(Updated with winner) DISH: Win two tickets to our celebration of the Denver dining scene

Categories: Dish 2013

Thumbnail image for dish2012opener.jpg
A scene from the 2012 DISH.
Denver has evolved over the past twenty years -- and so has DISH, Westword's annual celebration of the metro Denver dining scene. On Sunday, September 22, DISH will return to the Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, a stunning outdoor venue on the edge of downtown. And for the first time ever, we're hosting DISH during the day, so that you can actually see your surroundings -- and some of the best food Denver has to offer. DISH attendees will enjoy samples from more than forty of Cafe Society's favorite restaurants and food trucks, as well as Readers' picks from the Best of Denver 2013. There will also be samples of beer, wine and spirits, along with live entertainment to keep you moving throughout the afternoon.

See also: Photos of the food from DISH 2012

Among the restaurants/food trucks you'll find at DISH:
Kevin Taylor, El Chingon, Slider Shack 303, Stoney's, Big Kiwi Eats, Azucar Bakery, Biker Jim's, Boone's, DiFranco's, Interstate, Table Six, The Kitchen, Early Bird, El Taco De Mexico, The Hornet, The Real Dill, Williams & Graham, Gaetano's, Lola, Mustard's Last Stand, Maggie and Molly's, Nile Ethopian, Rio Grande, Trillium, Al Lado, Tin Star Smokehouse, Slotted Spoon, Pink Tank, Fuzzy Tacos, Central Bistro & Bar, Sugarlicious, Tamayo, Sushi Sasa, La Calle Taqueria, Jonesy's, Orange Crunch, WaterCourse Foods, CHUBurger, Patxi's Pizza, Rackhouse Pub, Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar and Tamayo.

More restaurants are signing up every day -- but we're already so excited about the lineup that we'd like to share the wealth with you. And so we're giving a pair of tickets to the reader who comes up with the tastiest answer to this question: What's been the best development on the Denver dining scene over the past twenty years?

Post your answer in the comments section below by 1 p.m. Friday; we'll announce the winner in an update of this post that afternoon.



Location Info

Azucar Bakery

1886 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

2148 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

DiFranco's

955 Lincoln St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Interstate Kitchen & Bar

1001 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO

Category: Music

Table 6

609 Corona St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Kitchen

1530 16th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Early Bird Restaurant

11940 Bradburn Blvd., Westminster, CO

Category: Restaurant

El Taco De Mexico

714 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Hornet

76 Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music

Williams & Graham

3160 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Gaetano's Restaurant

3760 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Lola

1575 Boulder St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Mustard's Last Stand II

2081 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Maggie & Molly's Bakery

2908 E. 6th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Pinnacle Dinner Theatre

9136 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton, CO

Category: General

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

1525 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Trillium

2134 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Al Lado - CLOSED

1610 Little Raven St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Tin Star Smokehouse

16400 S. Golden Road, Golden, CO

Category: Restaurant

Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery

2730 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Pink Tank

, Denver / Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

Fuzzy's Taco Shop

5760 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, CO

Category: Restaurant

Central Bistro & Bar

1691 Central St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Sugarlicious

3000 E. 3rd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General

Sushi Sasa

2401 15th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

La Calle Taqueria y Carnitas

1565 W. Alameda Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's

400 E. 20th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Orange Crunch

metro area, Denver / Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

WaterCourse Foods

837 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Tamayo

1400 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
42 comments
chase3100
chase3100

While some people might think it’s a bad thing that our culinary identity doesn't go much beyond the Denver omelet. I for one, think it makes our food scene versatile and this versatility is by far the best development for Denver dining. You can have incredible night out eating street tacos or small plates on a dime, or you can splurge on more traditional fine dining – Our food scene has it all, no other identity needed.

jwjanes
jwjanes

While Denver dining has exploded in recent years, the best development is that amazing food has remained accessible – something that is easily taken for granted. It wasn't until I overheard someone talking to a friend from out of town about our best restaurants that I was reminded of just how great we have it.  Naturally, the follow up questions were, “Is there a dress code and do we need a reservation?” The answer to both of course was "No, not in Denver."

djhamel23
djhamel23

The biggest development on the Denver dining scene has been the embrace of local and independent. I found that 10 years ago, there were only a few small, independent, chef-driven restaurants that were lauded for their food and cuisine as Denverites relied on having more and more food concepts and chain restaurants rule the interior dining corridor. Now that a majority of these outposts have been disbanded and chased out of town, we have bold, different and wonderful new conceptualizations looking to create an urban chic and a farm to table identity that would rival the big cities on both the left and right coast. I wish I was still cooking. I want to have my own food business. And it's based on the success that our restaurants now have ... and the absence of these things when I was doing it full-time.

terry.josephr
terry.josephr

The best developement of the Denver dining scene is the community that has been built around it. The community of Denver has developed with the dining scene over the past twenty years, including myself. Not only have tastes and minds been expanded, but more importantly comradery and friendship. Thanks to the Denver dining scene I can now go out with my friends and family to a plethora of locations that serve quality food and beverages. I may even meet some new friends along the way. I would note that this is a much more difficult feat after a bad meal, or even more so from a drive through. And to ice the cake, now the dinner dining scene can bring us all together at wonderful events like DISH. At events like this, an unpresidented number of quality food and beverage establishments come together with the community to grow as one. Wether you're a chef, brewer, foodie or hungry soul, there is always going to be a place for you in Denver. The Denver dining scene has fed me well, and I encourage us all to return the favor. See you there!

stephenjpack
stephenjpack

The rise of locally-grown food paired with locally-brewed beer!

barslinger
barslinger

The biggest change I have scene in the Denver dining scene has been the proliferation of chef driven restaurants.  Not just the higher end restaurants but the plethora of options from upscale to sandwich and everything in between.  I's a native and years ago there were a handful of chef driven restaurants and they were all or nearly all "fine dining", now every price point and many ethnic cuisines have chef inspired restaurants.

Curiouser
Curiouser

Denver's dining scene has evolved tremendously in the last few decades. The city is teeming with new and independent restaurants, ambitious chefs and adventurous palettes. There is real thought behind what is being put on the plate and diners are actually starting to pay attention and appreciate what they're eating. Denver has finally found its foothold in the culinary world. Let's hope it just keeps getting better. Cheers.

misohappy
misohappy

The best thing about the Denver dining scene is that no matter the size, status, etc of the establishments, Denver restaurants are utilizing and advertising local ingredients. Be it vegetables, meats, cheese, craft beers, spirits. The majority of local restaurants are supporting those in the community. They advertise these local farms, distilleries and brewers on there menus. The residents of Colorado are proud of where they live and love supporting their community. It is such a plus, during the age of Monsanto, GMO's, industrialized foods, to walk into a restaurant and know where your food/beverage came from. 

serro111
serro111

The brewery scene, for sure! Though it is not "dining" its exciting to see all the new breweries popping up around town. 

jmckay88
jmckay88

My favorite development on the Denver food scene is the Chef Jen's s'more at Euclid Hall. Best ever.

Elizah
Elizah

I really appreciate that far more chefs have embraced what were once "niche" culinary trends (ex. vegan, raw, gluten-free, organic, heirloom, fermented, artisan, ethnic, etc. etc.) and mainstreamed them. The result is that the average dining public is now exposed to far more dietary diversity per restaurant menu and I believe a greater willingness to dive head first into new, adventurous dining experiences, which is awfully fun. 

Even my own 67 year old father admitted to me recently (after trepidatiously indulging in a five course 5280 Restaurant Week special) that thanks to that opportunity, he's no longer "scared" of fava beans...squid ink pasta...raw "cheesecake"... My whole point is that he NEVER would have eaten those menu items at home, but now because once incongruous edibles are increasingly being served side by side, his palate has been snapped out of a coma. That, in my opinion, is DEFINITELY the greatest Denver dining scene development over the past 20 years!!

milehin8tvbear
milehin8tvbear

The biggest development of Denver's dining scene is,...THERE'S A DINING SCENE! I'm 40 years old and a Denver native. I remember there being two types of food establishments: fast food/buffet, and fine dining.  To my knowledge there really weren't many options.  Now, there's food everywhere you go in Denver and beyond.  I'm even more proud to be a Denverite!

catesv
catesv

Food Trucks and Restaurants using ingredients from local farms and food and drink artisans and keeping it real but surprising and dynamic.

jenleighmusic
jenleighmusic

Brunch options, all the way! I love brunch, and now I have so many places to go. Instead of "pancakes vs. egg/meat" I can take into account stylistic differences in brunches all around the city. I can choose based on what I want that day, and every place is incredibly distinguishable. Brunch is my favorite meal now.

megp7
megp7

The best development about our dining scene is that the people of Denver have embraced all the awesome restaurants that took the leap into the Denver market! Finally proving that we are not a small cow town, but a metropolitan city that loves good food and international flavors! Whether it is being slung from a food truck, a fine dining establishment, or frozen in nitrogen - we are down to give it a go! I also want to credit the awesome culinary skills that are grown right here in Colorado and have been able to thrive and open many of our top spots! As for my personal fave, hands down ChoLon! 

surveyact
surveyact

Gluten Free and Vegan options at various restaurants. I like how most either offer such options if you ask or have them indicated on the menus already.

daisycakesCO
daisycakesCO

I grew up in Denver and remember visiting the Wazee Lounge and Supper Club as a kid when it was still under the viaduct. That area of Denver, LoDo, in particular has grown and changed so much - especially in terms of the glorious variety of restaurant choices. Squeaky Bean, The Kitchen, Lucky Pie, ChoLon and more! How lucky we are!

NeicyWagnerGeis
NeicyWagnerGeis

Wow, 20 years, that's hard. There have been so many exciting developments in the food world from food trucks to craft beer to social media, just in the past decade alone. But I think the best thing would have to be the overall community spirit that I never remember seeing before, maybe because we never had the means until now. People as a whole seem really involved in where their food comes from and sharing great finds with the masses. The food network is every expanding and folks LOVE to talk about it, myself included. I'm super excited to see where we'll be in 20 more years!

cynthiajimenezb
cynthiajimenezb

Definitely the variety of restaurants since I moved to Denver has really opened up.  And, I really enjoy the fact a lot of establishments take advantage of the social/coupon networking sites to offer deals to eat at these places as a way to introduce anyone and everyone to all of the different restaurants out there..  I would never know Denver has Argentinean pizza if there wasn't Groupon :)  , 

blue13matt
blue13matt

neighborhood breweries and food trucks bringing the goods to little pockets of awesome around town. (same answer as about 80% of other the comments, unfortunately...)

kezzamcdezza
kezzamcdezza

I think the best development has been the focus on craft beer and pairing it with all the delicious food Denver has to offer! I love that the Denver beer/food/wine scene is so collaborative as well. Makes for some great creativity and awesome events!

cynaps
cynaps

New-ish to the area, I don't know how much it has change. However, I love that I can get food from almost all over the world in Denver, and it's all original, homemade. Real flavors, and maybe with a touch of Denver. I can get the best Mexican food, best pho and noodles, to india, ethiopian and even Argentinean cuisine

Michael564
Michael564

The best Denver Dining development, for me at least, has been Larimer Properties and Larmier Square. Seemingly with a finger on the pulse of the dining scene, the owners of the Square have maintained a high level in craft and quality of chefs and restaurants. A gathering of the "best" Denver has to offer, you could eat at a different place every night for a week and leave town feeling as if you understand Denver's approach to culinary culture. From local geniuses (Bonano, TAG, Chef Jenn) to large chains (Capital Grill) to small national chains (Cru, Ocean Prime, Tomayo), visitors can sample local taste as well as feeling comfort in seeing familiar places. Concept to execution, Larimer Properties helped spearhead the good dining trend over the past 15 or so years -- their original idea (Sandoval brings in other national chefs) didn't pan out, but the locals got their chance, and boy are they shining!

Michael564
Michael564

For sure, the best development *on* the Denver Dining scene is, of course, Cafe Society! :-)

adalbertoc
adalbertoc

The best development in Denver dining is the people! The people of Denver have evolved into a melting pot of flavors that translate into the dining experience. The variety of people allows us to have an assortment of foods that can be eaten curbside or in a lavish dining room. Each concept derives from a unique perspective which allows us to have a great experience every time. Even if you are particular to one type of cuisine, the options in each category keep foods fresh and new. Without the diverse people, we wouldn’t have craft brewery, food trucks, and all the other great concepts we know and love. Our people make Denver great but they make our food even better.

brett178
brett178

The best development in the Denver Food scene has been the interaction between the Business owner and social medial.  Never before has the owners of Restaurants, Food Stalls, or Food Trucks been able to have such an intimate relationship with the diner/customer.  They are able to provide their customer base instant notifications of their locations, new menus, closures, renovations, and special events with little to no overhead other than the time it takes to sent a text message.  Entrepreneurs that are taking advantage of this FREE organic based, guerrilla marketing will make a better connection with their client base that will make a lasting relationship that is crucial for survival in such a cut-throat market.

GregLJK
GregLJK

The combination of craft brewery tasting rooms with food trucks. Keeps the informal, communal spirit of the tap room while letting patrons sample a variety of local mobile cuisine. 

_____
_____

Westword's Cafe Society blog

bpartoens
bpartoens

I love the food trucks that Denver is now home to. They are not only a great way for patrons to try new ideas but an equally great way for chefs to experiment with new ideas.

kellif
kellif

I think the best thing to happen is increased competition.  We have had so many talented people open restaurants that it has raised the bar on quality across all genres.  They hold themselves to amazing standards and you have to keep up and be innovative to stay around.  We are lucky people in Denver......

teresa.giovanne
teresa.giovanne

I believe that the best development in the Denver dining scene is the implementation of fresh seasonal foods, farm to table ingredients and their progressive technique's with these foods. I believe Denver restaurants have really paved the way for other cities in the farm to table movement. We have implemented farm to table from fast food joints to fine dining. Chipotle, Squeaky Bean, Z Cuisine, Duo,  Panzano's and many many more!

RocioRowland
RocioRowland

I think is the variety, you can find all type of food, the establishments can go from your food stand at the 16th St Mall to the nicest restaurants along Larimer Square or inside the Hotels. You can dress up to go to dinner or go as informal as you want. I think there is always something for everybody.

clthomas82004
clthomas82004

I love the Food trucks all around Denver. It is not always easy to go out to eat. These trucks give everyone a chance to try different foods from all over the world. Since these trucks have arrived, I have tried foods that I never would have and it's open a whole new world for me.

misskicha
misskicha

I believe the best development in the Denver dining scene has been the focus on craft. Craft beer, craft food. The pairing of really great beers with really great local, fresh food is amazing. Freshcraft, Euclid Hall, Hops & Pie are all excellent examples of this trend. This has also allowed us less-affluent folk the opportunity to try really wonderful food without breaking the bank. Beers also have more diversity in flavor and body than wine, so pair so much better with many foods, that it's just a match made in heaven.

JamesB7
JamesB7

I think the Bonanno Concepts in Denver has really elevated the food scene here.  From Bones to Osteria Marco, and clearly Mizuna, Frank and Co. has done an amazing job at making Denver a fun place to eat.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...