Denver is a hub for business conferences and meetings throughout year, and there are several great restaurants near the Colorado Convention Center to accommodate the thousands of people who visit the area each year.
The Colorado Convention Center is a hub for visitors near the heart of downtown. It, along with other venues, brings a plethora of people to the area—including locals—all of whom have to eat. And so, let’s play a little game of possibilities:
Worst-case scenario: You pick a random place to eat at the end of the day, as you teeter on the verge of “hangry.” You leave disappointed, wondering why you didn’t do a little research.
Best-case scenario: You find this list online and show your colleagues and new convention friends. You pick one of the following restaurants, and happily indulge while basking in kudos.
You can’t beat this modern Mexican cuisine on festively lit Larimer Street. Their happy hour—featuring margaritas, sangria, wine, beer, Mexican tapas and tacos—is great for networking and unwinding after a long day at work. The dinner menu is equally impressive, and there are more than 100 tequilas and agave-based spirits to choose from.
Located two miles Northeast of the convention center near the River North Art District, Acorn is a cornerstone of Denver’s artisan food market The Source. Modern American cuisine dishes are made with an oak fired oven and grill and served in a hip former industrial space. After dinner, head across the courtyard to Crooked Stave for one of their popular oak barrel aged Belgian-style brews.
3. Osteria Marco
An Italian restaurant decorated in tribute to the original grocer and butcher’s shop that stood in its place in the 1800s, Osteria Marco is warm and inviting. It offers delicious hand-tossed pizza, an extensive wine list, and much more. With excellent food and service, in addition to the great atmosphere on Larimer, this restaurant is a great Denver dining destination.
A short drive across the South Platte River leads to the trendy rooftop patio at Linger and beautiful view of downtown and Confluence Park. The menu is also impressive with Asian fusion cuisine, local beers and craft cocktails. Fun fact: Linger occupies the building that used to be the Olinger Mortuary. (JH)
This French-inspired kitchen focuses on regional, farm-fresh food. Located in lower downtown Denver, Coohills has a casual, sophisticated atmosphere and a modern, open layout. Enjoy small plates featuring fresh salads, homemade breads, or cheese and pate, and then go big with the seafood and pasta entrees.
6. Wynkoop Brewery
Denver is one of the top beer cities in the world, so its only right that at least one brewery makes this list. Wynkoop is a little bit of a farther walk (or quick cab ride) from the convention center, but it’s worth the trek. Not only is the beer great, the food—the salmon club and buffalo burger are highlights–is delicious too.
7. Union Station
Recently renovated, this social gathering place and transportation hub captures the energy of Denver. It is actually home to several restaurants, such as the upscale seafood restaurant Stoic & Genuine and community pub the Kitchen Next Door. The Terminal Bar is a great stop for drinks before or after a meal.
8. Vesta Dipping Grill
A short walk form the convention center near Coors Field, Vesta Dipping grill is one of Denver’s perennial award winners. The menu features finely cooked meats with your dipping sauces, enjoyed best with one of their craft cocktails or beers. It’s also a good choice for gluten free eaters.
9. Cherry Cricket
A ten-minute drive from the convention center (a little over 3 miles), Cherry Cricket is home to one of the best burgers in Denver. Cherry Cricket is located in the heart of the Cherry Creek shopping district. The Cricket offers a classic neighborhood bar and grill atmosphere close to high-end shopping, art venues and hotels. (JH)