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Acorn
Acorn
Adam Larkey

Where to Dine in the Hot RiNo Neighborhood

There's something for every taste from tacos to ramen and burgers.

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Acorn
| Adam Larkey

Denver's River North Art District, more commonly called RiNo, is characterized by its industrial, sometimes-gritty setting, but that hasn't prevented the area from becoming a true hotspot for restaurants and bars. It's also known as the home to numerous art galleries, studios, breweries, and the Source—Denver's answer to an artisan food market. Our updated guide captures a moment in time for this neighborhood's ever-changing dining scene, with 15 places, ordered alphabetically, to choose from.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Acorn

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3350 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216
(720) 542-3721
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Housed in the Source, Acorn came to Denver via the crew behind Boulder’s OAK at Fourteenth. In the industrial setting you’ll find a contemporary American menu of small plates. Bryan Dayton’s impressive craft cocktail program has something for everyone, including booze-free and low-alcohol concoctions.

2. Comida

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3350 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216
(303) 296-2747
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Comida was born out of a food truck and now boasts a location in the Source, as well as Longmont. The menu of Mexican street food features tacos, tortas, tostadas, and quesadillas. Happy hour is popular and also available all night on Mondays—try a $5 pineapple-habañero margarita and a Tender Belly hot dog with queso fundido for $4.

3. The Populist

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3163 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 432-3163
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Communal dining is the emphasis here, from community tables to dishes made for sharing. Choose from a variety of small plates, or opt for the seven-course chef’s tasting menu at $75 for two people.

4. Hutch & Spoon

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3090 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 296-2317
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This cafe is a perfect spot to drop by for a snack or to catch up with a friend over a meal. The casual board ranges from breakfast sandwiches, to salads and lunch sandwiches like turkey with cranberry chutney on sourdough. Check out owner Tracy Zimmer’s decorative spoon collection mounted on displays around the space.

5. Work & Class

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2500 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 292-0700
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The motto of this hotspot is a “square meal, stiff drink, and fair price.” The working class philosophy is boosted by chef Dana Rodriguez’s cuisine, with dishes like lamb pozole and peppers five ways. The meat selections are served in quarter-, half- and full-pound portions, including braised short ribs and rotisserie chicken, either rosemary or Jamaican jerk style.

6. Los Chingones

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2461 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 295-0686
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This urban taqueria from chef Troy Guard offers Mexican food with a twist—think pig-ear nachos and octopus tacos. On the quirky drink menu you’ll find libations like the Urban Legend (tequila, Mexican Coke, and Pop Rocks), or the Panther Milk shot, a combination of pisco and citrus with ceviche essence.

7. Sugarmill

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2461 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 297-3540
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Sister restaurant to Los Chingones, Sugarmill is helmed by pastry chef Noah French. This sweet spot’s signature dessert is the Noahsphere, a hollow chocolate shell filled with candied nuts, chocolate brownie, marshmallows, and vanilla mascarpone cream, which is then topped with hot caramel poured tableside. But even though sugar is the main draw, there’s also a savory menu to balance things out.

8. Americatus New-World Italian

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2449 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 862-9850
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After a slight name change from Amerigo Delicatus, Americatus still serves a well-edited menu of new-world Italian cuisine, but without the former market component. Build a platter from the numerous meat and cheese offerings, and look for simple but fresh pasta preparations.

9. Will Call

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3043 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216
(720) 484-6428
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As a neighborhood tavern, you expect a variety of beers on tap and typical bar fare—which Will Call does have—but in a unique twist, a variety of arepas dominate the food menu. The Venezuelan corn flatbreads feature fillings like ginger black bean paste, plantains, and chicharrones.

10. Meadowlark Kitchen

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2705 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 953-1815
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As a complement to the next-door music venue of the same name, Meadowlark Kitchen is an ideal spot for a late-night meal, with New American fare that changes often. One constant, however, is the decadent burger: a custom beef grind topped with cheddar sauce, candied bacon, an onion ring, and poached egg, all piled on a brioche bun.

11. Nocturne

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1330 27th Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 295-3333
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Brand-new on the scene, Nocturne is a jazz and supper club inspired by similar venues of the 1940s. While the live music plays each night, you can sip on cocktails, wine, and bubbly, plus make a meal out of small bites, or opt for the six-course tasting menu.

12. Biju's Little Curry Shop

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1441 26th Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 292-3500
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The fast-casual trend plays out here with the curry styles of southern India, where chef and owner Biju Thomas grew up. Build a bowl by choosing a protein or veggies, and then selecting options like rice, crunchy veggies, and other condiments with varying spice levels.

13. Cart-Driver

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2500 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 292-3553
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Small but mighty, Cart-Driver comes from chef Kelly Whitaker of Basta in Boulder. This venue within shipping container space takes orders at the counter, then turns out wood-fired pizzas, oysters, and other small plates. Batched cocktails and Prosecco on tap are the highlights where adult beverages are concerned.

14. Osaka Ramen

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2611 Walnut Street
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 955-7938
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This subterranean ramen shop led by chef Jeff Osaka serves great tonkotsu and chicken kara age that will make you want to return. It is open for lunch and dinner.

15. Park Burger RiNo

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2615 Walnut St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 381-0126
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The RiNo outpost of this locally-grown mini-chain attracts burger fans who come for the classic offerings of Park Burger and stay to watch sports on the big screen tvs. Bonus: The airy space features garage doors, perfect for enjoying summer Colorado evenings.

1. Acorn

3350 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, CO 80216
Housed in the Source, Acorn came to Denver via the crew behind Boulder’s OAK at Fourteenth. In the industrial setting you’ll find a contemporary American menu of small plates. Bryan Dayton’s impressive craft cocktail program has something for everyone, including booze-free and low-alcohol concoctions.
3350 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216

2. Comida

3350 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, CO 80216
Comida was born out of a food truck and now boasts a location in the Source, as well as Longmont. The menu of Mexican street food features tacos, tortas, tostadas, and quesadillas. Happy hour is popular and also available all night on Mondays—try a $5 pineapple-habañero margarita and a Tender Belly hot dog with queso fundido for $4.
3350 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216

3. The Populist

3163 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Communal dining is the emphasis here, from community tables to dishes made for sharing. Choose from a variety of small plates, or opt for the seven-course chef’s tasting menu at $75 for two people.
3163 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

4. Hutch & Spoon

3090 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
This cafe is a perfect spot to drop by for a snack or to catch up with a friend over a meal. The casual board ranges from breakfast sandwiches, to salads and lunch sandwiches like turkey with cranberry chutney on sourdough. Check out owner Tracy Zimmer’s decorative spoon collection mounted on displays around the space.
3090 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

5. Work & Class

2500 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
The motto of this hotspot is a “square meal, stiff drink, and fair price.” The working class philosophy is boosted by chef Dana Rodriguez’s cuisine, with dishes like lamb pozole and peppers five ways. The meat selections are served in quarter-, half- and full-pound portions, including braised short ribs and rotisserie chicken, either rosemary or Jamaican jerk style.
2500 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

6. Los Chingones

2461 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
This urban taqueria from chef Troy Guard offers Mexican food with a twist—think pig-ear nachos and octopus tacos. On the quirky drink menu you’ll find libations like the Urban Legend (tequila, Mexican Coke, and Pop Rocks), or the Panther Milk shot, a combination of pisco and citrus with ceviche essence.
2461 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

7. Sugarmill

2461 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Sister restaurant to Los Chingones, Sugarmill is helmed by pastry chef Noah French. This sweet spot’s signature dessert is the Noahsphere, a hollow chocolate shell filled with candied nuts, chocolate brownie, marshmallows, and vanilla mascarpone cream, which is then topped with hot caramel poured tableside. But even though sugar is the main draw, there’s also a savory menu to balance things out.
2461 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

8. Americatus New-World Italian

2449 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
After a slight name change from Amerigo Delicatus, Americatus still serves a well-edited menu of new-world Italian cuisine, but without the former market component. Build a platter from the numerous meat and cheese offerings, and look for simple but fresh pasta preparations.
2449 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

9. Will Call

3043 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, CO 80216
As a neighborhood tavern, you expect a variety of beers on tap and typical bar fare—which Will Call does have—but in a unique twist, a variety of arepas dominate the food menu. The Venezuelan corn flatbreads feature fillings like ginger black bean paste, plantains, and chicharrones.
3043 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216

10. Meadowlark Kitchen

2705 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
As a complement to the next-door music venue of the same name, Meadowlark Kitchen is an ideal spot for a late-night meal, with New American fare that changes often. One constant, however, is the decadent burger: a custom beef grind topped with cheddar sauce, candied bacon, an onion ring, and poached egg, all piled on a brioche bun.
2705 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

11. Nocturne

1330 27th Street, Denver, CO 80205
Brand-new on the scene, Nocturne is a jazz and supper club inspired by similar venues of the 1940s. While the live music plays each night, you can sip on cocktails, wine, and bubbly, plus make a meal out of small bites, or opt for the six-course tasting menu.
1330 27th Street
Denver, CO 80205

12. Biju's Little Curry Shop

1441 26th Street, Denver, CO 80205
The fast-casual trend plays out here with the curry styles of southern India, where chef and owner Biju Thomas grew up. Build a bowl by choosing a protein or veggies, and then selecting options like rice, crunchy veggies, and other condiments with varying spice levels.
1441 26th Street
Denver, CO 80205

13. Cart-Driver

2500 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Small but mighty, Cart-Driver comes from chef Kelly Whitaker of Basta in Boulder. This venue within shipping container space takes orders at the counter, then turns out wood-fired pizzas, oysters, and other small plates. Batched cocktails and Prosecco on tap are the highlights where adult beverages are concerned.
2500 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

14. Osaka Ramen

2611 Walnut Street, Denver, CO 80205
This subterranean ramen shop led by chef Jeff Osaka serves great tonkotsu and chicken kara age that will make you want to return. It is open for lunch and dinner.
2611 Walnut Street
Denver, CO 80205

15. Park Burger RiNo

2615 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
The RiNo outpost of this locally-grown mini-chain attracts burger fans who come for the classic offerings of Park Burger and stay to watch sports on the big screen tvs. Bonus: The airy space features garage doors, perfect for enjoying summer Colorado evenings.
2615 Walnut St
Denver, CO 80205

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