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Denver Restaurant Experts Discuss the Biggest Dining Surprises of 2018

Institutions closing, hummus arriving, and neighborhood staples stepping up

Safta’s hummus surprised Denver food writers this year — as did its double-digit price
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

Following an Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant writers, journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Their answers to the annual “Year in Eater” survey are revealed in several posts this week. Here, Denver dining experts share their biggest surprises of 2018.

Allyson Reedy, contributor, The Denver Post: Safta’s pita and hummus, because I didn’t think I’d ever happily pay double-digit prices for hummus.

Ruth Tobias, freelance food and wine writer, multiple outlets: Returning to places I hadn’t been in a while to find them at the top of their game. Just to name a few, I had really terrific meals at the Plimoth, the Populist, To the Wind, Bistro Barbès, Potager, Tokio, beast + bottle, and Bittersweet. That, to me, is the ultimate confirmation of Denver’s status as a true food town: It’s not just the newcomers and the major destinations that are killing it, every last neighborhood place and old favorite is pulling its weight too.

Brittany Werges, Editor-in-Chief, 303 Magazine: All of the closures of iconic Denver restaurants. To me, places like Paramount Cafe and White Fence Farm felt like a part of the fabric of Denver. It might not be tragic food wise, but in terms of nostalgia, it felt devastating.

Linnea Covington, freelance writer, Westword: I was tickled that Morin opened up. I don’t see Denver as having a scene for fine dining French fare like this, but I am glad it’s here.

Lucy Beaugard, photographer and writer, Eater: Safta. Years of planning and hearing about Alon, finally he arrived.

Denise Mickelsen, Food Editor, 5280 Magazine: Sad surprises: Cloverdale (in Steamboat) closing, White Fence Farm closing, Garibaldi’s 2.0 closing, Kyle Mendenhall leaving Arcana at the end of the year, and Carrie Baird not winning “Top Chef” season 15. A happy surprise: Alex Seidel winning the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest 2018.

Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor, 5280: It’s not necessarily a surprise, but I was sad to see Babette’s Artisan exit the Denver market altogether. The Mile High City needs all the good bakeries it can get!

Gigi Sukin, Digital Editor, ColoradoBiz Mag: Most new restaurants are taking vegetarian options more seriously.

Peyton Garcia, Content Editor, Dining Out Magazine: There were two brand new concepts that really piqued my interest. Beckon came in with the chef’s table-only dining arrangement, and the Wolf’s Tailor is making waves with its religious commitment to sustainability, fair wages, and house-made ingredients. I felt like both endeavors were absolutely unique to Denver’s dining scene, and I’m curious to see where 2019 will take them as the dust settles and their roots grow in their respective communities.


3330 Brighton Boulevard, , CO 80216 (720) 408-2444 Visit Website


1600 15th Street, , CO 80202 (303) 623-0534 Visit Website

White Fence Farm

6263 West Jewell Avenue, , CO 80232 (303) 935-5945 Visit Website

Cloverdale Farm And Restaurant

207 9th Street, , CO 80487 (970) 875-3179 Visit Website


2843 Larimer Street, , CO 80205 (303) 749-0020 Visit Website

The Wolf's Tailor

4058 Tejon Street, , CO 80211 (720) 456-6705 Visit Website