The ten best new restaurants in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Hundreds of restaurants opened in metro Denver last year, including everything from little neighborhood sandwich shops and upscale taquerias to ambitious and strikingly decorated American spots. And which was the best new restaurant to open in 2013? That's what we'll reveal in the Best of Denver 2014, which hits the streets on March 27. To whet your appetite for that unveiling, we've come up with our list of finalists, the ten best new restaurants -- restaurants that have opened within the last twelve months -- in Denver (and yes, that's metro Denver)...presented in alphabetical order. (And keep reading for the five finalists for Best New Restaurant chosen by Westword readers.)

See also: Ten best new Denver bars of 2013

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1) Acorn
3350 Brighton Boulevard

Bryan Dayton and Steven Redzikowski, the team behind the acclaimed Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, signed on early to put a second restaurant in the Source. And Acorn, which opened this past September, doesn't fall too far from the original Oak. The space is different, of course: Acorn takes full advantage of the ultra-urban, industrial-chic feel of the Source, with plenty of exposed brick, metal ducts and graffiti - but little of the warmth of the Boulder original. But the menu embodies the same "wood-fired seasonal cooking" that's made Oak one of Boulder's most inspiring -- and popular - restaurants.

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2) Beast + Bottle
719 East 17th Avenue

Brother-sister duo Paul and Aileen Reilly opened Beast + Bottle last March, and although they'd already run Encore together, this spot in the Uptown neighborhood is the restaurant "conjured in our heads since we were kids," Paul explains. It's a seasonally inspired farm-to-fork operation, a nose-to-tail restaurant -- and while you might think Beast + Bottle has come a little late to that party, rather than seeming passe, the restaurant feels expansive, quirky and worldly, as the menu travels from Colorado to Maine to Italy to North Africa in the span of twenty dishes.

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3) The Curtis Club
2100 Curtis Street

Created by musician-turned-restaurateur Scott Bagus in the former home of the Old Curtis Street Bar, the Curtis Club exudes a vibe that would be hard to imagine outside of the West. Walls are decked out with cedar-fence wood, horseshoes hang by the tin ceiling, and a mural of a lake backs the bar. In other towns and in other hands, such touches might verge on kitsch; here they feel like a part of our heritage. "I was going for the Old West, but with a classy feeling," explains Bagus. Welcome to the mild, mild West.

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4) Harman's Eat and Drink
2900 East Second Avenue

Edward Harman was a pioneer in what would become Cherry Creek, and Harman's eat & drink is exploring new culinary territory in that now-upscale neighborhood. Legendary Colorado restaurateur Mark Fischer, whose first foray into the Denver dining scene was Phat Thai, determined early last year that the Asian-fusion concept wasn't working, and after a quick renovation, he rebranded the space as Harman's, a comfortable, New American restaurant designed as a regular hangout for the neighborhood.

Location Info

Olive & Finch Eatery, Bakery & Market

1552 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Beast + Bottle

719 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Curtis Club

2100 Curtis Street, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Harman's eat and drink

2900 E. 2nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Lower48 Kitchen

2020 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Old Major

3316 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Plimoth

2335 East 28th Avenue, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Session Kitchen

1518 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Sugarmill

2461 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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88 comments
שרי אורדאז
שרי אורדאז

I think I've seen this list. A while ago, maybe like six months ago...? Anyways, no.

Melissa Parks
Melissa Parks

Tried all but two. Not sure that I entirely agree with the list.

Jadababy Jadababy
Jadababy Jadababy

a lot, since half of these were on your last best new restaurants in denver list.

Ashley McSwain
Ashley McSwain

Most definitely. We should go for lunch so we can also check out the brewery, butcher, baker and florist in The Source. Check it out online!!

Ashley McSwain
Ashley McSwain

Sarah Ashlee Shuel check these out...Acorn is only 5 minutes from us :)

Jeremy Stern
Jeremy Stern

Lower48 Kitchen is fantastic! Go eat there if you want a delicious and exciting meal.

Brandi Amanda
Brandi Amanda

There is going to be a new one off Sheridan and 26th I believe. In Edgewater

Heather Wise
Heather Wise

Don't agree - we've had three separate horrible experiences at three on the list...two food related and one service related. We were so bummed :(

Mike McClure
Mike McClure

It's pretty early in the year to be recycling articles, isn't it.

Jen Neb
Jen Neb

Handy where is Beirut grill?

Josh Nadler
Josh Nadler

W&C opened this year and this only lists 2013 openings.

nmbutter73
nmbutter73

Session? Really? That has to be a joke, the list looks pretty good and then Session? It kind of makes the whole list seem shady...

Dena Booe
Dena Booe

Best new restaurant is To The Wind Bistro. Open to the public on Wednesday!!

Greg Hall
Greg Hall

i got to Harman's and had to stop. I bet that place won't last as long as Phat Thai did in the same location. they must pay for this kind of publicity.........

Erin Wolf Spatz
Erin Wolf Spatz

We recently went to Beast and Bottle. The service was outstanding and the food/wine was to die for. It is a nose to tail concept restaurant ( utilizing as much of the animal as possible) and locally source ingredients. Highly recommend!

Aaron Harmon
Aaron Harmon

Why do they always have to be in shitty places?

Mike Jasien
Mike Jasien

And Old Major should be bumped a bit. First two experiences there were off the charts incredible but i think the hype got to some of the cooks heads. Not Justin per se just some employees. The last time I went there it was atrocious

Mike Jasien
Mike Jasien

Been to all of them except the Curtis club. They got numbers 1 and 2 right on that list that is for sure.

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