clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Lucy Beaugard

The Guide to Fast-Casual Eating in Denver

Delicious and affordable food on the go

View as Map

The fast-casual restaurant scene was created with busy but discerning diners in mind, joining fast food and casual dining in perfect counter-service harmony. And Denver has plenty of talented chefs cooking up enticing dishes at a convenient pace for its city dwellers on a schedule. Their concepts offer quick-service curries, all-vegan options, diverse food stalls and trucks, and, of course, pizzas.

So instead of relying on fast food chains (with questionable ingredients), Denver eaters can dive into a quick and satisfying bowl of poke, oysters alongside a pizza made to order, or a quality fried chicken sandwich. Whether there’s only 30 minutes for lunch or an hour for dinner, this guide should provide enough options for dining quickly and dining well around Denver.

Note: Map points are not ranked by listed from west to east. If we missed your favorite fast-casual spot, please feel free to share with us in the comments below or send a tip to denver@eater.com.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Biju's Little Curry Shop

Copy Link

Try any of the bowls at this South Indian spot, each jam-packed with flavor, such as the coconut curry chicken with spiced lentils, sautéed cabbage, herb yogurt, a sprinkle of cilantro and mint chutney with crushed papadam.

<span data-author="5195">Biju’s Little Curry Shop </span>
Biju’s Little Curry Shop
Biju’s Little Curry Shop [Official Site]

Vital Root

Copy Link

Whether vegan, vegetarian, or just health-conscious, Vital Root offers quick and delicious food that caters to everyone but the strictly carnivorous. Try the miso ramen with soy milk broth, togarashi tofu, yam noodles, nori, broccoli, mushroom, bok choy, and an egg.

Vital Root
Vital Root
Vital Root/Facebook

The Royal Rooster

Copy Link

Tucked inside Old Major, the Royal Rooster pop-up lunch operates Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving fried and roast bird sandwiches, juicy burgers, tacos, and more. Try the classic rooster with dill pickles, mayo, and lettuce all served on a squishy bun.

<span data-author="5195">The Royal Rooster </span>
The Royal Rooster
The Royal Rooster/Facebook

Enjoy healthy and delicious scratch-made fare from executive chef Steven Redzikowski (of Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth) for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the fast-casual Brider. The rotisserie chicken banh mi with paté aioli, pickled carrots, and cucumbers is a favorite.

Avanti Food & Beverage

Copy Link

Avanti takes fast-casual to a whole different level with seven dining options, all as quick as they are satisfying. Dive into the bamboo bowl at QuickFish, the margherita pie at Brava, la original at Quiero Arepas, fried chicken at Rebel Chicken, Mexican classics at BorraCho Taco, or French fare from Bistro Georgette.

<span data-author="5195">Avanti Food &amp; Beverage </span>
Avanti Food & Beverage
Lucy Beaugard

Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery

Copy Link

Downtown diners will find quick and guilt-free food at Honor Society. Try the local beet salad (add salmon) with organic arugula, apples, toasted hazelnuts, and goat cheese tossed in a citrus vinaigrette.

<span data-author="5195">Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery </span>
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery/Facebook

Pizzeria Locale

Copy Link

Not only are the pies delicious at this Boulder original and Denver transplant, but they’re made to order in a wood-fired oven and always ready in a couple minutes. Try the Diavola with red sauce, smoked mozzarella, pepperoni, basil, and chili flakes.

Pizzeria Locale
Pizzeria Locale
Pizzeria Locale/Facebook

Cart-Driver

Copy Link

The space may be small — 640 square feet to be exact — but the taste is anything but. Try the namesake pizza with sausage, kale, mozzarella, and chili flakes, or dive into the newly released winter pie with rosemary ham, potatoes, artichokes, hazelnuts, and taleggio. Order oysters and Prosecco on tap to go with it.

Cart-Driver
Cart-Driver/Facebook

The Denver Central Market

Copy Link

Known for its convivial atmosphere, the Denver Central Market makes for a great spot to pop in and grab a quick bite while also shopping for local ingredients to incorporate into dinner. Try a slice of quiche at Izzio Bakery, oysters or poke at Tammen’s Fish Market, a cocktail at Curio, and a salad or bowl at Green Seed. Then finish with a double scoop at High Point Creamery.

Newcomer to Larimer Street and the RiNo neighborhood, Call has a homey feel and a menu full of healthy and equally tasty dishes. If time allows, take a cozy seat up front and try any of the sweet treats scattered across the counter top.

<span data-author="5195">Call </span>
Call
Lucy Beaugard

Finn's Manor

Copy Link

This go-to warm weather spot is known for its bar, patio, and permanent food truck “pod” parking lot with rotating favorites like Mile High Thai, Stokes Poke, Chicken Rebel, and What Would Cheezus Do. Check Facebook to find the latest vendors.

<span data-author="5195">Finn’s Manor </span>
Finn’s Manor
Finn’s Manor [Official Site]

Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta

Copy Link

Dio Mio is a must stop for quality handmade pasta in a casual-cool space. Order cacio e pepe (fettucine, black pepper, and Parmesan) from the counter, and then scope out a table.

<span data-author="5195">Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta </span>
Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta
Dio Mio/Facebook

Olive & Finch

Copy Link

This all-day eatery has something for just about everyone on the menu. For a quick and healthy meal on-the-go order the farro salad with kale, carrots, chickpeas, feta, grape tomatoes, raisins, apples, and toasted sunflower seeds, tossed in apple cider vinaigrette.

<span data-author="5195">Olive &amp; Finch </span>
Olive & Finch
Olive & Finch [Official Site]

Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery Colfax

Copy Link

Pop by for a quick bite with all the quality of full service. Try the 48-hour-cooked short rib with grilled baby carrots, whipped potatoes, crispy pickled onions, and three peppercorn hoisin demi-glace, or the French dip.

<span data-author="5195">Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery</span>
Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery
Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery/Facebook

Loading comments...

Biju's Little Curry Shop

<span data-author="5195">Biju’s Little Curry Shop </span>
Biju’s Little Curry Shop
Biju’s Little Curry Shop [Official Site]

Try any of the bowls at this South Indian spot, each jam-packed with flavor, such as the coconut curry chicken with spiced lentils, sautéed cabbage, herb yogurt, a sprinkle of cilantro and mint chutney with crushed papadam.

<span data-author="5195">Biju’s Little Curry Shop </span>
Biju’s Little Curry Shop
Biju’s Little Curry Shop [Official Site]

Vital Root

Vital Root
Vital Root
Vital Root/Facebook

Whether vegan, vegetarian, or just health-conscious, Vital Root offers quick and delicious food that caters to everyone but the strictly carnivorous. Try the miso ramen with soy milk broth, togarashi tofu, yam noodles, nori, broccoli, mushroom, bok choy, and an egg.

Vital Root
Vital Root
Vital Root/Facebook

The Royal Rooster

<span data-author="5195">The Royal Rooster </span>
The Royal Rooster
The Royal Rooster/Facebook

Tucked inside Old Major, the Royal Rooster pop-up lunch operates Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving fried and roast bird sandwiches, juicy burgers, tacos, and more. Try the classic rooster with dill pickles, mayo, and lettuce all served on a squishy bun.

<span data-author="5195">The Royal Rooster </span>
The Royal Rooster
The Royal Rooster/Facebook

Brider

Enjoy healthy and delicious scratch-made fare from executive chef Steven Redzikowski (of Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth) for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the fast-casual Brider. The rotisserie chicken banh mi with paté aioli, pickled carrots, and cucumbers is a favorite.

Avanti Food & Beverage

<span data-author="5195">Avanti Food &amp; Beverage </span>
Avanti Food & Beverage
Lucy Beaugard

Avanti takes fast-casual to a whole different level with seven dining options, all as quick as they are satisfying. Dive into the bamboo bowl at QuickFish, the margherita pie at Brava, la original at Quiero Arepas, fried chicken at Rebel Chicken, Mexican classics at BorraCho Taco, or French fare from Bistro Georgette.

<span data-author="5195">Avanti Food &amp; Beverage </span>
Avanti Food & Beverage
Lucy Beaugard

Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery

<span data-author="5195">Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery </span>
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery/Facebook

Downtown diners will find quick and guilt-free food at Honor Society. Try the local beet salad (add salmon) with organic arugula, apples, toasted hazelnuts, and goat cheese tossed in a citrus vinaigrette.

<span data-author="5195">Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery </span>
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery/Facebook

Pizzeria Locale

Pizzeria Locale
Pizzeria Locale
Pizzeria Locale/Facebook

Not only are the pies delicious at this Boulder original and Denver transplant, but they’re made to order in a wood-fired oven and always ready in a couple minutes. Try the Diavola with red sauce, smoked mozzarella, pepperoni, basil, and chili flakes.

Pizzeria Locale
Pizzeria Locale
Pizzeria Locale/Facebook

Cart-Driver

Cart-Driver
Cart-Driver/Facebook

The space may be small — 640 square feet to be exact — but the taste is anything but. Try the namesake pizza with sausage, kale, mozzarella, and chili flakes, or dive into the newly released winter pie with rosemary ham, potatoes, artichokes, hazelnuts, and taleggio. Order oysters and Prosecco on tap to go with it.

Cart-Driver
Cart-Driver/Facebook

The Denver Central Market

Known for its convivial atmosphere, the Denver Central Market makes for a great spot to pop in and grab a quick bite while also shopping for local ingredients to incorporate into dinner. Try a slice of quiche at Izzio Bakery, oysters or poke at Tammen’s Fish Market, a cocktail at Curio, and a salad or bowl at Green Seed. Then finish with a double scoop at High Point Creamery.

Call

<span data-author="5195">Call </span>
Call
Lucy Beaugard

Newcomer to Larimer Street and the RiNo neighborhood, Call has a homey feel and a menu full of healthy and equally tasty dishes. If time allows, take a cozy seat up front and try any of the sweet treats scattered across the counter top.

<span data-author="5195">Call </span>
Call
Lucy Beaugard

Finn's Manor

<span data-author="5195">Finn’s Manor </span>
Finn’s Manor
Finn’s Manor [Official Site]

This go-to warm weather spot is known for its bar, patio, and permanent food truck “pod” parking lot with rotating favorites like Mile High Thai, Stokes Poke, Chicken Rebel, and What Would Cheezus Do. Check Facebook to find the latest vendors.

<span data-author="5195">Finn’s Manor </span>
Finn’s Manor
Finn’s Manor [Official Site]

Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta

<span data-author="5195">Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta </span>
Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta
Dio Mio/Facebook

Dio Mio is a must stop for quality handmade pasta in a casual-cool space. Order cacio e pepe (fettucine, black pepper, and Parmesan) from the counter, and then scope out a table.

<span data-author="5195">Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta </span>
Dio Mio — Handmade Pasta
Dio Mio/Facebook

Olive & Finch

<span data-author="5195">Olive &amp; Finch </span>
Olive & Finch
Olive & Finch [Official Site]

This all-day eatery has something for just about everyone on the menu. For a quick and healthy meal on-the-go order the farro salad with kale, carrots, chickpeas, feta, grape tomatoes, raisins, apples, and toasted sunflower seeds, tossed in apple cider vinaigrette.

<span data-author="5195">Olive &amp; Finch </span>
Olive & Finch
Olive & Finch [Official Site]

Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery Colfax

<span data-author="5195">Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery</span>
Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery
Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery/Facebook

Pop by for a quick bite with all the quality of full service. Try the 48-hour-cooked short rib with grilled baby carrots, whipped potatoes, crispy pickled onions, and three peppercorn hoisin demi-glace, or the French dip.