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Where to Eat in Denver, CO on a Budget: A Foodie’s 9 Restaurant Guide

Where to Eat in Denver, CO on a Budget: A Foodie’s 9 Restaurant Guide

Denver, Colorado is not only a beautiful city nestled in the Rocky Mountains, it also has a thriving food and drink scene that is worth exploring. As a foodie, I love trying local restaurants and bars when I travel. During my trip to Denver, I discovered some amazing places to eat and drink that I can’t wait to share with you. These places are perfect for anyone visiting the Mile High City, from road trippers passing through to locals looking for a new spot to try. Here are nine of my top recommendations for where to eat in Denver, CO.


Sam’s No. 3

Welcome to Sams No 3, a Denver institution since 1927! Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this diner-style eatery is a must-visit for foodies. Enjoy classic dishes such as burgers and fries, or try something new with Greek and Mexican-inspired plates.


One of the customer favorites at Sam’s No. 3 is the Greek gyro omelet, stuffed with gyro meat, feta cheese, and tomatoes. Another popular option is the Denver sandwich, featuring ham, peppers, onions, and cheese. But don’t just take my word for it – try it for yourself!

As seen on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Sams No 3 is a colorful and lively restaurant that will leave your taste buds dancing. Come discover why they’ve been voted Denver’s best diner time and time again!


Lucile’s Creole Cafe

Looking for southern comfort food in Denver? Look no further than Lucile’s Creole Cafe! Their menu is a tribute to Creole cuisine, with must-try dishes like jambalaya and shrimp and grits. But the true star of the show is their beignets. These messy, but fluffy fried dough pillows are smothered in powdered sugar and come stuffed with Nutella or house-made lemon curd.


From the moment I arrived at Lucile’s for breakfast, I fell in love with the friendly staff, wearing clever “Friends with Benedicts” tees, and fun atmosphere. For our mains, I couldn’t resist trying the Cajun Breakfast, which featured red beans, poached eggs, and hollandaise atop perfectly cooked grits and a giant cathead biscuit. I also couldn’t resist a side of Lucile’s famous sausage gravy; worth every calorie.

Lucile’s is rated among the top 20 restaurants in Denver on TripAdvisor, and for good reason. Don’t miss out on an incredible meal from this stellar spot!


French for Sugar

Calling all dessert lovers! If you’re in Denver, you must visit French for Sugar located in the charming Larimer Square neighborhood. This cozy cafe specializes in French pastries that are baked fresh daily, and trust me, they are irresistible.

Indulge in the famous Nutella and chocolate almond croissants, or opt for something savory with their delicious quiches and salads. But the real star of the show? Their luxurious cupcakes and sweets that are as beautiful as delicious.

With impeccable decor and irresistible flavors like Earl Grey and White Lavender, French for Sugar is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth.


Denver Central Market 

The Denver Central Market is a food hall that features a variety of vendors selling everything from pizza to seafood. It’s a great spot to graze and try a little bit of everything, easily one of the best places to eat in Denver.

One of my favorite vendors is Izzio Artisan Bakery, which has amazing fresh-baked bread and pastries, plus the famous La Roulette (the viral Croissant Roll) pictured below.

Photo from Izzio Bakery & Cafe’s IG page.

Henry’s Tavern

Serving up some of the best pub food in the city along with an extensive beer list, Henry’s Tavern is the perfect spot for any time of day. Don’t miss their protein power bowl, country fried chicken tenders, or delicious brewhouse cheeseburger. Come for happy hour, Monday through Friday 3 to 6 PM I the bar and lounge, for deep drink discounts and $4, $6, $8, and $10 menu items.

The cozy and inviting atmosphere makes it the ultimate spot for grabbing a drink or a meal. I’m a huge fan of the famous Beer Cheese Soup, topped with green onions, bacon, and cheese. Wash it all down with one of their great cocktails or beers.



Looking for a classic American pub that’s a favorite among locals? Look no further than Wynkoop! Established in 1988 and located in the heart of Denver’s LoDo neighborhood inside an 1800s warehouse, Wynkoop Brewery was the first brewpub in Colorado. It is where to eat and drink in Denver.


Known for their craft beer selection, Wynkoop is a must-visit for any beer aficionado. But the food is just as impressive – try the mouthwatering buffalo mac and cheese or the crispy Belgian fries, paired perfectly with your beer of choice (Cowtown Milk Stout is my fave). During the summer months, don’t miss the stunning views from their rooftop bar. Saturdays and Sundays are for brunch, chorizo hash and eggs, and bottomless mimosas, 11 AM to 2 PM.

Whether you prefer cocktails, mules, wine, cordials, or good beer, you’ll find them all here. And for the ultimate entertainment experience, check out their entire floor of pool tables. Feeling adventurous? Give their infamous Oyster Stout (made from bull testicles) a try.

Photo from Wynkoop website.

Williams & Graham 

For a unique drinking experience, head to Williams & Graham, a Prohibition-era speakeasy in a corner bookstore. The entrance is hidden behind a bookshelf, so you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time when you enter.

The Bill of Fare menu, served until 1 AM, includes deviled eggs, escargot, artichoke hummus, flatbreads, and more. Williams & Graham has an extensive cocktail menu (more than 60) with creative drinks like the When the Peas Go Sour (made with sweet pea puree, Dolin Blanc, Caravedo Mosto Verde Pisco, egg white, and lemon) and the Caipirinha (Avuá Prata Cachaça, lime, sugar).

It’s a cozy spot with dim lighting and a vintage vibe — perfect for a nightcap. Reservations are recommended.

Photo from Williams & Graham IG page.

Syrup Restaurant

Come experience the sweetness of Syrup Restaurant, known for serving all-time favorite brunch dishes such as eggs benedict and pancakes, with their own unique twist. Give their red velvet waffles and breakfast enchiladas a try for a change. And nothing says brunch like bottomless mimosas – Syrup offers a wide selection of brunch cocktails.

With four locations in Denver, Syrup is the sweetest spot to enjoy fantastic breakfast, brunch, and lunch. I recommend the Jalapeño Popper Omelet, filled with fresh jalapeños, jalapeño cream cheese, and crunchy fried onions. My husband, Eddie, loved the Breakfast Burrito, made with classic Denver pork green chili and chorizo. Both dishes were quite delectable.



Craving authentic Italian cuisine? Try Mici, a family-owned restaurant that has been cooking up the best pasta in Denver since 2004. Everything is made in-house, so you can be sure you’re getting the real deal.

Indulge in classic dishes like carbonara and lasagna for a true Italian experience, or opt for a delicious Neapolitan-style pizza. Mici is the perfect quick-service restaurant for anyone craving authentic Italian food at a reasonable price.

The paninis and hand-rolled meatballs are superb. And don’t forget to top off your meal with a slice of crusty garlic bread!


These Tasty Denver Restaurants Get My Vote of Approval

Denver, CO has so many amazing places to eat and drink, from classic diners to trendy food halls to hidden speakeasies. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something new to try. These recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to explore the city’s diverse culinary scene and try something new.

Happy eating!


Check out more of our foodie city guides:

Where to Eat in Mesquite, NV

Best Restaurants in Tupelo, MS

13 Top Places to Eat in Asheville, NC

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