Denver Dining Hotspots for Commercial Integrator Expo Attendees
By: Katye Bennett
At my company, KMB Communications, we not only strive to serve our clients platters full of published stories, articles, quotable commentary, and other delectable media-related opportunities, but we also endeavor to identify the best spots to eat, drink, and enjoy time with peers during trade shows. Why? Because, in our mind, what happens at the show is as important as what happens afterward at dinner, over drinks, during breakfast meetings, or chance encounters. That’s when conversations unfold, business is built, and friendships are often made. Over the years we’ve been honored to be at the table, to share the stories of our industry, and bring some levity to things while we’re at it.
Our Tradeshow Foodie Blogs are here for you, sourced from your peers, and should provide some great options. But we’re always looking for more, so please share your faves and send pics, too. Commercial Integrator Expo and CEDIA Expo will be in Denver for a long time, and we’ll all need new spots to try!
Here are this year’s hotspots to try, according to #AVFoodies, while in Denver for the co-located shows.
Barrie McCorkle, Director of Supplier Programs, D-Tools
If you know Barrie, you know he’s one of our industry’s most relied-upon providers of food recommendations and reviews. Here’s his rundown on Denver hotspots.
- Guard & Grace: From one of my favorite chefs, Troy Guard, and any of his places are amazing; there are four in Denver. We have lots of great steak houses in Denver including Elway’s, STK, and others. This is the hot spot.
- Cholon: World famous soup dumplings. Literally. There was a show done on Travel or Discovery that showed how they make them. The dumplings are made with French onion soup and gruyere cheese inside. It’s an amazing flavor explosion in your mouth. There is not a single thing on the menu that isn’t fantastic.
- Café Brazil: No, it’s not skewered meat, it’s authentic Brazilian with a Rum bar. OMG. Just go. On of my Top 10 restaurants in the world.
- Shells & Sauce: Small, local, awesome Italian food. Great little setting.
- Ace. Eat. Serve.: Bomb Asian fusion food in a cool setting. More relaxed, outside seating with good weather, and ping pong if you are so inclined.
- Hop Alley Denver: Also Asian fusion. Very good spot. Make sure to order the Beijing Duck Rolls
- Hapa Sushi: One of many solid sushi spots in Denver. Matsuhisa and Uchi are also premium spots.
- Los Chingones Mexican: On my list to try list. Looks incredible.
Dennis Erskine, The Erskine Group
- The Fort: Taking the naïve to the Fort is excellent. Order the Rocky Mountain Oysters (RMO), but don’t tell your guests what it really is. It’s a bit disappointing they don’t seem to have Rattlesnake strips in Cocktail Sauce, but offers a great atmosphere. Don’t leave without more than one desert (now you know why I love this guy!).
- Buckhorn Exchange: If you want to do the Buckhorn, good idea to make those reservations ASAP. The Buckhorn has the rattlesnake appetizer to join in with the Alligator and RMO. The Hot Dutch Apple Pie à la Mode with cinnamon rum sauce … don’t tell anyone about it or they’ll run out. Followed by Sorbet.
Vijita U.G., Director of Customer Experience, NuTech Group
As a founder of the #AVFoodies movement, Vijita certainly has top-notch recommendations for every city—including Denver!
- Water Grill: I visited there earlier this week. Water Grill is originally from Los Angeles and has a Denver location off Market and 17th Street. It is a fantastic dining experience for any seafood lover of crab, fish, clams, oysters, shrimp, and more. The staff is friendly and attentive with a great knowledge of the menu. Also, a bonus is how easy it is to make a reservation with Open Table. My starter was a sourdough bread with flaky sea salt butter. I can’t say no to a well-buttered roll and I paired two appetizers to create a main course and finished with a dessert. Their New England Clam chowder with applewood smoked bacon is a signature dish that everyone should try once. I also had wild Spanish octopus charcoal grilled with fingerling potatoes, niçoise olives, roasted tomatoes, lemon, and olive oil—the perfect dish for summer flavors. Of course I needed a sweet treat to finish off the night: Peanut butter and salted caramel ice cream made in-house. Overall, it was worth it to fully indulge in the seafood offerings and treat myself to a quiet evening before the start of CEDIA Expo.
- Syrup: Located in downtown Denver off Curtis and 18th, the army of people waiting to be seated let you know that this was a great spot featuring dishes like The Kitchen Sink, Crack Bacon, and Beignets. The only con is no reservations, it is first come, first serve. I went with a basic “Eggs Your Way” with two eggs any style, choice of meat, choice of bread, and smashed tater tots. The smashed tater tots stood out as unique since it is usually hash browns served for breakfast. Enjoy a cup of coffee or upgrade to a vanilla latte if you prefer something more out of your caffeinated beverage. If you fancy a breakfast spot off the beaten path, then this is your place.
Karen Mitchell, Writer, Residential Systems Magazine
A Denver local, here’s what Karen recommends:
- Cooper Lounge: For drinks and small plates, and dinner, head to the Cooper Lounge on the upper floor at Union Station. You absolutely need reservations. Very fun. Highly recommend the negronis and shrimp cocktails!
Alex Capecelatro, Founder and CEO, Josh.ai
- Uncle: Amazing Ramen.
- Root Down: An all-around good local spot.
- Tavernetta: For those looking for something a little fancier.
Jana Donohoe, Interior Designer, Jana Donohoe Designs
Jana will be attending CEDIA Expo on Thursday along with the Day of Discovery event taking place that day, made possible by our friends at Technology Designer Magazine.
- 54Thirty @ Le Meridien: My pick for best rooftop bar—small bites, great cocktails.
- Chez Maggy: French American Fusion restaurant in the Thompson Hotel.
- Reynard Social: A great cocktail bar, also in the Thompson Hotel.
- Jovaninas Broken Italian: Good cocktails and walking distance to the Colorado Convention Center.
- Ocean Prime: A lovely seafood restaurant.
- Other options to consider: Osteria Marco, Boa Brewhouse, Corridor 44
David Hiltner, Director, Red Lodge Clay Center
David is a self-proclaimed foodie and dear friend of mine.
- Bekon: That is all you will need to know. Sadly, reservations are unavailable for this week so put this on the 2024 list.
So, there you go, friends. While not a complete list by any means, this will get you pointed in the right direction. Share your finds and we’ll feature them next time—cheers to a great show!
To stay up-to-date with the latest show news, click here to visit our Commercial Integrator Expo 2023 hub.
To stay up-to-date with the latest show news, click here to visit our CEDIA Expo 2023 hub.