Denver has just recently become known as a destination for foodies, partially thanks to the influx of transplants from around the United States.
As builders rushing to get apartment buildings up and rented out, restaurateurs who are clamoring to establish new hotspots to take advantage of Denver’s ever-increasing population.
For better or worse, when millennials go out to eat, half the time they’re just “doing it for the ‘Gram,” so we thought it would be fun to put together a different kind of “Best of” list for Denver’s restaurant scene.
Instead of basing our ranking of Denver’s most popular restaurants on yelp reviews, or our own personal opinion, we consulted Instagram to determine which eateries were most popular (or at least the most photogenic.)
We found that the 25 most popular Denver restaurants on Instagram have all been established in the past ten years. But just because they’re new doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the thorough fanfare they get from natives, transplants, and tourists.
Ranked in order of posts on Instagram, here are Denver’s Most Popular Restaurants on Instagram.
Mexican + seafood = a match made in heaven, and this Denver restaurant manages to stand out amongst the stiff Mexican restaurant competition in the area thanks to this specific focus.
Come for dinner one night, then perhaps back again in the morning for brunch, as neither is to be missed!
If you’re the type of person who could eat pizza or pasta for every meal, you’d do well to check out Bar Dough. Executive Chef and Partner Max MacKissock studied the culinary arts in Italy for many years, and has been running Colorado restaurants for 15 years.
Bacon, bacon, BACON.
Though major publications are trying to scare us that there’s a deficit of America’s favorite meat candy, it’s probably safe to assume that Bacon Social House stays stocked with emergency supplies. And though you could be totally satisfied with any of their bacon-focused dishes and avocado toasts (damn millennials who can’t afford houses), you should also convince someone in your group to order their incredible chicken and waffles, with gravy just as thick as the blockages in your arteries after this meal.
As it’s practically impossible to stop by a cute coffee shop without taking a cute Insta shot, it would be remiss to complete this list of Denver’s most popular restaurants on Instagram without a coffee shop feature. Stowaway not only serves a nice cup of joe, but also a lovely lunch service with light and healthy fare.
It’s really not a complete list of Denver’s most popular restaurants on Instagram without mentioning one of the city’s favorite sushi spots – Sushi Den. Before you start worrying about the quality of the fish, rest assured in the fact that fresh fish is flown in daily from Japan!
Ophelia’s describes themselves as a “gastro-brothel” which probably tells you enough on it’s own as to whether you’ll enjoy your time there or not. Besides a quirky existence and delicious food, this Denver restaurant is known for a packed schedule of live entertainment.
Is there anything better than a New York style bagel? Denver is flush with options like Bruegger’s and Einstein, but Rosenberg’s is the real belle of the bagel ball. Opt for plain bagels or a bagel sandwich–either way, you’re sure to grab the perfect Instagram shot.
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Take some Pepto Bismol before heading to Euclid Hall, because you won’t be able to resist all the greasy/fatty temptations on their menu, and even the toughest stomach is bound to display some sort of reaction.
If you’re feeling Canadian (or just plain indulgent), try one of their poutine dishes.
Torchy’s is not a native Denver spot, but does it matter? With multiple locations around the city, it’s safe to say that the demand for this Texas-founded taco joint exceeds supply! As far as the tacos themselves, they’re stuffed to the brim, so you’ll only need two if you’re usually a three taco kinda person. Make sure to acquaint yourself with all of Torchy’s delectable sauces, and try the Diablo sauce if you crave a kick!
Ice cream and donuts are hard to deny, but sometimes you want cookies and pastries. D Bar gets it, and is conveniently located near the convention center/16th Street Mall. If you’ve got a work per diem to use up, stick around for drinks and fine dining.
Habit Donut Dispensary only serves donuts, so you’ll have to go elsewhere if you were looking for something else from this “dispensary.”
If donuts are the only magic pills your body needs, you’ll be happy to know that you can satisfy that need here, in style. As an added bonus, Habit Donut Dispensary actually shares space with Carbon Cafe & Bar, who serves a delicious Habit donut-soaked beer on tap!
Certainly, there’s no shortage of Denver’s most popular restaurants on Instagram that you could check out on #TacoTuesday, but why settle for anything but the best? As far as this list is concerned, Dos Santos is exactly where you need for the perfect taco shot.
“Seafood, swine, and wine” – how could you go wrong? Each dish is perfectly Instagrammable (and scarf-down-able) thanks to an all-star team headed up by Executive Chef/Owner Justin Brunson.
Ramen is so hot right now, and Uncle is the perfect benefactor of this trend. Never without a line, you’ll be lucky to get in – so stop by early for your best chance at slurping these delicious noodles and broth into your tummy (and on your Instagram).
Everything about the building in which Acorn resides screams, “COOL!” Acorn is located inside The Source, a collaborative artisanal market space in RiNo. Acorn frequently tops lists not only for Denver’s most popular restaurants on Instagram, but is also a frequent feature from the likes of Zagat, Eater, Westword, and more.
Find something tasty, and ask your waiter for a cocktail pairing recommendation.
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If you’re visiting Denver and don’t get to check out all the foodie spots on your list, sigh a breath of relief at the fact that Root Down has a location in the Highlands, as well as at Denver International Airport. The menu is seasonal and locally sourced, with the restaurant picking their best produce from two onsite gardens. Our recommendation? A root-focused dish!
Just because Denver is physically located in the West doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best of the South. Sassafras prides itself on Southern comfort food treats. They’re especially popular for weekend brunch – do yourself a favor and try their mimosa flights.
It’s amazing how much fine dining you could get yourself into without leaving the boundaries of Union Station. Mercantile is one such offering, with 3 major divisions: a European-style market, sit down dining, and a bar space. Stob by for a taste of their baked goods, shop around, then come back for dinner and drinks later in the day!
Snooze is only open during the day, but at least it provides the perfect excuse to get out of bed in the morning. There are locations all over Denver (with rapid expansion to other states and cities in the West!). Although the entire menu is drool-worthy, it’s probably safe to say you’ve never tried pancakes as amazing as theirs. Get the flight!
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The Highlands are certainly well-represented on this list, as the neighborhood is truly a foodie’s paradise. And every good foodie knows that the perfect meal deserves a delicious and refreshing dessert. Little Man Ice Cream always has a line, but you can use the wait time to let your dinner digest. Once you get to the front, be a bit adventurous and try something different, like Espresso Fudge, or one of their many vegan flavors! You’ll be able to recognize the ice creamery by it’s distinctive milk jug-shaped building.
Voodoo Donut actually started in Portland, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you can get in and out without a line! These donuts are so fun and inventive; it’s well worth the wait. Make sure to bring some dolla’ bills, as this eatery is cash only.
Denver Central Market is one of the newest food halls in Denver’s bustling foodie scene, bringing life to the up and coming RiNo neighborhood. As there are certainly no shortage of taprooms to tour, this spot can help you achieve equilibrium so that your hangover isn’t too awful the following day.
High Point Creamery makes for the perfect snack or dessert in between checking out all of Denver Central Market’s gourmet dining (and takeaway) options.
Linger actually used to be Olinger’s Mortuary, and guests report the occasional supernatural experience when dining here. As long as you’re not alone after hours, you should be undisturbed, and the food and drink options more than make up for a possible ghost sighting. Their menu is organized by regional tastes, with many unexpected places represented!
Plates are meant to be shared. If you’re looking for a recommendation, start off with their incredible crispy cheese and roasted shishito peppers!
Food halls are one of the biggest dining trends of the present day, because it’s exciting and empowering to have so many options when you go out to eat. If you’re out with a picky eater, or someone with allergies, patronizing a food hall means there’s something for everyone without compromise. This food hall doubles as a full-service bar, so you can eat, drink, and eat, all in one place.
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With no surprise from anyone, a savory brunch spot lists tops the list of Denver’s most popular restaurants on Instagram. Depending on where you live in Denver, there’s bound to be a location within walking distance. We’re partial to the one in Stanley Marketplace, a building that plays host to a community of 50+ Colorado independently owned businesses.
About Denver’s Most Instagrammed Restaurants
And if you have an addition to either list, or a fun Instagram post to share, we’d love to see it! Tweet at @Jumper_Media, and we’ll retweet the most scrumptious bites you throw our way.