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Restaurant Experts Sum Up 2014 in One Word

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered the 2014's restaurant standbys and best newcomers. Now it's time for 2014 in one word.

Union Station
Union Station
Adam Larkey

Q: Describe 2014 in one word.

Andra Zeppelin, Eater Denver editor

Transformative. Denver's dining scene saw a big makeover this last year with several new restaurants that could compete with some of the best in the country. Of course we had great restaurants before but the concentration and quality that was added in 2014 gave Denver a great boost.

Amanda Faison, 5280 Magazine food editor

Boom. The Denver restaurant scene is seeing unprecedented growth. This abundance of choice is thrilling for local diners but it puts the squeeze on restaurants who, more than ever, must ensure their experiences deliver on all fronts-food, service, and vibe.

Lori Midson, Zagat Denver editor


Carri Wilbanks, USA Today video producer and host


Ruth Tobias, Eater Denver and Thrillist contributing writer

Validation. Seems Denver is finally getting some of the national attention it deserves.

Maya Silver, Dining Out Magazine writer


Megan Barber, Curbed Ski editor

Hot! So many restaurants, so little time.

Jess Hunter, Eater Denver contributor

Casual. (Spartan design, paper napkins, casual plating, casual dining.)

Stacey Brugeman, 5280 Magazine restaurant critic

Union Station. OK, that's two words, but the redevelopment of it has been one of the most exciting things to happen in Denver in my years here-culinary, cocktail, and otherwise.

Adam Larkey, Eater Denver photographer

Whiplash...(and UnionStation)

Jeremy Kossler, founder of the Denver Burger Battle

Leap. We've had some good years in the past 4-5 years for Denver food, but 2014 was a huge year - a leap forward.

Penny Parker, Blacktie Colorado writer


Ashley Hughes, Eater Denver writer


Rebecca Caro, Denver Post contributing writer


Grace Boyle, Eater Denver contributor


Meaghan Mooney, KDVR Anchor and Reporter

Belly-filling (can that be one word?).

Katy Hume, Eater Denver contributor


Pat Miller, the Gabby Gourmet


Brittany Werges, 303 Magazine food editor

Market. Many new restaurants started to include a market concept where costumers could purchase provisions such as meats, cheeses, dry goods or grab-n-go items such as sandwiches. Blackbelly, Mercantile and Sarto's are to name a few. "Market" also defines 2014 because it shows how many "fine dining" restaurants are shifting focus to incorporate more casual, everyday options for customers to enjoy those products on a daily basis. Lastly market also references the industry's continued dedication to local goods as many of the items are from Colorado purveyors and often sourced directly from farms that the restaurants run and operate.