The 9 hottest Denver restaurants of 2018

Another season, another round of new restaurant tendencies and adventures: Latin dim sum! Down with menus! Zero-waste! Sustainability! Simply give us a burger! No, just give us foie gras terrine!

There kind of was something for everybody, from super-sophisticated French food and walk-up pizza windows to seriously great Chinese and bucket list-worthy pita and hummus. There were new offerings from recognized Denver chefs (Hi, Dana Rodriguez and Max MacKissock!) And welcome imports from other areas (Thanks to coming, Alon Shaya and Shake Shack!) .

Here, for the eating enjoyment, are the nine hottest restaurants that opened in Denver this season.


Famous Original J’s, 715 E. 26th Ave., Denver, 720-420-9102;

Pizza is private. It’s everybody ’s favored meals, but just how we like it varies from person to person. Having said that it’s difficult to imagine anyone not enjoying the New York-style slices at J’s, the walk-up pizza pub from the Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen team. We wake up at the middle of the night craving the white pie. If you haven’t tasted the creamy ricotta-topped slices, nicely there’s New Year’s resolution for you.

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Shake Shack, 1509 Park Central Drive, Highlands Ranch, 720-452-1007; 2995 Larimer St., Denver, 720-543-8609;

Yesit’s an East Coast-based burger chain. Plus it’s not cheap by fast-casual standards: a fundamental ShackBurger will put you back $5.49, and then the crinkle cut chips are $2.99 and if you receive a shake — make a shake! — & — rsquo;another $5.29. But this die-hard In-N-Outter has to admit that it’s a fantastic burger, and judging from the lines out the doorothers concur.


Beckon, 2843 Larimer St., Denver, 303-502-5800; beckon-denver. com

Is Denver prepared to get an all-chef’so counter tops, $95/person tasting menu-only restaurant? Time will tell, but kudos to fighter Duncan Holmes (formerly of Frasca Food & Wine) for giving it a try. The more formal counterpoint to Call, which gained lots of best-new-restaurant praise last year, serves eight creative, constantly-changing courses in a dinner celebration type of experience. What’s new here? Dinner is ticketed and prepaid online.

The Wolf’s Tailor, 4058 Tejon St., Denver, 720-456-6705;

Is The Wolf’s Tailor a Japanese restaurant? Italian? A zero-waste, design-forward sexy spot? What about these tasting menus? But you classify it, The Wolf is rough, plain and simple, and it’s worth checking out a restaurant that’s the result of allowing a person ’s — in this scenario, chef Kelly Whitaker’s — creativity run rampant. Because sometimes you need pasta using koji-fermented turnips for dinner.

Morin, 1600 15th St., Denver, 303-623-0534;

If it comes to dining, “elaborate French” are just two very polarizing words. Some folks today live for the method and richness of beef marrow custard, while some fear the pretense. Morin attempts to please both camps, serving the elegant meals you’d expect from a French cafe and from realized chef Max MacKissock, however at a comfortable space (it was the Wazee Supper Club for even 40-some decades, after all) and with decidedly un-snooty support.


Safta, 3330 Brighton Blvd., Denver, 720-408-2444;

Would pita and hummus really be that good? Yes. Yes they could. And so is the rest of the menu at two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya‘s first restaurant outside of New Orleans. Located in the Source Hotel, the contemporary Israeli Safta might be the best restaurant to have opened Denver all year.

Super Mega Bien, 1260 25th St., Denver, 720-269-4695;

Chef Dana Rodriguez has become a part of a legend around the Denver dining arena — the dishwasher whose hard work and unbelievable talent gained her a function as sous chef and partner at Rioja, followed with a James Beard nomination because of her first solo restaurant, Work & Class. So, yeahshe can do pretty much whatever she wants in the kitchen. This calendar year, “s ” meant launching a pan-Latin dim sum restaurant, even among the most fun restaurants to eat at in town at the moment.

Bamboo Sushi 2715 17th St., Denver, 303-284-6600;

Technically Bamboo opened at the bottom end of 2017, but it deserves a spot because of its own innovative takes on ice hockey and dedication to sustainable seafood. (The Portland-based Bamboo bills itself as the planet ’s certified-sustainable sushi restaurant.) Whether you go for moral or hedonistic reasons (rely on team hedonist), you’ll enjoy super-fresh fish at a reasonable cost.

Q House 3421 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 720-729-8887;

Q House began out rather under-the-radar, however its can’t-miss contemporary Chinese food shortly got folks talking. And speaking. Word spread that foods like General Tso’s fried eggplant, Chong Qing chicken and smoked trout fried rice were really so great, and because people tend to like things which taste very great great, the Q on Colfax has become something of a destination. 

And now, here are seven cafe to anticipate in 2019. 

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