Back in the day, you'd be hard-pressed to find much outside the realm of steak and Mexican cuisine. But now, Denver's culinary scene has grown to include a wide variety dishes from around the world, from Japanese to the Mediterranean. The Mile High City also has its own local specialties too: For example, a visit here wouldn't be complete without sampling some of Denver's famous green chili, which is often made with tomato, onion, pork and, of course, green chiles. The stew can be somewhat spicy to mouth-numbing, depending on the chef. Another infamous dish worth tasting is Rocky Mountain oysters, but seafood-lovers be warned: This popular appetizer isn't made from oysters, but rather deep-fried testicles that typically come from bulls, pigs or sheep, to name a few.
Denver's restaurant scene ranges from hole-in-the-wall taco joints to upscale farm-to-table establishments to rowdy brewpubs with a dinner menu, so you should have no trouble finding something to suit your taste and budget. You'll find plenty of options lining the streets of LoDo, Larimer Square, Uptown and the Highlands, but there are a few restaurants that stand out. For high-end Colorado cuisine (think prime steak and spicy chili), head to LoDo and grab a table at ELWAY'S, the Ritz-Carlton's signature restaurant named for former Denver Bronco quarterback, John Elway. And for some Mexican favorites, head to El Taco De Mexico. This little restaurant on Santa Fe Drive, less than 2 miles south of downtown Denver, is not only known for its tacos – many travelers and dining experts claim that El Taco De Mexico serves some of the best green chili in the city. Denver is known to have quite a few good brunch spots, too.
Denver is also a prime destination for beer lovers. Home to the Coors Brewery, the Mile High City is famous for its homey pubs and sports bars. Although the dining scene has become more upscale, beer is still a staple at almost every restaurant. Still, you should plan on having at least one pint (and perhaps a meal) at one of the city's many brewpubs. To see where it all began, head to the Wynkoop Brewing Company; located in LoDo (a few blocks southwest of Coors Field), Wynkoop was the city's first craft brewery. Today, it produces more than 4,000 of barrels of beer each year, which it serves alongside eats like avocado egg rolls and bison chili nachos. If you want to eat and drink like a local, make your way to My Brother's Bar in the Riverfront district; this down-to-earth brewpub was once a hangout spot for Beat Generation leaders Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg.