(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 or Italy, 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 Sassafras American Eatery, The Post Chicken & Beer or 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 at Kitchen Table Cafe, the owner learned to cook from his grandmother, who apparently liked Kansas City-style BBQ. Denver Biscuit Company makes its biscuits the way your own 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. 



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



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



First opened in Uptown and now also in Arvada, Steuben's original menu was composed of the opening staff's hometown favorites. The owner is from New England and for him it was Maine lobster roll. One manager from New Mexico added a green chile...  Read More

CoraFaye's Cafe
Photo courtesy of Corafayes


Although this beloved cafe moved out of Denver to Aurora, it still belongs here.It's 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...  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



The name says it all. Fried chicken is front and center here, paired with exactly the right beer crafted 26 miles north at parent company Post Brewing in Lafayette, 1771 IPA, Big Rosie Porter and a farmhouse ale among them. Appropriately located...  Read More

City Park West


This is Midwestern homestyle cooking as envisioned by an owner who grew up in Kansas City and learned much about cooking from his grandmother. No wonder the name is followed by the words BBQ and Comfort Food. The quick-casual cafe's slogan is...  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, but also a divine breakfast po' boy, housemate sausage and several varieties of mac and cheese, including a...  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, and who doesn't love all-day breakfast? Annie's is a longtime neighborhood restaurant...  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