Tired of your current restaurant routine? Need a refresher on Denver's best eats? Bored at work and looking to procrastinate by planning dinner tonight?
We're here to serve, with our current favorite things to eat in Denver. This rundown includes some of what you're used to, and some of what you're not - all of which we'll keep updating on a regular basis. We do this mostly for you, but also for the semi-legitimate excuse of gorging ourselves across the city every month - aka "doing research." Here's your January 2017 update.
What To Eat: Power Bowl
New year, new you, blah blah blah. There's a ton of resolution hype right now, and yes, even we can't discount the idea of trying to eat a little healthier to kick off 2017. But if you’re going to do it, do it with stuff that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Like Rush Bowls, AKA acai bowls, AKA fruit smoothies topped with granola and honey. The Power Bowl is our favorite.
What to Eat: Fried Mozzarella
Dio Mio is a fast-casual pasta restaurant in RiNo, and while they’re still working out some kinks with the dinner service (their pasta is hit or miss), we use it for wine and snacks before a bigger meal out in the neighborhood. The crunchy deep fried Mozzarella and a glass of cabernet is exactly what you need after a long workday.
What to Eat: Warm Artichoke Salad
Even if you haven't promised yourself an all-salad diet for the next month, this gem should be high atop your 2017 lunch rotation. Roasted shiitakes and some pecorino play well with the bitter/spicy artichoke leaves.
What to Eat: Vegetarian Pho
Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of soup on a cold day. And even though good bowls around town aren't too hard to find, the ones at Saigon are worth straying from your usual pho path for - especially if you tend to go the vegetarian route.
What to Eat: The Mailman
A breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, refried beans, melty cheese, and smothered in some of the best green chile in town. Pull up a seat at the bar, and be prepared to discuss the weather with the retired regulars.
What to Eat: Ronnie's Favorite
After suffering a tragic fire, Rosenberg's was forced to shut down and wander the pop-up restaurant desert indefinitely. But the roadshow was never as good as the real thing. Now, after months of reciting a "let my bagels go" chant over and over to ourselves, the Rose is back, better than ever, and Ronnie's Favorite is still the play. Your choice of Bagel (we recommend the Everything) with dill cream cheese, cucumber, Scottish smoked salmon, and whitefish salad. A twist on the classic cream cheese and lox, and we love it.
What to Eat: Bigoli Pasta
Spuntino rolls out a new menu with every season change, which basically means pasta Christmas four times a year. Most recently, the Bigoli pasta has turned out to be our favorite gift of 2016. Fresh, homemade pasta, big mushroom flavors and some pine nut crunch for texture. Merry pasta to all, and to all a good night.
What to Eat: Soup Dumplings, Potstickers, Noodles
The reliably grouchy staff make Wang's a little intimidating for first timers, but fear not. The food here is 100 percent worth it. Handmade potstickers, soup dumplings, and a beef noodle soup that'll cure any and all cold weather chills.
What to Eat: Tonkotsu Ramen
The Tonkotsu is a simple bowl of ramen available at pretty much any ramen shop worth its salt. But Tokio's has a bonkers broth that really sets it apart. It's much lighter than you might be used to, and props up the heavier pork and noodle flavors really well. This bowl has a way of tricking you into thinking you aren't full regardless of how much you eat. And if there was ever something worth being able to eat all day, it's this.
What to Eat: Spicy Fried Chicken
Good fried chicken is a precious thing, and the spicy version at Lou's is probably the most valuable breaded bird parts we have in Denver. Perfectly crisp outside, tender juicy inside. The fiery after-effects of each bite hurt, but in a really good way.
Add a little excitement to your dining experience by setting it on fire - literally. This simple but excellent cheese is flambéed (AKA torched) and served with warm puffy pita bread for dipping. Don't forget to join in on the custom "OPA!" cheer when they drop it off.
What to Eat: King & Snow Crab
Your order will arrive in a bucket, ready to be dumped on your table Louisiana-style with sausage and potatoes to boot. Get your hands dirty, and probably get some cajun fries, too. The Crab also has a ton of TVs, making it a really nice under-the-radar spot to catch a good meal and a game.
What To Eat: Wings
Calling this place unassuming would be an understatement, but after sampling their wings (with "crack sauce"), we're putting Roo Bar high atop our best wings in Denver list. The space is hidden away and kind of tricky to find under the I-25 & I-70 interchange, but this is a scavenger hunt worth playing.
What To Eat: Aye Conyo
Bulking up the standard Cubano with pepperoni, sliced turkey, peppers and a tangy key lime mayo might sound like a bit much to Cuban sandwich purists, but trust us - it works when they do it at Buchi. Add a double cortadito to your order to counteract your need for an immediate nap afterwards.
What to Eat: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Fall is almost here. Which means you officially have an excuse to double down on pasta (not that you needed it). Every pasta at Coperta is made from scratch, and all are worth ordering. But the simplicity of the Pepe let's the freshness of the noodles shine most. Ask for extra pepper.