Denver’s culinary scene is more diverse and thriving today than ever before, but it’s been impressive for a long time. In this post, we celebrate nine long-running Denver restaurants considered emblematic of the Mile-High City dining experience.
The Avenue Grill might serve San Franciscan fare, but it is definitely an iconic Denver restaurant. For 30 years, the Avenue Grill has been a mainstay in Denver’s North Capitol Hill neighborhood. Its fresh sourdough, savory clam chowder, and famed martinis are just a five-minute walk form AMLI Park Avenue.
The upscale New American restaurant Palace Arms is the most upscale restaurant here, but its not the only place to enjoy food and drink in this 19th-century hotel. Ellyngton’s serves mouthwatering breakfast and brunch dishes. Ship Tavern is known for its steaks, burgers, and beer. You can also enjoy afternoon tea and scones in the elegantly appointed lobby. The 125-year-old Brown Palace Hotel and its restaurants are a 15-minute walk from AMLI Park Avenue’s Capitol Hill apartments.
Founded in 1893, The Buckhorn Exchange claims the title of Denver’s original steakhouse. Large portions of meat, much of it coming from the high mountains nearby, are at the heart of most dishes. Entrees include beef and buffalo steaks, pork ribs, quail, elk, Colorado Lamb, yak, and ostrich. The Buckhorn Exchange, located in Denver’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, also serves those storied Rocky Mountain oysters.
Ownership of My Brother’s Bar changed hands earlier this year for the first time in 50 years. But longtime waitress Paula Newman and her entrepreneurial son Danny, the new owners, plan to changing nothing about Colorado’s longest-running watering hole. Thee menu, music, and welcoming atmosphere should all stay the same. The J.C.B., jalapeño cream cheese burger, is the hottest item on the menu at this Denver dining institution. My Brother’s Bar, a 10-minute walk from AMLI Riverfront Park, also has great happy hour specials.
Potager’s rustic interior is reminiscent of the days when Denver was little more than a junction for gold rushers and other adventurers. It’s a nice dining atmosphere, well-suited to Chef Teri Rippeto’s ever-changing farm-to-table offerings. When Potager opened under this concept 20 years ago, it was ahead of its time. But the proliferation of farm-to-table restaurants in Denver hasn’t stopped this one from filling up every night. Visit for fresh, inventive dishes that only stick around on the menu for a month before they’re gone. Some dishes, like cheese souffle, are always on the menu, but their flavors change with the seasons. Potager is a one-mile walk from AMLI Park Avenue.
For 34 years, Racines has been serving up the same stuff for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night feasting. Affordably prices and a friendly staff add to the appeal of this old-school Denver dining institution.
Denver’s most iconic chain restaurant may be Sam’s No. 3, a classic, all-American diner with three locations in Denver and Aurora. Sam’s is known for its famous green chili sauce, Greek specialties, massive burritos, and retro vibe. The downtown Denver location is just one mile from AMLI Park Avenue.
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Denver’s now trendy LoDo neighborhood has changed a lot during the last 40 years. And Wazee Supper Club has been there to see it all. Known for pizza, pasta, salads, and an expansive beer selection, Wazee is an indisputable LoDo institution. The restaurant and lounge is a 15-minute walk from AMLI Riverfront Park.
When it was founded by two-time Colorado governor John Hickenlooper in 1988, Wnykoop Brewing Company in LoDo was Denver’s only brewpub. Denver has several great brewpubs now, but Wynkoop will always be the original. Wynkoop’s quality craft brews and delicious New American cuisine keep it at the heart of the Mile-High City’s brewpub scene. Wynkoop Brewing is a 15-minute walk from AMLI Riverfront Park’s LoHi apartments.
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