Lunch in Denver: Best Places to Grab a Mid-Day Bite

Lunch in Denver might be grab-and-go at The Market at Larimer Square, a power confab at Charcoal or ChoLon Bistro, or simply a reason to sit down and enjoy the surroundings–think Palettes at the Denver Art Museum. It can be outdoors on a view-sweeping patio or within a cozy interior, intriguingly ethnic such as Maria Empanada or as American as the flakiest biscuits served north of the Mason-Dixon line, which is what you get at Denver Biscuit Company, along with southern fried chicken worthy to accompany them. Some restaurants invite long, slow meals and excellent conversation, such as the aptly named Linger, housed in a former mortuary in Denver's trendy Highlands neighborhood. Others, including Acorn in the art-centric RiNo district, inspire diners to explore before or after the meal. Best of all, many of Denver's restaurants offer excellent selections of the city's well-known craft brews to complete the dining experience. We've picked our Top 10 lunch spots. Try them all. 


The former mortuary building seems an unlikely place for a restaurant, but chef/owner Justin Cucci (of Root Down fame) has done it again with another Highlands restaurant, Linger. A nod to the space is found in the tongue-in-cheek reference to...  Read More

ChoLon Bistro
Photo courtesy of ChoLon

This self-titled modern Asian bistro takes typical Asian fare and raises it to new levels, and perhaps more important takes presentation to soaring heights. Consider sharing several small bites with your dining companions so you can experience...  Read More

Palettes at the Denver Art Museum
Photo courtesy of Palettes

When it opened in 1997, Palettes was one of the first chef-driven restaurants to be located in a museum. Now a staple at Denver Art Museum, Palette's is one of chef Kevin Taylor's great Denver successes. For one thing, its floor-to-ceiling...  Read More

Olive & Finch
Photo courtesy of Olive & Finch

At lunchtime, it's all about fabulous sandwiches and salads here, and even those guests who don't love sandwiches will be tempted by such gourmet-inspired creations as the Nanner's (prosciutto, poached figs, brie and arugula on a baguette) or...  Read More

Part wine bar and part Italian cafe, Postino is an ideal spot to linger over lunch, especially on a perfect Denver afternoon. The food menu is targeted with a focus on bruschetta, panini, artisan cheese boards, soups and salads. The dishes are...  Read More

Charcoal Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Charcoal Restaurant

It's fine dining but in a relaxed, approachable environment. We say yes, yes, yes to that for any meal. Stop in for lunch weekdays and brunch on weekends. The restaurant offers a refined, stylish space, good service and a lunch menu with...  Read More

On a busy corner of South Broadway, Maria Empanada is an oasis of deliciousness and charm. Empanadas come from the ovens morning to night, both sweet and savory. The menu also includes veggie-filled "tartas" made from an old family recipe, as...  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

You'll find Denver Biscuit Company in a space that accommodates two restaurants and a popular bar under one roof. Denver Biscuit Company serves breakfast and biscuit sandwiches for lunch, while Fat Sully's offers pizza for lunch, dinner and late...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Christine Loomis

The ambiance is industrial chic with exposed bricks and pipes; the menu is contemporary creative with comfort-food overtones. Acorn is one of the anchoring businesses at The Source, the warehouse-turned-retail-and-dining-outlet in RiNo, the...  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