Denver is the place to be for locavores who want transparency about where their meal is coming from. With many farm-to-table restaurants within the city limits, Denver proves that ethically sourced food can lead to inventive new ways to cook and eat. Chefs passionate about locally grown produce and humanely raised animals strive to narrow the gap between farm and plate.
The restaurants mentioned below share the common desire to lessen the environmental impact of running a restaurant, whether it’s through composting food scraps, recycling and reusing dinnerware, or working to support local farmers, ranchers, and fisheries. By innovating the way goods are procured and remaining mindful of cooking according to what’s in season, farm-to-table ventures are often successful in drawing interest and welcoming a dedicated following of hungry eaters.
The Centennial State produces a range of fresh produce, including fruits and veggies such as beets, rhubarb, cabbage, potatoes, peaches, grapes, and apples. Colorado also ranks high in producing cattle and sheep, enabling chefs to procure fresh cuts of meat that were sustainably and ethically raised.
1. Potager Restaurant & Wine Bar
Potager opened in 1997 and quickly became a popular Denver restaurant that has withstood the test of time. While they don’t adhere to any particular theme or cuisine, they enjoy focusing on locally sourced foods that are driven by the seasons. This means building relationships with farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who understand and share the same values of eating and cooking responsibly.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying vegetables that have just been picked or fish that have just been caught from the ocean. Potager works with a variety of suppliers and Colorado-based farms, including Royal Crest Dairy, Buckner Family Farm, and the City Park Farmers Market. This robust network allows the restaurant to provide fresh takes on dishes such as coq au vin with garlicky greens, wood oven short ribs, and a refreshing lemon panna cotta with reduced blueberries.
PRO Tip: Each dish is cooked to order, so ensure you’re allowing plenty of time to enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant.
From the time Fruition opened in 2007, it quickly took the city by storm and remains one of Denver’s most lauded restaurants. Those looking for upscale comfort food will find just that on the menu at this intimate eatery. The chef and owner, Alex Seidel, revolutionized the concept of farm-to-table by purchasing a 10-acre farm and learning the skills of the trade by becoming a hands-on farmer himself.
Open Monday through Sunday evenings, hungry foodies can be seated beginning at 5 PM. The menu and wine list changes based on the seasons and what’s currently ripe and available, so diners may find that their favorites are rotated throughout the year. Current offerings include slow-cooked swordfish, pan-roasted scallops, and chitarra alla carbonara. The drink menu is extensive, including beer, wine, and craft cocktails.
PRO Tip: Fruition offers a “Cru Menu” which requires the entire table to participate. The menu offers five courses of the kitchen’s choice and there is also a beverage course that can be added on.
3. Root Down
Root Down is located in the Highlands neighborhood and is part of a family that features six restaurants, including Ophelia’s, Linger, and Vital Root. There is a bit of a cult following around these establishments, as they’re built on the philosophy that ranching, farming, and fishing should not harm the planet. Nearly everything on the menu is certified organic, with 20% of the produce being supplied from their very own 6,000-square-foot garden.
Much of the ingredients are sourced from within Colorado, which supports over 50 local growers in the region. Diners will find that the offerings are vegetable-forward and adhere to the current season, ensuring the freshest possible ingredients on your plate. The restaurant is also 100% wind-powered, which adds another layer of environmental friendliness to the joint.
PRO Tip: Root Down is happy to accommodate a variety of dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, raw, and gluten-free. They request that you notify your server if you have any food allergies that need to be considered.
Sazza is all about salad and pizza, hence the name. Their commitment to the Colorado community inspires them to use organic produce and thoughtfully raised animal protein. Their desire to reuse is so strong that they’ve collected silverware donated by customers. Even the plates and dining ware is purchased locally, to support other local businesses.
Without attempting to make pizza too complicated, Sazza sources pure ingredients and ensures that they give back to the environment by composting food scraps. Their menu specials change seasonally, allowing them to keep up with the freshest produce. Pick slices such as BBQ chicken, baked tofu, or the French onion with garlic oil and gruyere. If you feel like adding a cocktail, they offer mojitos and margaritas that have been handcrafted with homemade simple syrups and freshly squeezed citrus.
PRO Tip: For those on a gluten-free diet, Sazza accommodates this restriction as much as possible, though their GF pizzas are baked in the same oven as the other pizzas.
5. Mercantile Dining & Provision
From the chef that brought you Fruition, Mercantile Dining & Provision is also founded by Alex Seidel. His cooking draws inspiration from mixing both sophistication and comfort, with a spotlight on transparency for diners. The food is approachable while adding luxurious touches — as seen in the wagyu pastrami with sauerkraut and Rebel bread. For those seeking a bit of spice, look no further than the Korean fried chicken with cured napa cabbage and a spicy chili sauce.
The pastry list is extensive, featuring sweet French classics such as macarons and a variety of croissants. If you need an evening pick-me-up, the cocktail list is crafted on what’s currently in season and draws inspiration from products by local artisans. The beer and wine selections are respectable and sure to please everyone at the table.
PRO Tip: Head over to the adjacent market and purchase items from the chef’s farm, as well as an assortment of pastries that make for a delicious breakfast or brunch.
6. Apple Blossom
Apple Blossom is located inside the Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver and is open all day, including a brunch menu. Happy hour happens not once but twice at Apple Blossom! First between 2-5 PM and during the evening from 9-10 PM. The bar program has won multiple awards and features an all-Colorado beer offering.
The farm-to-table restaurant creates everything in-house, from its smoked bacon to the hand-cut pasta. The menu is rotated seasonally and features tasty dishes fit for a diverse group of palates. Brunch includes a mouthwatering corned lamb shank hash, a croque madame, and a sizzling tofu scramble with locally procured swiss chard and a spicy cascabel chili oil. Don’t forget to grab an ultra-flaky pastry to enjoy with your cup of coffee.
PRO Tip: Keep an eye out for the original chalk artwork that adorns the interior of Apple Blossom. These are creations of Jodi Polson, the pastry chef, and resident chalk artist.
7. Urban Farmer
Urban Farmer has locations in Denver, Philadelphia, and Portland. The Denver location is near Union Station and is considered a farm-to-table steakhouse. Inspired by the bountiful ingredients found throughout the Centennial State, Urban Farmer offers guests authentic meals with straightforward preparations. After all, there’s no need to complicate a delicious steak.
The chefs strive to build relationships with local growers, as well as ranchers and fisheries. This allows them to procure thoughtfully selected goods to prepare for eager guests. The kitchen pantry stays stocked with homemade pickled and preserved produce. Select from starters such as a shiitake salmon crudo or beef tartare. Follow it up with Colorado striped bass with a jerked acorn squash and cranberry chutney.
PRO Tips: Enjoy happy hour with a carefully crafted cocktail list made with local spirits, as well as a specially curated wine menu that complements the surrounding region.
Duo is one of the original farm-to-table restaurants within the capital city of Denver. Located in the Highland neighborhood, the establishment provides guests with a unique dining experience in a relaxed environment. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore, there is something on the menu for everybody to enjoy.
The mission set forth by the owners and the chef is to source the best local ingredients, as this enables the creation of satisfying food. Spotlighted in both Bon Appetit Magazine and the New York Times, it’s clear that this mission has been successful over the years. Menu offerings include za’atar lamb meatballs with couscous and sumac cauliflower and lion’s mane mushrooms with a currant pine nut soffritto. If you’re in need of a comfort meal, try the pork chop with green chili white corn grits and ham hock braised collard greens.
PRO Tip: Brunch is held on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM. A cocktail menu is available, as well as sweet and savory main dishes.
Wildflower is a unique restaurant all on its own, drawing inspiration from the striking Colorado landscapes and intertwining Italian and Mexican roots. The menu features many plant-forward plates, as well as exquisitely crafted cocktails that include local ingredients. Wildflower partners with growers across the state, including River Bear, Mycolove Farm, and Bee Squared.
Guests can begin with marinated olives or a black truffle tart with manchego and lavender. Up next, there is a Spanish octopus with fresno chili that’s humanely sourced and a spice-rubbed duroc pork shoulder with a chickpea pancake that’s flavorful and thoughtfully raised. The menu is in a constant state of evolution, following the seasons and the daily findings of the chef.
PRO Tip: Linger over a cup of coffee or a matcha latte and enjoy pastries and a delightful brunch offering or enjoy an evening nightcap of mead or a glass of natural wine.
10. Bramble & Hare
Bramble & Hare opened its doors in July of 2012 and features a prix fixe menu, which costs $68 and allows guests to choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The enticing options include pork green chili, chorizo-stuffed quail, and a vanilla bean cheesecake. Diners can head over to the farm store to collect freshly picked produce, such as tomatoes, eggplant, and squash.
Chef Eric Skokan owns a 425-acre farm in nearby Longmont, where much of the certified organic produce and meat is grown and raised. The Bramble & Hare team has also been known to forage for ingredients such as wild mushrooms and plums that further intertwine the flavors of Colorado into the menu.
PRO Tip: Menus can change daily, so ensure you make plans to visit if something strikes you as a meal you need to try.
Coperta is passionate about all things Southern Italy and its menu is a reflection of this region of the world. Seasonal vegetables and fresh seafood feature across the restaurant’s offerings, as well as responsibly sourced meat. Building a foundation on providing sustenance via earth and the sea, Coperta fluctuates its menu by what’s currently ripe and ready to be on your plate.
Try the goat cheese ravioli with autumn squash and sage. For those looking for a seafood fix, there is a linguini with clams and saffron on the menu that’s perfect for a romantic dinner. Cap off the night with an affogato or potato grispelle with marsala caramel.
PRO Tip: This is the sister restaurant to the aforementioned Apple Blossom. If you’ve enjoyed one of these restaurants but not the other, make sure to check out both for new flavors and the same impeccable service.
12. Point Easy
Point Easy is the new kid on the block when it comes to farm-to-table joints around Denver. They opened in 2022 and have been serving up seasonal and local food to the surrounding community. Focused on ethically sourced proteins and shareable meals, they provide an exciting destination for dinner in the Whittier neighborhood.
Seasonal flavors on their menu include roasted bone marrow, as well as burrata with a whole wheat and molasses muffin. With a delicious pasta menu to choose from, diners will have a hard time staying away from the rigatoni, risotto, and bolognese offerings. Save room for dessert, as the golden corn cake with roasted Colorado peaches, fresh corn, and brown butter ice cream is a must-try.
PRO Tip: Happy hour is held daily from 5-6 PM. Bring some friends and enjoy small plates and drinks.