Denver‘s River North neighborhood, cut in half by the South Platte River, is home to some of the city’s best galleries, drinking and dining. Just minutes from downtown, this stretch of mural-clad, industrial-sized facades contains breweries, fine dining and conceptual spaces—and still has room to grow. With everything from karaoke bars to breweries and restaurants opening up regularly—filling once-empty warehouses and auto shops—the area is constantly changing. Here are a few of our favorite spots to eat and drink in the riverside neighborhood.
Dio Mio is a counter service pasta restaurant helmed by Alex Figura and Spencer White. Using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, the pair creates a menu of delicious dishes with pasta as the anchor—all of which is made in-house. It’s arguably the freshest pasta in Denver, and it does an admirable job at standing up against traditional Italian cooking.
Death & Co
NYC-based Death & Co has expanded into a sprawling cocktail lounge inside the Ramble Hotel. Though the drink and snack menus are completely different, this outpost maintains the well-loved bar’s vibe. The cocktails are thoughtful and the setting is sophisticated—it’s a sequel that very nearly rivals its original.
Crammed into a shipping container that measures 640 square feet (often with a queue because of it) is Cart-Driver, a wood-fired kitchen with creative pizzas, appetizers and cocktails. Open seven days a week from noon to midnight, the kitchen churns out pies like the Fall Special (with heirloom apples, leeks, crescenza, hazelnuts and rosemary) and the self-titled Cart-Driver, which is topped with sausage, kale, mozzarella, chili flakes. The atmosphere feels somewhat haphazard, yet it’s organized—and the result is a delightful experience.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company
The colorful, mural-covered entrance to Our Mutual Friend is hard to miss. While it’s bright and spacious outside, it’s close-quartered inside. Neon signs and trinkets line the shelves behind the bar and the rotating draft list fills out the right side. A few tables sit in the taproom—enough for most evening’s crowds—and the brewers, bartenders and locals seem inseparable. Plus, the beer brewed here is some of the best in the country.
The Source Hotel and Market Hall
With over 45,000 square feet housing 25 different vendors (including two breweries and four restaurants), The Source has become a keystone of Denver’s tourism industry. Although the mountains and crisp, clean air (and cannabis legalization) have driven people here already, the exciting food and drink scene draw them back. From barbeque to coffee, modern Israeli cuisine, liquor and beyond, there’s plenty to taste here—plus the market is home to a barber, florist and more.
Beckon is the 18-seat, reservation-only sibling of Call—a widely acclaimed, casual spot next door. Seated in a U-shape around the tiny kitchen, guests (who are offered an eight-course meal at $95 a ticket) can watch the dishes being assembled just inches from them. The venue offers two seatings a night, four nights a week; and aims to change its menu monthly in hopes of sticking to its strict belief in hyper-seasonality.
Images courtesy of respective venues