The state of Colorado is ripe with the farming and ranching industries, so it’s no surprise that the emerging food community in Denver would celebrate steak. If you're looking for a cooked-to-perfection cut of prime beef, you’ll find everything from rib eyes and sirloins, to flank and strip steaks. Whether you’re craving porterhouses, filet or a juicy T-bone, you’ll find it at one of the much abuzz steakhouses in the Mile High City.
From sausage to lamb to steak, meat is big game in Colorado. The range of preparations of some local favorite dishes is broad and varied, but one thing is certain: red meat is a staple of the local cuisine.
At Elways’s, you can see and be seen alongside local celebrities and socialites. Tuck into an order of lamb chop fondue and artichoke dip topped with giardinara along with an extra-dirty martini or skip right to the 28-ounce porterhouse paired with a bold and spicy red wine. Opt for Guard & Grace if you’re craving a sleek, space with a fresh menu to match, with creative starters and salads plus a selection of steak flights available with grass-fed, Prime or Angus beef. There is no lack of big, hearty steaks to satisfy even the most dedicated carnivore.
Here is The Daily Meal’s guide to some of the juiciest steakhouses in Denver, based on research, advice from two local food bloggers, and first-hand experience at some of the restaurants. Looking for a little more? Check out our ranked list of the Best Steakhouses in America.
At Elway’s, named for Denver Bronco quarterback and all of famer John Elway, choose from a selection of USDA hand-cut steaks, a fantastic raw bar, and other great dishes created in a kitchen helmed by acclaimed chef Tyler Wiard. With two locations downtown and in Cherry Creek, the decade-old steakhouse is a guaranteed scene, frequented by local socialites, neighborhood regulars, politicians, sports celebrities, and even visiting A-liseters like Alec Baldwin, Peyton Manning, Jon Bon Jovi and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
See and be seen bonuses aside, the food created by culinary director Tyler Wiard and executive chef Aniedra Nichols is top notch. The sleek steakhouse sells 5,760 hand-cut prime steaks for lunch and dinner in a month, along with a wide variety of fresh fish and crustaceans, plus serious variety of side dishes suited to all tastes. Customize your steak with foie gras, bleu cheese butter, peppercorn sauce, black pepper-horseradish aioli, béarnaise sauce or caramelized sweet onion.
Guard and Grace
Chef Troy Guard is redefining the modern steakhouse with a selection of cuts of prime, Angus, and grass-fed steaks that you can mix, match, and order in “flights” for a sampler or to taste all of your favorites in one meal. Start off with oysters flown in fresh daily from both the East and West coasts, or with tuna or kampachi sashimi from the raw bar. Starters range from smoked salmon dip and wood-charred octopus to kobe beef sliders and warm spinach and artichoke dip. Skip the salad course and opt for an eggplant flatbread with shrimp, goat cheese and almond basil pesto, perfect for sharing with a small group. The steaks, easily the star of the show, are cooked to perfection and pair well with wood-roasted carrots or mashed potatoes on the side.
Though not a traditional steakhouse, this chic Larimer Square eatery does one thing exceptionally well: French fare. Tucked underneath a canopy of twinkle lights, the bistro offers an impressive array of French fare including steak frites, undoubtedly a menu staple whether dining in Paris or Denver. Alongside traditional frites with an aioli dipping sauce, choose your steak cooked in one of three different preparation styles: Classique, with a simple béarnaise, Au Poivre, a green peppercorn sauce, and Roquefort, a port reduction.
In 1937, the Bastien family purchased the Moon Drive Inn, which sits today as a retro steakhouse known for its cold martinis and stick-to-your-ribs steak dinners. The signature dish on Bastien's menu is its famous New York Sugar Steak, coated with a brown sugar-based herb rub before it hits the grill. The sugar creates a hard, brulée-like shell on the outside of the steak, lending a crispier crust without sweetening the meat.
In contrast to the Rat Pack-era vibe in the sunken bar and circular dining room, Bastien’s offers a menu full of the unconventional: starters include crispy-fried lasagna bites and Tabasco-grilled shrimp while steak preparations range from Steak David with Cajun béarnaise with grilled shrimp to the “tenderloin tryst style” served with Balsamic reduction, béarnaise gorgonzola and pistachios. Whether you’re craving porterhouses, filet or a juicy T-bone, you’ll find it at one of the much abuzz steakhouses in the Mile High City.
Diners seeking a classic, fine dining experience with local, seasonal on some of the city’s most distinct flavors. Should reserve a table at LoDo’s second-floor spot. Executive chef Jonas Halstead gives classic French fare a decidedly modern twist, using molecular gastronomy and frequently, ingredients from local producers.
The first restaurant certified for “sous vide,” a classic French cooking technique that involves vacuum sealing the food and placing it in 127-degree water for hours, the menu restaurant strives to keep its innovative reputation. Begin your meal with
The Capital Grille
The slick, upscale restaurant might carry the stigma that a lot of chain restaurants bear, but the meal you’ll experience certainly falls outside of ordinary. Cap Grille’s servers tend to be well-versed industry professionals who know the menu and wine list inside and out. Expect cold martinis, fresh seafood, carefully plated iceberg wedge and Caesar salads and of course, well aged, precisely cut and carefully prepared steaks.
Go decadent with a bone-in Kona crusted dry aged sirloin topped with shallot butter or seared tenderloin with butter poached lobster tails. Side dishes are portioned for sharing and spot on: slightly earthy cream spinach, lobster macaroni and cheese, and potatoes au gratin that are crispy, hot and rich. Go big at dessert with a flourless chocolate cake or cheesecake with fresh berries and a crispy brulee topping.