Whether you are visiting the Denver Art Museum or in town to explore the 19th-century-era Larimer Square, these restaurants and attractions are great options to round out a day trip. Many are easily accessible via the city's RTD bus and rail transit service lines, which offer a perfect way to explore a new neighborhood for the afternoon.
Chocolate Lab is a unique chocolate-centric restaurant, bar, and chocolatier in Denver, serving up eclectic chocolate-focused concoctions seven days a week at lunch and dinner. The shop, which is overseen by owner and chocolatier Phil Simonson, was originally opened to the public as a conventional chocolate shop in 2010 and added its unique chocolate-focused restaurant in 2017. Today, guests can dine on a variety of chocolate-infused dishes, ranging from chocolate-braised flank steaks and pulled pork sandwiches with bourbon-chocolate barbecue sauce to inventive flatbreads with toppings such as white chocolate pesto, chocolate balsamic reductions, and chocolate-infused marinara sauce. Decadent desserts are also offered, along with high-quality craft cocktails, sophisticated wines, and regional draft beers. Guests can also purchase a wide variety of sweets from the facility's chocolate shop, including unique pink-hued ruby chocolates.
2504 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206, Phone: 720-536-5037
© Hope Tank
Hope Tank is a unique retail shop and social enterprise originally founded in February of 2012 by Erika Righter, striving to disrupt traditional large business models and foreground community involvement and diverse business ventures in the Denver area. The shop, which is located within the city's Baker neighborhood, sells a wide variety of handmade products by local crafters and artisans, with a portion of all sales going to regional charitable enterprises. Goods from national and international retailers are also sold, with a focus on businesses creating a positive community impact in the United States. Shoppers and community members are encouraged to shop at other area business partners and organizations noted within the shop's free open-source directory of diverse and community-focused businesses and are encouraged to share their own good community-focused deeds using the shop's #HopeSlinger social media hashtag.
64 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: 720-837-1565
© Gildar Gallery
Gildar Gallery was originally founded in 2012 as a showcase for emerging contemporary artists within the Denver region and around the world, anchored around a spirit of collaboration and cultural exchange. Today, the gallery represents a variety of high-quality artists working in various media, including Amber Cobb, Kristen Hatgi Sink, Joey Cocciardi, Stephanie Kantor, and Dmitri Obergfell. The gallery strives to work with artists and with other galleries and curators around the globe to bring creative, critical exhibitions to its space throughout the year, engaging visitors with interesting cultural dialogues. Past exhibitions have included A Little Tenderness, which showcased the works of seven contemporary painters working with themes of intimacy and romance.
82 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209, Phone: 303-993-4474
4.Los Chingones Mexican
© Los Chingones Mexican
Los Chingones Mexican is the vision of executive chef Troy Guard, inspired by his young life enjoying San Diego's edgy, inventive Mexican culinary scene. The restaurant, which opened its first location in 2013, now offers five locations throughout the Denver area, including locations in RiNo, the Denver Tech Center, Stapleton, and the Colorado Mills Mall. High-quality Mexican fare is served up at lunch and dinner, including creative quesadilla options stuffed with ingredients such as chingon cheese, adobo chicken thigh, brisket barbacoa, and Tijuana pork shoulder. Chicken, cheese, brisket, and vegetable enchiladas are also available, along with a plethora of inventive tacos and shareable street fare-style appetizers. Diners can create their own margaritas or choose from a wide variety of fine wines, craft cocktails, and regional draft and imported beers.
2463 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-295-0686
5.Que Bueno Suerte
© Que Bueno Suerte!
Que Bueno Suerte! is a modern-style Mexican restaurant in Denver's Platt Park neighborhood, serving up eclectic Latin-inspired dishes at dinner service daily and brunch on the weekends. The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef Ivan Ceballos, is named for the Spanish term for "what good luck," a nod to the restaurant's lucky founding in 2016 as a result of circumstances connected to the closing of owner Rod Tafoya's previous restaurant venture. High-quality dinner options include an extensive menu of shareable plates such as tuetano de res, queso fundido, and tamal oaxaqueno, served up alongside excellent entree options such as Oaxacan mole chicken, pasilla-rubbed New York strip steaks, and pescado tikin xic. At brunch, diners can enjoy bottomless mimosas or craft cocktails alongside a selection of delectable entree choices such as sopes Benedict or chilaquiles verdes.
1518 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210, Phone: 720-642-7322
6.Delicious Denver Food Tours
© Delicious Denver Food Tours
Delicious Denver Food Tours are one of the most unique ways to experience the Mile High City, acclaimed in national publications such as USA Today, 303 Magazine, and Denver Life Magazine. Experienced tour guides lead groups of up to 14 walking tour participants on a tour of the city's best neighborhoods and hot spots, sharing stories about the city's rich history and architecture. All tours stop at several local restaurants or watering holes, giving participants a taste of the best the city's chef's, restaurateurs, and mixologists have to offer. Tour packages include the company's signature downtown food tour, which embarks near Coors field and samples six of the city's signature dishes, ranging from gourmet hot dogs to authentic Neapolitan pizzas. A craft cocktails and bites tour visits four of the city's best bars, while a three-hour beers and bites tour explores hip breweries and showcases creative street art. Private food and drink tours are available for small groups, including corporate team-building events. Phone: 720-575-3224, website & more info
Julep is the latest offering from Stir Cooking School's Katy Foster and her husband Kyle, best known for his work at hip Denver area restaurants Colt & Gray and Rebel. The popular RiNo restaurant blends Southern hospitality and cuisine traditions, inspired by the couple's travels throughout the American South. Clever fare is served up at dinner Wednesdays through Sundays and brunch on the weekends, including "family to table" family-style meals serving up to three guests. High-quality shareable entrees include Rocky Mountain oysters Rockefeller, rutabaga and onion tart tatin, spring vegetable blanquette, and pork and oyster sausage with whiskey mash grits. A creative selection of classic and house cocktails is available at brunch, complemented by elegant entrees such as eggs sardou, roasted vegetable quiche, and pork and chicken sausage skillets.
3258 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-295-8977
© Bamboo Sushi
Bamboo Sushi is the world's first certified-sustainable sushi restaurant, acclaimed by international publications such as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Food and Wine. The restaurant, which offers eight locations throughout the United States, including a location in Denver's LoHi neighborhood, is a great choice for diners concerned about their environmental impact, as all menu items are tracked for their carbon footprint. Signature sushi rolls are served up each evening, prepared with humanely-raised, sustainably-caught fish and naturally-grown produce. A wide variety of signature land, sea, and vegetarian entrees are also available, including Japanese-inspired steamed buns, wagyu burgers, and kanpachi tartare. Asian-inspired cocktails are available on the restaurant's bar menu, along with regional craft beers and an extensive list of imported sakes.
2715 17th St, Denver, CO 80211, Phone: 303-284-6600
ChoLon is the signature restaurant offering from James Beard Award finalist chef Lon Symensma, noted for his work at New York City's acclaimed Buddakan. The restaurant, which has been acclaimed by international publications and television stations such as Food and Wine, The New York Times, and Food Network, is named after Saigon, Vietnam's largest Chinese-style market, showcasing a full menu of street fare inspired by the cuisines of Southeast Asia. Wok-style entrees are served up at lunch and dinner, including stir-fried Malaysian noodles and wok-tossed calamari with Szechuan chili, available alongside shareable plates such as crispy whole striped bass with bok choy and chargrilled butter chicken served with Indian-style naan bread. Asian-inspired cocktails are available to complement all meals, prepared with ingredients such as Vietnamese cold brew coffee and yuzu-infused sake.
1555 Blake St #101, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 303-353-5223
Cho77 is one of several restaurants in Denver owned and operated by high-profile chef Lon Symensma, continuing the chef's focus on interesting, modern twists on the street food of Southeast Asia. The restaurant, which is co-owned by executive chef Jeff Stoneking, serves up quick-service Asian street cuisine at lunch daily, while its dinner menus focus on full-service dining and large plates of the best of Thai, Vietnamese, and Singaporean street fare. Diners can enjoy excellent dishes such as the restaurant's noted Vietnamese caramel chicken wings, voted as one of America's best wing dishes by Thrillist. Other clever dim sum offerings include red chili shrimp dumplings, Peking duck potstickers, and lemongrass pork buns. A fun drink menu offers craft brews, imported sake, handcrafted signature cocktails, and non-alcoholic options such as mint-tamarind soda and coconut Thai iced tea.
1555 Blake St #102, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 720-638-8179
© Molly's Spirits
Molly's Spirits is Denver's premiere liquor shop, originally established in 2014 and offering locations in Lakeside, West Highlands, and Berkeley. The store offers one of Colorado's most impressive liquor selections, carrying more than 12,000 hand-selected beers, wines, spirits, and specialty liquors in its 30,000-square-foot facility. Guests can select the perfect bottle or six-pack of their choice for enjoying on picnics, intimate evenings in with takeout and a movie, or service at any of the area's upscale BYOB restaurants. 17 large-screen video screens throughout the store showcase all the week's major sporting events, along with vineyard tours and brewing and distilling how-to segments. Competitive prices are offered on fine and imported products, with excellent inventory offered for hard-to-find and regional craft favorites.
5809 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80212, Phone: 303-955-5174
© GQUE BBQ
GQUE BBQ is one of the United States' most acclaimed barbecue joints, hailed in publications such as Zagat, Thrillist, and Westword for its award-winning inventive barbecue entrees. The restaurant, which has won major accolades for its recipes at the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association's competitions in 2013 and 2014, offers two locations in Westminster and Lone Tree, both overseen by owner and chef Jason Ganahl. Diners can enjoy barbecued pork, brisket, chicken, turkey, ribs, or jalapeno cheddar sausage on sandwiches or by the quarter or full pound, available for dine-in, takeout service, or delivery. Decadent signature sandwiches such as Carolina pork slaw, brisket and onion rings, or Thanksgiving-style turkey sandwiches are complemented by hearty homestyle sides such as macaroni and cheese, apple slaw, and pit-smoked beans. Catering is also available for private special events.
5160 W 120th Ave Unit K, Westminster, CO 80020, Phone: 303-379-9205
13.Four Friends Kitchen
© Four Friends Kitchen
Four Friends Kitchen has been voted as Denver's best breakfast spot for 2019 by Westword magazine, owned and operated by friends and next-door neighbors Genefer and Tim Thornton and Kurt and Sarah Pletcher. The restaurant, which offers locations in the city's University Park and Stapleton neighborhoods, offers contemporary-style American comfort food at breakfast, brunch, and lunch throughout the week, serving up dishes hailed by publications such as Thrillist and the Denver Post as some of the city's best. Classic continental and Southern-style breakfast and lunch selections include gourmet overnight grits, crispy huevos rancheros, Southern-fried chicken and waffles, and berries and cream French toast. Creative small plates offer global flair, including beignets with crème anglaise and jalapeno-chorizo hushpuppies. Diners can also enjoy a full menu of high-quality brunch cocktails, including mimosas, bloody marys, and peach sangria.
2893 Roslyn St, Denver, CO 80238, Phone: 303-388-8299
14.Cheluna Brewing Company
© Cheluna Brewing Company
Cheluna Brewing Company is Colorado's first Latin-owned Mexican-style craft brewery, housed within Denver's lively Stanley Marketplace. The brewery, which was voted as the city's best new craft brewery by 5280 Magazine in 2017, serves up delicious brews inspired by the culinary flavors native to Oaxaca, constantly rotating clever variants and experiments on tap at its public taproom facility. Past favorites have included brews such as the company's Otto Von Eisbock Mexican German Chocolate Cake Ale, Über La Luna Margarita Gose, and El Chollo Oud Bruin, inspired by the flavors of the popular Mexican saladito plum candy. Brews are served up on tap seven days a week, with food trucks parked on site periodically. Public special events include live music performances, trivia nights, and the brewery's regular Cheluna ¡CORRE! running group events.
2501 Dallas St #148, Aurora, CO 80010, Phone: 720-600-0020
15.Tacos Tequila Whiskey
© Tacos Tequila Whiskey
Tacos Tequila Whiskey has been named as one of the United States' top 50 new restaurants by Bon Appetit, offering up clever modern twists on Mexican-style comida de la calle street food. The full-service restaurant, which offers four locations in Denver's City Park, Governors Park, and Highlands districts, specializes in high-quality creative street tacos, stuffed with ingredients such as pan-roasted shrimp and scallops, sweet and sour-braised pork belly, triple-cooked Colorado beef tongue, and beer-braised short ribs. Vegetarian options are also offered, including grilled shiitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms tacos and vegan tacos stuffed with sauteed spinach, roasted poblano chiles, and salsa abuela. True to its name, the restaurant offers an extensive liquor menu, including whiskey-infused craft cocktails and clever margaritas. Pickup taco service is also offered at the restaurant's to-go counter.
1514 York St, Denver, CO 80206, Phone: 720-475-1337
16.Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House
© Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House
Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House is a friendly neighborhood restaurant and pub in the heart of Denver's Five Points neighborhood, offering a seasonal outdoor beer garden and patio with corn hole and other games for patrons to enjoy while they sip craft brews. The restaurant is known for its extensive selection of Denver and Colorado-area craft brews on tap, including selections from popular area breweries such as Telluride Brewing Company, Locavore Beer Works, and Pikes Peak Brewing Company. Diners can enjoy a large menu of inventive gastropub fare, including buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, shrimp po'boys, Cajun-style mac and cheese, and falafel sandwiches, served up alongside shareable appetizers such as skillet queso and the restaurant's signature jerk-glazed confited chicken wings. Brunch menus highlight selections such as breakfast grilled cheese sandwiches, stuffed French toast, and Mexican-style scrambles, complemented by a selection of bottomless cocktails.
2844 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 720-630-7641
Avelina is a seasonal New American restaurant in Denver's vibrant LoDo neighborhood, one of six restaurants across the United States owned and operated by Raleigh, North Carolina's Urban Food Group. The modern, intimate restaurant specializes in farm-to-table fare, crafted by executive chef Joshua Oakley. Diners can enjoy fine entrees at brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, including elegant land and sea fare such as apple barbecue short ribs, steelhead trout with horseradish crema, and oven-roasted barbecue chicken served up with potato salad and brussels sprouts. Vegetarian offerings include delectable plates such as crispy roasted garlic panisse, a unique fried chickpea cake entree popularized in the south of France. Fine wines and spirits are served up at the restaurant's bar, along with a bar bites menu.
1550 17th St, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: 720-904-6711
Call has been named as one of the United States' best new restaurants for 2018 by Bon Appetit, housed within a renovated bungalow in Denver's RiNo neighborhood. The restaurant, which is helmed by owner Allison Anderson and executive chef Duncan Holmes, offers minimal space but maximum flavor in its 900-square-foot dining room, which is open to the public daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Creative diner items on the restaurant's menus include delicious early-morning or late-night options such as Danish-style ebelskivers and signature pork and fried egg sandwiches, acclaimed by The Best Thing We Ate. An extensive menu of handcrafted signature cocktails is complemented by fine sake, wine, and regional draft beer lists. Full coffee shop menus are also available throughout the day, including espresso-based beverages, chai tea, spritzers, and turmeric and ginger tonics.
2845 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-954-0230
19.The Way Back
© The Way Back
The Way Back is a unique community dining hub located across from Denver's César Chávez Park in hip neighborhood Berkeley, open for dinner service Mondays through Saturdays. The intimate, low-key restaurant showcases low lighting and vintage decor, known for its seasonally-changing New American and global fusion entree offerings, which are carefully crafted from locally-sourced ingredients. Diners can enjoy three-course prix fixe menus highlighting international offerings such as Kung Pao chicken and okonomiyaki alongside elegant pasta dishes, gourmet roast or fried chicken, and vegetarian selections such as green pea fritters. High-quality craft cocktails highlight fine mezcals, gins, and whiskeys, with recommendations provided for diners based on traditional cocktail styles they already enjoy.
3963 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212, Phone: 970-682-6888
20.Marco's Coal Fired
© Marco's Coal Fired
Marco's Coal Fired is an authentic Italian-style pizzeria near Denver's Coors Field, acclaimed by Buzzfeed as one of America's 25 best pizzerias. The restaurant, which is helmed by owner Mark Dym, staffs pizza makers who have been certified and trained by the renowned Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napolitani, with restaurant certification by Italy's prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Fresh, high-quality ingredients are sourced directly from Italy's countryside, including San Marzano tomatoes and Antico Molino Caputo "00" flour. Diners can choose from unique Neapolitan-style pie flavors such as pistachio or enjoy clever New York-style pizzas with toppings such as pecorino romano, roasted peppers, and sweet Italian sausage. Gluten-free pizzas are also offered, along with create-your-own options.
2129 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-296-7000
© Bagel Deli
Bagel Deli has been voted as one of America's top 26 Jewish delis, featured on Food Network's popular Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show for its high-quality traditional deli sandwiches and platters. The restaurant, which has been in operation for more than half a century, is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving up authentic Jewish deli favorites such as pastrami or corned beef sandwiches, lox bagels, matzo soup, and cold beet borscht. Breakfast options are available all day, ranging from bagel eggs Benedict and challah French toast to cheese blintzes and potato latkes. Authentic desserts such as rugelach, strudel, and chocolate babka are complemented by a full menu of coffees, teas, and sodas and a limited selection of macrobrews.
6439 E Hampden Ave, Denver, CO 80222, Phone: 303-756-6667
© Dio Mio
Dio Mio is an upscale counter-service restaurant in Denver's River North Arts District, helmed by executive chefs Alex Figura and Spencer White. The restaurant, which is named for the popular Italian expression of enthusiasm, is anchored around an open-plan pasta production table, which prepares up fresh, high-quality pasta dishes for diners throughout the day using handmade pastas. Contemporary Italian fare is showcased on the restaurant's constantly-rotating menus, which blend conventional Italian-style favorites with inventive modern pastas such as squid ink radiatori prepared with pork belly and kimchi. Fine imported red, white, pink, and orange wines are available to complement all meals, along with craft cocktails and beers and a selection of espresso-based coffee shop beverages.
3264 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-562-1965
© Stem Ciders
Stem Ciders is one of Denver's premiere craft cideries, originally founded in 2013 by business partners Phil Kao and Eric Foster. The cidery, which opened its public tap room and cider house facility in the city's RiNo neighborhood in 2014, produces a rotating lineup of unique ciders infused with a variety of fruit ingredients, including favorites such as the company's Hibiscus Session Apple Cider, Chile Guava Cider, Salted Cucumber Cider, and Coffee Apple Cider, a collaboration with Method Roasters. The company's traditional Real Dry Apple Cider, produced with Pacific Northwest apples, is also available on tap year round at the company's tap room. A second location in Lafayette is home to the cidery's signature Acreage restaurant, opened in 2018.
2811 Walnut St #150, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 720-443-3007
24.Three Hundred Days of Shine
© Three Hundred Days of Shine
Three Hundred Days of Shine is Monument's premiere craft moonshine distillery, named after Colorado's unofficial pioneer-era slogan "300 days of sunshine," a nod to the state's gorgeous weather and an unofficial advertisement for those looking to move westward. The company, which is operated by six Colorado families, produces smooth moonshine recipes infused with natural ingredients, striving to recreate traditional moonshine distilling techniques popular prior to the implementation of Prohibition in the early 20th century. Small-batch recipes are produced by hand, including the company's apple pie, Margarita Moon, summertime strawberry lemonade, peach cobbler, and Colorado honey liquor varieties. Fun seasonal flavors are constantly rotated at the distillery's public tasting room, including variants such as sweet iced tea and pineapple.
279 Beacon Lite Rd, Suite G, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: 719-466-0023
25 Best One Day Trip Ideas in Denver
- Chocolate Lab, Photo: pamela_d_mcadams/stock.adobe.com
- Hope Tank, Photo: Hope Tank
- Gildar Gallery, Photo: Gildar Gallery
- Los Chingones Mexican, Photo: Los Chingones Mexican
- Que Bueno Suerte, Photo: Que Bueno Suerte!
- Delicious Denver Food Tours, Photo: Delicious Denver Food Tours
- Julep, Photo: Julep
- Bamboo Sushi, Photo: Bamboo Sushi
- ChoLon, Photo: ChoLon
- Cho77, Photo: Cho77
- Molly's Spirits, Photo: Molly's Spirits
- GQUE BBQ, Photo: GQUE BBQ
- Four Friends Kitchen, Photo: Four Friends Kitchen
- Cheluna Brewing Company, Photo: Cheluna Brewing Company
- Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Photo: Tacos Tequila Whiskey
- Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House, Photo: Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House
- Avelina, Photo: Avelina
- Call, Photo: Call
- The Way Back, Photo: The Way Back
- Marco's Coal Fired, Photo: Marco's Coal Fired
- Bagel Deli, Photo: Bagel Deli
- Dio Mio, Photo: Dio Mio
- Stem Ciders, Photo: Stem Ciders
- Three Hundred Days of Shine, Photo: Three Hundred Days of Shine
- Cover Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com