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The Best Restaurant Meals of 2018

Food writers share their stand-out Denver dining experiences from the past year

Uchi’s sushi and meat spread topped local food writers’ shortlists of best restaurant meals this year
Lucy Beaugard

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, the dining experts share their favorite restaurant meals of 2018.

Allyson Reedy, contributor, The Denver Post: I sound like a broken record here, but it was Safta.

Ruth Tobias, freelance food and wine writer, multiple outlets: Not to gush, but I’ve seriously had so many that it’s easier to single out dishes. Top 20 in no particular order: Julep’s deviled snails, Morin’s sweetbread pain au lait, the Bindery’s tuna ribs, the Wolf’s Tailor’s piada, Safta’s kibbeh nayeh, Uchi’s foie gras nigiri, dumplings at Fortune Wok to Table, Spuntino’s crostata di uovo, Szechuan Tasty House’s lion’s head meatballs, Cattivella’s rabbit gnocchi, aprapransa with goat at African Grill, Call and Beckon’s aebleskivers, the Way Back’s mixed mushrooms in onion broth with cured egg yolk, Corrida’s chorizo with potatoes, seafood caldo at Super Mega Bien, confit sunchokes at Bittersweet, artichoke agnolotti at Bistro Barbès, Bistro Georgette’s croque madame, Tavernetta’s rigatoni alla gricia, and Korean hot wings at DMZ Pub (thanks, Mark Antonation). And pretty much everything at Rebel. If you’ve read through the end of this list, apologies and hats off.

Brittany Werges, Editor-in-Chief, 303 Magazine: Uchi was really impressive. Equally one of the most satisfying and surprising meals I’ve had in recent memory.

Lucy Beaugard, photographer and writer, Eater: Oh gosh, too many to remember! Dinner at Avelina always makes me happy.

Denise Mickelsen, Food Editor, 5280 Magazine: Recently, my first experience at Beckon was wonderful. Earlier in the year, Arcana blew me away at both brunch and dinner.

Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor, 5280: So many good ones. All I know is, I can’t wait to eat more sandwiches from Lou’s Italian Specialties in 2019.

Gigi Sukin, Digital Editor, ColoradoBiz Mag: Tavernetta: No phones; lots of wine; stellar service; one of every pasta dish on the menu.

Peyton Garcia, Content Editor, DiningOut Magazine: Right off the bat, I’m always dreaming of Bistro Georgette’s (at Avanti) croque madame with bistro ham, a perfectly fried egg, and gooey Mornay sauce on brioche. I’m so excited to see what else the former Mizuna team can put out.

But of course, there are some honorable mentions worth noting. There was the Alamosa striped bass on pickled eggplant caponata at Chow Morso. (But did we really expect anything less from Barolo Grill’s Ryan Fletter?) Nocturne wins the category of all-around dining experience with their “Renditions” tasting menus paired expertly with live jazz music. Union Station’s Whole Sol deserves a shout for impressing someone (me) who doesn’t particularly love health foods — their warm bowls, like the probiotic power bowl (cabbage, spinach, poached eggs, sauerkraut, avocado, Dijon dressing) is so, so delicious. Loved Pony Up’s French dip array. And also Osaka’s in Boulder, specializing in okonomiyaki burgers.

Morgan Carter, Managing Editor, DiningOut Magazine: Bamboo Sushi’s omakase dinner. Omakase dinners are often out of reach for most diners (myself included), but at Bamboo Sushi, you can set your own price for omakase starting at $60. The most memorable dish I had was the Wagyu beef topped with uni and caviar. Also, shout out to the octopus carpaccio at beast + bottle (anything by Paul C. Reilly is bound to be good), the chef’s tasting menu at the Populist (go check out the new chefs: Theo Adley and Russell Stippich), and the pig’s head at Rebel Restaurant (RIP).


2512 Mission Street, , CA 94110 (415) 795-3842 Visit Website


1550 17th Street, , CO 80202 (720) 904-6711 Visit Website


1889 16th Street Mall, , CO 80202 (720) 605-1889 Visit Website


4141 Pennsylvania Avenue, , MO 64111 (816) 216-7000 Visit Website


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

Bistro Georgette

3200 North Pecos Street, , CO 80211

Whole Sol Blend Bar

1735 Chestnut Place, , CO 80202 (720) 372-7862 Visit Website


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


904 Westheimer Road, , TX 77006 (713) 522-4808 Visit Website

Bamboo Sushi Denver - LoHi

2715 17th Street, , CO 80211 (303) 284-6600 Visit Website

Chow Morso Osteria

1500 Wynkoop Street, , CO 80202 (720) 639-4089 Visit Website

The Populist

3163 Larimer Street, , CO 80205 (720) 432-3163 Visit Website


16 East Martin Street, , NC 27601 (919) 977-3829 Visit Website

The Way Back

3963 Tennyson Street, , CO 80212 (970) 682-6888 Visit Website


80238 East 29th Drive, , CO 80238 (303) 645-3779 Visit Website


1260 25th Street, , CO 80205 (720) 269-4695 Visit Website

Pony Up

1808 Blake Street, , CO 80202 (720) 710-8144 Visit Website

Beckon | Call

2845 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205

Beast + Bottle

719 East 17th Avenue, , CO 80203 (303) 623-3223 Visit Website

Bistro Barbes

, Denver, CO (720) 398-8085

The Bindery

1817 Central Street, , CO 80211 (303) 993-2364 Visit Website


2639 West 32nd Avenue, , CO 80211 (303) 433-0949 Visit Website


1330 27th Street, , CO 80205 (303) 295-3333 Visit Website

The Wolf's Tailor

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


1023 Walnut Street, , CO 80302 (303) 444-1333 Visit Website