Ten best restaurants in Cherry Creek

Categories: The List

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When Mark Fischer turned Phat Thai into Harman's eat & drink, which Gretchen Kurtz reviews this week, he was working off a great model -- his Pullman in Glenwood Springs. There was just one obstacle, Kurtz reports: the space's Cherry Creek location. Cherry Creek was once the heart of Denver's dining scene, but those days are long-gone. Still, while many of Cherry Creek's dining offerings today range from lifeless chains to uninspired independents, there are definitely good restaurants in the neighborhood.

Here, in no particular order, are ten that Cafe society writers return to again and again.

See also: Harman's eat & drink: A fast change from Phat Thai results in some dishes to remember

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10) Ondo's Spanish Tapas Bar
250 Steele Street #100
Ondo's is a must for tapas enthusiasts. The husband-and-wife duo of Curt and Deicy Steinbecker got their training in San Sebastian, and their traditional Spanish small plates include such classics as jamón ibérico, imported Manchego and San Simon cheeses, and patatas bravas served with Romesco, a spicy roasted red bell pepper sauce. And Ondo's has killer specials to boot: Drop down into this subterranean space on a Monday and all bottles of wine are 50 percent off, Tuesday is three-dollar paella night, and on Wednesdays, patrons can order a wine flight for only $15.

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True Food Kitchen
9) True Food Kitchen
2800 East Second Avenue
True Food Kitchen, Cherry Creek's health-boosting newcomer, follows the anti-inflammatory food philosophy of Dr. Andrew Weil. As a result, its menu is free of most things butter and fat but still full of inventive dining options, with dishes like a hearty spaghetti squash casserole and seasonal autumn salad with roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts. And the sleek, modern interior is usually packed with sleek, health-conscious Creekers.

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Nate Hemmert
8) Aviano Coffee
244 Detroit Street
After months of renovation (following a surprise move), Aviano's beautiful new space is stunning, with rustic, wood-planked walls and a central bar system. Aviano pours cult-favorite Intelligentsia Coffee, a rare thing in Denver, using several different brew methods. And it serves up pastry and other snacks to cut through the buzz.

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Hunter Stevens
7) Second Home Kitchen + Bar
150 Clayton Lane
Second Home, the JW Marriott's in-house bar and restaurant nestled in the heart of Cherry Creek, is an oasis that exudes nostalgia -- in a swank, but understated way. The home-cooked philosophy -- executed through classic comfort dishes like chicken and waffle and lobster pot pie -- permeates the atmosphere, which is perfect for a leisurely meal or lingering over glasses of wine at the bar. Head over during the social hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and try the "Chips and Dip," a decidedly upscale take on the two with roasted potatoes and warm cheddar dip and ranch potato chips paired with a French onion dip.

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6) Patxi's Pizza
185 Steele Street
Every neighborhood needs a solid, go-to pizza joint, and in Cherry Creek it's Patxi's, a link in a California chain that feels more like a neighborhood hangout. Although known for its deep dish, Patxi's offers several crust styles -- everything from a crunchy cornmeal pan crust to a "00" super-thin crust. The kitchen offers gluten-free fare and vegan mozzarella, too.

Location Info

Ondo's Spanish Tapas Bar - CLOSED

250 Steele St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

True Food Kitchen

2800 E. 2nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Aviano Coffee

244 Detroit St., Denver, CO

Category: General

Second Home Kitchen and Bar

150 Clayton Lane, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Cherry Cricket

2641 E. 2nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Charlie's Bar - CLOSED

2627 S. Parker Road, Aurora, CO

Category: Music

Elway's Cherry Creek

2500 E. 1st Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Harman's eat and drink

2900 E. 2nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Patxi's Pizza

185 Steele St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
25 comments
fran_chesco1
fran_chesco1

The Continental Deli is good; Also enjoyed Ay Carumba, and Piatti.

Eevil
Eevil

The Cricket was great when Eli owned it. Once that douche canoe Hickenlooper got involved, it went right in the shitter.

Si James
Si James

Vinue. And take out Harmans. And Aviano isn't even a restaurant!!

Chase Squires
Chase Squires

didn't know there were 10 restaurants in cherry creek.

Craig_Houston
Craig_Houston

Elway's is so overrated. There's no way in hell that restaurant survives if it's called anything else than Elway's. The food is OK and sooooo overpriced.

sijames01
sijames01

Vinue should definitely be on this list before a few of these places. Heck, Crepes And Crepes should too for that matter.

Retiree2010
Retiree2010

What is it about Elways that makes people rate it so high. We made a reservation and specified the dining room. Instead we were put in the bar, about five feet from the actual bar and three feet from very drunk, loud people. The steaks were not cooked as we asked, and they were sinewy and tasteless. Never going back there again.

Alfred Moran
Alfred Moran

gee I didn't see any restruants in Cherry Creek, only broken down res housing, that's Cherry Creek, SD

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

I remember Duffy's for food. Can't ever remember food at the Cricket. I remember sitting on the bar when I was 2 or 3...all the regulars would by me red-skinned peanut to watch me shoot them into my mouth. Cheap entertainment...and EVERYBODY knew my name!

Ellen Kessler
Ellen Kessler

Though technically not Cherry Creek I suppose (since it's on Colorado Boulevard) is the brand new Native Foods Cafe -- a totally VEGAN restaurant. It'll bring me to CC a lot more frequently!

Ashley Crane
Ashley Crane

Burger with cream cheese and a green chili on top at the Cricket....MM!

christinealling
christinealling

It's just to easy for new restaurants to get on these lists.  I think they need sustain culinary and service excellence for a few years before they should be considered.

Jason Maybee
Jason Maybee

The Cricket is about it in cherry creek.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@christinealling Think about it this way: if someone from out of town tells you they are staying in Cherry Creek and they want to know the best restaurants, it won't matter if the restaurant has been open for six months or six years. If they're doing a great job right now, they should be recognized for it. Building a legacy is great and I love going to restaurants with both history and a dedication to continuous improvement, but this list is a snapshot, not a Hall of Fame.

christinealling
christinealling

@Mantonat @christinealling If that's the case, they should call it the "hottest" or "must-try" restaurants in Cherry Creek.  Calling them the "best" does mean they've built something. 

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@christinealling @Mantonat Hostile? Crass? Because I used the word "suck"? OK, I take that one back. 

A ton of people may be going to the hot new place and it could still blow.

I'm not referring to diction either, which I also value. I'm referring to your opinion that naming the best of something somehow precludes something new. My counter-opinion (or argument), is that the best is the best, whether it's new or not. 

christinealling
christinealling

@Mantonat @christinealling I actually wasn't arguing.  I was giving my opinion.  You do not need to be hostile or use crass language. I don't believe semantics and proper diction are the same thing. I value proper diction.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@christinealling @Mantonat You're arguing semantics and meanwhile someone is making plans to go to one of the 10 best restaurants in Cherry Creek right now. If it's good right now, it's good. In a year, maybe it will or won't make the list, or it might be out of business. And "hot" and "good" aren't really the same thing. A ton of people may be going to the hot new place and it could still suck.

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