The 16 Things You Need to Eat When You Visit Denver

The Mile High City is famous for a few things: proximity to the great outdoors, excellent craft breweries and, of course, legal marijuana. But special brownies are hardly the only exciting edibles in town. Whether you’re looking for a post-hike taco or some of the country’s best farm-to-table fine dining, here are 16 Denver dishes you shouldn’t miss.

21 Things You Absolutely Must Eat When You’re in New Orleans

Cheese Souffle At Potager

A super-seasonal spot with a fresh, constantly-changing menu. But we always count on there being a roast chicken dish and some sort of astonishingly delicious cheese soufflé. You’ll want them both, but especially the soufflé, with which Instagram-worthy cheese-pull dreams are made. 

1109 Ogden St.; 303-832-5788 or

Braised Duck At Barolo Grill

This swanky Italian spot specializes in romance (white tablecloths, fabulous wine, the whole shebang). And if your date doesn’t have you swooning, this duck—smothered in a rich wine reduction with Kalamata olives and crispy roast potatoes—certainly will. 

3030 E. Sixth Ave.; 303-395-1040 or

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Bar Dough

Cacio E Pepe At Bar Dough

Creative, wood-fired pizzas are the name of the game at Bar Dough, but don’t pass up this dreamy brunch offering. And yes, that is an egg on top. We’re never eating a regular bowl of spaghetti again. 

2227 W. 32nd Ave.; 720-668-8506 or

Fresh Bacon At Rioja

We love everything at Rioja, the magical hot spot from James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski. But this pork belly dish with cardamom and a curried chickpea puree is always one of our favorite ways to start a meal here (or anywhere).

1431 Larimer St.; 303-820-2282 or

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Korean Fried Chicken Sliders At Cholon

These spicy, remarkably grease-less little sandwiches are available only at lunch and are certainly worth a special midday trip. But there’s plenty to love on the dinner menu, too. (The outrageous sweet onion and Gruyère soup dumplings come to mind.)

1555 Blake St.; 303-353-5223 or

Chile Relleno Burrito At El Taco De Mexico

Nearly everything at Denver’s most authentic taqueria comes with the option to smother in green chile (a Denver specialty). Take the option every single time, people. You won’t be disappointed.

714 Santa Fe Dr.; 303-623-3926 or

Potato-wrapped Oysters Rockefeller At Fruition

For a decade, Fruition has been one of Denver’s most beloved restaurants. The menu changes all the time, but two things never budge: the spaghetti carbonara and these oysters, which come on a pile of spinach, bacon and Parmesan-leek emulsion. (Oh, and by potato-wrapped, they actually mean potato chip-wrapped. Yum.)

1313 E. Sixth Ave.; 303-831-1962 or

Ronnie’s Favorite At Rosenberg’s Bagels And Delicatessen

An East Coast transplant’s dream come true: authentic New York bagels and silky smoked fish. We’re partial to the decadent Ronnie’s Favorite, with dill cream cheese, cucumber, Scottish smoked salmon and whitefish salad.

Multiple locations in Denver; 720-440-9880 or

Sichuan Braised Beef Noodles At Zoe Ma Ma

These belly-warming spicy noodles are perfect after a long day hiking in the mountains. (Oh, and make sure to get some potstickers to start, topped with plenty of sauces from the condiment bar.) 

1625 Wynkoop St.; 303-545-6262 or

Kale And Apple Salad At Acorn

This is the gold standard of kale salads: crunchy and tangy with plenty of candied almond, Grana Padano cheese and great feelings of virtue to help justify the house-made brioche doughnuts you’ll be getting for dessert.

3350 Brighton Blvd.; 720-542-3721 or

Pad Thai Pig Ears At Euclid Hall

We appreciate any menu divided into Because We Have To, Because We Want To and Because We Can. These crispy little treats, served with an addictive tamarind chili sauce, are Because We Can, and go perfectly with one of the bar’s signature beer cocktails. 

1317 14th St.; 303-595-2455 or

The Franklin At Denver Biscuit Company

With a buttermilk fried chicken breast, thick sliced bacon, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy, this is definitely Cheat Day fare. But trust us: For a decadent hangover-buster, it doesn’t get any better than this.

3237 E. Coflax Ave.; 303-377-7900 or 

Salted Oreo Ice Cream At Little Man

You can’t miss Little Man Ice Cream—the building is shaped like a giant milk jug, and there’s always a line fully down the block. If you have an hour to spare, though, it’s worth the wait, especially the salty-sweet take on cookies and cream. 

2620 16th St.; 303-455-3811 or

Chilaquiles At Lena

Diving into this dish is quite possibly the best way to start a Denver weekend morning. The secret is the handmade corn tortillas (also the succulent chunks of braised chicken, the tangy tomatillo salsa, the hunks of queso fresco and the rich, oozing egg yolks).

24 Broadway; 720-550-7267 or

Butter Poached Lobster Mac And Cheese At Mizuna

Consistently rated one of the best restaurants in the country, Mizuna is and always has been elegant A.F. You can't go wrong in Frank Bonanno’s temple of haute cuisine, but this ultra-decadent starter is particularly memorable.

225 E. Seventh Ave.; 303-832-4778 or

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Sushi Den/Facebook

Nigiri Sushi At Sushi Den

Denver may be a land-locked city, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get excellent sushi. Here, the fish is flown in daily, and it's melt-in-your-mouth fresh and expertly prepared. Don't forget to save room for a piece of the flambéed banana cream pie.

1487 S. Pearl St.; 303-777-0826 or