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Where to Find Denver's Best Italian Food

From sit-down, multi-course meals to speedy service, these restaurants deliver the flavors of Italy to Denver-area diners

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Once upon a time, you could bet on checkered tablecloths and a sauce-centric menu when dining out over an Italian meal. But things have changed, and a brand new breed of Italian flavors have come into existence. In Colorado, an Italian renaissance is well underway, and, just this year, Denver diners saw a range of new options From Quality Italian, to Cattivella, Marcella's, and Tavernetta. These newcomers add to a more and more impressive existing assortment.

From stunning Northern Italian dining destinations to casual East Coast Americanizations, these 19 eateries should satisfy your Italian cravings and then some.

Note: Pizza cravers, get your guide here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Frasca Food and Wine

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1738 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 442-6966
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This jewel in Colorado's restaurant world focuses on the food and culinary traditions of Friuli, a region set in the Northern part of Italy. Master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Patterson continue to impress and to gather accolades.

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2. Basta

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3601 Arapahoe Ave
Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 997-8775
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Chef Kelly Whitaker's restaurant, located off the beaten path in Boulder, offers a thoughtful and creative menu cooked entirely in a wood-fired oven. Pro-tip: Pre-order the Northern (white) or Southern (red) lasagna.

Adam Larkey

3. Parisi Italian Market & Deli

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4401 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
(303) 561-0234
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This casual dining spot doesn't skimp on the options or flavors. The brick chicken is an all-time favorite, the pastas satisfy, and the pizzas are always a hit. Downstairs sister spot Firenze a Tavola offers a more upscale experience.

Parisi

4. Dio Mio

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3264 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 562-1965
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Dio Mio, RiNo's fast casual Italian restaurant focuses on food over service. Chefs prepare a rotating dinner menu that includes small plates and salads and a mix of fresh, hand-made traditional and experimental pastas.

Adam Larkey

5. Bar Dough

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2227 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 668-8506
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Bar Dough is a destination in the LoHi dining scene for its contemporary Italian cuisine led by chef Carrie Baird. Guests come for the octopus appetizer and the pastas, and stay due to the comfortable yet trendy atmosphere. Brunch is a highlight.

Adam Larkey

6. Spuntino

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2639 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 433-0949
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Spuntino is an Italian-influenced restaurant owned by a young and talented husband-and-wife team, and it's somehow still a LoHi sneak spot. The cavatelli are always a hit, and try the restaurant's own amaro, as well as other house-infused liqueurs.

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7. Cattivella

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10237 East 29th Drive
Denver, CO 80238
(303) 645-3779
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Chef Elise Wiggins' Stapleton restaurant is a new neighborhood staple in casual, wood-fired environs. Go for warming winter dishes, such as the full bulb of roasted garlic on a rosemary piadina, lamb ragu, and baked meatballs.

Adam Larkey

8. il posto

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2601 larimer
Denver, CO
(303) 394-0100
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Chef Andrea Frizzi's new RiNo Italian restaurant is beautiful and inviting, with a menu proven at his original, 9-year-running location. If you haven't been in a while, now's the time. And make sure to sit at least once at the chef's counter.

Adam Larkey

9. Tavernetta

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1889 16th St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 605-1889
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Fans who can't make it out to Frasca now have its Denver sister restaurant, Tavernetta, to dine at with abandon. Hidden behind Union Station, this LoDo oasis offers crowd-pleasing campo di funghi and lobster tagliatelle, as well as delectable small bar bites or cicchetti.

Adam Larkey

10. Sarto's

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2900 W 25th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 455-1400
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The gorgeous social eatery in the up-and-coming Jefferson Park neighborhood offers dinner and brunch service, plus lunch in its next-door sister pantry, where guests can pick up fresh pastas and sauce to take with them.

Adam Larkey

11. Venice Ristorante

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1700 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 534-2222
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The old-school white tablecloth LoDo spot impresses with its glass enclosed floor-to-ceiling wine room and traditional cuisine. For suburban fans, another outpost of Venice Ristorante operates in Greenwood Village.

Venice Ristorante

12. Osteria Marco

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1453 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 534-5855
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House-made burrata, sandwiches, and more rule at this Larimer Square restaurant owned by restaurateur Frank Bonanno. Guest favorites include the lamb meatballs and steamed mussels.

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13. Panzano

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909 17th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 296-3525
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The popular downtown restaurant adheres to a simple motto: “Chi mangia bene, vive bene," or, "Those who eat well, live well." Panzano serves up contemporary cuisine in a classic and bustling hotel setting.

Panzano

14. Coperta

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400 E 20th Ave
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 749-4666
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By acclaimed Denver chef Paul C. Reilly (see also Beast + Bottle), Coperta brings a family-owned Southern Italian vibe to Uptown. Try the "spuzzulia" seasonal and regional shared plates, and the three-course $35 tasting menu.

Entrance to Coperta Adam Larkey

15. Lo Stella Ristorante

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1135 Bannock St
Denver, CO 80204

Lo Stella Ristorante, the oldest and most successful family-run restaurant in Portofino, Italy, came to Denver courtesy of 8th generation member, Alessandro Polo. Find a way to get the pesto at the Golden Triangle eatery.

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16. DiFranco's

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955 N Lincoln St Unit D
Denver, CO 80203
(720) 253-1244
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This 5-year-old Lincoln Street eatery manages to combine quality pastas and local ingredients at a reasonable price point and in a comfortable fast-casual setting. Go for lunch or low-key dinner; the place also serves wine and beer.

Courtesy DiFranco's

17. Luca

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711 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 832-6600
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The Governor's Park restaurant is chef Frank Bonanno's celebration of family, community, and good food. The all-Italian wine list is a perfect pairing for the homey, simple dishes.

Luca

18. Barolo Grill

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3030 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 393-1040
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The classic restaurant continuously impresses with authentic Northern Italian cuisine and thoughtful wine pairings. While perfect for a special occasion, Barolo is also a great spot to get a classy glass of wine at the bar.

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19. Quality Italian

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241 Columbine St.
Denver, CO 80206

This classic American steakhouse with a modern twist joined the Cherry Creek north neighborhood last year, serving up steaks, pasta, and seafood with old-school style. Paying homage to butcher shops of yesteryear, the food and beverage programs are elegant, while the setting is relaxed and joyous.

Adam Larkey

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1. Frasca Food and Wine

1738 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Facebook

This jewel in Colorado's restaurant world focuses on the food and culinary traditions of Friuli, a region set in the Northern part of Italy. Master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Patterson continue to impress and to gather accolades.

1738 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

2. Basta

3601 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303
Adam Larkey

Chef Kelly Whitaker's restaurant, located off the beaten path in Boulder, offers a thoughtful and creative menu cooked entirely in a wood-fired oven. Pro-tip: Pre-order the Northern (white) or Southern (red) lasagna.

3601 Arapahoe Ave
Boulder, CO 80303

3. Parisi Italian Market & Deli

4401 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
Parisi

This casual dining spot doesn't skimp on the options or flavors. The brick chicken is an all-time favorite, the pastas satisfy, and the pizzas are always a hit. Downstairs sister spot Firenze a Tavola offers a more upscale experience.

4401 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212

4. Dio Mio

3264 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Adam Larkey

Dio Mio, RiNo's fast casual Italian restaurant focuses on food over service. Chefs prepare a rotating dinner menu that includes small plates and salads and a mix of fresh, hand-made traditional and experimental pastas.

3264 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

5. Bar Dough

2227 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Adam Larkey

Bar Dough is a destination in the LoHi dining scene for its contemporary Italian cuisine led by chef Carrie Baird. Guests come for the octopus appetizer and the pastas, and stay due to the comfortable yet trendy atmosphere. Brunch is a highlight.

2227 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

6. Spuntino

2639 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Facebook

Spuntino is an Italian-influenced restaurant owned by a young and talented husband-and-wife team, and it's somehow still a LoHi sneak spot. The cavatelli are always a hit, and try the restaurant's own amaro, as well as other house-infused liqueurs.

2639 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

7. Cattivella

10237 East 29th Drive, Denver, CO 80238
Adam Larkey

Chef Elise Wiggins' Stapleton restaurant is a new neighborhood staple in casual, wood-fired environs. Go for warming winter dishes, such as the full bulb of roasted garlic on a rosemary piadina, lamb ragu, and baked meatballs.

10237 East 29th Drive
Denver, CO 80238

8. il posto

2601 larimer, Denver, CO
Adam Larkey

Chef Andrea Frizzi's new RiNo Italian restaurant is beautiful and inviting, with a menu proven at his original, 9-year-running location. If you haven't been in a while, now's the time. And make sure to sit at least once at the chef's counter.

2601 larimer
Denver, CO

9. Tavernetta

1889 16th St, Denver, CO 80202
Adam Larkey

Fans who can't make it out to Frasca now have its Denver sister restaurant, Tavernetta, to dine at with abandon. Hidden behind Union Station, this LoDo oasis offers crowd-pleasing campo di funghi and lobster tagliatelle, as well as delectable small bar bites or cicchetti.

1889 16th St
Denver, CO 80202

10. Sarto's

2900 W 25th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Adam Larkey

The gorgeous social eatery in the up-and-coming Jefferson Park neighborhood offers dinner and brunch service, plus lunch in its next-door sister pantry, where guests can pick up fresh pastas and sauce to take with them.

2900 W 25th Ave
Denver, CO 80211

11. Venice Ristorante

1700 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
Venice Ristorante

The old-school white tablecloth LoDo spot impresses with its glass enclosed floor-to-ceiling wine room and traditional cuisine. For suburban fans, another outpost of Venice Ristorante operates in Greenwood Village.

1700 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202

12. Osteria Marco

1453 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80202
Facebook

House-made burrata, sandwiches, and more rule at this Larimer Square restaurant owned by restaurateur Frank Bonanno. Guest favorites include the lamb meatballs and steamed mussels.

1453 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202

13. Panzano

909 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
Panzano

The popular downtown restaurant adheres to a simple motto: “Chi mangia bene, vive bene," or, "Those who eat well, live well." Panzano serves up contemporary cuisine in a classic and bustling hotel setting.

909 17th St
Denver, CO 80202

14. Coperta

400 E 20th Ave, Denver, CO 80205
Entrance to Coperta Adam Larkey

By acclaimed Denver chef Paul C. Reilly (see also Beast + Bottle), Coperta brings a family-owned Southern Italian vibe to Uptown. Try the "spuzzulia" seasonal and regional shared plates, and the three-course $35 tasting menu.

400 E 20th Ave
Denver, CO 80205

15. Lo Stella Ristorante

1135 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204
Facebook

Lo Stella Ristorante, the oldest and most successful family-run restaurant in Portofino, Italy, came to Denver courtesy of 8th generation member, Alessandro Polo. Find a way to get the pesto at the Golden Triangle eatery.

1135 Bannock St
Denver, CO 80204

Related Maps

16. DiFranco's

955 N Lincoln St Unit D, Denver, CO 80203
Courtesy DiFranco's

This 5-year-old Lincoln Street eatery manages to combine quality pastas and local ingredients at a reasonable price point and in a comfortable fast-casual setting. Go for lunch or low-key dinner; the place also serves wine and beer.

955 N Lincoln St Unit D
Denver, CO 80203

17. Luca

711 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203
Luca

The Governor's Park restaurant is chef Frank Bonanno's celebration of family, community, and good food. The all-Italian wine list is a perfect pairing for the homey, simple dishes.

711 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203

18. Barolo Grill

3030 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Facebook

The classic restaurant continuously impresses with authentic Northern Italian cuisine and thoughtful wine pairings. While perfect for a special occasion, Barolo is also a great spot to get a classy glass of wine at the bar.

3030 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO 80206

19. Quality Italian

241 Columbine St., Denver, CO 80206
Adam Larkey

This classic American steakhouse with a modern twist joined the Cherry Creek north neighborhood last year, serving up steaks, pasta, and seafood with old-school style. Paying homage to butcher shops of yesteryear, the food and beverage programs are elegant, while the setting is relaxed and joyous.

241 Columbine St.
Denver, CO 80206

Related Maps