clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Esquites, chile relleno, sikil pak, and other Mexican dishes on a table
A spread at Bellota, a modern Mexican restaurant in The Source.
Courtesy of Bellota

Where to Dine in the RiNo Neighborhood

From sushi and ramen to tacos and tapas

View as Map
A spread at Bellota, a modern Mexican restaurant in The Source.
| Courtesy of Bellota

The River North Art District, more commonly called RiNo, isn’t very big — about a mile-long stretch carved out of Five Points northeast of Ballpark. But it’s made an outsized impact on Denver’s social scene over the past several years: Lined with converted warehouses and covered from sidewalk to rooftop with some of the city’s best street art, it boasts everything from massive indoor-outdoor entertainment venues with multiple bars and food vendors, like Improper City and Number Thirty Eight, to breweries galore (including Black Shirt and Ratio) to, of course, first-class restaurants.

Excluding bars and coffee shops, the following 20 dining options, ordered geographically from north to south, capture a moment in time for the ever-changing district. Have another favorite RiNo spot? Send us a tip.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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.

Comal Heritage Food Incubator

Copy Link

Eat well, do good at this the TAXI development fixture, which is much more than just a weekday lunch counter serving an ever-changing menu of mostly Mexican plates: pork shoulder in salsa verde with rice, beans, and handmade tortillas, for instance, or beef-and-potato flautas beneath a rainbow of garnishes, or spicy shrimp tacos alongside an agua fresca. It’s also a nonprofit training kitchen for immigrant women aspiring to open their own culinary businesses — and on Thursday afternoons, it hosts a community farmers market.

Griddled tacos with lime wedges, salsa, and blistered chiles
Tacos are a staple at Comal.
Ruth Tobias

Bigsby's Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant

Copy Link

Though an urban winery first and foremost, Bigsby’s charms are broad enough to be lost on no one. The renovated, brick-walled factory space is gorgeously appointed with chandeliers and parlor furnishings as well as flanked by two dog-friendly patios. The full bar ensures that even non-enophiles get their fill. And the food is unexpectedly thoughtful, going beyond the standard bar snacks and charcuterie boards to include dishes like gigante bean–quinoa salad, pea-mascarpone risotto with almond crumble, and green chile–chicken nachos with lime crema and tomato relish.

Wine bar with high ceilings and couches
The interior of Bigsby’s Folly.
Teri Fotheringham

The Source Hotel and Market Hall

Copy Link

The aptly named Source put RiNo on the map when it opened in 2013, and though it has undergone numerous changes over the years, it remains a wellspring of major culinary talent; in fact, it may be the best version of itself right now. While Alon Shaya’s contemporary Israeli sensation Safta, modern Mexican draw Bellota, the Kizaki brothers’ Temaki Den, and Reunion Bread Co. are destinations unto themselves, the market hall and hotel also house Bill Espiricueta’s blue-ribbon barbecue joint Smōk; Chicago-style pizzeria Grabowski’s; rooftop tavern The Woods, featuring New Belgium beers brewed on-site; and soft-serve shop Melted.

Pita and hummus topped with lamb
Safta’s famous pita and hummus, here topped with lamb ragù.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater Denver

Hop Alley

Copy Link

Opening with a boom in 2015, Tommy Lee’s modern Chinese hot spot hasn’t stopped rocking since, serving up clever eats and drinks in a setting that’s as see-and-be-seen as ever. The menu supplements signatures like the chilled tofu in bang bang sauce and the Beijing duck roll with seasonal and daily specials such as turnip cake with shrimp, sausage, and black garlic sauce or egg custard with lump blue crab, heirloom tomato, and Tetra squash; the bar, meanwhile, turns out the likes of Sichuan peppercorn–watermelon margaritas while offering one of the city’s most progressive wine and cider selections.

Bowl of Chinese fried chicken with chilies and scallions
La ji zi at Hop Alley.
Adam Bove

Fish N Beer

Copy Link

Here’s a mini-vacation in the midst of RiNo: Barely wider than a hallway that leads to a backyard with picnic tables, this little getaway evokes countless raw bars and crab shacks from Cape Cod to Gulfport to Monterey. Its menu, meanwhile, borrows from them all: In addition to oysters from both coasts, it serves up New England–style clam chowder, New Orleans–style shrimp po’ boys, and West Coast–style fish tacos with equal confidence — not to mention key lime pie. And while craft beer is obviously the star of the bar program, the lighthearted selection of wines and cocktails pulls its own weight.

Salmon filet over gnocchi in cream sauce
Grilled salmon over gnocchi at Fish N Beer.
Ruth Tobias

Dio Mio

Copy Link

Fresh pasta is the pride and joy of Spencer White and Alex Figura’s acclaimed fast-casual kitchen, featured in preparations both classic (spaghetti and meatballs, cacio e pepe) and creative — think casarecce puttanesca with capers, olives, Worcestershire, and horseradish or creste di gallo with duck confit, sweet peppers, and corn in yuzu kosho. But there’s more to the story in the form of equally inspired appetizers: blistered shishitos with cantaloupe and ricotta salata in prosciutto vinaigrette, say, or chicken-fried lion’s mane mushrooms with aged gouda and rosemary hot honey. The beverage list is likewise small but smart: a TRVE grisette and German bubbly here, a tequila cocktail laced with balsamic there. More in the mood for pizza? Dio Mio sibling Redeemer Pizza is brand-new to the neighborhood.

Fazzoletti with mint, pistachios, and black garlic
Fazzoletti, or handkerchief pasta, is on frequent rotation at Dio Mio.
Ruth Tobias

The Preservery

Copy Link

The menu is small but the hearts are big at this colorful, community-minded cafe, where $6 “giving meals” are a thing — the owners have donated thousands of meals purchased by customers — and so is weekday brunch, featuring five-egg breakfast burritos, potato-cheddar croquettes, and PB&J shots made with peanut butter whiskey and raspberry jam. Other highlights include the “Greek frites” loaded with beef, feta, tzatziki, and more as well as baked-to-order cookies.

Chicken-spinach wrap in a tortilla
A brunchtime wrap at The Preservery.
Ruth Tobias

Mister Oso

Copy Link

Resembling a slice of tropical rainforest in the old Populist space, this spinoff of pan-Latin LoHi smash Señor Bear is now a hit in its own right (with a second location slated to open in Wash Park). The menu here is primarily modern Mexican, centered on elaborate tacos and lighthearted snacks like mezcal-infused aguachile and green papaya–pig ear salad; the bar, meanwhile, entertains with daily-changing congelados (frozen cocktails) and spiked aguas frescas.

Coconut rice, pork belly taco, and a salad with a tropical cocktail
A spread at Mister Oso.
Kayla Jones

Barcelona Wine Bar

Copy Link

The inclusion of outside chains generally defeats the purpose of local maps, but this one has proven an exception, filling a niche in the neighborhood with grace and style. For all its popularity, Barcelona doesn’t merely play to the mainstream: The accessibly priced wine list encourages casual drinkers to discover lesser-known regions, varieties, and styles, while the menu supplements classic tapas like pan con tomate and gambas al ajillo with uncommon twists: heirloom carrots in black-garlic vinaigrette, say, or seared blood sausage with romesco.

Olives, anchovies, croquettes, and other tapas
Tapas at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

Launching as a 17-seat chef’s counter in an old bungalow, this fine-dining destination now has a sumptuously decorated patio to show for the pandemic era. What hasn’t changed is the intimate experience it offers, built around prix fixe tasting menus that change with the seasons, highlighting local ingredients along with wide-ranging influences. Of course, the (optional) beverage pairings are equally thoughtful.

Chef Duncan Holmes behind Beckon’s three-sided chef’s counter
Chef Duncan Holmes behind Beckon’s three-sided chef’s counter.
Adam Larkey

Owlbear Barbecue

Copy Link

From Karl Fallenius’ two offset smokers come all the staples of a serious smoke shack: Texas-style brisket, ribs, and pulled pork with all the fixings, including a much-loved mac-and-cheese. But on any given day, Owlbear’s avid fans might also line up early to catch some specials like PBLTs (with pork belly instead of bacon), sausages in ever-changing flavors, and a knockout cheeseburger.

Owlbear Barbecue Courtesy of Owlbear Barbecue

Nocturne

Copy Link

Coming to this supper club is a little like stepping back into an era when everybody dressed up to paint the town. Its Art Deco–inspired interior design sets a swanky stage for not only live jazz but also excellent cocktails, both classic and original, and a fine wine list with an appropriate emphasis on bubbles; though the kitchen turns out a small selection of a la carte plates, most come here to make a night of it over a seasonal three-course menu featuring such elaborate dishes as seared Arctic char with brown-butter parsnips, parsley coulis, and caper-mulberry relish.

Art Deco–inspired supper club with a stage for live jazz
A view from the mezzanine at Nocturne.
Adam Larkey

Osaka Ramen

Copy Link

An early favorite in the still-emerging RiNo district when it opened in 2015, Jeff Osaka’s underground ramen shop is of course best known for its namesake, mostly traditional noodle bowls. But for many regulars, half the fun of a meal here lies in seasonal specials like green chile–chorizo ramen as well as in signature snacks, from karaage and okonomiyaki fries to loco moco and mochi doughnuts. (Speaking of fun, Osaka also owns kaiten-zushi Sushi-Rama around the corner.)

Bowl of ramen with chopsticks
Lunchtime at Osaka Ramen.
Ruth Tobias

The Denver Central Market

Copy Link

Occupying a nearly 100-year-old building at the heart of RiNo, this food hall jumps from morning to night as 11 different vendors ply their wares: There’s a coffee shop, a butcher stall, a bakery, a salumeria, a fishmonger, a greengrocer, a pizzeria, a lunch counter, a creamery, a chocolatier, and, of course, a cocktail bar, all under one bright, bustling roof.

Raw oysters on the half shell over ice with lemon and cocktail sauce
Oysters from Tammen’s Fish Market.
Ruth Tobias

Il Posto

Copy Link

Boasting what’s still one of the handsomest dining rooms in town, Milan-born chef/owner Andrea Frizzi’s date-night pick would be worth a visit even if the food weren’t good. The bonus is that it is. The kitchen hews closely to Italian tradition while taking a few modern liberties, with results like bucatini with lamb sausage, broccolini, and anchovy butter or black-pepper creste di gallo with snow crab, green tomatoes, and corn. The bar, for its part, is well-stocked with not only an all-Italian wine selection but an array of aperitivi and digestivi to kick off and cap off the evening.

IL POSTO - DENVER
The dining room at Il Posto.
Adam Larkey

Stowaway Kitchen

Copy Link

In an artsy, loftlike setting, this daytime kitchen serves up equally savvy, eclectic eats. Toast might be topped with avocado and Vegemite or sardines, white beans, chard, and a fried egg; sandwiches might show Japanese or Middle Eastern influences; and while fresh-baked scones, muffins, and the like are always on offer, Sunday-only doughnuts change weekly — think nectarine-cinnamon or saffron-kumquat.

Restaurant counter in shades of gray with plants
Stowaway’s interior.
Ruth Tobias

Cart-Driver

Copy Link

Tiny but mighty, Cart-Driver turns an old shipping container into a party place whose guests gather over not just the oysters, wood-fired pizzas, Italian wines, and batched cocktails it built its name on but also on terrific snacks like chicken-liver mousse and tinned seafood with fresh-baked bread and other fixings, plus spritzes and specials like pesto-topped focaccia.

Sausage and kale pizza with a glass of beer
Cart-Driver’s signature pizza with sausage and kale.
Ruth Tobias

Work & Class

Copy Link

There’s no place quite like this beloved neighborhood anchor, where Mexican, Midwestern, and Deep Southern influences mingle on a menu inspired by chef Dana Rodriguez and her partner Tony Maciag’s respective upbringings. Housed in a renovated shipping container, the dining room begins to fill up the moment the doors open with crowds digging into French onion–braised brisket, carnitas in green chile, and other centerpiece meats, supplemented by everything from blue-corn empanadas to biscuits with honey butter. The drink list is equally down to earth, centered on mix-and-match highballs, quirky boilermakers, and well-priced wines by the glass or bottle.

Cast-iron skillet tart topped with ice cream
Don’t skip dessert at Work & Class.
Ruth Tobias

Super Mega Bien

Copy Link

There’s really no place quite like Work & Class’s sibling across the street in the Ramble Hotel either: Here, pan-Latin cuisine meets dim sum–style cart service in a colorful space inspired by the street art of Mexico City. For the complete experience, follow up surefire small plates like Brazilian shrimp sopa, patatas bravas, and arepas de queso with a family-style entree of lamb barbacoa accompanied by tortillas and garnishes aplenty, plus an order of fruit empanadas for dessert. Signatures from the bar include the rum-spiked Chicha and the La Rosa G&T.

Cuban dish with beef, plantains, and olives.
SuperMegaBien’s signature ropa vieja.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater Denver

Uchi Denver

Copy Link

Don’t believe the hype — because it’s actually an understatement. Upholding the Japanese tradition of meticulous technique while allowing their imaginations to run wild, the team at this chic and intimate outpost of Tyson Cole’s famed Austin flagship rarely fails to wow, whether they’re preparing the simplest order of sashimi or plating some elaborate seasonal creation: maybe yellowtail collar in sunflower mole with corn relish, maybe Wagyu tataki with pine-nut gremolata and burnt-onion vinegar. Sit at the bar to soak up the atmosphere in style.

Two pieces of cured white anchovy sushi
Boquerones at Uchi.
Ruth Tobias

Loading comments...

Comal Heritage Food Incubator

Griddled tacos with lime wedges, salsa, and blistered chiles
Tacos are a staple at Comal.
Ruth Tobias

Eat well, do good at this the TAXI development fixture, which is much more than just a weekday lunch counter serving an ever-changing menu of mostly Mexican plates: pork shoulder in salsa verde with rice, beans, and handmade tortillas, for instance, or beef-and-potato flautas beneath a rainbow of garnishes, or spicy shrimp tacos alongside an agua fresca. It’s also a nonprofit training kitchen for immigrant women aspiring to open their own culinary businesses — and on Thursday afternoons, it hosts a community farmers market.

Griddled tacos with lime wedges, salsa, and blistered chiles
Tacos are a staple at Comal.
Ruth Tobias

Bigsby's Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant

Wine bar with high ceilings and couches
The interior of Bigsby’s Folly.
Teri Fotheringham

Though an urban winery first and foremost, Bigsby’s charms are broad enough to be lost on no one. The renovated, brick-walled factory space is gorgeously appointed with chandeliers and parlor furnishings as well as flanked by two dog-friendly patios. The full bar ensures that even non-enophiles get their fill. And the food is unexpectedly thoughtful, going beyond the standard bar snacks and charcuterie boards to include dishes like gigante bean–quinoa salad, pea-mascarpone risotto with almond crumble, and green chile–chicken nachos with lime crema and tomato relish.

Wine bar with high ceilings and couches
The interior of Bigsby’s Folly.
Teri Fotheringham

The Source Hotel and Market Hall

Pita and hummus topped with lamb
Safta’s famous pita and hummus, here topped with lamb ragù.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater Denver

The aptly named Source put RiNo on the map when it opened in 2013, and though it has undergone numerous changes over the years, it remains a wellspring of major culinary talent; in fact, it may be the best version of itself right now. While Alon Shaya’s contemporary Israeli sensation Safta, modern Mexican draw Bellota, the Kizaki brothers’ Temaki Den, and Reunion Bread Co. are destinations unto themselves, the market hall and hotel also house Bill Espiricueta’s blue-ribbon barbecue joint Smōk; Chicago-style pizzeria Grabowski’s; rooftop tavern The Woods, featuring New Belgium beers brewed on-site; and soft-serve shop Melted.

Pita and hummus topped with lamb
Safta’s famous pita and hummus, here topped with lamb ragù.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater Denver

Hop Alley

Bowl of Chinese fried chicken with chilies and scallions
La ji zi at Hop Alley.
Adam Bove

Opening with a boom in 2015, Tommy Lee’s modern Chinese hot spot hasn’t stopped rocking since, serving up clever eats and drinks in a setting that’s as see-and-be-seen as ever. The menu supplements signatures like the chilled tofu in bang bang sauce and the Beijing duck roll with seasonal and daily specials such as turnip cake with shrimp, sausage, and black garlic sauce or egg custard with lump blue crab, heirloom tomato, and Tetra squash; the bar, meanwhile, turns out the likes of Sichuan peppercorn–watermelon margaritas while offering one of the city’s most progressive wine and cider selections.

Bowl of Chinese fried chicken with chilies and scallions
La ji zi at Hop Alley.
Adam Bove

Fish N Beer

Salmon filet over gnocchi in cream sauce
Grilled salmon over gnocchi at Fish N Beer.
Ruth Tobias

Here’s a mini-vacation in the midst of RiNo: Barely wider than a hallway that leads to a backyard with picnic tables, this little getaway evokes countless raw bars and crab shacks from Cape Cod to Gulfport to Monterey. Its menu, meanwhile, borrows from them all: In addition to oysters from both coasts, it serves up New England–style clam chowder, New Orleans–style shrimp po’ boys, and West Coast–style fish tacos with equal confidence — not to mention key lime pie. And while craft beer is obviously the star of the bar program, the lighthearted selection of wines and cocktails pulls its own weight.

Salmon filet over gnocchi in cream sauce
Grilled salmon over gnocchi at Fish N Beer.
Ruth Tobias

Dio Mio

Fazzoletti with mint, pistachios, and black garlic
Fazzoletti, or handkerchief pasta, is on frequent rotation at Dio Mio.
Ruth Tobias

Fresh pasta is the pride and joy of Spencer White and Alex Figura’s acclaimed fast-casual kitchen, featured in preparations both classic (spaghetti and meatballs, cacio e pepe) and creative — think casarecce puttanesca with capers, olives, Worcestershire, and horseradish or creste di gallo with duck confit, sweet peppers, and corn in yuzu kosho. But there’s more to the story in the form of equally inspired appetizers: blistered shishitos with cantaloupe and ricotta salata in prosciutto vinaigrette, say, or chicken-fried lion’s mane mushrooms with aged gouda and rosemary hot honey. The beverage list is likewise small but smart: a TRVE grisette and German bubbly here, a tequila cocktail laced with balsamic there. More in the mood for pizza? Dio Mio sibling Redeemer Pizza is brand-new to the neighborhood.

Fazzoletti with mint, pistachios, and black garlic
Fazzoletti, or handkerchief pasta, is on frequent rotation at Dio Mio.
Ruth Tobias

The Preservery

Chicken-spinach wrap in a tortilla
A brunchtime wrap at The Preservery.
Ruth Tobias

The menu is small but the hearts are big at this colorful, community-minded cafe, where $6 “giving meals” are a thing — the owners have donated thousands of meals purchased by customers — and so is weekday brunch, featuring five-egg breakfast burritos, potato-cheddar croquettes, and PB&J shots made with peanut butter whiskey and raspberry jam. Other highlights include the “Greek frites” loaded with beef, feta, tzatziki, and more as well as baked-to-order cookies.

Chicken-spinach wrap in a tortilla
A brunchtime wrap at The Preservery.
Ruth Tobias

Mister Oso

Coconut rice, pork belly taco, and a salad with a tropical cocktail
A spread at Mister Oso.
Kayla Jones

Resembling a slice of tropical rainforest in the old Populist space, this spinoff of pan-Latin LoHi smash Señor Bear is now a hit in its own right (with a second location slated to open in Wash Park). The menu here is primarily modern Mexican, centered on elaborate tacos and lighthearted snacks like mezcal-infused aguachile and green papaya–pig ear salad; the bar, meanwhile, entertains with daily-changing congelados (frozen cocktails) and spiked aguas frescas.

Coconut rice, pork belly taco, and a salad with a tropical cocktail
A spread at Mister Oso.
Kayla Jones

Barcelona Wine Bar

Olives, anchovies, croquettes, and other tapas
Tapas at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

The inclusion of outside chains generally defeats the purpose of local maps, but this one has proven an exception, filling a niche in the neighborhood with grace and style. For all its popularity, Barcelona doesn’t merely play to the mainstream: The accessibly priced wine list encourages casual drinkers to discover lesser-known regions, varieties, and styles, while the menu supplements classic tapas like pan con tomate and gambas al ajillo with uncommon twists: heirloom carrots in black-garlic vinaigrette, say, or seared blood sausage with romesco.

Olives, anchovies, croquettes, and other tapas
Tapas at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

Beckon