Colt & Gray
1553 Platte St., LoHi
Colt & Gray is a little dressed up for Denver, but in a good way: It’s an upscale white-tablecloth establishment that’s still very cozy (exposed brick and a fireplace). While the atmosphere is enough of a draw, they have exceptional cocktails, fresh oysters, and best of all, a top-notch charcuterie program—it’s all cured in-house, and they’re committed to high-quality regional ingredients and nose-to-tail utilization. The rest of the menu is standard but inventive New American fare, like Moroccan lamb with kale panisse and clams and octopus with white runner beans. Bonus: There’s a speakeasy downstairs, Ste. Ellie, where you can expect the same great cocktails and service in a more intimate (and even cozier) space.
2413 W. 32nd Ave., LoHi
This bistro has been in the neighborhood for a decade, making it a LoHi mainstay. Over the years, the upscale (but relaxed) restaurant has maintained more than 40 local partners, who make their farm-to-table commitment possible—and ensure their seasonal menu continues to impress with selections that range from crispy cauliflower with stewed red lentils to country ham carpaccio to “chicken & waffles” (chicken liver mousse on a brown butter waffle with date chutney and pickled shallot). Note: The small space is reliably packed, so it’s good to make a reservation.
2030 W. 30th Ave., LoHi
Most people choose not to dwell on the fact that the building Linger occupies was a former mortuary called Olinger's—the "O" on the neon sign had long been busted, and the restaurateurs chose the name of their "eatuary" accordingly. Right in the middle of all the action of LoHi's busiest street, the restaurant has two levels: a dining room downstairs, and a more casual rooftop patio upstairs. The street-food-inspired menu highlights a few different cuisines, with dishes like a falafel lettuce wrap alongside Vietnamese surf 'n turf and a masala dosa. For a casual vibe fitting of the food (or a great happy hour), we actually prefer the second floor, which features a bar housed in a refurbished VW bus and beautiful views of downtown Denver.
3316 Tejon St., LoHi
Justin Brunson is known as a meat guy (his other restaurants include Masterpiece Deli, Denver Bacon Company, and Culture Meat & Cheese), and Old Major is his fine-dining celebration of whole animal butchery, which all come from his in-house butcher and charcuterie program; you'll see the charcuterie room just off the dining area. The casual vibe here is quintessentially Denver, with an industrial space flecked with barn wood, exposed brick, a wide patio, and—importantly—a great bar. Brunson's best dishes, understandably, are meat-centric, like a gorgeous dry-aged Colorado ribeye, an excellent charcuterie plate, and the nose-to-tail, a plate of Italian sausage, red wine-glazed confit belly, crispy ears, and pork shoulder ragú served with vegetables. It's a lot of food, but take it from us: You'll want to save room for the pretzel knots.
1600 W. 33rd Ave., LoHi
Root Down is a neighborhood joint dedicated to providing ethically sourced and properly prepared health food. Brunch is pretty hard to beat on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and they also have a great raw food night on the first Tuesday of each month—a four-course raw, vegan, gluten-free dinner, crafted by raw-food-certified chef Daniel Asher. Any other day, there is ample gluten and dairy on the menu, though things stay relatively vegetable-centric. We love the baby beet salad, burger sliders with jalapeño jam, and the rack of lamb (sourced from just a few miles away). Pro tip: There’s a second location in Concourse C at the airport with a solid takeaway fridge.
2401 15th St., LoHi
This quiet sushi destination right off downtown discreetly serves some of the freshest fish in town. The interior is sleek and calming, and the vibe is unpretentious—it works for date night, as well as a quick lunch during the work week. There's an intimate bar space with a TV downstairs that gets lively at happy hour.
2215 W. 32nd Ave., LoHi
Tommy Lee's noodle shop in LoHi has been packed since it opened, and for good reason: The small restaurant’s take on traditional Japanese ramen is top-notch, prepared with long-simmered broths, custom-made noodles, and responsibly raised meat and fish. The menu is small but varied—in addition to the ramen, you’ll find offerings like their Brussels sprout salad with coconut, orange, lemongrass, and spicy cashew, plus their buns selection, which includes pork belly with hoisin, cucumber, scallion, and fried green tomato variations. (There are vegetarian options, too.) If you can't brave the crowds for a table, keep in mind that they also do takeout.
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