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 Maria Empanadas, extraordinary value comes in the form of exceptional, authentic Argentinian empanadas priced just over $3 each. Denver Biscuit Company offers an appealing menu showcasing biscuits and comfort food, 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 coffee, Colorado craft brew and the laid-back atmosphere. This list is proof that Denver's food scene rocks. 

Capitol Hill


Nothing fancy here, just excellent gyros, falafels and other Middle Eastern food conveniently located on the corner of Grant and Colfax in Cap Hill. There's not much in the way of atmosphere but the service is prompt and friendly. If there's a...  Read More



More than four months after a devastating fire, The Cherry Cricket reopened in April 2017 with a long line of grateful patrons on hand to celebrate. The Cricket offers a welcoming patch of down-to-earth unpretentiousness in a sea of super-swank...  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



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



Biker Jim's is definitely the top dog of Denver's hot dog specialty restaurants and holds its own against many other types of restaurants, too. Like Maria Empanads, Biker Jim's specializes in one thing and does it really well. Sure, the word...  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

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 relatively easy on the wallet, it's chef-driven and fresh. Dishes fall in the comfort-food arena but often with a healthy...  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



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



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


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