Dec 14, 2021 - News

Denver restaurants we can't live without

Outside of Fruition in Denver. Photo:Brian Brainerd/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Westword's latest list of the top 100 restaurants in Denver we can't live without got us thinking about our own favorite places to eat in 2021.

Here are the Axios Denver team's picks from the list:

John —

Fruition: This is our favorite place to splurge, and as we learned during the pandemic, the takeout from this Alex Seidel restaurant is just as good as the local-focused food you eat inside.

Cholon: The French onion soup dumplings are light pockets of heavenly goodness that I think about all the time. This is the kind of place where you can order all the small bites and be full and happy.

Safta: For a work dinner with the boss or a picnic at a Levitt Pavilion concert, Safta hits the spot every time. Chef Alon Shaya's Middle Eastern menu pops with flavor and craveable plates.

Alayna — 

Somebody People: This funky plant-based, no-waste restaurant on South Broadway is guaranteed to keep its Mediterranean, melt-in-your-mouth meals on your mind for days. The waitstaff is also remarkably kind and inviting.

Q House: Gather a group and head to this modern Chinese eatery on East Colfax, where you'll want to sample a little bit of everything on chef Christopher Lin's menu, inspired by flavors of Taiwan and Sichuan.

Misfit Snackbar: My favorite thing about this hip, walk-up kitchen inside Middleman on East Colfax is its menu always manages to surprise me. Arguably one of the city's most imaginative chefs, Bo Porytko dishes out creative spins on traditional pub fare.

Gigi —

Cart-Driver: A casual but confident consistency and attention to ingredients that bring out robust flavor are what make this Italian-inspired concept such a staple.

Owlbear Barbecue: After years as a pescatarian, I'll admit to a pang of nervousness that accompanies each experience at a meat-lovers utopia such as Owlbear. But this smokehouse, spun out of a food truck from pitmaster Karl Fallenius — who apprenticed under Austin, Texas, legend Aaron Franklin — has brought me nothing but delicious joy.

El Taco de México: There are more than a few reasons for the cult following at this no-frills Lincoln Park institution, starting with the hot and fragrant green chile, simmering in giant vats. I daydream of this taqueria's quick-serve delicacies — the chilaquiles, the rellenos, the enchiladas — and count the seconds between my order hitting the whispering griddle and my first flavorful bites.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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