A Penny Earned Is Smartly Spent at These Denver Value Restaurants

It’s a fact: You don’t have to wipe out your entire paycheck to get a great meal in Denver. Sure, there are pricey fine-dining establishments well worth the splurge for special occasions. But you should be able to eat out any time you want to–and you can. Each of these 10 restaurants offers great food at an affordable price. As a group, they also cover all times of day and a variety of cuisines. Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery is the poster restaurant for the fast-casual concept. It’s affordable, comfortable, family-friendly and quick, but also chef-driven and you can get wine, beer and a Moscow Mule, too.  At Tamales by La Casita, extraordinary value comes in the form of house-made tamales and other flavorful Mexican dishes priced in the $2-$6 range. Acme Burger & Brat Corporation offers a compact, appealing menu with value pricing in the lively setting of Union Station, while The Market at Larimer Square is a cornucopia of edible possibilities where patrons can mix, match and create the meal they want at the price they want. And guests at Denver Bicycle Café can enjoy locally made pastries and coffee while their bike is expertly tuned up. No bike? Go just to enjoy a Colorado craft brew and the laid-back atmosphere when the bar opens at 5 p.m. This list is just more proof that Denver's food scene rocks. 

Saigon Bowl is just what its name implies, a Vietnamese restaurant with dozens of dishes, including a hefty list of rice noodle bowls and pho, a delicious spicy-fragrant soup with onions, herbs, peppers, lime and beef. There are dozens and...  Read More

Billy's Gourmet Hot Dogs
Photo courtesy of Billy's Gourmet Hot Dogs

They're more than just hot dogs. Honest. They're above and beyond yet with everything you loved about them as a kid. You won't be sorry if you go in and try one, but chances are you will be surprised by how good Billy's dogs are. And if your...  Read More

The Cherry Cricket offers a welcoming patch of down-to-earth unpretentiousness in a sea of super-swank establishments. The Cricket has been the happy black sheep of the Cherry Creek North neighborhood for decades with its old-school pub/sports...  Read More

Sam's No. 3 is everything you love about Greek diners and diner food--with a whole lot of green-chile smothered Mexican breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes thrown in. The multiple-page menu can seem overwhelming. Not to worry. All you really need...  Read More

Tamales by La Casita
Photo courtesy of Tamales by La Casita

For nearly four decades Paula Sandoval and her family have offered up exceptional, fresh-made tamales in north Denver, food that reflects what Sandoval calls New Mexican style. She describes her restaurant as "a clean, well-lighted place that...  Read More

It's an odd combo and yet so right for Denver: A place where you can get your bike fixed, sip an espresso and enjoy a craft brew. What's not to love? Low-key Denver Bicycle Café is first and foremost a place where you can have a conversation...  Read More

Acme Burger & Brat Corporation is in a prime location inside Union Station in LoDo--the perfect setting for this food that's also of prime quality yet reasonably priced. The burgers are made with Niman Ranch prime beef, the fries are...  Read More

Stop by The Market at Larimer Square for a wide assortment of salads, sandwiches and sweets. The casual cafe draws a diverse crowd of locals and tourists (it's great for people-watching), and there's something for everyone. The drink menu boasts...  Read More

This is authentic Mexican cuisine with its roots in Mexico City and dishes featuring ingredients commonly used in Mexico but less so in the United States. Cheek meat, tongue and tripe are mainstays for the famous tacos, which are also offered...  Read More

Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery
Photo courtesy of Christine Loomis

Chef Clint Wangsnes has taken fast-casual to a new level. At Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery the food is not just quick and affordable, it's chef-driven and fresh. Dishes fall in the comfort-food arena but often with a healthy twist. Instead of...  Read More


Meet Christine Loomis

Christine has written about every aspect of travel, from romance and adventure to family and wellness. She is also lucky to have had three major home states through the years: New York,...  More About Christine

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