The 13 best dessert stops in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Shades of Yellow at Sugarmill
I've always had a sweet tooth, and was a baker long before I learned to cook -- or drive, for that matter. So you might think that I like every dessert I meet, but the opposite is true. If I had a dollar for every dried-out layer cake, leaden pie crust and gratuitously sweet concoction I've eaten over the years, I'd be rich. But in honor of this week's review of Sugarmill, here's a baker's dozen of great spots for desserts (in alphabetical order by restaurant) were worth saving room for.

See also: Review of Sugarmill, which could become a real sweet spot in Ballpark

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The twelve best stoner spots to cure the munchies in Denver on 4/20

Categories: Best of Denver

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In Denver, 4/20 is a special holiday -- and no, we don't mean Easter. It's a day to partake in a certain herb that Coloradans seem to love. With parties all over the city and a big rally at Civic Center Park pushing legalization -- oh, wait --- well, a big rally pushing something, there are few better ways to enjoy a sunny Sunday than loading up a bowl. Since doing so is almost inevitably followed by cravings for cheap, delicious food, we decided to fill your basket with a dozen places where any stoner can satiate a case of the munchies.

See also: No pot in Civic Center Park at 4/20 rally -- but you can raise a glass in McNichols

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The twelve best brunch spots in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Mark Manger
Linger joined the brunch bunch last year.
The warm weather heading our way brings with it the desire to stretch weekend breakfasts into blissful, hours-long respites in comfortable booths or on intimate patios. Denver's diverse population of brunch enthusiasts range from outdoor activists loading up for a big bike ride to all-day drinkers. But whether it's eggs Benedict or a big Bloody Mary that you crave, Denver has plenty of perfect spots to get your brunch on.

Here are our dozen favorite brunch spots in the area, presented in no particular order -- until number one. Get cracking!

See also: Best Brunch -- Fooducopia


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Why Native Foods Cafe is the Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Ursula Romaine
As the longtime author of Veggie Girl, I ate a lot of green on my way to helping choose the winner of Best Vegetarian Restaurant for the Best of Denver 2014. And there was a lot of discussion over our ultimate choice: Native Foods Cafe, which came to Glendale last year. Denver is lucky to have some great homegrown vegetarian restaurants that have helped to cultivate this town's cultural scene -- but Native Foods upped the ante in the kitchen.

See also: Five best vegetarian restaurants in Denver

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Lower48 Kitchen is Denver's Best New Restaurant

Categories: Best of Denver

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Lori Midson
The crew of Lower48 Kitchen on opening day last fall.
Of all the food categories in our annual Best of Denver issue, none is quite like Best New Restaurant. To determine which spot should take home the coveted golden statuette (actually, a framed certificate), we started our discussions even before the end of 2013, the official cut off to be considered for the category. So many restaurants had opened last year -- but which ones immediately came to mind? Which places had already become restaurants we wanted to go back to when we weren't working? Which names kept coming up over and over?

See also:
The ten best new restaurants in Denver

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Who is Denver's best chef? Find out today, when we unveil the Best of Denver 2014

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Lori Midson
Westword's Best of Denver issue is starting to hit red kiosks all over the city, and will soon be up on westword.com. The indispensable issue, our thirtieth anniversary edition, is our yearly sonnet to the people, places and things that we love most about this city, thick with page after page after page of editors' and readers' picks celebrating the cream of the crop, the top of the heap, the best of the best. The Food and Drink section of our Best of issue, which pimps everything from Best Korean Restaurant and Best Break-Up Restaurant to Best New Restaurant and Best Chef, is, as you can imagine, a beast unto itself, especially given the fact that our culinary landscape is bigger -- and better -- than ever before. I imagine that next year, we'll echo that same sentiment, because 2014 is already crushing us with exhilarating new restaurants, including Work & Class, which, at 9 p.m. last night, was still adding names to its wait list. The kitchen at Work & Class is governed by Dana Rodriguez, formerly of Bistro Vendome, and the killer food that Rodriquez is turning out will undoubtedly make her a contender for the best chef award in next year's issue.

In the meantime, though, choosing which chef most deserved that coveted award in this year's issue was no easy feat. Far from it. And like Gretchen Kurtz, our restaurant critic, who admits that she subjected herself to "many, many calories" this past year, so, too, did I, all in the quest to find the best of the best. You'll have to wait until this afternoon to learn which kitchen magician was awarded the best chef honor, but I can tell you that it's one of the following ten chefs, all of whom inspired me all year long with their cooking magic.

See also: Best Chef Denver 2013 - Lon Symensma

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The Best of Denver 2014 is almost here -- after many calories and lots of sweat

Categories: Best of Denver

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Uncle, Best New Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2013.

When I started this job in 2012, former critics wrote in with advice. Number one on John Kessler's list was "Don't sweat your first Best Of." At the time, it seemed like odd advice. Not only was I not sweating Best of Denver, I'm pretty sure that it had never crossed my mind to worry about the annual issue that marks its thirtieth anniversary this week. I had bigger things to sweat, like putting out weekly reviews when I was accustomed to the rhythm of a monthly magazine.

See also:
Best of Denver 2013


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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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Five best vegetarian restaurants in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Danielle Lirette
Denver's vegetarian food scene is getting stronger all the time. All but the most vehemently meat-centric establishments in town have something besides salad to offer veggie-lovers, and ambitious, exclusively vegetarian eateries are opening all the time -- including Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, which we review this week. When you want to impress a carnivore with the versatility and tastiness of plant-based food, these are the five best places (in no particular order) to take them.

See also: The five best vegetarian/vegan dishes in Denver -- 2013


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First round of Best of Denver 2014 voting ends Friday

Categories: Best of Denver

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Lori Midson
Bacon cheeseburger at Highland Tap & Burger, a Best of Denver 2013 winner.
Who has the best burger in Denver? The best tater tots? The best gluten-free dish? The best draft-beer list? The best dim sum? The best pizza -- thin-crust, thick-crust or deep-dish?

It's time to bring out your best. The first round of voting in our Readers' Poll for the Best of Denver 2014 -- our thirtieth anniversary issue! -- closes at the end of the day Friday, February 14. That's just a few days from now....

See also: The Best of Denver 2013

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