The food scene in Denver is becoming more and more recognized around the nation and the globe as chefs roll out creative menu items- and often past standard dinner hours. If you are a night owl or are looking for good eats late into the night, this city has your back. Many restaurants around town offer dedicated late night menus and make sure the flames in the kitchen are still fired. Places like Stueben's, in Denver's uptown neighborhood, features a Late Nite Lucky 7 happy hour menu where you can grab a cheeseburger, fries and a beer for just seven bucks. Or, opt for a different kind of protein at Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs- including Reindeer, Wild Boar and Pheasant. Tom's Urban also leads the late night charge with street a unique and eclectic blend of street food favorites and big international favorites. Here, tacos go well beyond standard flavors with choices like the Sticky Belly (pork bacon and coleslaw) and the Butter Poached Lobster. And of course they are dive spots that still manage to class things up like the recently opened Max's Dive, where classy varieties like Spanish Cava and Napa Cabernet are served late and paired with southern style classic comfort food.
Max's Wine Dive
Max's is a casual, wine-centric "dive" with a focus on classic southern comfort-food. MAX's offers a fun, rock-n-roll late night Happy Hour during weeknights for night owls and late-risers across town from 9:30 until close. Sit on the street side-patio on a summer night and enjoy $5 wines by the glass, $3 local draft beers, 50% off select wines by the glass. We suggest pairing your Happy Hour drinks with MAX's Bison Sliders featuring house-made ketchup and pickles with grilled onions or a plate of the Famous Fried Chicken with a thick buttery slab of Texas Toast, perfectly cooked greens and savory, creamy mashers, perfect for enjoying in the wee-hours of the night.
The Corner Office, located steps away from the Denver Center for Performing Arts, draws in a big crowd post show hungry for a late snack. The retro-chic energizing interior is sure to give you a second wind to carry you through the night, making the most of you Denver stay. The food features international flavors like the banh-mi slider, which is made with pork belly, pickled veggies and spicy aioli. For a vegetrain option, try the quinoa and black bean based veggie burger and a side of fries.
Tokio, the alternative spelling for Tokyo, is the passion and concept of chef and owner Miki Hashimoto. His aim was to bring authentic ramen to Denver. If you're thinking those over-salted packets you mixed with water as a poor college student, rethink now. What's offered at Tokyo is not even remotely similar. The menu also features sushi, sashimi, yakitori and other traditional Japanese favorites. Small plates include pot stickers, steamed dumplings and bacon wrapped avocado.When it comes to dessert try the Green Tea Tiramisu, Creme Brulee or Ginger Ice Cream. The atmosphere is designed to reflect a typical structure of a Japanese house complete with Japanese oak tables. Upstairs find a loft area with a private sake bar. For late night eats, check out the late night menu offered from 10 p.m. to midnight. Specials like $2 sushi, $3 rolls and $5 small plates make this a top pick. (720.639.2911)
Interstate Kitchen & Bar
In the heart of the Santa Fe Arts District, Interstate Kitchen & Bar is perfect for those who crave scratch-made food and craft libations without overspending. Here, it's about classic comfort food like the Fried Chicken & Waffles served with spicy maple syrup. Burgers, sandwiches and salads are also staples on the menu. Behind the bar, choose from nearly 200 different types of American whiskeys along with other spirits and a large selection of American craft beer. This spot serves the full menu until midnight, 7-days-a-week. Happy hour is served twice daily, from 4pm - 6pm and again from 10pm to midnight. (7204798829)
Tom's Urban is a unique and eclectic blend of street food favorites and big international favorites that are served late- the restaurant is open until 2 a.m. on weekends and 12:30 a.m. on weekdays, which means good food after a fun night out or for a late night craving. Tacos go well beyond standard flavors with choices like the Sticky Belly (pork bacon and coleslaw) and the Butter Poached Lobster. Small plates carry over international flavors with options like Ginger Chicken potstickers and Colorado calamari. Top entr�e picks for a hearty appetite include the Havana Carnitas Sandwich and the Truffled Maine Lobster Roll. All cocktails are handcrafted and many named with Colorado in mind like the 5280 mark, Colfax Cooler (white run, cucumber, mint + Tom's lemon sour) and the Rattlesnake Rye (Wild Turkey Rye 81, lemon juice and absinthe)
Baurs Restaurant and Listening Lounge
Find a classy atmosphere to satisfy late night cravings at Baur's Restaurant. The food takes a seasonal and creative approach and offers plenty of hearty items like the Otto's Friend Chicken & Waffle Sandwich topped with crisp bacon, cartelized onions and maple bourbon butter syrup. Here, chefs pride themselves on making healthful options with local ingredients as well that don't skimp on flavors. When it comes to the seafood, its flown in fresh from both coasts. Baur's also features a nose-to-tail charcuterie program. A portion of their bar menu is available for late night dining. On Friday & Saturday Late Night service is available until 12:00 a.m. (303-615-4000)
Biker Jim's Gourmet Hot Dogs
Food trucks, food carts, whatever the description Biker Jim's Dogs are worth a stop. Yes, i'ts all about dogs here, slinging "gourmet" dogs in style, not just those regular ol' ballpark franks. Jim Pittenger opened the spot in 2005, armed with a cream cheese caulking gun and a menu that started changing people's ideas about hot dogs and street food.
As Biker Jim's popularity grew so did it's footprint. One cart became two, two carts became three, then a brick and mortar restaurant, then another. Serving interesting, hormone free, nitrite free sausages, such as Reindeer, Wild Boar and Pheasant, with unusual toppings and great sides became a trade mark of these "Garage Chic" establishments. By staying open until 3am on weekends and being located close to Coors Field and many bars, Biker Jim's has saved many a late night traveler from driving home hungry. ((720) 746-9355)
Ace Eat Serve , set up in the old Storz Garage space in Denver's Uptown neighborhood, offers a different kind of late night out that includes entertainment.
A Ping-Pong Hall is at the center of the restaurant. You can play a non-competitive game or sign up for a tournament. When it comes to the food, expect Asian inspired dishes that are meant to share. You will also find house made sodas, fresh juices, Asian beers and craft cocktails. Like it' sister restaurants, Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill, repurposed and recycled materials are a big part of the design, which makes for an industrial look.
Park Burger opened a fourth location in RiNo at the start of the year. This concept is more focused on a bar-centered burger joint with live music, a beer garden patio, 40 drafts on tap, later hours, as well as an expanded menu (diners can still treat their taste buds to the classic favorites, like the El Chilango and The Royale, as well as other new additions, like the Quinoa Salad, Korean Wings, and Pulled Pork Sliders). The constantly rotating 40 tap handles keeps even the most knowledgeable beer drinkers on their toes. It's common to find numerous Colorado craft brews on tap as well as some from California and the East Coast. Park Burger RiNo is open 11 am to 12 am Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to 2 am Friday and Saturday.
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 went on the menu. There are all the other home-kitchen favorites you'd expect, from mac and cheese to meatloaf and fried chicken. The goal was to take customers back to their own memories of favorite foods from their mom's kitchen or even the local diner. What do you remember about the food you ate when growing up? Maybe Steuben's fried chicken will stir up the memories. It's made in a buttermilk brine, dredged with house-seasoned flour and served with mashed potatoes, chicken gravy and a house-made biscuit. The patio is heated so if it's not raining or snowing, you can sit out there. (303.830.1001)
About Carri Wilbanks
Carri Wilbanks (CatchCarri.com) is a Denver based freelance writer, producer and TV host for Xfinity Comcast who is always on the hunt for the next adventure. Whether climbing a volanco in Iceland, trying out new water sports like flyboarding or exploring local culture in South America, you never know where you will catch her next. When she's not living out of a suitcase, Carri can be found in Colorful Colorado keeping up with the local scene. Read more about her global adventures at catchcarri.com.
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