Here's a tip: Denver diners are the second best tippers in the nation, according to Zagat surveyors

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Tim and Nina Zagat just dropped the 2010 edition of America's Top Restaurants (full disclosure: I edited the Colorado section), along with pages and pages of dining stats culled from eaters who responded to Zagat's annual survey that, more or less, sum up the best and worst of each city.

And survey says...

Of the 31 markets included in the national guide, Denver is tied with Charlotte, North Carolina, as the second-best tipping city, with an average tip of 19.5 percent on the total bill. That has us nipping at the heels of Philadelphia and St. Louis, which tied for first with an average tip of 19.6 percent. Leaving an average tip of 18.4 percent, the most uncharitable tippers hail from Seattle and Hawaii. Cheapskates.

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Other interesting stuff from Zagatland:

Mizuna
(225 East Seventh Avenue), Frasca Food & Wine (2738 Pearl Street, Boulder), Fruition (1313 East Sixth Avenue) Sushi Den (1487 South Pearl Street) and Sushi Sasa (2401 15th Street) claimed the highest food-ranking scores of the Colorado restaurants surveyed.

Denverites chose Italian as their favorite cuisine (24 percent), followed by American (16 percent), French (13 percent) and Japanese and Mexican (both at 10 percent).

Notable Denver newcomers to this year's guide include Osteria Marco (1453 Larimer Street), Bones (701 Grant Street), Venue (3609 West 32nd Avenue), Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza (2129 Larimer Street) and Squeaky Bean (3301 Tejon Street).

Sixty-six percent of Denver surveyors believe that trans fats should be banned at restaurants (the national average is 65 percent), while 32 percent of Denverites could give a shit whether low-carb, low-fat or heart-healthy menu items are available, which is exactly one percentage point higher that those who think it's "very important" for restaurants to offer lettuce stuff that won't kill you.

If you live in Denver, you eat out, on average, 3.2 times a week, which is the national average.

To get your grubby hands on the 2010 America's Top Restaurants guide, hightail it to a bookstore near you. In the meantime, what are your favorite restaurants in Denver -- old and new?



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