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Discover authentic Denver cuisine

For visitors to Denver, the city has so many things to offer. Amazing museums, a vibrant art scene, the best breweries in the Rocky Mountains and beautiful landscapes are among the Colorado state capital’s most well-known attractions.

But beyond what’s traditionally publicized by travel agencies, Denver’s hidden gem is its culinary traditions, and many delicious dishes combining influences from the city’s European, indigenous and Mexican heritage.

So if you’re planning a trip to Colorado, read on to find out more about amazing Denver food tours that you can’t afford to miss.

The Mile High City

Before we look in detail at what Denver food tours have to offer, let’s take a closer look at Colorado’s capital city.

Located in the western High Plains, Denver has the largest population of any city in Colorado, with more than 710.000 residents according to the 2020 census.

One major tourist attractions is Larimer Square. Located in downtown Denver, the square is a gathering place packed with stores, restaurants and entertainment activities.

If you enjoy majestic landscapes, don’t miss out on the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre when visiting Denver. Fans of the great outdoors often come to Denver just to visit this unique natural park, hike one of its many trails or just enjoy the view of its distinctive red hues.

Back in town, the LoDo neighborhood is full of charming streets, stores and boutiques – the perfect spot to stroll around and shop. Shopping fans will be able to find everything they need in the oldest neighborhood in town.

Last but not least, the Denver Art Museum is definitely worth a visit. Located on Capitol Hill, on Avenue Parkway near Civic Center Park, the museum has a comprehensive collection of pre-Colombian art, as well as contemporary works. Its architecture is a marvel to behold as well, especially for fans of modernism.

Denver food tours

Tourism as we know it is undergoing significant changes. Modern travelers want to go beyond the usual tourist attractions to understand the local culture, communicate in its language, and share its customs.

Food tourism is a big part of this new type of travel experience, and a great way for tourists to gain an insight into the real life of locals.

The World Food Travel Association defines food tourism as “the act of traveling for a taste of place in order to get a sense of place”. By learning about how a community prepares its meals, which ingredients are used, and what they taste like, travelers are able to access previously overlooked aspects of the culture in question.

Denver has a number of different tours in which visitors can learn about what the locals love to eat, how their meals are prepared, and which local ingredients are most used.

Many food tours are available in Denver, but two stand out in the virtual traveler community. We take a look at both tours below, and consider why they’ve become so popular. Online booking is available for both tours, and booking in advance is highly recommended, especially if your stay is a short one. Bear in mind that each tour is an intimate experience, with a maximum capacity of ten people.

1.  Denver LoDo Food tour

As we have seen, LoDo is one of the busiest neighborhoods in town, packed with trendy stores and fine dining establishments where you’ll find the best dishes in town.

Lights are strung throughout this historic area, whose picturesque streets are perfect for strolling down while shopping.

Retail therapy aside, LoDo is famous for its many eating and drinking venues which you can enjoy while taking in the city scene.

The LoDo food tour lasts three and a half hours, with five stops to give participants a taste of some of Denver’s best local food.

First up is a homemade Cranked Sausage at one of the most popular places in town.   Then it’s on to a Mexican restaurant, to learn about the indigenous influence in Denver’s cuisine.

The third stop features Asian fusion cuisine, and some of the best Thai Shrimp Rolls with Umami Mayo in town, as participants explore the high-quality gastronomic techniques used in the kitchen.

The last dish on the tour is a shishito pepper à la plancha, prepared at an award-winning venue.

Finally, as a sweet treat, guests can enjoy a wine-infused chocolate truffle while walking back to Union Station, where the food tour wraps up.

2.  Denver Art District

The Denver Art District is the perfect place to enjoy some of the most delicious local dishes in town, and has a dazzling variety of galleries, studios, music stores and other cultural touchstones.

The food tour which takes in the best of the Art District also lasts three and a half hours and has five stops.

At the first stop, the Market on Larimer Square, participants are served a strong cup of coffee – if you’re not a caffeine junkie, you can opt for a mimosa – accompanied by crab cake eggs benedict.

Then it’s time for a helping of Denver’s iconic handmade four-cheese macaroni, which blends together gouda, fontina, smoked cheddar and parmesan .

Make sure to save room for the third stop – artisanal Fennel Sausage, served along with a Bloody Mary.

Concluding this fantastic journey through the streets of one of the most picturesque parts of Denver is a sweet treat: pear sorbet with chamomile and Ginger, and a coffee.

As we have seen, there are many reasons to visit Colorado’s capital city. We recommend alternating mainstream activities, like visiting the highlights of Denver, with a private food tour which allows participants to discover another side of this amazing city.