Sunday.
501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: 303-800-7705
© Quality Italian
Quality Italian is a contemporary take on the traditional American chophouse with a vibrant lounge and a charming outdoor patio. The Italian-American steakhouse features a warm, industrial interior with reclaimed wood doors, floor to ceiling cabinetry, custom-designed lighting fixtures, a central bar that presents a dynamic cocktail program and extensive wine offerings, and an adjacent lounge with plush leather seating. The exterior garage doors are opened in the summer months to create a seamless indoor/outdoor dining ambiance, and there are both private and semi-private dining options for events and special occasions for up to 30 guests. Quality Italian is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Sunday.
241 Columbine St, Denver, CO 80206, Phone: 303-532-8888
© The Bindery
The Bindery is an intimate neighborhood all-day eatery and marketplace at the edge of LoHi that offers New American plates, freshly baked pastries and homemade quiche, chocolates and more. Nestled within Denver's urban center, the sprawling, sunny spot houses a modern European marketplace that sells a wide variety of deli-style goods, fresh produce and ready-made meals, along with a full-service bakery and all-day café that produces sweet and savory delights hot from the oven. Opening early for breakfast, the 4,000-square-foot restaurant wakes up with the warm, buttery smell of baking pastries, followed by light lunch menu and an elegant selection of dinner options, inspired by the owner, Hampsten Fox’s worldly travels. The Bindery is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between Tuesday through Sunday.
1817 Central St, Denver, CO 80211, Phone: 303-993-2364
© Cafe Marmotte
Located in the sophisticated dining scene of Denver’s Wash Park, Café Marmotte is a stylish French bistro that serves classic café-style cuisine with modern accents in a casually elegant atmosphere. The cozy café boasts dark walls adorned with classic artworks and orange accents, and fun light fixtures throughout the space, and serves a creative menu of eclectic French-inspired cuisine and fine French and globally-inspired wines. Signature dishes include classic coq au vin and sole meuniere, filet mignon and herb-encrusted rack of lamb, seared sea scallops and mushroom ravioli, with sweet treats like creme brulée to end off the meal. Café Marmotte is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and brunch over the weekend.
290 S Downing St, Denver, CO 80209, Phone: 303-999-0395
Coohills is an upscale French dining restaurant opened in November of 2011 in Denver's LoDo neighborhood, named for owner and executive chef Tom Coohill. The beautiful restaurant showcases a custom-designed six-foot chandelier designed from the roots of cabernet grape vines and a four-seat chef's table overlooking an exposed kitchen where diners can watch food as it is prepared. Dinner options highlight locally-sourced farm-fresh ingredients, with menus featuring entrees such as Aspen Ridge prime strip, chicken coq au vin, tenderbelly pork, and market-fresh fish selections. Five, seven, and 10-course chef's tasting menus are also served nightly, with wine pairings available for an additional fee.
1400 Wewatta St., Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-623-5700
Named after the Roman Goddess of the hearth, and decorated accordingly, Vesta Dipping Grill combines a warm and welcoming ambiance with a beautifully designed, contemporary interior and superb menu and wine list to live up to its reputation as being the ‘Best First Date Restaurant in Denver.’ Vesta’s modern exposed grill produces an array of delectable grilled meats and side dishes inspired from around the globe, accompanied by choice of over 30 mouthwatering dipping sauces, including aiolis, marmalades, salsas, and chutneys. The grill’s bar offers an excellent list of world-class wines, brews, and spirits to pair with the menu, as well as an award-winning barrel-aged cocktail program.
1822 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-296-1970
© The Nickel
The Nickel is one of downtown Denver's top restaurants, located within the city's historic Tramway Building at the Hotel Teatro. The restaurant, which was opened to the public in 2014, is named for the city's historic streetcar fare rate and offers fine contemporary American fare within an elegant dining space with an open kitchen and vintage bar. Brunch, lunch, and dinner fare highlight ingredients sourced from local farmers and ranchers, including an impressive charcuterie program that showcases meats and cheeses selected from around the United States. Other options range from classic lobster and grits to pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage. The restaurant's cocktail program showcases house barrel-aged cocktails, including signature Nickel negronis with barrel-aged gin.
1100 Fourteenth Street, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 720- 889-2128
© 54Thirty Rooftop
54Thirty Rooftop is the highest open-air rooftop bar in Denver, located atop the 20th floor of the Le Méridien Denver Downtown. The seasonal bar was opened to the public in 2017 and offers spectacular panoramic views of the city's skyline, with fire pits and ample room for lounging and socializing. An extensive drink menu features fine wines and liquors, regional craft beers, and a wide variety of delicious signature cocktails, including unique icy cocktails produced by the bar's two frozen cocktail machines. A light bar bites menu features standard favorites such as hummus and tartare, along with unique signature cheesy monkey bread. An entrance chairlift also serves as a great spot for photographs with the city's skyline in the background.
1475 California Street, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-893 - 1888
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Nocturne is a neighborhood jazz and supper club that serves eclectic cuisine and cocktails, and hosts live jazz music in the evenings. Classic cocktails are served with old-school flair at the large bar which takes center stage in the club, while buckets of ice keep sparkling wine chilled on tables set around the stage where jazz musicians work their magic. The wine list is an oenophile’s dream with a myriad offering of wines from around the world which can be savored by the bottle or the glass, and the kitchen produces an array of shareable small plates and sound bites such as bison meatballs, fresh oysters, cheese and charcuterie platters, and an adventurous five-course Renditions Tasting Menu.
1330 27th St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-295-3333
© The Tatarian
The Tatarian is the latest cocktail bar offering in Denver from Lenka Juchelkova and Mike Huggins, the proprietors of the city's hip Union Lodge No. 1 and Arvada Tavern. The bar, which is located within the city's charming Berkeley neighborhood, is named in honor of the local city tradition of gifting Tatarian maple trees to new landowners during the 19th century. Unique tree-inspired cocktails are dreamed up by former Arvada Tavern bartender Josh Sevy, drawing inspiration from the ecology and culture of trees grown in countries throughout the world. A signature Tartarian cocktail features barrel-select bourbon, barrel-aged bitters, and maple orange saffron, while other beverages highlight unique ingredients such as pamplemousse liqueur, chai-infused pisco, and hibiscus lemon syrup.
4024 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212, Phone: 303- 416-4496
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© D Bar
D Bar is a cozy neighborhood café and delicatessen that specializes in all things sugary and sweet, along with great coffee, freshly baked pastries, and light bites. Owned by Food Network Celebrity Chef Keegan Gerhard, Keegan Gerhard and his wife, Lisa Bailey, D Bar offers an array of simple, delicious food such as sandwiches, salads, and pastries, along with coffee, espressos, specialty coffees and mouthwatering desserts. Located in Uptown Denver just a short walk from the 16th Street Mall, D Bar is named for the ‘d’ in drinks, dining, and dessert, and presents delectable sweet treats, cakes, cookies, pastries, and sweet nectar cocktails. D Bar is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
494 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: 303-861-4710
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20.David B. Smith Gallery
© David B. Smith Gallery
David B. Smith Gallery is one of Denver's most acclaimed contemporary art galleries, originally opened by its namesake gallery curator in 2007. The gallery, which has been hailed for its cutting-edge works showcases by major international publications such as The New York Times, showcases work from some of today's most innovative and dynamic regional and international artists working in a wide variety of media. Artists represented by the gallery include Laura Ball, Sarah McKenzie, Justin Favela, Tobias Finke, and Penelope Umbrico, with additional works on display by a number of past exhibiting artists. The gallery participates in a variety of nationally leading art fairs and showcases a number of annual exhibitions, including solo and group shows.
1543 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-893-4234
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Ultreia is the latest offering from James Beard Award-winning executive chef Jennifer Jasinski and noted Denver restaurant company Crafted Concepts, the force behind popular restaurants such as Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, and Stoic and Genuine. The restaurant, which is co-operated by restaurateur Beth Gruitch, is operated out of the city's Historic Union Station Great Hall, is named for a Latin word loosely meaning "onward," a reference to the Camino de Santiago Spanish pilgrimage. Iberian-style cuisine is served up at brunch, lunch, and dinner, including shareable pintxos and tapas such as stuffed piquillo peppers, Portuguese mussels, and patatas bravas. Larger plates include octopus and pork belly, moorish spice-rubbed pork ribs, pico pau, and full table chef's feasts, offering a selection of the restaurant's favorite dishes for service for two. Gin-focused tonics are served up from the restaurant's bar, along with a list of fine international wines.
1701 Wynkoop St #125, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-534-1970
Situated in the reclaimed 1880’s foundry-turned-new-epicurean-marketplace known as The Source in Denver’s River North District; Acorn is a unique, eclectic, contemporary bar and grill helmed by Chef/Owner Steven Redzikowski. Sister of critically acclaimed OAK at fourteenth in Boulder, Acorn offers an approachable, family-friendly menu of eclectic, contemporary American cuisine accompanied by ingredient-driven cocktails, and artisan beers and wines. Steered by the restaurant’s oak-fired oven and grill, which is its beating heart, the seasonal, ever-changing menu features a variety of family-style small plates and entrées and other favorite plates like the Oak Grilled Double Cheeseburger, the Tomato Braised Meatballs, and the Korean Grilled Chicken. Acorn is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216, Phone: 720-542-3721
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Potager (meaning ‘garden kitchen’) is just that – a little garden restaurant that serves a seasonal, garden-driven menu in a rustic, plain-as-plaster dining space. Chef Teri Rippeto's menu is a perfect example of cooking and eating in concert with the seasons, where dishes are prepared with locally sourced, market-fresh ingredients (produce is listed along with the name of its farmer on the menu). Think juicy lamb meatballs, pan-roasted mahi-mahi, and wood-fired herb chicken, with sides like roasted farm radishes, twice baked cheese soufflé, and spring greens and nettle minestrone. Add to that comforting service, and a warm, home-away-from-home ambiance and you have the makings of a perfect evening out.
1109 N Ogden St, Denver, CO 80218, Phone: 303-832-5788
© Table 6
Table 6 has been a solid fixture of Denver’s dining scene since its opening over a decade ago. This classic American bistro boasts rustic interiors, an open-plan kitchen and friendly, welcoming staff who serve the menu’s simple and elegant dishes. Chef Mike Winston focuses on creating modern comfort food with eccentric touches, such as lemongrass chicken scaloppini with candied yams and lamb burnt ends with fig barbecue sauce, while owner/sommelier Aaron Forman pairs the excellent cuisine with just as excellent wines from around the world. Table 6 caters for all occasions, from date nights to dining with friends, with a relaxed, casual and utterly comfortable ambiance. Table 6 is open for dinner only Monday through Sunday, and brunch on Sundays.
609 Corona St, Denver, CO 80218, Phone: 303-831-8800
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© Citizen Rail
Located in the Kimpton Hotel Born at Union Station, Citizen Rail is a contemporary street-level restaurant that seats 127 guests with a chef’s counter boasting unfettered views of the eatery’s wood-fired grills which are the beating heart of the eatery. Named after the nearby train lines, Citizen Rail presents a menu inspired by Colorado’s legacy of simple, savory fare and old-school American cooking techniques. Boasting plenty of house-aged and butchered cuts of beef, pork, lamb, game and an excellent selection of fresh seafood, the menu features signature plates like hickory oxtail and rice porridge cakes, wood-grilled oysters swimming in cilantro butter, dry-aged filet steak with spring pea hummus and a bright cauliflower tabbouleh, and rabbit loin and sausage with English peas, leek soublis, and roasted morel mushrooms. The restaurant also offers a hand-curated bar program featuring classic cocktails, casual wines, and a wide selection of Colorado craft beers.
1899 16th St, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-323-0017
25 Best Places to Visit in Denver on a Date
- Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery, Photo: Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
- Cattivella, Photo: Cattivella
- Drip, Photo: Drip
- Rockit Bar and Grill, Photo: Rockit Bar and Grill
- BookBar, Photo: BookBar
- Masterpiece Deli, Photo: Masterpiece Deli
- Lola Coastal Mexican, Photo: Lola Coastal Mexican
- Finns Manor, Photo: Finns Manor
- Ace Eat Serve, Photo: Ace Eat Serve
- Quality Italian, Photo: Quality Italian
- The Bindery, Photo: The Bindery
- Cafe Marmotte, Photo: Cafe Marmotte
- Coohills, Photo: Coohills
- Vesta, Photo: Vesta
- The Nickel, Photo: The Nickel
- 54Thirty Rooftop, Photo: 54Thirty Rooftop
- Nocturne, Photo: Nocturne
- The Tatarian, Photo: The Tatarian
- D Bar, Photo: D Bar
- David B. Smith Gallery, Photo: David B. Smith Gallery
- Ultreia, Photo: Ultreia
- Acorn, Photo: Acorn
- Potager, Photo: Potager
- Table 6, Photo: Table 6
- Citizen Rail, Photo: Citizen Rail
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of arinahabich - Fotolia.com
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection - Palace Arms at The Brown
Synonymous with luxury, elegance and superlative service since 1892, The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa epitomizes the height of opulence in the very heart of Downtown Denver. The Brown Palace is home to some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants and bars. Boasting no less than four elegant restaurants and two bars, as well as an excellent in-room dining menu, both guests staying at the hotel and non-resident visitors can enjoy a variety of dining experiences from intimate fine dining dinners to casual, family-friendly affairs. Rated as one of Denver’s best dining experiences, the award-winning Palace Arms at The Brown serves an enticing menu of inventive and innovative cuisine, such as Colorado Braised Pork Cheeks and Spring Foraged Allium Soup. The cuisine is perfectly paired with excellent wine selections, and desserts like Lemon Poppyseed Créme Brulée add the final touches to an unforgettable epicurean adventure.
321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-297-3111
Once an old mortuary that held the remains of Buffalo Bill, Linger Eatuary has made the transition from the historic morgue to the ultra-cool eatery to become of the Denver dining hotspot. Located on the former base of the Olinger family’s funeral empire, the hip and usually-packed death-fixated restaurant boasts a lively ambiance with trendy interiors and a rooftop lounge and serves a globally-inspired menu of small and sharing plates. The restaurant embraces the spot’s morbid history with dark humor like the rooftop neon sign that used to proclaim “Olinger Mortuaries” remaining and simply being changed to “Linger Eatuaries.” Inside glass-topped metal conveyor belts are used as tables, the old A/C units have been turned into hanging lamps, a church pew is used as the host’s stand, and water is served from formaldehyde bottles. Linger Eatuary is open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday, and dinner seven days a week.
2030 W 30th Ave, Denver, CO 80211