(Almost) Like Grandma Used to Make: Homestyle Restaurants in a New Age

Homestyle is a wide-ranging concept and its meaning changes depending on where you came from. Homestyle in rural America or the deep South is different from homestyle in Mexico, Greece, Italy or France, yet there are foods from all of these regions and countries that fit into the "homestyle" genre. In many ways, homestyle is more about a feeling than about the specifics of the food itself. Homestyle evokes memories of childhood and family members still with us or perhaps now gone, people who fed us and created places of warmth and comfort in their homes and especially in their kitchens. Meals were gatherings filled with conversation and connections, and remembering them brings back a good feeling. That said, homestyle food typically reflect a time when cooks were not focused on trends, calories or health challenges. Recipes were handed down, butter, cheese, frying oil and all, and they were good. You can bring your own memories at places such as CoraFaye's Cafe, where some of the family recipes are more than 100 years old. At Annie's Cafe, American and Mexican homestyle cooking is featured, and Denver Biscuit Company makes its biscuits the way your grandmother probably did, with love and a whole lot of butter. So dig in and enjoy the food and the memories. You can run and count calories tomorrow. 

Maybe you grew up near a Greek diner, the kind John Belushi so brilliantly portrayed way back when on Saturday Night Live ("cheeseburger, cheeseburger"). Sam's No. 3 is that diner--with a whole lot of green-chile smothered Mexican breakfast,...  Read More

Its most ardent fans say White Fence Farm makes the best fried chicken around. It also serves up aged T-bones, fried shrimp, broiled pork chops, roasted turkey breast and fish. The best part is that whatever you order comes with hot corn...  Read More

Maggiano's Little Italy is the homestyle cooking of someone's Italian grandmother--warm, filling, rich and sauce-laden. You can get many of the items served family style at a big table, making this an ideal choice for a convivial family...  Read More

Commons Park
Lou's Food Bar

The Bonnanos are well known on the Denver restaurant scene, perhaps more in the Italian and upscale trendy food genres. Here, they started with a homestyle restaurant serving French comfort food, which evolved into more of an American roadhouse...  Read More

Start with beignets and move on to a trio of Benedicts: deep south, cajun or fried-green tomato. Of course there's biscuits and gravy, and for grits lovers (yes!) you can get yours with roasted veggies, barbecue shrimp and in the uber-rich eggs...  Read More

The very essence of homestyle, Steuben's menu was originally composed of the opening staff's hometown favorites. The owner is from New England and for him it was a Maine lobster roll. One manager is from New Mexico, so a green chile cheeseburger...  Read More

The most intriguing thing about Denver Biscuit Company may be that the space is really two restaurants under one roof. Denver Biscuit Company serves breakfast and biscuit sandwiches for lunch, while Fat Sully's opens for lunch and stays open...  Read More

It's not just about the food here, though Grandma Bea's meatloaf, the liver and onions, chicken-fried steak and slow-baked barbecue brisket do the menu proud. Annie's is a longtime neighborhood restaurant that has always made its patrons feel...  Read More

The restaurant is named for the owner's mom (Cora) and sister (Faye) and it reflects her family's Alabama heritage. "I guess you can say my mom is getting her flowers while she's still with us. She starting frying chicken when she was nine years...  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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