Four Denver restaurants and one distillery were named nominees for the prestigious 2020 James Beard Awards. Denver remains the only city in the U.S. selected to host the annual Slow Food Nations USA – for three years running. The international culinary festival is modeled after Terra Madre in Turin, Italy and promotes the mission of Slow Food – a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to preserve food traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and bring awareness to the food people eat, where it comes from and how food choices affect the world. The Daily Meal placed Denver in America’s “50 Best Towns for Food.” In 2019, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Food Truck Nation Report named Denver the second-most food truck friendly city in the country.
A USA Today Readers’ Choice survey named Denver among the country’s 2019 “Best Beer Scenes” citing its status as “home to the world renowned Great American Beer Festival” and its 100 craft breweries. Forbes also ranked Denver within the top five cities to open a craft brewery, based on a good business environment and the population able to patronize a brewery. Colorado is also one of the top five states with the most craft distilleries. In 2019, Food & Wine magazine also reported that Denver is among the top 25 cities with the most breweries per capita, with 6 breweries per 50,000 people based on a study done by C+R Research; Colorado as a state has the third most breweries per capita. Esquire named Colorado “one of the foremost states when it comes to craft whiskey,” citing two Denver distilleries, Stranahan’s and Leopold Bros. as top options (even naming the latter its #8 distillery in the country.) This sentiment was echoed by Travel + Leisure, which ranked Leopold Bros. sixth in the country.