By Joyce Hendley
DENVER TECH CENTER takes top billing for south Denver dining hot spots.
THE DENVER TECH CENTER has always been something of a hybrid. As its name implies, the south suburban business hub is home to hundreds of companies, from startups to global titans. But it’s also part of the thriving residential community of Greenwood Village, where creatives and techies rub elbows with families and neighborhood stalwarts— and the results are always interesting.
Lately, DTC is gaining traction as an out-standing destination for eating, drinking and playing, too. With the newly-minted Arapahoe Entertainment District and nearby Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater—plus dozens of cafes, trendy eateries, brewpubs, neighborhood hangouts and top-notch dining venues—there are lots of reasons to make DTC your destination, too. Here, our top picks for whatever you’re craving.
TOP CHOICE FOR AFTER-WORK COCKTAILS:
THE ROUGE WINE BAR & PATIO
7939 E. Arapahoe Rd.
This recently opened wine-and-cocktails spot has a Roaring ’20s aesthetic and a fun-loving, unpre-tentious atmosphere. It shares space (and am-azing Front Range views from its patio with sister venue Pindustry—the uber-popular enter-tainment/restaurant complex that launched the Arapahoe Entertainment District when it arr-ived on the scene in 2021. The idea was sparked when Pindustry customers, after en-joying the duckpin bowling, patio games and pinball machines, “were asking for a quiet spot to have a drink,” recalls culin-ary director Chris Collins. “So [developer/founder] Bob Koontz said, ‘Let’s make you one.’”
Collins, formerly at Denver’s Wynkoop Brewery, relishes the creative synergy as he works with brand director Joel Kampfe to make exciting—but approachable—food-wine pairings. “He’s not an arrogant wine guy, and I’m not an arrogant chef,” says Collins. With some 200 bottles, the wine list has something for everyone—including 50+ wines by the glass, as well as plenty of creative cocktails. And the menu of shared and small plates includes favorites like blistered shishito peppers, cedar-planked salmon, lamb merguez with peach curry, 7X Cattle Company bone marrow with shaved black truffles—and a gloriously filler-free crab cake (Kampfe suggests pairing it with a glass of Albariño).
Also recommended (for after-work cocktails):
The Griffin Tavern 5062 S. Syracuse St., griffindtc.com
Darcy’s Bistro & Pub 4955 S. Ulster St., coloradopubco.com
Pindustry (right next door), thepindustry.com
TOP SPOT FOR A QUICK LUNCH:
TAP & BURGER BELLEVILLE STATION
4910 S. Newport St.
Reviewers cite this cozy venue for its warm hospitality and great service. “We just want to be that neighborhood place, where you can get a great burger in a great environment,” general manager Ryan Terry says. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. Under culinary director Carrie Baird, a former Top Chef finalist, almost everything on T&B’s menu delivers a quality upgrade. Like the Tap Burger, with its melted Swiss and crispy onion topping and au jus for dipping, or the truffle-aioli-and-mushroomed ’Shroom Luva’s burger. Or the Four Corners Salad, tossed with charred broccoli, corn, black beans and jalapeño-spiked onions. And, to drink, there’s a thoughtfully organized selection of craft beers on seasonal rotation from “fruity and refreshing” to “malty and assertive.”
Sushi Rama DTC/Osaka Ramen 4960 S Newport St., sushi-rama.com
Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria 5322 Denver Tech Center Blvd., cubacubasandwicheria.com
Grange Food Hall 6575 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., grangehall-colorado.com
IDEAL FOR A CLIENT LUNCH:
8000 E. Belleview Ave.
As soon as you step into this comfortably elegant, grand space, you’ll know you and your client are in good hands. As its name implies, the seafood here is impeccable— evidenced by starters like the ahi tuna tartare, with its gingery ponzu drizzle, and the pan-seared sea scallops, served with an English pea-Parmesan risotto. Prime meats also star here, from the 8-ounce filet mignon to the Tillamook cheddar cheeseburger topped with caramelized onions. There’s an extensive wine list, plus expertly crafted cocktails (your martini, shaken tableside, arrives “so ice-cold you could practically skate across it,” says general manager John Witmer). For more drama, order Berries and Bubbles, with lemon-basil vodka, marinated blackberries, Champagne and a puff of dry-ice smoke. These—plus the after-3 p.m. lounge menu featuring East and West Coast oysters, hamachi crudo and short rib sliders—give OP a great after-work cocktails vibe, too.
BEST DATE NIGHT DESTINATION:
5380 Greenwood Plaza Blvd.
Being right across the street from Landmark Theater makes Hapa Sushi a natural for dinner-and-a-movie date, but its all-day-to-late-night energy adds a fun, happy vibe. Indeed, Japanese and American (read: mostly Hawaiian) flair makes this Colorado-based chain a favorite. Share a flask or flight of sake from the extensive selection, and start with some taro poke or the addictive daikon fries. After that, just ordering from the rest of the creatively named options will spark conversation. We’re partial to the Booty Call roll, a showstopper featuring whole lobster tail, snow crab salad and asparagus, and Scotty’s Salmon sashimi, sparked with diced tomato, onion, capers, basil and cilantro. “And, if the date’s going well, you might try the Foreplay roll or the Orgasm roll,” suggests general manager Andy Shaff, with a smile.
Venice Ristorante & Wine Bar 5946 S. Holly St., veniceristorante.com
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood 5111 Denver Tech Center Pkwy. eddiev.com
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse 8100 E. Orchard Rd., delfriscos.com
STANDOUT WEEKEND BRUNCH:
4901 S. Newport St.
This popular bakery and café, helmed by Senegalese-French sisters Aminata and Rougui Dia, oozes sophisticated Parisian charm (and, naturellement, serves up killer crêpes, quiches and croissants). Try the pork belly benedict or the boeuf bourguignon poutine—both as decadent as they sound— or the yassa fried chicken sandwich with its lemony-bright, onion-based sauce. While a tableside bottle of bubbly is de rigueur, don’t miss the gin-based fig rosemary cocktail or the Treaty of Paris (a frothy concoction of cognac, Earl Grey and sparkling wine). Bonus: Brunch is offered on Fridays, too, so you can start your weekend early with extra joie de vivre. Look for an additional Denver location to open this spring.
Early Bird Restaurant 5425 Landmark Pl. earlybirdrestaurant.com
Delectable Egg 5312 Denver Tech Center Blvd. delectableegg.com
Urban Egg Eatery 6991 E. Belleview Ave. urbaneggeatery.com
Snooze 5073 S. Syracuse St. snoozeeatery.com
OUR DTC GO-TO LIST
BONEFISH GRILL 4948 S. Yosemite St. bonefishgrill.com
CUBA CUBA SANDWICHERIA 5322 Denver Tech Center Blvd. cubacubasandwicheria.com
DARCY’S BISTRO & PUB 4955 S. Ulster St. coloradopubco.com
DEL FRISCO’S DOUBLE EAGLE STEAKHOUSE 8100 E. Orchard Rd. delfriscos.com
DELECTABLE EGG 5312 Denver Tech Center Blvd. delectableegg.com
EARLY BIRD RESTAURANT 5425 Landmark Pl. earlybirdrestaurant.com
EDDIE V’S PRIME SEAFOOD 5111 Denver Tech Center Pkwy. eddiev.com
GRANGE FOOD HALL 6575 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. grangehall-colorado.com
HAPA SUSHI 5380 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. hapasushi.com
LE FRENCH BAKERY & CAFÉ 4901 S. Newport St. lefrenchdenver.com
OCEAN PRIME 8000 E Belleview Ave. ocean-prime.com
PINDUSTRY 7939 E. Arapahoe Rd. thepindustry.com
SHANAHAN’S STEAKHOUSE 5085 S. Syracuse St. shanahanssteakhouse.com
SNOOZE 5073 S. Syracuse St. snoozeeatery.com
SUSHI RAMA DTC/OSAKA RAMEN 4960 S. Newport St. sushi-rama.com
TAP & BURGER BELLEVILLE STATION 4910 S. Newport St. tapandburger.com
THE GRIFFIN TAVERN 5062 S. Syracuse St. griffindtc.com
THE ROUGE 7939 E Arapahoe Rd. therougewinebar.com
URBAN EGG EATERY 6991 E. Belleview Ave. urbaneggeatery.com
VENICE RISTORANTE & WINE BAR 5946 S. Holly St. veniceristorante.com
ZINK KITCHEN & BAR at Doubletree Hotel DTC, 7801 E. Orchard Rd.