Hundreds of Italian immigrant families made their way to Denver in the late 1800s and early 1900s, bringing with them their recipes, a love of good food and a belief that meals with friends and family should be made with fresh ingredients, such as homegrown herbs and tomatoes. Many Italians settled in northeast Denver and in the neighborhood known today as the Highlands. There are still amazing Italian restaurants in this area of Denver, some on this list, including Hops & Pie, which honors not just Denver’s Italian tradition but its love affair with craft beer. Frasca, in Boulder, is one of the metro area’s most renowned and awarded restaurants and one of its best restaurants period! Frasca offers dishes inspired by the Friuli region of northern Italy, to be accompanied by a stellar selection of excellent wines. Also focused on northern Italian cuisine is Panzano in the heart of downtown, where Chef Elise Wiggins has been serving delectable food since 2004. Osteria Marco is another fine eatery from Chef Frank Bonanno, this one serving hand-tossed pizzas and rustic fare with an emphasis on house-cured meats. From traditional pizzas to hand-folded pastas stuffed with gourmet ingredients, Denver’s Italian restaurants offer exceptional variety in terms of style, ambience, menus and drink selections. There’s no reason not to try them all. As celebrity Italian chef Lidia Bastianich says, “Tutti a tavola a mangiare!” Everyone to the table to eat!