Best Restaurants in Denver’s Suburbs: Neighborhood Classics and More


Big Mac and Little Lu’s Seafood Restaurant

It’s no secret that Denver is a foodie city. Restaurants keep popping up to the left and right, covering every cuisine a gourmet can conjure up. And while many of Metro Denver’s most popular restaurants are found in busy centers and high-traffic streets, we can’t say that all of Denver’s great restaurants are great only found here. In fact, there are some hidden gems in the surrounding Denver suburbs, from bistros in the mountains to modern American cuisine in the heart of a neighborhood to flashy sushi in the north of the city. Obviously, the Denver suburbs have a lot going for them when it comes to fine dining.

For those who haven’t tried German cuisine (as it can be hard to come by), check out the semi-hidden but definitely authentic Golden Europe Restaurant. In addition to other interesting dishes, the menu offers a large selection of different schnitzels, meat-based main dishes such as hunter’s pork and bratwurst or a selection of Czech, Austrian or German dishes that offer guests a taste of different types of meat and schnitzel as an allusion to the cuisine of this region. In addition to having a tasty and filling meal, there is also a great opportunity to learn a thing or two about Eastern European food.
How to book: Call 303-425-1246 to make a reservation.

If you ever talk to someone from Denver about Italian food, there’s a good chance Louisville’s Parma will show up in a conversation. The full name – Parma Trattoria and Mozzarella Bar – refers to the unique offer of the restaurant (in addition to high-quality Italian dishes, of course). Try different mozzarella cheeses and accompany them with fresh Italian meat, try other starters like bruschetta, Sicilian zucchini flowers or something from the cicchetti menu, or dive into a delicious salad. But try not to fill up too quickly – the pizza and pasta options (including gnocchi and risottos), entrees like chicken or veal, and a plethora of other fantastic dishes are all worth trying.
How to book: Make a reservation through Yelp.

Parker garage

Located in the heart of picturesque downtown Parker, Parker Garage is successful with both an upscale atmosphere and equally jazzy offerings. The restaurant is located in a historic, Grade II listed building and offers first class American cuisine with local ingredients and menus inspired by the season. Sit back, relax and share small plates like Brussels sprouts, poutine or crudo, or save space for tempting main dishes like the Skuna Bay salmon or the pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon. Also, don’t miss the brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
How to book: Make reservations through OpenTable.

Off the beaten path of Evergreen’s main drag, Bear Creek Lane, and the southern A-Ways on Route 74 is the most charming little bistro. Picturesque farmland and mountains not too far away offer exceptional views and urban solitude while dining, making it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a special occasion. The menu includes a varied selection of starters, salads, pastas and starters, with menu items that celebrate the best of French, Italian, American and Mexican cuisine. Don’t miss the dessert menu either – you can hardly go wrong with crème brûlée, Belgian chocolate mousse or tiramisu.
How to book: Make reservations through OpenTable.


The Sakana in Westminster is your go-to place for sushi that tastes as good as it looks. Expect wonderful splashes of color in the typical style of fresh fish, roe, avocado and other toppings, all of which are so perfectly processed that you almost feel bad eating them. And if sushi isn’t your thing (or sashimi or nigiri), be sure to visit the chic and airy restaurant for Japanese starters like gyoza or karaage, which are always popular, homemade ramen or noodle bowls and main dishes from the grill, which are sure to go with it fit meet. You can even take home a bottle (or bottles) of Sakana’s own sauces to enjoy at home if you can’t always make the ride.
How to book: Only walk-in customers, first come, first served.

Big Mac and Little Lu’s Seafood Restaurant

Seafood might not be Colorado’s greatest cuisine, but it’s definitely worth trying if it’s a) freshly flown in from Florida and b) supporting a local family business. From coast to coast, at Big Mac and Little Lu’s, you can enjoy seafood specialties such as fried calamari, ahi-poke nachos and half-shell oysters, classic seafood soups such as clam soup and lobster bisque, or great seafood dishes such as fish n ‘chips, paella or a wholesome one Lobster dinner. No matter what you choose, you won’t leave hungry or disappointed.
How to book: Call 303-404-2722 to make a reservation.


There is nothing quite like Abejas in downtown Golden. From the charming and rustic interior – a testament to the building’s history – to the symbolic name (which means “bee” in Spanish) to the tasty bites, it is always a solid choice, whether for dinner or brunch. Seasonal menus are short but sweet, with fresh farm-to-table cocktails and dishes that include everything from tagliatelle to braised Spanish octopus to Colorado bison New York strips. Soak up the history and atmosphere of downtown Golden that is always a treat and a drink and meal that is too.
How to book: Reserve through ExploreTock.

Café Terracotta is as quaint as it sounds and could even be easily overlooked if you aren’t looking for it. Café Terracotta is located on Littleton’s relatively busy West Main Street and has the charm and allure of a hidden gem of a neighborhood. Sandwiches, salads, burgers, and tacos all the way to lighter lunches, although the evening menu impresses with a Colorado lamb chop, risotto Primavera, and Chicken Wellington, to name a few. Visit the café every Saturday and Sunday for brunch and know that an extensive wine and drinks menu is sure to keep the whistle.
How to book: Make reservations through OpenTable.

Do you fancy a little adventure while eating? You don’t have to charter a plane to enjoy what Perfect Landing has to offer. Instead, make yourself comfortable with a house cocktail or a glass of wine and enjoy the harmony between classic American dishes and the love of aviation. Keep things simple with a seafood-centric menu to share or a bison burger, or opt for surf, turf, or any of our selection of entrees as you watch the planes fly in and out of Centennial Airport.
How to book: Make reservations through OpenTable.

Bluebird Café

It takes a lot for a breakfast only place to make it onto a list of places that have it all. So you already know that the Bluebird Café in Thornton is special. Known as “Colorado Comfort Food with a Healthy Touch”, what was once part of the Egg and I franchise is now a breakfast place and its own brand. Find frittatas, classic breakfast combinations like eggs and pancakes, huevos rancheros and omelets, pans and benedicts galore. If you’re not an egg fanatic, that’s fine too – the lunch menu has soups, salads, and a wide variety of sandwiches.
How to book: Walk-ins only. First come first serve.

There are a few unique things about the 240 Union that make it stand out from the crowd, aside from its killer menu. On the one hand, the Lakewood restaurant has been in business since 1989 and, on the other hand, it has an 18 meter high open kitchen (we love the moment of transparency). Then there is the food, of course – a collection of light bites, casual foods, and main courses that make the heart sing. Try the crab cakes or the three-tone Caesar salad to start and finish off with a perfect wood-fired pizza. There are also pasta dishes out there for our noodle lovers, as well as a well-curated selection of dishes from land and sea.
How to book: Call 303-989-3562 or visit 240 Union’s website to make a reservation.

Hideaway Steakhouse

Also rooted in Westminster is a special occasion steakhouse like no other. You can expect selected cuts of meat that are prepared absolutely tenderly, with steaks that have matured for at least 35 days, and a large selection of hearty dishes such as filet mignon, bison ribeye, wagyu, pork chops and elk loin (and that’s only a handful.) of the offers). There’s also a whole section of the menu devoted to seafood options, as well as starters and sauces to add some seriousness to your upscale evening.
How to book: Call 303-404-9939 to make a reservation.

Cranelli’s Italian restaurant

Lonely tree
Another great place for Italian food, but across the Denver Metro is Cranelli’s of Lone Tree. Cranelli’s is also a local, family-run place where locals enjoy great food and a modern atmosphere, enjoying the restaurant’s generous wine list and variety of pasta options. Oh, and don’t miss the garlic knots – you can never have enough bread in a good Italian restaurant anyway.
How to book: Make a reservation through Yelp.

Willow Creek on Evergreen Lake

Evergreen is pretty picturesque everywhere, so it’s hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t have great food and views. Willow Creek is one such place. The menu changes seasonally, but no matter what time of year there is always an impressive meal waiting for you. The starters offer divine flavors and carefully selected ingredients, with the “Beginnings” (like homemade sourdough bread) forming the basis for an impeccable and unforgettable meal. And of course, dining by the lake in a beautiful mountain town is essentially a Colorado peak experience. And when you can’t get enough of what Willow Creek has to offer, stop by the Proviant Market for groceries and other small culinary treats to take home.
How to book: Make a reservation on OpenTable.

Why yes, So Radish in Olde Town Arvada is pretty cool, thanks for asking. And you know how much we love a cool place that is diet friendly too. The hip vegan place has pretty much everything you’re looking for, from gluten-free beers to gluten-free beers, fun and fruity cocktails, and a 100% plant-based menu that includes everything from breakfast to after-dinner dessert. There’s also a kids’ menu, vegan wine list, and soft drink options, plus a happy hour menu and an overall radical atmosphere.
How to book: Make a reservation through Yelp.

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Erica Buehler is a thrillist writer.

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