The Best of Food and Beverage 2020
The best Colorado places to eat, drink, dine, sip, enjoy a view and more
Best Breakfast Spot
Bacon Social House believes that the best way to start breakfast or brunch is with a flight of bacon, which is a selection of U.S. varieties: Applewood, BBQ, Candied, Habanero, Paleo, and Featured. There are also other breakfast items such as bacon + chocolate pancakes, Red Velvet pancakes, Whole Hog Omelet and even a Vegetable Scramble. The Denver location in the Sunnyside neighborhood has a large patio, and the Littleton location has a rooftop patio and also serves dinner and happy hour.
Best Business Lunch Spot
Range Restaurant serves New American West Cuisine, which draws its roots from the concept of New American, but narrows its focus to the ingredients, cultural influences and cooking techniques of the Rocky Mountain West. That means, for example, Colorado Lamb French Dip, Bison Jalapeno Bratwurst, or Southwest Chicken Wrap, and Cast Iron Carrot Cake for dessert. The eatery is located inside the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, in the beautifully restored Colorado National Bank building.
Best Delivered Lunch
Jimmy John’s only accepts delivery orders if the food can be delivered within five minutes of the store. The chain, based in Champaign, Ill., resists using third-party delivery companies, because those add costs and time to the order. Instead, customers order sandwiches and other menu items from the app, website, or even a phone call. In 2019 Jimmy John’s was acquired by Atlanta-based Inspire Brands, parent company to Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Sonic Drive-In and Rusty Taco.
Best Happy Hour Spot
Elway’s has four locations, in downtown Denver, Cherry Creek, DIA, and in Vail. Happy Hour at the Cherry Creek location occurs Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the bar and lounge area. The menu items are shareable appetizers, such as grilled artichoke, calamari, steak tacos and shrimp cocktail. There’s wine, beer and Tito’s Martinis.
Best Sports Bar
Stoney’s Bar & Grill’s newly renovated building is Colorado themed featuring 150-year-old barn wood, exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and a gondola car converted into a booth. The bar has 31 HD TVs and two 120-inch projection screens for guests to watch their favorite sporting events, whether it’s football, soccer, basketball or the X Games. It also has a large stage where local bands perform. The restaurant offers typical bar fare, including burgers and sandwiches, nachos, wings, soups and salads. The establishment is proud of its sustainability efforts, which include recycling and composting, using post-consumer recycled paper products and using only high-efficiency LED bulbs throughout the restaurant.
Best Restaurant Patio
Guests sitting on the pet-friendly patio at the original Postino in the heart of LoHi are treated to one of the best views of downtown Denver and can see people walking by on their way to the neighborhood’s numerous restaurants and bars. The restaurant serves salads, sandwiches and bruschetta boards and offers $5 glasses of wine and $5 pitchers every day until 5 p.m. It’s also open for brunch on weekends.
Postino, which means “postman” in Italian, has three locations in Denver – the original spot in LoHi, on Broadway and on Colorado Boulevard.
Best Restaurant, Vegetarian
City, O’ City serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, specialty coffee, craft beer, wine and cocktails in an eclectic space in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The vegetarian restaurant uses local produce whenever possible and even has its own urban micro farm, which provides much of the produce on the menu in the summer. City, O’ City partners with other local vendors from coffee to beer to cheese and supports local artists by having monthly in-house gallery shows.
“Whether you need a latte at 7 a.m. or a whiskey at 1:30 a.m., we are here for you,” the company says.
Best Restaurant View
Located at the of the Highland Bridge, The Ale House has an unobstructed view of downtown Denver. The restaurant partners with local businesses to ensure it sells locally made products. The restaurant, which has two outdoor patios, pairs handcrafted beers with menu items such as ahi tuna, pulled pork sandwiches, meatloaf and Cobb salads.
“Come in and ask your server for recommendations if your palate is feeling extra adventurous,” the restaurant’s website suggests. “Maybe you will get lucky, and our chef will pair a beer for you.”
Best Restaurant Wine List
You’ll find everything from a $45 bottle of 2017 California Holly’s Way Chardonnay to a $32 bottle of 2018 Spanish La Subida Monastrell on Postino’s extensive wine list, and if you get there before 5 p.m., you can try several different glasses for $5 each. If the weather is nice, you can take your glass outside to Postino’s patio to take in the view of downtown at the LoHi location. Postino has restaurants at 145 N. Broadway and Ninth and Colorado.
Best Food Truck
Who knew the dumpling could be so versatile? Matt Faurot and Lucas Doverspike launched Radical Sasquatch Dumpling Co. in 2017 to show people how wide ranging the dumpling can be. The company likes to get creative with delicious doughs, fillings and cooking methods, and menu items include Pork Gyoza, Potato Kielbasa, Philly Mac Buns,and others. The Radical Sasquatch Dumpling Co. Food Truck is available for corporate events, and also for drop-off catering.
Best Catering Company
There are nine core values at Footers Catering: Fun, Awesomeness, Balance, Teamwork, Innovation, Growth, Ethics, Respect and Service. The group has catered a variety of events over the past 35 years, including weddings, social events in clients’ homes and charity fundraisers. For corporate events, Footers caters holiday parties, client appreciation, team appreciation and others. There are building opportunities with Footers Interactive Dinners, where culinary experts instruct the client team of 15 to 50 people on how to cook their own dinner from scratch. Then the guests sit down to enjoy their meal in the Footers showroom, served by the Footers’ hospitality team.
Best Locally-Owned Coffee Shop, Front Range
Boyer’s Coffee has been roasting 100% hand-selected Arabica beans in the Rocky Mountains since 1965. Popular roasts include Rocky Mountain Thunder, Denver Blend, and mash-ups such as Columbia + Sumatra or Costa Rica + Honduras. For most of the regular and decaffeinated blends, Boyer’s Coffee uses a classic Burns Thermalo roaster, manufactured in 1944. Sadly, the 1927 Schoolhouse Roastery was devastated by a fire in March of this year, leaving the company with only the brick walls. Employees were safe, and the company said it would continue to work on getting current orders filled.
In the early 1990s, 27-year-old Adam Avery talked his father, Larry, into using his retirement money to open a brewery. Today Avery Brewing Co. focuses on creating the perfect beer. “Because there’s such a high standard for the beer that we make, we take a similar approach to the experience in our Tap Room and Restaurant,” says Ray Decker, director of hospitality. “Food is a huge part of that experience, but we also care a lot about the way people feel when they come in here. The relationships our servers build with our guests keeps them coming back time and time again.”
Best Locally-Owned Coffee Shop, Western Slope
Roasted Espresso & Subs offers specialty drinks, frozen drinks and an extensive sandwich menu. Happy hour runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The coffee shop says its mission is to provide customers with quality products they have come to expect and love. Also, Roasted says it is defined by its commitment to having a fair and welcoming space for customers, employees and the community.