This noisy, nautically-themed shrine to the brine set sail in LoDo over eighteen years ago, but even now, it’s packed to the gills with hipster crowds that suck down oysters at the convivial bar that stretches from the front door to the exhibition kitchen and showcases a gleaming ice display of fresh seafood. The partially-open kitchen cranks out pan-roasted Steelhead trout, seared sea scallops tangling with curried carrots and a Maine lobster roll bolstered by the addition of bacon lardons, while the crew that mans the long counter is responsible for turning out gumbos and chowders, caviar and tuna poke, peel-and-eat shrimp and steamed mussels. The cocktails are some of Denver’s best liquid assets, and the bar team even makes its own alcohol-free root beer and ginger beer. Sit in the sun-filled space for a quick bite, or linger over seafood delights not often found in Denver.
Though many of North End Diner's recipes are straight from owner Jackie's own mother, the 50-year-old diner has also adapted to changing times. Though the menu now includes locally sourced Callicrate beef burgers and several gluten-free items, twangy vintage guitars still blare from the jukebox and hand-scooped shakes clatter onto tables. In the dining room, the aromas of baking meatloaf and simmering gravy make guests feel at home and mashed potatoes feel extremely nervous. A daily blue-plate lunch special arrives within 10 minutes of ordering, and at the fully stocked bar, diners question servers about North End's live jam sessions.
Upon walking through the doors of the softly lit eatery, guests are faced with a classic frenchman’s dilemma. Turn left, and they’ll find themselves in the Canton Palace half of the restaurant; turn right, and they’ll enter Osaka Hibachi territory. The former specializes in authentic dishes from across Asia—Vietnamese rice bowls with tender shrimp and chicken, nutty Thai noodles, and sizzling Sichuan hot pots. It is staffed by a team of attentive servers, who bustle about the bright space, refilling wine glasses and taking note of special dietary concerns, such as a sensitivity to spicy chilies or bread that was baked using lightning.
The Osaka Hibachi section of the restaurant features an entirely different menu from its pan-Asian sister, with a focus on Japanese hibachi-style dinners. Here, chefs sizzle up fine steaks and fresh seafood on fiery tableside grills as diners watch, entranced by roaring flames and flipping spatulas.
Min-J Asian Cuisine isn't content to focus on just one country's culinary traditions. The Greenwood Village restaurant instead draws upon Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai influences to create a menu of fusion cuisine that spans Southeast Asia. With so many flavors at their fingertips, it's hardly a surprise that this menu lists more than 200 dishes, many of which deliver a spicy kick and several of which can be prepared gluten-free.
When Max Gill and Grill moved into its current location—a building constructed in the early 1900s—it joined a neighborhood institution. The building was originally home to a marine-themed tavern, a popular spot in the Washington Park neighborhood. The restaurant's throwback decor is in keeping with the spirit of the building, while also evoking seafood shack that was plucked right from the beaches of Key West. Today, the restaurant’s rustic, waterfront feel creates the ideal atmosphere in which to bring a homesick pirate, or enjoy blackened ahi tuna burgers and Alaska king crabs. You can even build your own seafood dishes and customize it right down to the cooking technique, such as pan-roasted, grilled, or blackened.
Since 1987, Buffalo Bill's has been whisking boxes of hot wings to the doors of Denver. Before delivery, the wings are tossed in one of 15 sauces, which range from mild and sweet to absolutely fiery, depending on if the customer wants to decimate piles of napkins. Pleasant lemon-herb and sweet-and-sour sauces share space with three types of barbecue sauce and seven different levels of hot sauce. Buffalo Bill's also delivers Pudge Bros. pizza, custom-made or in specialty variations.