From its people-watchable front patio to the misted summer sanctuary of its hidden back patio, Reiver's Bar and Grill keeps stomach-tantrums to a minimum with a menu that mingles traditional pub fare with eclectic palate pleasers. Laid-back locals take in the athletic action on 10 flat-screen TVs while noshing on deliciously deep-fried mac 'n' cheese wedges ($7.95) or the Colorado shepherd's pie conjured out of lean ground beef and a bevy of corn, carrots, and wooden shepherd's crooks ($11.95). The award-winning Reiver's chicken-fried sirloin steak—pounded thin with prosciutto, rubbed with horseradish, and breaded in saltines ($12.95)—has a natural chemistry with any of the 13 beers on tap. Stop by to watch the bowl games or put a lifetime of accumulated useless knowledge about hatchback hoopties and carousel cranes to good use at the Tuesday Trivia Face-Off.
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.
Named Denver's best barbeque by CBS Denver in 2010, Big Papa's BBQ specializes in slow smoked ribs, brisket, and sausage, as well as authentic Southern side dishes and homemade desserts. Turn on mouth spigots with Big Papa's BBQ meat-filled Denver menu or Littleton menu, both of which feature hickory smoked selections from the restaurants' mobile smokers. Load a sturdy plate with a pound of brisket ($11.95), half a pound of pork ($6.45), or half a pound of hot links ($6.45), and ask for an accompaniment of hearty sides ($1.95 per serving, $3.95 per pint), such as four-cheese mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, Southern style cole slaw, BBQ beans, or fried okra. Feast on the fins of deep-fried catches with a catfish po'boy sandwich ($7.45+), or share an appetizer of catfish nuggets ($7.95) battered in corn meal and served with tartar sauce and hush puppies to replicate the traditional underwater canapés used by Sirens to lure sailors to their watery graves.
The OiNKs! menu modernizes classic barbecue with five original sauce recipes, produce from sustainable farms, and meat that’s always antibiotic free and usually from free-range livestock. Before being pulled apart by your mouth's masticators, each meat slab is rubbed in OiNKs! special rub and slow-smoked over pecan wood. Palatable proteins, including brisket, chicken, pork, and tofu ($3.99 1/4 lb., $6.49 1/2 lb., $12.49 full lb.), relax in a barbecue bubble bath of your choice: sweet traditional, tangy mustard, peppery vinegar, hot three-pepper blend, or a brand-new Kansas City-style sauce. Or opt for a St. Louis–style rack of spare ribs ($5.49 1/4 rack, $10.49 1/2 rack, $19.99 full rack). Specialty sandwiches, such as the Blue Brisket with bacon and blue cheese ($8.49), fill up hungry hands and are served with your choice of side, including hearty fried okra or the lighter nutty coleslaw or spicy green-bean salad. Soul-soothing desserts, such as a cinnamon-pecan tartlet ($2.49), are baked each morning.
City, O' City is a community café serving vegetarian and vegan fare, much of it local, for friends and family around downtown Denver. Commence morning mealtime with a cup of Pablo's on 6th coffee and a fried banana-bread PB&J ($4.25), which, like a denim skort, incorporates two independently enticing entities into one awesome conglomeration. The appetizer menu features favorites such as meat-free seitan wings ($8) and a Mediterranean pesto plate, a hodge-podge of hummus, basil pesto, olives, pepperoncini, marinated eggplant, french fries, and flat bread ($12). City, O' City is lauded for its pizzas, which can be made gluten-free and vegan upon request. The Florentine ($10 for 10", $22 for 18") is a classic mixture of olive oil, spinach, mushrooms, roma tomatoes, fresh rosemary, and three cheeses and is so delicious that it may inspire diners to don their finest Dante mask and script an epic poem about the human soul struggling to ascend circle after circle of cheese and sauce.
Gennaro’s Cafe Italiano’s pasta producers pile plates with generous portions of Old World comfort fare in a family-friendly restaurant. Browse the menu, before divvying up an appetizer, such as deep-fried calamari or tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, anointed with herbs and olive oil. After devouring house salads, plunge tusks into entrees, such as lasagna stacked with beef, italian sausage, and six types of cheese, or perform tined pirouettes through fettuccine alfredo crowned with grilled chicken. Spicy sausage huddles with grilled peppers and onions as marinara quells fires for the safety of shaved parmesan cheese. Fresh-baked garlic bread accompanies all main meal events as well as refreshing glasses of beer. Making a reservation, like believing in the tooth fairy, is acceptable but not necessary.