Ten Best Tiny Restaurants in Denver

Categories: The List

gaia-doorway.jpg
Mark Manger
If Gaia's dining room is full, try the patio.
7) Gaia
1551 South Pearl Street
303-777-5699
30 seats
Eating breakfast or lunch at Gaia is like dropping in on an old friend; the neighborhood cottage-turned-restaurant has maintained much of the charm and decor of a vintage bungalow common in the Platt Park neighborhood. The morning menu offers crepes large and thin enough to be used as window coverings and supplemented with garden-fresh (really -- just take a peep out back) herbs and greens. Dinner's still a warm and charming affair, whether you sit inside or on the spacious wrap-around patio with a great view of Old South Pearl.

Thumbnail image for bistrobarbesoutside.jpg
Bistro Barbes feels bigger when the garage door is open.
6) Bistro Barbes
5021 East 28th Avenue
720-398-8085
28 seats
Bistro Barbes opened in April this year in a restaurant-starved Park Hill neighborhood. Owner and chef Jon Robbins offers an ambitious and frequently shifting menu of dishes touched by North African, Spanish and Middle-Eastern cuisines. The atmosphere is neighborhood-comfortable and when the weather is nice, the garage doors open the place up. Previous tiny eateries Satchel's (now the cavernous, 55-seat Satchel's on 6th) and Parry's also once occupied this shoebox of a space.


difrancoinside.jpg
DiFranco's started out as a deli, then added seats.
5) DiFranco's
955 Lincoln Street
720-253-1244
27 seats

When it comes to Italian cuisine, simplicity, craftsmanship and unassailable ingredients are what count -- and DiFranco's, an unassuming, low-key joint in the Golden Triangle that Ryan DiFranco opened in 2012 as an Italian deli, then expanded into a (tiny) restaurant, embraces all of those attributes. But fair warning: If you're heading over for some heavenly homemade pasta, DiFranco's has only two tables, a community counter and a few spots on the patio.

z cuisine.jpg
On the outside of Z Cuisine, looking in.
4) Z Cuisine
25 seats (40 in À Côté Bar a Absinthe)
While Z Cuisine and its sister bar, À Côté, operate under the same ownership and kitchen, the main bistro stands on its own as one of Denver's smallest -- and tastiest -- restaurants. Come early for a table, since Z doesn't take reservations, or have a seat at the bar next door and enjoy a few sips of the green fairy while you wait for a dinner table. The menu leans toward traditional French preparations --think crusty bowls of onion soup and cheesy gratins -- but changes regularly. A chalkboard lists daily specials -- but the place is small enough that you can listen in as your neighbors get the rundown from their server.

Keep reading for our last three diminutive dining rooms...


Location Info

Bistro Barbes

5021 East 28th Avenue, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Uncle

2215 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Glaze by Sasa

1160 Madison Street, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Gaia Bistro

1551 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Bones

701 Grant St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Z Cuisine

2239 W. 30th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

DiFranco's

955 Lincoln St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Mayan Manjar Yucateco

5209 West Mississippi Avenue, Lakewood, CO

Category: Restaurant

To the Wind Bistro

3333 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Empanada Express Grill

4301 W. 44th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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30 comments
Naomi Wolinsky
Naomi Wolinsky

If I tell you it will just grow and it won't be tiny anymore.

Renee Ortiz
Renee Ortiz

Anywhere that makes it easier to drill people with bread and or peas.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

Jamaican Grill and Los Pastes would be two others.

Anita Gaydosh Bouffard
Anita Gaydosh Bouffard

That's the kind of place I always wanted to open. Unfortunately, if it is your sole source of income, it's tough. Plus the hours will kill you!

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