What makes OAK at Fourteenth stand apart from other restaurants? It's the fact that restaurant uses an oak-fired oven and grill, giving the food that distinct, smoky taste. Ingredients used here are fresh and locally grown, and also organic. The pasta's are prepared in-house and the Kale salad is magnificent. Try the Fried Green Tomatoes with Tuna tartar and the Yuzu Guacamole is out of this world.
This funky pizza joint, The Sink, on University Hill is one of the best student budget spots in town. The fact that Robert Redford once worked as a janitor here during his short stint at CU is their claim to fame, yet celebrities and dignitaries continue to visit for the burgers, even President Obama once visited. The pizzeria stays open till late, making it popular with the college crowd. It offers three crust choices based on density. Food is made from scratch and they always feature the choice of 100 percent grass-fed beef. Sandwiches, pizzas, salads, calzones-oven baked pizza, you name it; you will find at the Sink.
Named after the large Chinese market in Saigon (ChoLon is "Big Market" in Vietnamese), ChoLon is a hip, cutting-edge restaurant serving up artful variations on Southeast Asian classics. One of Denver's dynamic culinary scene's darlings, the restaurant, manned by star chef Lon Symensma, is committed to using local ingredients in daring ways. Its menu offers flavors in many portions, from delicate tastes on its small bites menu (perfect for business meetings and alongside the in-house specialty cocktails) to more substantial servings from its woks or large bites menus. Come see what everyone is talking about; your palette will forever praise you!
For some traditional-contemporary American fare, or a taste of something on the other side of the globe, walk in to Linger. A variety of innovative dishes, including some from Morocco and Turkey, the menu features a variety of cuisine. The restaurant also has a kids menu, with just a few dishes on it, but appealing enough for any child. Be sure to arrive early or make reservations, as this place is quite popular.
The owner of Mercury Café calls it a community center. The cafe exudes a vague hippie aura and serves as a restaurant, bakery, coffeehouse, dance club and concert hall. It is hard to pinpoint the exact style of this eclectic nightspot, serving up everything from Celtic and Cajun to theater and poetry. Swing and salsa bands are regulars on the second floor, which accommodates 350. The main dining room might feature a concert pianist one evening and a string quartet the next. The dinner menu offers salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes and more.
Frasca Food and Wine is one of the few fine dining establishments in the student-friendly Pearl Street Mall, and it makes up for this dearth by really soaring above everything else here. Frasca can be found on the far east end of the mall within close distance to parking garages and Boulder Creek, but far enough away from the main stretch to be free of the student and family crowds. The restaurant itself is large and modern, but it maintains an air of intimacy, mostly due to the lack of crowds and high waiter-to-table ratio. The options on the menu are delicious, with fresh, organic ingredients bought from local farmers and each menu item that includes a note about which of Frasca's many wines will go best with your meal, eating here is a real experience. -Sabrina Zirakzadeh
This delicate coffee shop is located in a shipping container in the heart of Denver's district. Port Side is known for their freshly brewed coffees, spectacular lattes and a delicious breakfast menu. A perfect spot to begin your day or simply relax in a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. In addition to their coffees, they also serve a variety of healthy, vegan and gluten free breakfast options. If you're looking to have a fulfilling breakfast to kick start your day, look no further, head to Port Side.
Born of the artistic vision and culinary finesse of renowned chef and restaurant owner, Justin Cucci, Ophelia's Electric Soapbox will leave you breathless with wonder and delight. Housed within a historic building with a past that many would consider unsavory, this restaurant is certainly not for the prudish or shy. Tasteful nudes, risque movie posters, amber lights and velvet clad couches make up the decor, creating a space that is distinctly contemporary, yet hints at the building's notorious past as a peep show parlor, brothel and adult store. There is something to capture your imagination around every corner at Ophelia's The food menu is as adventurous as the decor, with flavorful dishes that draw inspiration from Greek, Latin American and Japanese cuisines, to name a few. While the restaurant occupies the ground floor, the basement is more of a music venue, featuring varied live acts, with a stage, a second bar and a dance floor. With its eclectic offering of adventurous cuisine, stimulating decor and great music, Ophelia's Electric Soapbox promises a night of wonderment to all those who embrace adventure and crave a taste of something different.
Located in the heart of Downtown Denver, View House is a rooftop bar which also has a huge space for games. Visitors can bowl inside and also play golf in the garden area. Besides drinks, the bar also offers lunch and dinner. With spectacular views of Denver city, this bar is an ideal place for friends to have a good time. Additionally, View House offers its venue for private events. With several activities, drinks and stunning views of the city, View House is a cheerful place where there is something for everyone.
Take a break from the regular bars and enjoy a casual evening at First Draft. With a fresh concept into its making, First Draft is one of the first self-service bars in town. This cozy bar offers over 40 on the tap selection of beers, ciders and wines to choose from. The variety of liquors keeps on rotating and First Draft always has something new to offer for your palate. In case you feel hungry, this bar serves a scrumptious small-plate American menu to munch. Spread across 2521 square feet (232 square meters), First Draft offers a cozy hangout spot for you to catch up with your friends on a relaxed evening.