Our Favorite Highland Restaurants

You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant in Denver’s Lower Highland area that hasn’t become a well-loved hotspot for the city’s hip professionals. The selection spans it all: exotic fare, creative cocktails, seasonal menus, comfort food, and gluten-free choices. Drop into any one of these highly-recommended restaurants for after-work drinks or a full meal, and discover a new favorite spot (or three) for inspired eats.

Root Down/Funky, inventive decor and an organically-sourced menu make for a distinctive sensory experience at 33rd Avenue’s Root Down. The restaurant’s $52.80 Sunday night dinner for two is a great introduction to the restaurant. Choose from tomato & cantaloupe gazpacho or carrot & Thai red curry soup and an entrée like pan-seared salmon or Flat Iron steak. Top it all off with a dessert of sumptuous bread pudding and chocolate ganache. And forget Coke vs. Pepsi – instead wash down your food with Strawberry Hibiscus Tea and cocktails with names like Big Trouble in Little China and The Hummingbird, which are just as complex and delicious as they sound.

Favorite dishes:

  • Sweet potato French fries
  • Flat Iron steak
  • Cocktail: Flavored mojitos

Location: 3200 W 33rd Ave.

Photo credit: http://www.rootdowndenver.com

Z Cuisine/A perfect blend of Colorado and France right in the Highlands. Z Cuisine takes a farm-to-table approach, using locally-sourced ingredients to create mouthwatering French dishes. Whether you choose one of the menu’s exotic duck selections or a familiar beef steak, accompaniments like grilled boule crostini, duck egg gnocchi and oxtail sauce make for tastes no one would call ordinary.

Favorite dishes:

  • Boeuf Bourguignon Maison (steak marinated in merlot & baked in spiced merlot, roasted beef marrow & oxtail sauce)
  • Cocktail: “La Vie en Rose”

Location: 2239 W 30th Ave.

Photo credit: http://www.zcusineonline.com

Linger/Don’t forget a reservation at Linger, located in part of the old Olinger mortuary and one of the area’s most in-demand dinner locales. Sit on the rooftop bar and take full advantage of Denver’s unparalleled sunsets while sipping a refreshing “Lemon-ella” (non-alcoholic) cocktail. Lunches are a new offering at Linger, but avoid heartbreak and remember that the restaurant closes for lunch on Mondays. (If you happen to forget, not all is lost – it’s right next to Goldyn, so stop in and indulge in some retail therapy instead.)

Favorite dishes:

  • Masala Dosa
  • Doner Kobb salad
  • “Devils on Horseback” (Bacon-wrapped Medjool dates with goat cheese & sambal gastrique)
  • Sesame BBQ tacos

Location: 2030 W 30th Ave.

Photo credit: http://www.lingerdenver.com

LoHi Steak Bar/No reservation requirement and the ubiquitous happy hour and drink specials make this restaurant on 32nd & Tejon a laid-back place to drop in for brunch, lunch or dinner. The steaks are excellent, but those in the mood for other fare won’t be disappointed either. LoHi Steak Bar has an incredibly capable waitstaff and some of the best French fries in town, and with the restaurant expanding into the space next door, there’s no shortage of anything to enjoy.

Favorite dishes:

  • Fried egg sandwich
  • Roasted chicken salad
  • Broiled scallop salad
  • Mussels
  • Huevos rancheros
  • Cocktail: “Dark & Stormy” (dark rum & ginger beer)

Location: 3200 Tejon St.

Photo credit: http://www.lohisteakbar.com

Masterpiece Deli/The standard size of the lunch line at Masterpiece Deli proves the spot lives up to its name, so call in your order in advance. Home to the biggest salads and best sandwiches in the area, the salads provide great gluten-free options and easily make 2 meals. Whether you eat in the deli’s cozy restaurant space or take your order to go, Masterpiece Deli is well worth the wait and prices.

Favorite orders:

  • Sandwich: The Reuben
  • Salads: Greek, Argula – add tofu to either

Location: 1575 Central St.

Photo credit: http://www.google.com

Paxia/Little about this Mexican restaurant is anything less than fantastic. The dishes boast made-to-order corn or flour tortillas and 4 varieties of homemade salsa daily, and the attentive, friendly staff makes fresh guacamole by your table as you order it. Paxia features a large, open dining space or quiet patio with no reservations needed, a takeout option, and a room to rent out for private events. Top off the Highland’s best Mexican food with a house margarita or a version with jalapeño for kick.

Favorite dishes:

  • Enchiladas verdes
  • Fajitas – shrimp fajitas highly recommended
  • Mile-High ensalada
  • Molcajetes
  • Enfrijoladas

Location: 4001 Tejon St.

Photo credit: http://www.paxiadenver.com

Old Major/The tagline “Seafood, wine and swine” clues diners in to the standard fare at this instantly-loved relatively new Highland restaurant. A comprehensive cocktail and wine list from every corner of the globe always perfectly complement Old Major’s seasonal menu, including incredible desserts. Check the current offerings online – especially the gluten-free options – and watch for sumptuous lobster pot pie in the winter (no really, the best thing ever). With the restaurant’s beautiful décor and knowledgable waitstaff, it’s no wonder you’ll need a reservation at LoHi’s newest see-and-be-seen spot.

Favorite dishes:

  • Pan-seared scallops
  • Pei mussels
  • Grilled Caesar salad
  • Lambchops

Location: 3316 Tejon St.

Photo credit: http://www.oldmajordenver.com

Central Bistro/Really, a hip, upbeat atmosphere and décor that raises the bar is second nature in any of the area’s restaurants, but Central Bistro’s still is worth mention. The restaurant has become a hopping spot for local events, giving you the perfect excuse to start your weekend early on a Thursday evening. Stop in for happy hour food and drink specials on the patio, or indulge for brunch, lunch or dinner with dishes like crab macaroni and cheese and fabulous desserts.

Favorite dishes:

  • Crab mac & cheese
  • Beet salad
  • Pan-seared chicken breast

Location: 1691 Central St.

Photo credit: http://www.centralbistro.com & http://www.examiner.com

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