Are you visiting Denver soon? Well, if you are here are some great places to eat and most of the restaurants are inexpensive, but the food is Fantastic.
1962 E Colfax Ave
Pete’s has a breakfast burrito supreme that is scrumptious. It has eggs, cheese, hash browns, lettuce, gyro meat, bacon, sausage and lots of green chile sauce. Mmmm. It’s one of my favorite breakfast choices to have when I go to Pete’s and it’s only around $6. You’ll leave very full after eating the Big Burrito. Pete offers your standard breakfast too of eggs, bacon or sausage, toast and hash browns for about the same price. I’ve had this type of breakfast from Pete’s and it’s delicious too.
Pete’s Kitchen is one of the best greasy spoon restaurants in Denver and has won numerous awards. Many Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche and Rockies players have stopped by Pete’s for grub and have their photo taken with Pete even Drew Barrymore dined at Pete’s. So if you decided to have a meal at Pete’s Kitchen, you might get lucky and run into a Star. After the bars close in Denver around 2 a.m., Pete’s Kitchen really has some interesting clientele. You’ll have to check Pete’s out at this time and you’ll see Drag Queens!!
Chef Zorba’s Cuisine
2626 E 12th Ave
Chef Zorba’s Cuisine is located in this great neighborhood I use to live in right in the heart of Denver. The neighborhood is quiet and there is a little business center where Chef Zorba’s is located. The restaurant use to be owned by Zorba, in fact, he owned like five businesses in the neighborhood. Zorba had a heart attack several years ago and had to slow down so he sold the restaurant, but the food is still delicious and inexpensive.
My husband and I would just walk the half a block to Chef Zorba’s Cuisine for breakfast and it was really nice to be able to do that. We ordered the standard breakfast of eggs, bacon/sausage, toast and hash browns with a side order of pancakes. The breakfast without the pancakes cost under $6.
When my husband and I would eat at Chef Zorba’s it had the total diner look, but it has been remodeled since we frequented there and it is all shiny and new inside.
Javier and C Diner
3801 Tennyson St
Javier and C Diner is located on the Northwest side of Denver in the hip and trendy Highlands neighborhood. It is a greasy spoon diner with a Breakfast Burrito Supreme. It’s not as good as Pete’s, but it’s tasty and about the same price. Pete’s has a more gravy based green chile sauce whereas Javier and C have the traditional green chile. And the hash browns are different, probably due to a different brand. But the rest of the burrito is the same.
We haven’t eaten lunch at Javier and C Diner, so I can’t recommend their lunch menu. I have eaten lunch at Pete’s and Zorba’s and both restaurants have great Gyro sandwiches for under $7 and dinner options are under $12. Both restaurants specialize in Greek food and are very scrumptious.
1533 Champa St
330 East 6th Ave.
2390 S. Downing
My husband and I frequently go to the usual chain restaurants when we go out for lunch, i.e., Subway, Chipolte, Wendy’s and the list goes on and on. But there are some special ethnic restaurants that we like to have lunch at. I like Indian food and the cheapest way to sample all different Indian cuisine is during lunch time when they have a buffet.
I’ve only been to the Champa location of Little India. Its in downtown Denver not that far from the Rockies baseball stadium or the Pepsi Center where you can catch an Avalanche or a Nuggets game. The buffet runs under $10 per person and has all the usual food at an Indian Buffet: Curry soup and a lettuce salad with cucumber dressing, flat bread, vegetables in curry sauce, rice, chicken tandoori, chicken marsala, and a couple other curry meat dishes and dessert, which is usually rice pudding, but sometimes there will be something that resembles a donut hole in really sweet sauce.
Another Indian restaurant that serves the same kind of buffet, but located on the Southeast side of Denver is India’s Restaurant and they are located at 3333 S. Tamarac Dr. (303) 755-4284.
2200 W Alameda Ave
1722 S. Chambers Road
Now, Pho is not for everyone, but if your feeling adventurous and want to try something ethnic this might be something you’ll like. It’s a beef based soup with lots of Asian noodles, thinly, sliced beef and onions. They bring out a side dish of bean sprouts, basil, cilantro and some other herb. You can eat the soup plain without any fixings or put in the extra vegetables and toss in some oyster sauce, soy sauce or chile sauce. This is a great lunch dish on a cold day if you visit Denver to go skiing in the mountains and only costs under $7.
Both Pho restaurants are very good and in opposite locations. Pho 99 is closer to the southwest suburbs and if you’re coming from downtown. Pho Nyugen is closer to northeast and northwest suburbs. Both restaurants have a nice size dining room and the service is exceptional.
Rocky Mountain Diner
800 18th St
If you like homemade Pan fried chicken, the Rocky Mountain Diner is where you want to eat. This is a huge meal with ½ a chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, biscuits, honey and soup, salad or cole slaw for $12.79. Since this meal is pan fried, it takes 25 minutes to prepare this meal, but it so worth the wait. When I want great, fried chicken the Rocky Mountain Diner is where I go. It’s in a downtown location, but far enough uptown that parking is not too difficult to find on a busy weekend evening.
The setting of the Rocky Mountain Diner is a diner setting, but pretty nice inside. There is a bar inside the restaurant. My husband and I eat the fried chicken at this restaurant so I can’t report on how the other meals are. We have sampled the carrot cake at the Rocky Mountain Diner and it is really good. The service is quick and the staff is friendly.
1610 16th St
Dixon’s is located downtown near the Rockies baseball stadium and the Pepsi Center. Plus, it is right by the Light Rail, which is Denver’s version of the subway system. My husband and I love this restaurant. We usually start our meal off with the Mile High Nacho appetizers for $7.99. This is a BIG platter of nachos smothered with cheese, beans, meat, jalapeños, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole. We almost always take half of the nachos home for a midnight snack.
My husband has sampled different menu items at Dixons. The Fish and Chips are really good. The fish is Alaskan Salmon and costs $10.99. The Burrito Supremo is another meal that my husband likes and costs $9.99. It’s not a burrito you would get at a Mexican restaurant, but it’s not bad and you have the choice of chicken or beef burritos. The hamburgers at Dixons are a tasty meal, too. I have sampled their hamburgers and I usually get cheese on mine. The meat is 100% hamburger meat with no fillers, thick and you get your choice of Rosemary potatoes, mash potatoes, French fries, cottage cheese, cup of fruit, cup of soup or cole slaw for prices ranging between $7.99-$8.99.
One meal that I usually order is the Dixon Top Sirloin Steak for $13.99. For an inexpensive steak meal, Dixon’s is good quality beef and tasty. In Colorado, it is difficult to get a scrumptious tasting steak. I’ve been to the more expensive Restaurants, the Chop House, Morton’s and Cliff Young’s. The meal cost between $25-$50 and the steak was tasteless. Dixon’s is the best place to go for a steak dinner and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for the meal.
2609 E 12th Ave
Our favorite Chinese restaurant is Peter’s. It’s Mandarin style Chinese food not Hunan. Hunan is pretty tasteless, usually brown sauces and the chicken dishes are made of dark meat. I am not a fan of Hunan style Chinese food. Peter’s Chinese is tasty, inexpensive and can be a lively atmosphere. The running joke between my husband and I have been if the cops eat at the restaurant then the food is Fantastic. Often the cops are eating at Peter’s Chinese when we have been there.
Peter’s Chinese is located in the quaint Congress Park neighborhood. The same neighborhood as Chef Zorba’s restaurant. Peter’s is a small eatery with four or five tables. Most of Peter’s business is take out and delivery. The times that my husband and I have ate at Peter’s we have been witness to the lively atmosphere that Peter and his staff can muster. One night we were there when Peter and a waitress, who has worked there probably the whole time Peter’s Chinese has been in business, were arguing. I think she might be a relative of Peter’s. We’ve never asked her so I guess the next time we are there we’ll have to find out more about Peter’s staff.
We’ve frequented Peter’s so much that we are greeted with smiles and hellos when we dine there. Peter and the waitress that has worked there forever will ask us how we’ve been doing and that they are glad to see us. Peter and my husband will talk about their work. Sometimes, Peter will tell us about his involvement in the stock market and how his family is doing.
When we eat or take out at Peter’s my husband and I order the same thing every time, two orders of sweet and sour soup, 2 orders of egg rolls (which total 4), Mongolian beef, Princess Chicken, Sesame Chicken and sometimes if I order the take out or my husband is not around I get the Chicken Chow Mein.
Hot and Sour soup is tricky and I didn’t realize this until I moved to Texas and I could not find a Chinese restaurant that made it like Peter’s. The soup as to be the right mixture of sour, sweet, spiciness and thickness. I have had it where it was too sour, too hot or way too thick. It just didn’t taste right and made for a very uneventful meal.
The Mongolian beef is just the right mixture of green onions, garlic and whatever sauce Peter makes it with. The Princess Chicken has celery, peanuts, water chestnuts and a sauce with red chilies that makes it somewhat spicy. Sesame Chicken is made from the white part of the chicken, I’ve had it where they used dark meat and it does not taste right. Plus, when it is made with dark meat the dish is greasy. Peter’s Sesame Chicken has a fried crust like you would find on shrimp popcorn and a sweet sauce with sesame tops the dish. The Chicken Chow Mein is white chicken with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and a clear, garlic sauce served over a bed of crispy fried noodles.
If we were to get all four main dishes, it comes to around $32 dollars and some change. We have eaten at Peter’s and spent under $25 for our dinner this is including drinks. I highly recommend that you dine at Peter’s during your visit to Denver. And after you have had your meal, you can go to the Botanical Gardens which is a couple blocks away or head downtown, which only takes ten minutes more or less depending on the traffic and how many red lights you have to sit at.
Benny’s Restaurant & Cantina
301 E 7th Ave
If you’re not into Chinese food, I know a Great Mexican Restaurant. It’s located by the Governor’s Mansion and it’s not in the heart of downtown, but it’s not far away from the clubs and action. Plus, Benny’s is inexpensive dining and very tasty. You can either dine inside the restaurant or on the patio that is right in front of the entrance. The patio is open year round now that Benny put in windows and a heating system. The restaurant is so popular that on the weekends there can be a small wait before you get seated and the food does not come at lightening speed, but it does arrive in a timely manner.
After you are seated, there is someone that rushes out chips and salsa. The chips are made fresh and the salsa is not too spicy and always tasty with just the right blend of ingredients. I usually order the combination plate G. There are 19 different combination choices. The combination G dinner has a cheese enchilada, smothered bean burrito and a guacamole tostado and you have the choice of red or green chile sauce, but if you want red you need to tell them otherwise it automatically comes out with green sauce.
If you don’t like any of the combination choices like my husband, you can order ala carte. He usually orders a bean burrito, cheese enchilada and a beef taco. We, sometimes, order a side of rice and beans. With two drinks, the bill is under $25 dollars. You can get a great Mexican meal for just mere dollars and leave very full.
The only down side to Benny’s is their margaritas are not that great. I have sampled their margaritas and they put way too much alcohol in it. I don’t want to taste the tequila in my margarita. You can get better margaritas at Las Margaritas located on 17th Avenue, but their Mexican food is mediocre compared to Benny’s.
Pete’s Greek Town Café
2910 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
Phone: (303) 321-1104
Denver is known for its Greek population and the many Greek restaurants. Our favorite is Pete’s Greek Town Café and this is the same Pete who owns Pete’s Kitchen. The Greek restaurant is located about five minutes from downtown so you can catch a game or go to the Denver Art Museum after you have had some fantastic Greek cuisine.
My husband and I ate at Pete’s Greek Town Café just this past Wednesday. It’s a diner setting with a bar in the back of the restaurant. You can dine at the kitchen counter or in the dining area. The waitresses are always extremely pretty and deliver great service. If you want to catch a sports game, Pete has televisions set up for your viewing pleasure.
Our whole meal cost $37 dollars and some change. We started off with some Spinokapita-Spinach pie for $6.45. My husband and I both had the Gyros Plate for $10.95, which consists of a heaping portion of Gyro meat with onions and tomatoes, mixed vegetables, choice of potato (we usually get French fries), pita bread and you the choice of soup or salad. The salad is a good portion of greens, feta, olives, tomatoes and Greek dressing. We always choose the salad so I can’t report on the soup.
The Gyro meat is heavily flavored with garlic seasoning and the meal was fabulous. My husband and I have not experimented with many dishes at Pete’s Greek Town Café. We usually stick to the Gyro Plate, but this restaurant has been voted the number one Greek Restaurant. I’m sure the rest of the menu choices will satisfy your palate. Plus, there is live entertainment on Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sister’s Pizza and Mussels
2255 Sheridan Blvd
Edgewater, CO 80214
Phone: (303) 233-3132
I have the pleasure of living four blocks from Sister’s Pizza and Mussels. My husband and I are pizza connoisseurs, since we are form the Midwest where pizza is made with lots of tasty cheese, sauce and crust. When we moved to Colorado where good and tasty pizza was pretty much non-existent. We moved to a house in Edgewater, which is only blocks away from the Denver city boundaries and had the delight of living really close to the best pizza in town.
Sister’s Pizza and Mussels is a café setting with a few tables outdoors. It has the spectacular scenery of Sloan’s Lake and the city skyline. The staff is extremely friendly and will make your pizza any way that you like. We tried their pizza the way they usually make them, New York style with extra sauce and pepperoni. The pizza had a zesty kick to it and the cheese wasn’t bland like most of the pizza restaurants used around Denver. The cheese had a nice salty taste to it.
I ate that pizza all week, it was that good. The second visit my husband had them make the crust thicker and it wasn’t as good so order the pizza the way Sister’s Pizza and Mussels usually make it. We haven’t tried their mussels, but it has been reported that they have exceptional mussels. They, also, have pasta dishes and salads. I don’t have specific prices of items, but when we ate there and ordered a large pizza, a large salad and a couple of beers our tab came to under $35.
Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ Restaurant
8264 E 49th Ave
During our time of living in Texas, my husband and I had the pleasure of sampling Southern barbecue. It was tasty with a tangy BBQ flavor and smoked meat. Trying to describe smoked meat, it’s difficult, because it depends on the type of wood you use to smoke the meat and the seasonings you put in the rub. Everyone is different about the type of seasonings they put in their rub and very secretive about it. Plus, Texas barbecue tastes different then Louisiana barbecue. Why that is? I have no idea, but they’ll explain it to you at Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ Restaurant where they cook Louisiana style barbecue.
If you have never tried a fried pickle, you should, because it is tasty. You might be thinking, eeeww, fried pickles, but really they taste great and are not too sour like when you eat a pickle straight from the jar. We ordered Mr. Jim’s Deluxe Combo, which serves two. It consists of a half a rack of ribs, three BBQ meats and four trimmings.
The trimming choices are Bar-B-Q baked beans, creamy cole slaw, potato salad, mashed potatoes, fresh cut fries, mike’s creamed spinach, Big E’s collard greens, mac the cheese, cinnamon apples and vegetable of the day. I’m a big Mac and cheese fan so we ordered this trimming along with, fresh cut fries, potato salad and creamy cole slaw. Each trimming had a burst of flavor and plenty of southern comfort ingredients. In Colorado, it’s difficult to get a tasty dish of potato salad or cole slaw in a restaurant. But this is not the case at Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ Restaurant, there’s just enough zest in each of these salads.
The meat choices are Pulled Pork Bar-B-Q, sliced Angus Beef Brisket, Bar-B-Q Chicken, hickory smoked turkey breast, and smoked pork hot links. We sampled the Pulled Pork Bar-B-Q, sliced Angus Beef Brisket, Bar-B-Q Chicken and Smoked Pork Hot Links. All the meats had a good smoky taste to it. Whatever rub they used on the meats was delicious and different then what we were use to. The only meat I didn’t like was the Pork Hot Links, but I’m not a big links fan.
We topped the meal off with a slice of their homemade pecan pie. I never had pecan pie, but this one was DEE-LII-CIOUS!! The restaurant is open to suggestions and the one tip we gave them was to have ice cream available for the pies. The meal wasn’t extremely inexpensive, but the tab was around $50. However, it was well worth the price considering it’s difficult to get that kind of Barbeque anywhere in Denver.
2039 E 13th Ave
LIKS is the best ice cream in Denver. One of its ingredients is buttermilk so it’s really sweet and creamy. Often my husband and I will skip dessert at the restaurant and we will go to LIKS for a scoop, which is located on 13th and Race St. It’s not far from downtown Denver or the Museums so you can get a scoop and walk around to burn off those tasty calories.
They have a variety of flavors and one of my husband’s favorites is Sleepless in Seattle, which has a coffee taste to it. I like anything Chocolate. When my mother visited for the first time, we took her to LIKS and she would go there several times during her visit, because she loved the ice cream so much.
I couldn’t list every restaurant in Denver, so I’ve provided a link that has more restaurants you can dine at during your visit to Denver.