Denver is a city of two stories. It’s a place where old, historic buildings meet modern street art and colourful captivating murals. The city’s industrial areas and train tracks are juxtaposed against sprawling green spaces and the beautiful South Platte River that winds its way through the city.

With its close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, and the incredible skiing destinations and hiking trails, Denver draws a crowd of laid-back, outdoorsy people — and dogs, so many dogs. An abundance of relaxed breweries sling craft beer and bar bites, adding to the area’s undeniably easygoing atmosphere. Jeans and a nice shirt seem to be the dress code everywhere we go — even in the restaurants in the Michelin Guide, which landed in Colorado last fall, recognizing 26 diverse spots in Denver.

More than just a jumping-off point for skiers and hikers looking to explore the Rockies, the Mile High City offers layers of discovery. They say that Denver gets 300 days of sunshine a year — perhaps it’s the Vitamin D or the fresh mountain air (or all the dogs) that make the people so friendly and the vibe so relaxing here. City trips usually leave me feeling more exhausted than when I left, but coming home from Denver, I feel refreshed, full of good food and a little more knowledgeable.

Must-visit Denver, Colorado restaurants

Mister Oso

Margaritas and tacos aren’t the epitome of Mexican cuisine, but they sure are great, and at Mister Oso, they’re exceptional. Go for the P.O.G. margarita with a delicious blend of passion fruit, orange and guava. The birria tacos with short rib, onion, cilantro, salsa roja and melted cheese that crisps on the outside lives rent free in our heads. Don’t skip the fragrant coconut rice or the churro sundae (rightly dubbed The Pro Move) at this Michelin Bib Gourmand spot.

Hop Alley

Don’t get this spot confused with Denver’s many breweries — though they do serve craft beer. Hop Alley was the original name of the city’s China Town, and big, bold Chinese flavours served in inventive, modern dishes is what you’ll find at this Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant. It’s casual inside with hip-hop music bumping and portraits of rappers on the walls. The food is as fiery as the atmosphere. Hong You Chao Shou (pork dumplings) swim in a lip-burningly spicy chili oil and seared scallops come in a black pepper sauce. Cool down with the chilled tofu and delicious craft cocktails.


Meaning “grandmother” in Hebrew, The Source Hotel’s Safta serves homey, comforting Israeli cuisine in an airy space filled with light wood, concrete and plants. The atmosphere is more casual than you might expect, considering it’s a high-end restaurant in the Michelin Guide, but that’s Denver. Tuck into savoury dips like hummus topped with harissa and a soft-cooked egg, before diving into larger dishes like the perfectly crispy eggplant covered in herbed goat cheese and arugula, and the juicy hanger steak served with Israeli couscous and labneh.

Things to do in Denver, Colorado

Denver Botanic Gardens

Spend a tranquil afternoon strolling through the immense beauty of the Denver Botanic Gardens, an expansive greenspace that hosts 24 acres of diverse plants. Distinct gardens inspired by different parts of the world make you feel as though you’re on an international adventure as you pass by statues, gates and water features. The Monet Pool is something out of a painting. With blossoming waterlilies dotting the large pond and dragonflies fluttering overhead, we could sit on a bench and bask in the serenity for hours.


Denver, Colorado | Murals in RiNo

Denver is a city for dog-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, for craft beer drinkers and foodies, but it’s also a place for art-lovers and history buffs. Explore the cool River North Arts District, known affectionately as RiNo. You'll spy plenty of colourful murals decorating the street and pass by cute vintage shops. Stop into Our Mutual Friend Brewing or Ratio Beerworks for flights of craft beer along the way.

Museums and history

Denver, Colorado | Inside the Denver Art Museum

Denver, Colorado is home to a number of museums celebrating art, science and history, from the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver to the Molly Brown House Museum, former home of the famous Titanic survivor. In Larimer Square, the city’s oldest block, 19th-century buildings tell the stories of Denver’s past. While the area has a dark history surrounding the treatment of Indigenous Peoples, signs of the effort towards truth and reconciliation can be found all around the city. Street art and murals depict stories of the Indigenous Peoples who first lived on the land. In the Denver Art Museum, gorgeous towering Haida poles and other art pieces celebrate Indigenous artists.

Where to stay in Denver, Colorado 

The Source Hotel

Part artisan market, part food hall and part brewery, with a bakery and three Michelin Guide restaurants onsite, The Source Hotel is a playground for the sights and flavours of Denver. Like the city itself, the hotel design combines industrial concrete with natural touches like light wood and plenty of plants. On arrival, a welcome beer sets the tone for our comfortable stay. On the roof, guests can swim in the heated outdoor pool, work out in the fitness centre or grab cocktails and bites cozied up by an outdoor fire pit at The Woods — all while taking in views of the city and the Rockies.