The gastropub trend has arrived in Denver, bringing with it laid-back, neighborhood bar-style atmospheres, creative spins on classic comfort food, and a connoisseur's eye for beer and cocktail selections. "It's Cheers Meets charcuterie." - The Denver Post
523 E. 17th Ave., Denver, 80203
The Vibe: Chef/Owner Matt Selby made his name over at the local fave Vesta Dipping Grill, but the retro-cool Steuben's has rapidly earned its own dedicated foodie following, thanks to its upscale 1950s roadside diner feel (it's located in a renovated auto garage) and inspired interpretations of classic American cuisine. Gleaming chrome, comfy booths, old-fashioned, friendly service and great food make Steuben's a must-visit dining destination.
Must-Try Dish: All Natural Fried Chicken – with mashed potatoes, biscuit and gravy.
Must-Try Drink: The Scorpion Bowl – Myers's Original Dark Rum, Three Olives cherry vodka, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and cranberry juice, with Bacardi 151 Rum set on fire in the middle! (A good one to share with friends.)
Don't Forget Dessert: Matty's Wacky Apple – caramel dipped apple rolled in sweet crunch, served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
The Lobby - An Inspired American Grill
2191 Arapahoe St., Denver, 80205
The Vibe: So named because it's located in the former lobby of The Paris Hotel, this newcomer to Denver's gastropub scene oozes hip sophistication – but without a trace of stuffiness. Kick back on the sun-drenched patio (called one of Denver's best by Westword), soak in the wood and brick-paneled dining room, and enjoy the convivial, European Cafe-style ambiance.
Must-Try Dish: Fried Bleu Cheese Balls – Bleu cheese and cream cheese; beer-battered and fried. Served with blueberry jam.
Must-Try Drink: The Lobby Tini – Svedka vodka, triple sec, grapefruit.
Don't Forget Dessert: Stranahan's Root Beer Float – Colorado whiskey tops a childhood favorite.
208 S. Kalamath St., Denver 80223
The Vibe: Dine and drink surrounded by "steampunk" decor created using Stranahan's Whiskey barrels – which makes sense, since the Rackhouse is located in the basement of the Stranahan distillery. Enjoy local art from the nearby ArtDistrict on Santa Fe, sip hand-selected Colorado microbrews and chow down on cuisine that turns traditional pub fare into culinary masterpieces.
Must-Try Dish: The Rack Burger – double patty topped with three cheeses, bacon, whisky onions, bbq sauce served on a challah bun.
Must-Try Drink: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Taster – sample several of Stranahan's finest.
400 E. 20th Ave., Denver 80205
The Vibe: Housed in the original soda fountain of a 1950’s era pharmacy, under a restored tin roof, Jonesy's excels in creating a nostalgic atmosphere that locals love. The patio is perfectly situated to watch beautiful Denver sunsets, the billiards room offers pool, darts and cozy seating areas, and the service makes you feel instantly at home.
Must-Try Dish: Truffle Fries – tossed with truffle oil and drizzled with truffle aioli.
Must-Try Drink: Sample several Colorado Craft Beers here – Jonesy's offers more than 30, from Great Divide to Avery.
2700 E. 3rd Ave., Denver 80206
The Vibe: A Scottish twist on the gastropub, Cherry Creek's Argyll Gastropub offers a seasonal "from scratch" menu with a U.K. & Continental range of eclectic flavors prepared with ingredients from local farmers – not to mention a 1,000-sq.-ft. patio, the largest in Cherry Creek. Notoriously hard-to-please Westword dining critic Jason Sheehan said: “Argyll isn’t just a good restaurant, it borders on being a great one; the kind where you eat and drink and walk out and immediately want to turn around and do it all over again.”
Must-Try Dish: Scotch Egg – Perfectly soft boiled egg, wrapped in sausage and deep fried, served w/ a horseradish aioli.
Must-Try Drink: Bloody Mary of Scots – Three Olives vodka, fresh horseradish, house crafted Bloody Mary mix & cucumber.
Colt & Gray
1553 Platte St., Denver 80202
The Vibe: Named one of Denver's 25 best restaurants by 5280 Magazine, diners can be sure that Colt & Gray's menu is stellar. But this gastropub's sense of style has been getting raves, too – Elle Decor singled it out in their recent Denver design overview. With a brick fireplace warming the relaxed environs, enjoy everything from a burger and a brew to lobster and high quality vintage wines.
Must-Try Dish: Braised Colorado lamb shank, seared broccoli rabe, mascarpone polenta, and gremolata.
Must-Try Drink: Three Vices – Bacon-Infused rye whiskey, angostura bitters, orange peel, and maple syrup, served on crushed ice in an old-fashioned glass.