Our Top 10 Favorite Restaurants in Denver - Part 1

Denver restaurants have improved dramatically over the years. From starting as a small western town, we are now a thriving metropolis full of several options for ethnic food, local ingredients that are consistently improving, and chefs that can compete on a global scale with the likes of New York City, London, and beyond.

While it’s hard to narrow our favorite restaurants in town down to a single list, and new spaces are popping up every day, here are our top 10 favorite restaurants in Denver in 2019!

To the Wind Bistro

A small, quaint, French-style bistro, To the Wind is our favorite restaurant in Denver. While they don’t take reservations, this restaurant is well worth whatever wait they might have when you attend.

Affordable, yet delicious, exquisite and a yet comfortable, stress-free ambiance, we highly recommend taking the trip down East Colfax to check out this unassuming bistro.

Top picks: While everything Chef Royce creates is absolutely delicious and their menu changes frequently, we highly recommend the Spanish octopus and the duck breast.  They’re perfectly cooked and are bursting at the seams with flavor!

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A flavorful collection of interesting dishes has been created to fill the menu at 12@Madison. Equally small plates, while large enough to still be sharable, Chef Osaka plays with flavors, textures, colors, and ingredients in the unique way that only a well-seasoned chef can accomplish. (Pardon the pun.)

While the creative menu hits a home run, this Congress Park neighborhood gem keeps the “old Denver” aspects that we dearly love – easily walkable, lots of locals, and a friendly staff that will easily take a moment to chat. If you’re lucky, Chef Osaka may even be available to catch up over the chef’s counter!

Top picks: Our top dishes to recommend at this local spot are the duck risotto and vegetable bolognese. Delicious, rich flavors with balanced textures that make us swoon.

Elway’s DIA

Home to our own Chef Justin, Elway’s in the heart of Denver International Airport is full of perhaps surprisingly fresh ingredients and fine dishes that are ideal for traveling family and professionals alike.  Common to what we’ve come to expect from Elway’s, this location includes USDA hand-cut prime steaks, raw bar selections of fresh fish and crustaceans, and a classic wine list that has been crafted for beginner through expert sommeliers to enjoy.

The menu changes according to market availability, but they always have a selection that is worth going early for your flight, or staying an extra moment after you land. Unlike the usual spots in the airport, you’ll find new friends engaging in delightful conversations, servers that enjoy meeting new people, and food that is high quality and doesn’t feel incredibly rushed.

Top picks: We feel that the Elway’s hamburger is one of the best in the US, though the lamb fondue is second to none and all of the steaks are absolutely delicious, too.


Chef Elise Wiggins is a powerful force to be reckoned with, and she created a restaurant to match. Bursting with flavors, the entire menu fits this restaurant’s festive name, which translates to “naughty girl.” Centered around the wood-burning pizza oven and wood-burning grill, the entire kitchen is openly visible to the entire restaurant, giving off a fun, light-hearted vibe.

Annually, Chef Wiggins takes a pilgrimage to Italy to stay on top of relevant new flavors, techniques, and ingredients, meaning that her menu is always well-developed and top-notch. And if you get the pleasure of meeting her while she’s in town, then we can promise that you’ll enjoy every moment of your interaction.  Delicious, authentic Italian with a light-hearted, festive vibe – sounds perfect in our book!

Top picks: Buffalo burrata and oysters to start, the speck pizza is our favorite (though be prepared because it’s a little spicy), and their desserts, while ever-changing, are all incredible. You can’t go wrong!

D Bar

The d in “D Bar” stands for drinks, dining, and dessert, and that’s exactly what Chef Keegan Gerhard delivers with fun and festive flare.  Filled with upscale comfort food, their complete menu is crafted around familiar favorites with unique twists.

Chic and modern with both indoor and outdoor seating, you’ll find that this spot is usually packed, but you should get a table fairly quickly due to their efficient service, without compromising on taste and quality, and their patronage typically leans towards desserts.  Though their desserts are spectacular, don’t discount their typical meal-focused menu, though – everything here is fantastic!

Top tips: They offer a four-course dinner for $35 that can’t be beat, and we ALWAYS recommend the brussel sprouts. Almost everyone agrees that their desserts are top-tier and we typically lean towards the cake & shake pairing whenever possible.