Amanda Faison, food editor at 5280 magazine, has watched Denver's culinary scene transform in a big way over the years. "It's tremendously different. Really, in the last seven years, we've seen so much innovation and excitement. Our city has always had an inferiority complex, and that's just not the case anymore." Faison tells Eater that she's thrilled to see a wave of new restaurants like Trillium, Charcoal, Linger and TAG Raw Bar (all featured in 5280's best new restaurants issue) taking Denver to the next level. And while Denver is blowing up with some exciting new restaurants, there's also several tucked away eateries that shouldn't be missed. Here now, Faison shares her favorite hidden gems.
Diyar International Market — this is the best place for freshly baked bread, fresh feta, Turkish apricots, grapeseed oil, and did I mention the incredible, freshly baked bread?! I spent some time in Soviet Georgia and the bread at Diyar is a carbon copy of what I fell in love with in Tbilisi.
Cuba Cuba — I adore this Cuban restaurant in the Golden Triangle. The space, the island vibe, the perfect ensalada Cubana with hearts of palm and avocado...and, of course, the sangria—red or white, they're both good. I do, however, think that Buchi Cafe Cubano on 38th Ave. makes the city's best caffe con leche.
I don't know if you can call it a secret, but I'm obsessed with Manneken Frites in Old Town Arvada. A cone of piping hot fries with a Belgian beer or a lambic...yes, please.
Lastly, one of the most overlooked restaurants in the metro area is Beso de Arte in Golden. The cocktails, the molcajete, the PATIO — I love everything about this tucked-away spot, especially after a hike.
· Denver's Best New Restaurants