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The Squeaky Bean
The Squeaky Bean
Photo: Adam Larkey

Do Lunch: Ten Best Downtown Upscale Lunches

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The Squeaky Bean
| Photo: Adam Larkey

All too often, lunch is a hurried experience of consuming something—anything!—between conference calls, meetings, and presentations. But every once in a great while, the mid-day meal is enjoyed while sitting down and eaten with real silverware. For those seeking a proper lunch, complete with wine options, cocktail offerings, and entree choices, these ten restaurants are happy to oblige.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1. The Kitchen Denver

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1530 16th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 623-3127
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High ceilings and huge windows allow this popular 16th Street dinner destination to be flooded with light at lunchtime, when it’s only slightly less busy. Service and food is consistently excellent, with lunch service offering salads and sandwiches as well as smaller portions of many dinner entrees.

2. ChoLon Bistro

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1555 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 353-5223
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Chef Lon Symensma's eatery downtown commands a great lunch crowd ready to eat the addictive soup dumplings. Highlight: The Power Bowl, a rotating noodle bowl that changes weekly and comes with a choice of beverage for $14.

3. The Squeaky Bean

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1500 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 623-2665
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Known for its quirky, affordable, approachable fare, this LoDo restaurant known recently opened its doors for lunch service Tuesday through Friday. Executive chef Theo Adley’s farm-driven, seasonal approach shows up in new items like Alan Benton’s Hot Italian Honeymoon sandwich and the pea shoots salad.

4. Rioja

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1431 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 820-2282
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This Larimer Square landmark has been going strong for nearly ten years. Chef Jennifer Jasinski changes several menu items seasonally and along with the changes come new drinks at the bar. Right now, highlights include the asparagus-coconut terrine with jicama, cucumber, kaffir lime, and micro basil and the sautéed shrimp served with thai green curry, coconut rice, roasted carrots, and green papaya salad.

5. Tamayo

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1400 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 946-1433
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Chef Richard Sandoval offers a modern Mexican feast in Larimer Square. Diners can choose from a range of contemporary takes on tacos and tortas, as well as ceviches, enchiladas and chef’s specials like salmon adobqdo. Bonus: the rooftop patio is amazing.

6. Panzano

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909 17th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 296-3525
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Executive chef Elise Wiggins has been serving Northern Italian cuisine for ten years, making it a favorite for both locals and for out-of-towners staying at the Hotel Monaco. The three-course, $21 power lunch includes choices such as carbonara alla Panzano and gnocchi al coniglio (yes, that is rabbit!).

7. Guard and Grace

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1801 California St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 293-8500
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This 9000-square-foot modern steakhouse, chef Troy Guard's largest restaurant, is the place to be for a power lunch. The open kitchen serves up a host of beef options—prime-grade or Angus, all locally sourced and aged 28 days—as well as seafood and globally inspired small plates.

8. Elway's

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1881 Curtis St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 312-3107
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Located on the ground floor of the Ritz Carlton, this newly remodeled steakhouse is a go-to for expense-account lunches. Entrée-sized salads include caesars, cobbs and wedges, as well as variants like Asian chicken and John’s salad, an homage to Number 7 himself. Burgers, lobster clubs, prime rib sandwiches and larger entrees round out the lunchtime menu.

9. EDGE Restaurant And Bar At Four Seasons Hotel Denver

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1111 14th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 389-3000
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This sleek farm-to-table steakhouse is located in the downtown Four Seasons. In keeping with its five-star address, the restaurant ups its lunch game with items such as prosciutto melon soup, seafood cobb salads, chicken confit tacos and Kobe beef burgers.

10. Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar

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891 14th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 825-0100
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The high-ceilinged dining room housed at the base of the Spire building is appointed with a huge bar and equally massive wine list. Weekday lunch service offers diners new American bistro fare such as the short rib sandwich, blackened fish tacos, and Alamosa striped bass.

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1. The Kitchen Denver

1530 16th St, Denver, CO 80202
High ceilings and huge windows allow this popular 16th Street dinner destination to be flooded with light at lunchtime, when it’s only slightly less busy. Service and food is consistently excellent, with lunch service offering salads and sandwiches as well as smaller portions of many dinner entrees.
1530 16th St
Denver, CO 80202

2. ChoLon Bistro

1555 Blake St., Denver, CO 80202
Chef Lon Symensma's eatery downtown commands a great lunch crowd ready to eat the addictive soup dumplings. Highlight: The Power Bowl, a rotating noodle bowl that changes weekly and comes with a choice of beverage for $14.
1555 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202

3. The Squeaky Bean

1500 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
Known for its quirky, affordable, approachable fare, this LoDo restaurant known recently opened its doors for lunch service Tuesday through Friday. Executive chef Theo Adley’s farm-driven, seasonal approach shows up in new items like Alan Benton’s Hot Italian Honeymoon sandwich and the pea shoots salad.
1500 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202

4. Rioja

1431 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
This Larimer Square landmark has been going strong for nearly ten years. Chef Jennifer Jasinski changes several menu items seasonally and along with the changes come new drinks at the bar. Right now, highlights include the asparagus-coconut terrine with jicama, cucumber, kaffir lime, and micro basil and the sautéed shrimp served with thai green curry, coconut rice, roasted carrots, and green papaya salad.
1431 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80202

5. Tamayo

1400 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
Chef Richard Sandoval offers a modern Mexican feast in Larimer Square. Diners can choose from a range of contemporary takes on tacos and tortas, as well as ceviches, enchiladas and chef’s specials like salmon adobqdo. Bonus: the rooftop patio is amazing.
1400 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80202

6. Panzano

909 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
Executive chef Elise Wiggins has been serving Northern Italian cuisine for ten years, making it a favorite for both locals and for out-of-towners staying at the Hotel Monaco. The three-course, $21 power lunch includes choices such as carbonara alla Panzano and gnocchi al coniglio (yes, that is rabbit!).
909 17th St
Denver, CO 80202

7. Guard and Grace

1801 California St, Denver, CO 80202
This 9000-square-foot modern steakhouse, chef Troy Guard's largest restaurant, is the place to be for a power lunch. The open kitchen serves up a host of beef options—prime-grade or Angus, all locally sourced and aged 28 days—as well as seafood and globally inspired small plates.
1801 California St
Denver, CO 80202

8. Elway's

1881 Curtis St, Denver, CO 80202
Located on the ground floor of the Ritz Carlton, this newly remodeled steakhouse is a go-to for expense-account lunches. Entrée-sized salads include caesars, cobbs and wedges, as well as variants like Asian chicken and John’s salad, an homage to Number 7 himself. Burgers, lobster clubs, prime rib sandwiches and larger entrees round out the lunchtime menu.
1881 Curtis St
Denver, CO 80202

9. EDGE Restaurant And Bar At Four Seasons Hotel Denver

1111 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
This sleek farm-to-table steakhouse is located in the downtown Four Seasons. In keeping with its five-star address, the restaurant ups its lunch game with items such as prosciutto melon soup, seafood cobb salads, chicken confit tacos and Kobe beef burgers.
1111 14th St
Denver, CO 80202

10. Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar

891 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
The high-ceilinged dining room housed at the base of the Spire building is appointed with a huge bar and equally massive wine list. Weekday lunch service offers diners new American bistro fare such as the short rib sandwich, blackened fish tacos, and Alamosa striped bass.
891 14th St
Denver, CO 80202

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