Empower Field at Mile High, or just Mile High, is a visiting team’s nightmare, thanks to rowdy Broncos fans and the challenge of playing a mile above sea level. While it is the object of 31 teams’ frustrations, the surrounding area is beloved for its rich roster of charming restaurants. No matter how the game turns out, make sure you add these to your gameday routine.
2298 Clay St, Denver, CO 80211
Briar Common is more than your average brewery. Brothers Kent and Greg Dawson spent years brewing small batches of beer before opening up this spot in October 2016. Their goal of offering balanced beers and unique pub food has been realized in full, consistently being recognized as one of the best breweries in Denver. Briar Common also offers weekend brunch, and you should definitely start your tailgate there (be warned: the bottomless mimosa is not available on Bronco gamedays).
1400 Wewatta St, Denver, CO 80202
Tom and Diane Coohill brought their passions together to bring Denver’s finest French restaurant to life. The menu is relatively small, focusing on quality rather than quantity, with a clear emphasis on farm-fresh ingredients and countless house-made items. While the pamphlet-length wine list is certainly tempting, don’t overlook the creative specialty cocktails.
1111 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, this progressive steakhouse is as stylish and swanky as you might hope for in such a metropolitan location. Whether you’re starting your day with their hearty breakfast, capping off your night with a juicy ribeye, or simply grabbing a libation, there are few better spots in town. Make sure to take advantage of their Happy Hour from 3:30-6:00 PM on Sunday through Thursday.
1801 California St, Denver, CO 80202
Guard and Grace has turned steak into an art form. Don’t let the rich and refined menu fool you, this is a bright and playful spot with food options for everybody no matter their tastes. The raw bar is a divine way to kick off the meal, and the filet flight (perfect for a special occasion) offers a 4-oz sampling of prime, wagyu, and grass-fed filet mignon. Split a couple of sides, like the black truffle mac & cheese and chipotle lime smashed potatoes, and you’ll be in for a fabulous meal.
918 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
Have you ever heard of New American West cuisine? Think comfort food, but more refined. range Restaurant has introduced this food genre unique to the Rocky Mountain region and the results have been tremendous. The concise menu rotates seasonally, but you can always count on creative twists on usual favorites made with delightfully fresh ingredients, such as Bison Meat Loaf and a Candied Habanero Bacon Cheeseburger. Note: range is closed on Sundays, so save it for your Thursday night game day!
1431 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
Who doesn’t love Mediterranean food? It strikes the proper balance between refined and humble, and it can satisfy any type of diet and appetite. Rioja is consistently praised as one of the best restaurants in downtown Denver, with good reason. The food is bright and refreshing, but hearty enough to get you energized for the Broncos game. Their brunch is iconic, from the crepe of the day to the “picnic” (their take on a meat-and-cheese board) to the Rioja Benedict (with bacon, spinach, tomato, poached eggs, and parmesan sauce atop a goat cheese biscuit).
1920 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80204
It’s impossible to resist an authentic Mexican meal, and the most unassuming restaurants often provide the most flavor. Tacos El Paisa is a perfect case study, with an unimpressive exterior but extraordinarily impressive food. There’s no such thing as a bad order when you go, but we recommend the Paisa Combo, including a bean & chicharron burrito, an enchilada, and a crispy chile relleno.
1400 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
Chef Richard Sandoval’s restaurant puts a creative twist on authentic Mexican food. You can enjoy the classics (carnitas, birria tacos, and queso fundido) or opt for the bolder dishes (crab guacamole, chile ancho confit with pork belly). Either way, your gameday won’t be complete without getting the bottomless margarita brunch, available from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, which gets you unlimited small plates and cocktails.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 7, 2021 and last updated on June 8, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.