They say two is company and three’s a crowd, and while having that face time with loved ones and friends is great, sometimes you just need to ride solo. We searched the Denver dining scene to curate an assortment of some of city’s best locales to eat and drink alone. From quaint Uptown cafes and minimalistic Cap Hill hole-in-the-wall gems to bustling graphic venues to share tables with strangers, we found the places that will help you shake up your solo routine.
We had a few requisites for choosing our spots: There must be communal tables, great chef counters or bar top dining and offer an inviting atmosphere with friendly staff. They got bonus points if they also offered the feeling of escape—whether to another city, country or just away from our busy Denver lives. Here is our list of some of the best places to adventure to on your next bite out alone.
Denver Central Market
Where: 2669 Larimer St., Denver
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: While it’s not technically a single restaurant, this epicurean marketplace and food hall offers a cafe, market, bar and mini-restaurants to satiate your food cravings with pizza, cured meats, seafood, fresh-pressed juices, ice cream and more. Enjoy your ride solo with lots of little nooks to eat or snack and people watch.
Where: 1702 Humboldt St., Denver
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5 – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: Bright and bustling during the day, buzzy and intimate at night, this rustic-chic Uptown pizza parlor pushes out authentic pizza and Italian classics with a fantastic staff and on-point service. Grab a seat at one of the large communal wood tables, or — from our favorite spot and star of the space — the chef’s counter encompassing the oak-wood-burning pizza oven. Enjoy an Aperol spritz as you banter with the charmingly boisterous pizza makers.
Where: 2500 Larimer St. #100, Denver
Hours: Monday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
The Lowdown: For those of you who are easing into the “eating out solo to meet new people concept,” Cart-Driver is a great place to start your night. Go for an early dinner or late lunch and enjoy the small, cozy and casual atmosphere. It’s a great space with counter service and mini tables to slide into and not feel alone. Be sure to grab a glass of wine as the night goes on, when this RiNo venue turns into a hotspot. Bottoms up.
Sushi Den & Izakaya Den
Where: Sushi Den: 1487 South Pearl St., Denver.
Izakaya Den: 1487-A South Pearl St., Denver.
Hours: Sushi Den: Lunch Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Dinner Monday – Thursday 4:45 – 10:30 p.m., Friday 4:45 – 11 p.m., Saturday 4:40 – 11 p.m. and Sunday 5 – 10:30 p.m.
Izakaya Den: Tuesday 5 – 10 p.m., Wednesday – Friday 5 – 10 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 – 11 p.m.
The Lowdown: For those times when you need an escape, brother restaurants Sushi Den and Izakaya Den offer just that. Transport yourself to Japan for a meal with sake and sashimi at the chef’s counter bar at Sushi Den or with some green tea and traditional Japanese dishes served tapas style at Izakaya Den.
To the Wind Bistro
Where: 333 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 5 – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 5 – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: To the Wind Bistro is an off-the-radar locale on East Colfax offering an intimate, high-class, New American dining scene with a well-curated booze list. Seating is compact, offering around 14 to 16 spots at a time. We recommend grabbing a spot at the chef’s counter that sits right up in the action of the small open kitchen — you’ll get a behind-the-scenes view and likely some entertaining chaffing from head chef Royce Oliveira.
Beast + Bottle
Where: 719 E. 17th Ave., Denver
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 5 – 9 p.m., Friday 5 – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m.
The Lowdown: For those days when you yearn for that semester abroad in Paris or Europe, Beast + Bottle offers a contemporary dining experience that feels synonymous with that unforgettable class of European restaurant service —”Would you like still or sparkling water, miss?” Spend a morning inside one of this cozy abode’s booths or outside on their sunny patio. During the warmer months, you can enjoy that beautiful Colorado mountain air next to a spray of sunflowers all while enjoying a cappuccino and your eggs Benedict.
Where: 2215 West 32nd Ave., Denver
Hours: Monday – Saturday 5 – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: This small Lower Highland ramen shop offers what they call a “no-brow” dining experience for their new take on traditional Japanese ramen and staples. The friendly staff is very accommodating, guiding you through their menu as well as optimally pairing together wandering solo diners at their friendly communal tables. With a menu built around responsibly sourced proteins and produce, the hardest choice you’ll have to make here is which delicious ramen you want to try first.
Vine Street Pub
Where: 1700 Vine St., Denver
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
The Lowdown: This laid back, eccentric pub offers communal tables, friendly, boisterous staff and a large menu boasting allergy and vegetarian-friendly options for its ever-attracting “free-spirited” crowds. Be sure to check out Vine Street’s home-brewed beers list as well. This Uptown locale also provides a myriad of entertainment options to choose from, including shelves filled with various books and reading materials and a number of board and cards games to play. Come solo, leave with new friends.
Where: 650 15th St., Denver
Hours: Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., Friday – Saturday 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.
The Lowdown: If you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go, take the elevator at the back of the Hyatt Regency up to Peaks Lounge. This lofty lounge offers stunning views of the city and a vast drink and dessert menu. Come during the day to work or read solo, or venture out at night for some perspective and a good drink.
Jax Fish House
Where: 1539 17th St., Denver
Hours: Monday – Thursday 4 – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 4 – 11 p.m., Sunday 4 – 9 p.m.
The Lowdown: With one of the best happy hours in the city, it’s hard not to end up here with — or without — friends or colleagues after work. Stop by for some oysters on the half shell and take a seat at their expansive bar top — you’ll get great service. You’ll also likely be surrounded by other solo after-workers who share a mutual love for this watering hole and raw seafood.
City o’ City
Where: 206 E. 13th Ave., Denver
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.
The Lowdown: Calling all vegans, gluten-freers, allergy-stricken eaters — and even those who can eat anything and everything, too. This Capitol Hill haven offers some of the best brunch and late night happy hours in town. With a unique and friendly staff base, communal tables, wholesome food alternatives and a wonderfully funky, open-air dining facility, this place is a great one to try if you want something a little bit different.
Zoe Ma Ma
Where: 1625 Wynkoop St., Denver
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: Zoe Ma Ma offers delicious and inexpensive Asian street food in an unassuming atmosphere and very central location next door to Union Station. With a sociable staff that will also leave you be, it’s a great place to bring a journal to write, read a book or for those times you want a quick lunch by yourself.
Where: 42 S. Broadway St., Denver
Hours: Monday – Tuesday 5 – 9 p.m., Wednesday – Thursday 5 – 10 p.m., Friday 5 – 11 p.m., Saturday 2 – 11 p.m., Sunday 2 – 9 p.m.
The Lowdown: If you are having one of those days where you want to be around people, but not the ones you know, Cho77 offers an eccentric dining atmosphere. Complete with colorful walls and an open kitchen view from a long, stretching chef’s counter, Cho encourages you to take a seat for a dinner and a show.
Where: 2639 W. 32nd Ave., Denver
Hours: Sunday and Tuesday – Thursday 5 – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 5 – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: A charming Italian eatery, Spuntino offers seasonal dishes in its rustic, earthy, cellar-dining atmosphere. Snag a booth table or a spot at the long countertop bar for happy hour and some dolce vita chilling.
Where: 1725 E. 17th Ave., Denver
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Lowdown: If you are a lover of old homes or posting up in cozy cafes to work and eat in all day, Weathervane Cafe is the abode you’ve been secretly longing for. This historic carriage house-turned-cafe boasts two floors. The first level has a full-service craft coffee bar, small kitchen and tables to work at, and upstairs has extra seating and little nooks, couches and desks that make you feel as if you escaped to your grandmother’s for the weekend. With a sweet, attentive staff and guests who post up for several hours, it’s a great spot to hang out, work or eat solo. Be sure to grab a bite for breakfast or lunch — they offer a variety of allergy-friendly dishes and unique combos like a Mango Melt turkey and brie sandwich and an earthy pumpkin chia pudding.
Where: 229 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Lowdown: This pho place has somehow continuously flown under the radar in the press, yet is always bustling with a hungry and satisfied crowd. Delicious, inexpensive, and minimalistic, it is one of the best places to grab a pho at in Cap Hill and Denver. With a friendly staff that welcomes solo diners—we’re talking seating you at a big four-top table to have all to yourself—it’s a great place to grab lunch or stay a while with a good book.