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Patio dining under string lights in Larimer Square

Colorado

Denver, Colorado: 4 Essential Foodie Experiences

By: Idoia Gkikas

Visit Denver
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  • States:
    Colorado

Denver, Colorado is a standout culinary city with eclectic cuisine sure to satisfy just about any craving.

After a day out exploring Denver’s legendary nature and cool urban sights, have a taste of these Denver foodie favorites and discover all the top culinary trends taking over the city.

1. Denver Beer Trail

Craft beer is part of Denver’s culture. Top-rate brewers and creative small-batch flavors means you won’t taste the same beer twice. Established in 1859, Tivoli Brewing Company is Colorado’s oldest. Taste the original recipe at the Tivoli Tap House, housed in the original brewery building in Downtown Denver’s east side. Or check out Ratio Beerworks in the artsy-meets-industrial RiNo (River North) neighborhood, popular for its outdoor patio and a rotating schedule of food trucks. Explore any of the other 27 breweries on the Denver Beer Trail, most in the walkable downtown area.

Local hotspot Prost Brewing Company uses exclusively German equipment and ingredients for its brews. Try one of their popular lagers. Prost is the only German-style lager brewery in the state.

An industrial aesthetic meets a modern design inside Ratio Beerworks in Denver

An industrial aesthetic meets a modern design inside Ratio Beerworks in Denver
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2. Farm-to-Table Dining

Denver’s restaurants have been in the farm-to-table scene for years. The emphasis is on locally-sourced produce, meats and dairy. TAG Restaurant in historic Larimer Square mingles Asian flavors and Latin inspirations. Try the OG Taco Sushi or the Colorado hanger steak.

Locals and visitors are flocking to The Populist in RiNo, so you may want to make reservations. This popular restaurant is known for refreshing flavor pairings, great portions and reasonable prices.

Friends gathering for drinks and dinner at The Populist in Denver

Friends gathering for drinks and dinner at The Populist in Denver
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3. Taste of the Old West

Denver may be a hipster’s paradise, but the food still embraces its pioneer past. Hearty Western food should be on your Denver dining itinerary. Try sweet buffalo meat or farm-raised elk at the Buckhorn Exchange. Founded in 1893, it’s the city’s oldest restaurant. The ornate interior adorned with antique guns and mounted game heads adds to the “Wild West” experience.

Mounted game decor at the historic Buckhorn Exchange in Denver

Mounted game decor at the historic Buckhorn Exchange in Denver
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4. Markets and Food Halls

No gastronomic jaunt through Denver is complete without exploring some of the city’s fantastic food markets. In RiNo, The Source is reminiscent of a neighborhood farmers’ market. Along with baked goods, meats and flowers, this market features a full bar, beer and spirit vendors and an art gallery. Denver Central Market boasts a small, intimate venue with friendly communal seating, a central bar, high-quality vendors and an ice cream shop that can’t be missed. Or, experience the collective eatery concept at Avanti F & B (Food & Beverage), a two-story food court that serves as an incubator for up-and-coming restaurants. There are two full bars and great outdoor seating as well.

You can always get back to basics at Denver Union Station, where a traditional farmers’ market offers a bounty of colorful produce and fresh meats, sometimes sold by the farmers themselves (Saturdays only; seasonal).

Visiting one of Denver’s popular food halls, Denver Central Market

Visiting one of Denver’s popular food halls, Denver Central Market
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Getting There

Denver, Colorado is easy to get to via Denver International Airport (DEN), which offers non-stop service to London, Frankfurt, Munich, Tokyo, Mexico City, Panama City and Reykjavik. Direct rail service connects Denver International Airport to Denver Union Station, located in the heart of downtown Denver.