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Il Posto
Il Posto
Adam Larkey

Denver's Ten Essential Chef Counters

Your (literal) front row guide to dining in the Mile High

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Il Posto
| Adam Larkey

The interactive dining experience, from table-side preparations to birds-eye views of the kitchen, is a strong movement in the restaurant world across the country. The more fanatical diners become about food— a positive development for the hospitality world— the more restaurants find ways to keep up with them and engage them in the cooking experience even in a voyeuristic way.

The chef's counter is the trend that stays, one that provides diners with an interactive experience. Denver's best chefs counters are diverse: Some are old and some are brand new (Hello, Cattivella!), some are tiny (To the Wind) and some larger (El Five), but all of them give diners a literal front row seat to the kitchen. As always, if we missed your favorite, reach out through the tipline and we'll consider an addition.

Disclosure: The editor is married to one of the developers behind The Source, the development in which Acorn resides.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cattivella

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10195 E 29th Dr
Denver, CO 80238
(303) 645-3779
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Former executive chef of Panzano, Elise Wiggins, knows a thing or two about visual preparation and presentation. Her newly opened Stapleton restaurant boasts of a three sided chef counter with a wood fire hearth front and center. Try the focaccia di recco with with prosciutto di Parma and Crescenza cheese encased in a light pastry dough baked to a golden brown and topped with rucola and a 12 year old balsamic.
CATTIVELLA Adam Larkey

2. El Five

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2930 Umatilla St
Denver, CO 80211
The latest concept from Edible Beats does not disappoint. There is a spectacular view of the mountains on one side and the city's skyline on the other and anchoring the space is a large chef's counter. Make sure to order the vegetarian paella and a porron of wine.
EL FIVE - DENVER Adam Larkey

3. Il Posto

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2601 larimer
Denver, CO
(303) 394-0100‬
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The chefs counter at this new addition to RiNo is tucked just on the other side of the stairs giving the lucky diners a bit more privacy. The menu is constantly rotating using fresh and seasonally inspired ingredients.
Il Posto Adam Larkey

4. Fish N Beer

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3510 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 248-3497
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Since opening, Fish N Beer has been serving the RiNo neighborhood some of the freshest catch from grilled oysters to a full fish. Not only is there an open back patio but the inside is decked out with various seating from booths to front row seats at the chef counter.
Lucy Beaugard

5. Acorn

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3350 Brighton Blvd
Denver, CO 80216
(720) 542-3721
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One of the two restaurants inside the Source, Acorn has rightfully become a fan favorite with dishes that range from the now-classic kale and apple salad to the stunningly plated Wagyu beef tartare. This chef's counter gives a peek inside the magic of wood-fired cooking.
Acorn

6. Mercantile Dining & Provision

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1701 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 460-3733
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Set inside the ever bustling Union Station, this open and bright spot boasts of a new American menu that should not be missed. We recommend taking a seat and the chef's counter while enjoying a cocktail, but luckily if time won't allow this luxury they have several market items to go.
McCall Burau

7. Uncle

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2215 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 433-3263
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The ever-busy ramen shop in LoHi is anchored by a bustling chef's counter. Ask about new items on the menu and don't miss the kimchi ramen.
Uncle

8. Work & Class

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2500 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 292-0700
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The Latin American cuisine curated by chef Dana Rodriguez makes this spot a RiNo favorite. The space is open and casual. Have a seat at the chef's counter while enjoying a happy hour cocktail.
Work & Class

9. to the wind

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3333 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 316-3333
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The dining experience is always intimate in this quaint East Colfax restaurant, but the chef's counter is by far the best seat in the house.
To the Wind

10. Blackbelly

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1606 Conestoga St
Boulder, CO 80301
‭+1 (303) 247-1000‬
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This Boulder gem led by chef Hosea Rosenberg is known for locally sourced, organic and sustainable food with an emphasis on meat. The menu changes constantly and the counter is the perfect spot to experience new (and not so new) dishes.
Blackbelly

1. Cattivella

10195 E 29th Dr, Denver, CO 80238
CATTIVELLA Adam Larkey
Former executive chef of Panzano, Elise Wiggins, knows a thing or two about visual preparation and presentation. Her newly opened Stapleton restaurant boasts of a three sided chef counter with a wood fire hearth front and center. Try the focaccia di recco with with prosciutto di Parma and Crescenza cheese encased in a light pastry dough baked to a golden brown and topped with rucola and a 12 year old balsamic.
10195 E 29th Dr
Denver, CO 80238

2. El Five

2930 Umatilla St, Denver, CO 80211
EL FIVE - DENVER Adam Larkey
The latest concept from Edible Beats does not disappoint. There is a spectacular view of the mountains on one side and the city's skyline on the other and anchoring the space is a large chef's counter. Make sure to order the vegetarian paella and a porron of wine.
2930 Umatilla St
Denver, CO 80211

3. Il Posto

2601 larimer, Denver, CO
Il Posto Adam Larkey
The chefs counter at this new addition to RiNo is tucked just on the other side of the stairs giving the lucky diners a bit more privacy. The menu is constantly rotating using fresh and seasonally inspired ingredients.
2601 larimer
Denver, CO

4. Fish N Beer

3510 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Lucy Beaugard
Since opening, Fish N Beer has been serving the RiNo neighborhood some of the freshest catch from grilled oysters to a full fish. Not only is there an open back patio but the inside is decked out with various seating from booths to front row seats at the chef counter.
3510 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

5. Acorn

3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
Acorn
One of the two restaurants inside the Source, Acorn has rightfully become a fan favorite with dishes that range from the now-classic kale and apple salad to the stunningly plated Wagyu beef tartare. This chef's counter gives a peek inside the magic of wood-fired cooking.
3350 Brighton Blvd
Denver, CO 80216

6. Mercantile Dining & Provision

1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
McCall Burau
Set inside the ever bustling Union Station, this open and bright spot boasts of a new American menu that should not be missed. We recommend taking a seat and the chef's counter while enjoying a cocktail, but luckily if time won't allow this luxury they have several market items to go.
1701 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202

7. Uncle

2215 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Uncle
The ever-busy ramen shop in LoHi is anchored by a bustling chef's counter. Ask about new items on the menu and don't miss the kimchi ramen.
2215 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

8. Work & Class

2500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Work & Class
The Latin American cuisine curated by chef Dana Rodriguez makes this spot a RiNo favorite. The space is open and casual. Have a seat at the chef's counter while enjoying a happy hour cocktail.
2500 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

9. to the wind

3333 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
To the Wind
The dining experience is always intimate in this quaint East Colfax restaurant, but the chef's counter is by far the best seat in the house.
3333 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206

10. Blackbelly

1606 Conestoga St, Boulder, CO 80301
Blackbelly
This Boulder gem led by chef Hosea Rosenberg is known for locally sourced, organic and sustainable food with an emphasis on meat. The menu changes constantly and the counter is the perfect spot to experience new (and not so new) dishes.
1606 Conestoga St
Boulder, CO 80301

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