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Curtis Park Deli
Curtis Park Deli
Photo: Stephen Cummings

Denver's Underrated Restaurants, Nominated by Readers

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Curtis Park Deli
| Photo: Stephen Cummings

On Friday, in an open thread format, Eater asked readers what are Denver's most underrated restaurants. Readers were encouraged to nominate the restaurants that don't get enough love from the press and those that deserve a fuller dining room for their exceptional food and service. Nominations submitted by email and through comments were compiled into a map of Denver's Most Underrated Restaurants As Nominated by Readers. Comments made with each nomination were included in the listing. Where no comments were provided, an editorial note was added for context.


Have something you want discussed or a question you want answered among the fine Eater readers, as a Friday Open Thread? Send it this way.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Spuntino

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2639 W. 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 433-0949
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"Lunch is a must! Great sandwiches and salads - quick, friendly service." "Being a newcomer to the Highlands area, I've had several people tell me about this place a couple of months ago. Finally I listened, and I was blown away. Now I eat there at least two or three times a week. The food is always fresh and vibrant, outstanding from start to end and the staff makes me feel right at home every single time. Selfishly, I'd like to keep this place a secret."

2. Trillium

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2134 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 379-9759
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"Trillium is the undisputed champ of underrated restaurants! It's 5280 Restaurant Week's biggest secret. The food and service are flawless, and the cocktails are some of the most inventive in the city. There's not a single restaurant in LoDo that is more consistent (except for Squeaky Bean)."

3. Lou's Food Bar

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1851 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 458-0336
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"Brunch is wonderful, and because it's underrated, there's not an hour wait."

4. Curtis Park Delicatessen

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2532 Champa St.
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 308-5973
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"Great stuff here." Editorial note: the Curtis sandwich, made with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, house made thousand island, is a slam dunk.

5. bittersweet

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500 E. Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80209
(303) 942-0320
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"Everything is spot on here. A little expensive, but great for a special night."

6. Vert Kitchen

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704 S Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80209
(303) 997-5941
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"Easily the best sandwiches in Denver, and it's super fresh."

7. Buchi Cafe Cubano

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2651 W 38th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 458-1328
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"Wonderful cuban sandwiches, and they're super cheap!"

8. Charcoal Restaurant

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43 W 9th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 454-0000
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"Lunch is a slammin' deal, and the food is beautiful."

9. Vesper Lounge

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233 E. 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
(720) 328-0314
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"Yes, it's a bar, but the food here is just great."

10. Twelve Restaurant

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2233 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 293-0287
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"I know Twelve is on your 38 essential list, but I believe it is also underrated since one of the qualifications is not being full all the time. I had dinner at Twelve this evening (Saturday night, a typically busy night), prime time 7:30, and by 8:30 the restaurant was only 50% full. I believe the food is some of the best in town!"

11. Aoba Japanese Fusion Cuisine

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1520 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 242-7002
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"AOBA in lodo is consistently getting good customer reviews but is consistently empty." "It's my favorite downtown sushi spot but never seems to have the crowd it deserves. I wonder how much the Sushi Hapa that opened 2 doors down is hurting them. Sushi Hapa has the more well known name but Aoba blows them away on quality."

12. Bones

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701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 860-2929
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Editorial note: the Asian noodle restaurant owned and operated by Frank Bonanno serves some of Denver's most sought-after steamed buns and noodle bowls.

13. Boa

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3464 West 32nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 484-9628
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"They have fresh made to order food, cute environment & great drink specials!"

14. Table 6

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609 Corona St
Denver, CO 80218
(303) 831-8800
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Editorial note: this classic American bistro, serves a selection of seasonal dishes that include highlight like tater tots, chicken liver mousse, mussels, and duck confit. The menu change menu often, the staff is attentive, and the wine list carefully selected.

15. El Taco De Mexico

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714 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 623-3926
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Editorial note: this Denver institution may not be fancy but the food never ceases to impress. Don't miss the tacos de carne asada, chile relleno burrito, and huevos rancheros.

16. Skoops Ice Cream and More

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1209 East 9th Avenue
Denver, CO 80218
(720) 362-3692
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"Quaint little shop with lots if character and charm. They offer 20 panini sandwiches, salads, soups and ice cream. A gem! The owners put lots if heart into the shop."

17. Crema

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2862 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 284-9648
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Editorial note: while coffee reigns supreme here, the sweet potato waffles and burrito are very popular with the guests.

18. Blue Sushi Sake Grill

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1616 16th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 640-3655
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Editorial note: this 16th Street Mall sushi bar and sake lounge serves sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri as well as small bites and happy hour specials like shishito peppers, rangoons, gyoza.

19. Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House

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1610 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 825-1021
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"House made cheeses, local ingredients, best pizza in Denver, plus a bad ass draft list. Servers and Bartenders killed it!"

20. Denver Deep Dish

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819 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80206
(720) 515-9090
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"I'm from Chicago and when I crave a deep dish pizza, Denver Deep Dish makes the cut! Wymans #5 is good as well, but pricier compared to DDD." "Incredibly accurate take on Chicago pizza."

21. Angelo's Pizza

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620 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 744-3366
"Best pizza in Denver in my opinion."

22. Kinga's Lounge

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1509 Marion St
Denver, CO 80218
(303) 830-6922
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"Kinga's Lounge has excellent Polish food."

23. Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

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2148 Larimer St
Denver, Colorado 80205
(720) 746-9355
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"Amazing gourmet hot dogs, never thought the cream cheese topping would be good on a wild boar hot dog but IT IS!"

24. Osteria Marco

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1453 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 534-5855
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"Their handmade buratta is the shit."

25. Backcountry Provisions

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1617 Wazee St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 534-7900
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"The place is always jammin' at lunch, sandwiches are awesome, and the staff rocks!"

26. Crown Burgers

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2192 South Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 753-9696
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"One seriously underrated burger place."

27. Carl's Pizza

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3800 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 477-1694
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"Best pizza in town! Great late night eats! Been there over 30 years with almost no love from the local press."

Loading comments...

1. Spuntino

2639 W. 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
"Lunch is a must! Great sandwiches and salads - quick, friendly service." "Being a newcomer to the Highlands area, I've had several people tell me about this place a couple of months ago. Finally I listened, and I was blown away. Now I eat there at least two or three times a week. The food is always fresh and vibrant, outstanding from start to end and the staff makes me feel right at home every single time. Selfishly, I'd like to keep this place a secret."
2639 W. 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

2. Trillium

2134 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
"Trillium is the undisputed champ of underrated restaurants! It's 5280 Restaurant Week's biggest secret. The food and service are flawless, and the cocktails are some of the most inventive in the city. There's not a single restaurant in LoDo that is more consistent (except for Squeaky Bean)."
2134 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

3. Lou's Food Bar

1851 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
"Brunch is wonderful, and because it's underrated, there's not an hour wait."
1851 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211

4. Curtis Park Delicatessen

2532 Champa St., Denver, CO 80205
"Great stuff here." Editorial note: the Curtis sandwich, made with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, house made thousand island, is a slam dunk.
2532 Champa St.
Denver, CO 80205

5. bittersweet

500 E. Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80209
"Everything is spot on here. A little expensive, but great for a special night."
500 E. Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80209

6. Vert Kitchen

704 S Pearl St., Denver, CO 80209
"Easily the best sandwiches in Denver, and it's super fresh."
704 S Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80209

7. Buchi Cafe Cubano

2651 W 38th Ave., Denver, CO 80211
"Wonderful cuban sandwiches, and they're super cheap!"
2651 W 38th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

8. Charcoal Restaurant

43 W 9th Ave., Denver, CO 80204
"Lunch is a slammin' deal, and the food is beautiful."
43 W 9th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204

9. Vesper Lounge

233 E. 7th Ave., Denver, CO 80203
"Yes, it's a bar, but the food here is just great."
233 E. 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203

10. Twelve Restaurant

2233 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
"I know Twelve is on your 38 essential list, but I believe it is also underrated since one of the qualifications is not being full all the time. I had dinner at Twelve this evening (Saturday night, a typically busy night), prime time 7:30, and by 8:30 the restaurant was only 50% full. I believe the food is some of the best in town!"
2233 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

11. Aoba Japanese Fusion Cuisine

1520 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202
"AOBA in lodo is consistently getting good customer reviews but is consistently empty." "It's my favorite downtown sushi spot but never seems to have the crowd it deserves. I wonder how much the Sushi Hapa that opened 2 doors down is hurting them. Sushi Hapa has the more well known name but Aoba blows them away on quality."
1520 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202

12. Bones

701 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203
Editorial note: the Asian noodle restaurant owned and operated by Frank Bonanno serves some of Denver's most sought-after steamed buns and noodle bowls.
701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203

13. Boa

3464 West 32nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80211
"They have fresh made to order food, cute environment & great drink specials!"
3464 West 32nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80211

14. Table 6

609 Corona St, Denver, CO 80218
Editorial note: this classic American bistro, serves a selection of seasonal dishes that include highlight like tater tots, chicken liver mousse, mussels, and duck confit. The menu change menu often, the staff is attentive, and the wine list carefully selected.
609 Corona St
Denver, CO 80218

15. El Taco De Mexico

714 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
Editorial note: this Denver institution may not be fancy but the food never ceases to impress. Don't miss the tacos de carne asada, chile relleno burrito, and huevos rancheros.
714 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204

Related Maps

16. Skoops Ice Cream and More

1209 East 9th Avenue, Denver, CO 80218
"Quaint little shop with lots if character and charm. They offer 20 panini sandwiches, salads, soups and ice cream. A gem! The owners put lots if heart into the shop."
1209 East 9th Avenue
Denver, CO 80218

17. Crema

2862 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Editorial note: while coffee reigns supreme here, the sweet potato waffles and burrito are very popular with the guests.
2862 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

18. Blue Sushi Sake Grill

1616 16th St, Denver, CO 80202
Editorial note: this 16th Street Mall sushi bar and sake lounge serves sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri as well as small bites and happy hour specials like shishito peppers, rangoons, gyoza.
1616 16th St
Denver, CO 80202

19. Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House

1610 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202
"House made cheeses, local ingredients, best pizza in Denver, plus a bad ass draft list. Servers and Bartenders killed it!"
1610 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202

20. Denver Deep Dish

819 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80206
"I'm from Chicago and when I crave a deep dish pizza, Denver Deep Dish makes the cut! Wymans #5 is good as well, but pricier compared to DDD." "Incredibly accurate take on Chicago pizza."
819 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80206

21. Angelo's Pizza

620 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
"Best pizza in Denver in my opinion."
620 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO 80203

22. Kinga's Lounge

1509 Marion St, Denver, CO 80218