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7 Must-Try Restaurants in RiNo, Denver

By: Justin Chaplin
June 7, 2019

Zeppelin Station by @werkcreative via Instagram

Officially known as RiNo, the River North Art District of Denver prides itself on being the destination neighborhood for art. Historic warehouses turned jazz bars and restaurants, galleries, and a creative spirit define the district. As one of the most popular neighborhoods in the country, RiNo offers a mix of foodie-worthy restaurants and eateries with an inventive twist. Come and savor the local flavors yourself at these RiNo restaurants.

1. Zeppelin Station

If you can't decide where to eat and drink among the sea of RiNo restaurants, try Zeppelin Station. This industrial building is home to a eclectic food court and offers a selection of great eateries. Try local gems like Vinh Xuong Bakery, The Budlong, and OK Poke. For happy hour, try Kiss and Ride for a quick cocktail or beer before wandering through the shops at Zeppelin Station. If you want to go to a spot that embodies the RiNo spirit, this is it.

2. Meadowlark

Meadowlark is all about simple, American cuisine in a creative atmosphere that embraces RiNo’s roots. Order the Meadowlark Burger with Irish cheddar sauce and candied spicy bacon, smoke brisket, sea bass, and spring ramen. Cocktails include smoke margarita, whiskey-based drinks, drafts, and wine. There's also a late night menu if you're out bar hopping with the neighbors. Grab some local favorites like Brussel sprouts and onion rings to pair with your drink.

3. Biju's Little Curry Shop

Inspired by South India, Biju's Little Curry shop offers gluten-free and vegan-friendly options for satisfying dishes. Come for Samosa fried pastries, curry bowls, and braised beef. Their tidy drink menu includes awesome choices as well. Their housemade yogurt drinks and kombucha are cant-miss.

The staff hand chops everything daily and adds authentic south Indian style spices to give your dishes a kick. You can also get a cold beer on tap and ask for suggestions from the drink menu to compliment your curry. If you can't get enough of their dry spices, buy some to take home with you. Biju's Little Curry Shop blends and packages their species in Colorado, steam sterilize them, and never adds fillers or preservatives.

4. Super Mega Bien

Situated in the Ramble Hotel, Super Mega Bien serves Latin American Dim Sum. It may not sound like the two should go together, but the team blends family-style dishes made for sharing from brightly-colored dim sum carts. Ever-changing dishes include pork bibil, braised lamb, and roasted duck. Their crispy Spanish rice dishes feature flavors from Peking, China, Latin America, the Caribbean Islands and beyond. The team behind this RiNo restaurant also runs the nearby Work & Class; another worthy stop to add to your eat and drink list.

5. Il Posto

Put Il Posto on your list for an Italian, cosmopolitan RiNo restaurant focusing on "the complicated simplicity of Italian food and wine." In other words, they want to make inventive Italian food that pairs with wine in a creative yet upscale environment. Fit for foodies, choose from a selection of short rib risotto dishes, pappardelle with Berkshire pork marjoram ragu and oyster mushrooms, duck breast and more.

6. Julep

Step into Julep, and you'll feel like you've just stumbled across an old-school Southern bar full of upscale charm. The atmosphere at this RiNo restaurant is fabulously hip, but it’s the food that keeps locals coming back for more. Share a plate of the buttermilk biscuits, Rocky Mountain oysters Rockefeller, and gumbo. Seasonally changing cocktails include ginger juleps, Kauai king with dark rum, 1965 lucky debonair with vodka and other crafted concoctions.

7. Comal Heritage Food Incubator

Comal isn't just another trendy RiNo restaurant; it was designed as a social enterprise created by Focus Points Family Resource Center. In addition to creating authentic recipes from local families, Comal is a kitchen incubator that teaches ambitious immigrants and refugee women how to step into entrepreneurial roles as chefs or culinary workers. The neighborhood loves eating here and supporting Comal for its mission, but also the authentic food. Come and try dishes from Syria, Ethiopia, and regions throughout Mexico.

Stepping into a RiNo restaurant isn’t about checking dinner off your to-do list; it’s an experience. Try the endless supply of creative dishes and cocktails, and make time to see some of the neighborhood galleries and creative spirit along the way.

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AUTHOR
Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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