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Industry Experts' Top Restaurant Standbys of 2015

As we put a cap on 2015, Eater surveyed a group of critics, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from Top Standbys to Top Newcomers, from Best Meals to Restaurant Grievances. All answers will be revealed—cut, pasted, unedited and unadulterated—by the time we pop the cork on 2016.

Seven of those asked included Acorn in their answers.
Seven of those asked included Acorn in their answers.
Adam Larkey

Q: What were your top restaurant standbys of 2015?

Jennifer Murphy, freelance writer, AFAR contributor

Acorn, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Sushi Den, the Populist, Colt & Gray, Linger.

Amanda Faison, 5280 Magazine food editor

Beast & Bottle, Biju's Little Curry Shop, Onefold, and later in the year, Bar Fausto and Black Eye Coffee.

Andra Zeppelin, Eater Denver editor

I like some level of predictability so many of the places I went to in 2014 have returned: Acorn, El Taco de Mexico, Williams & Graham, but also Cart Driver, the Plimoth, and Cho77 ( I just wish I could have made it there more often!).

Linnea Covington, freelance writer, Westword contributor

Most of my standbys are in Highlands since I live in the area. They include Old Major, Highland Tap & Burger, and Blue Pan.

Gigi Sukin, CoBiz and Eater Denver contributor

Uncle, North, WaterCourse, Steubens, Truffle Table, Pizzeria Locale *Boulder.

Brittany Werges, 303 Magazine food editor

For the better part of 2015, I lived directly across the street from Bones. My proximity, coupled with my affinity for the noodle house, resulted in a steady diet of steamed buns, shishito peppers and ramen. I recently moved, but I still frequent the place—admittedly I just returned from lunch from there. Aside from that, I often find myself at Cart-Driver, because there's always an occasion for pizza and oysters. Also when it came to group dinners, Cho77, Acorn, and Mercantile Dining & Provision and Ophelia's were always crowd pleasers.

Ruth Tobias, Thrillist contributor

This is partly a proximity thing, but I found myself at Humboldt a lot this year. It's close, it strikes a nice balance between upscale and comfortable, and that freaking crispy broccoli never fails. Neither do oysters. Also I'm supposed to say El Taco de Mexico or my sweetheart will be mad at me.

Jessie Levine, Eater Denver contributor

Uncle, Lao Wang Noodle House, Cart-Driver, Acorn, Black Eye Coffee Cap Hill, Cho77, and the Denver Dae Gee.

Lori Midson, Zagat Denver editor

Cho77 (simply put, I can't get enough of Lon Symensma's cooking); Homegrown Tap & Dough (within stumbling distance of my house and a great place to watch the Broncos); Megenagna (found myself there at least a few times a month, if not more); Land of Sushi (spectacular, always); Onefold (congee!); Acorn (just keeps getting better and better); Fooducopia (my favorite place to sneak away from the crowds); Funny Plus (the Korean fried chicken is a marvel); and Mercantile, which may very well be Denver's best restaurant. In fact, it is.

Megan Barber, Curbed Ski editor

Acorn, Avanti, Duo, Work & Class, Uncle.

William Porter, Denver Post restaurant critic

For dinner and drinks: Work & Class, Stoic & Genuine. For breakfast, my favorite meal of the day: Sassafras and Krameria Cafe. The latter keeps funky hours, but wow, the Southwestern-style egg dishes -- the Luchadores, the Comanche, the chorizo scramble, the poblano omelet -- are terrific.

Adam Larkey, Eater Denver photographer

As confirmed by my bookkeeper: Ophelia's, Bar Fausto, Mercantile, Cart Driver.

Maya Silver, Dining Out Magazine writer

No matter how many incredible brunch spots there are in the city, it's hard for me to resist the allure of a gigantic biscuit sandwich over at Denver Biscuit Co./Atomic Cowboy. For lunch, I find myself returning to Avanti F&B again and again to try something new. For a dinner that always turns me onto something new or exciting, I love Acorn or Oak.

Rachel Greiman, Eater Denver contributor

My husband and I absolutely love to try new restaurants. But there is something about Friday nights where we just want consistency. And that comes in the form of sweatpants and take out from Thai Street Food in Aurora. We don't typically stray from this routine and I don't see that changing in 2016. If we lived closer to Uncle though, I guarantee that would also be in the regular rotation.

Grace Boyle, Eater Denver contributor

Work & Class, Uncle, Pizzeria Locale (in Boulder).

Rebecca Treon, freelance writer, Denver Post contributor

The Kitchen Next Door, Cora Faye's, Park Burger, Tacos Junior.

Cart Driver

, Denver, CO (303) 292-3553


42 South Broadway, , CO 80209 (720) 638-8179 Visit Website


95 South Pennsylvania Street, , CO 80209 (720) 638-1859 Visit Website


15 Henry Thomas Drive, , LA 70124 (504) 218-5413 Visit Website

Stoic & Genuine

1701 Wynkoop Street, , CO 80202 (303) 640-3474 Visit Website

Mercantile Dining and Provision

1701 Wynkoop Street, , CO 80202 (720) 460-3733 Visit Website