VISIT DENVER’s Denver Restaurant Week was originally designed to showcase Denver’s growing culinary offerings to local residents during a traditionally slow time of year in late February; and, over the past 16 years, it has evolved to highlight what is now an award-winning, nationally recognized dining scene. In 2020, COVID precautions caused the temporary closure and, later, only partial reopening of dine-in service at restaurants, creating extreme difficulties within the restaurant industry. This fall, Denver Restaurant Week’s latest iteration – November 13-22 – will focus on advocacy for the industry, while keeping the health and safety of the community top of mind. The program will still showcase the creative, exciting menus that diners have come to expect – this time with both to-go and in-person options.
“For the past 16 years, we have been able to applaud the phenomenal growth of Denver’s culinary community with Denver Restaurant Week,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER. “Now, it is time for the city to come together for this industry by dining out or taking out, so we have their hospitality, creativity and good food to enjoy for many years to come.”
Many chefs and restaurateurs have gotten very creative with their offerings in order to stay afloat – from adding takeout options on food and alcohol to expanding their patios to creating larger dine-in spaces and more. But they continue to face ongoing challenges – like limited dine-in capacity and the impending cold weather impacting outdoor options – in maintaining enough business to simply stay open.
"Restaurants play a vital role in Denver's communities - they make our city unique. And right now, they are navigating an unprecedented crisis,” said Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of Colorado Restaurant Association. “If they're going to survive the winter, they need our support. We're grateful to VISIT DENVER for adding a surprise Denver Restaurant Week in November to kickstart driving customers into restaurants as the weather turns colder. We ask the public to consider what they'd lose if they lost their local restaurants, and to dine out and take out -- during Denver Restaurant Week and then all winter long -- to ensure that doesn't happen."
The fall Denver Restaurant Week’s goals remain similar to the annual program – celebrating and showcasing the Denver restaurant scene – while encouraging diners to support them through the exceptional and difficult circumstances 2020 has created.
As always, Denver Restaurant Week will feature specially priced menus from some of the finest restaurants across the metro area based on the same popular structure that debuted in 2017. Restaurants will choose one of the three available price points – $25, $35 or $45 – and create a multi-course dinner at that price.
New this year, in addition to the fall timeframe, is the option for takeout and delivery from some restaurants. Due to new regulations, many restaurants that previously did not offer takeout or delivery are now able to – and many of them also offer alcohol alongside those orders.
Restaurants can register to participate beginning Monday, October 5 at DenverRestaurantWeek.com. Participating restaurants and menus will be announced to the public on October 26, so eager diners will be able scan the wide variety of options and make reservations or plan their takeout orders early.
VISIT DENVER’s Denver Restaurant Week is sponsored by Society Insurance and E & J Gallo Winery featuring Barefoot Cellars, J Vineyards, Louis M. Martini, Whitehaven, William Hill Estate and Familia Camarena Tequila. It is also supported by Open Table, Westword, 5280 Magazine and CBS4.