Sometimes you just need a big, juicy steak. Whether you are out for date night, a business dinner, or celebrating a special occasion, Denver has many steakhouses to fit the bill. For the best options, you’ll need to head downtown. All of these notable restaurants are within easy walking distance of the Pepsi Center, Colorado Convention Center, Denver Performing Arts Complex, and the iconic 16th Street Mall.
In 1926, Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi opened the first Palm in New York City. Natives of Palma, Italy, they originally intended to name the restaurant after their hometown, but a clerk at the business office misunderstood their thick accents and issued a license for “The Palm.” Originally, steaks weren’t even on the menu – when a guest ordered one, Ganzi would run to a nearby butcher shop and cook it to order.
Located in the Westin downtown, The Palm is the epitome of the classic American steakhouse. With its signature caricature paintings on the walls (a tradition that began in the original NYC location when artists from nearby cartoon syndicate offices paid their tab by painting an original portrait on the wall) and Italian-influenced menu, the restaurant is a Denver institution. In addition to thick cuts of steak, chops and seafood, guests will find a robust appetizer menu featuring indulgent starters like the lump crabmeat cocktail and thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon in house-made steak sauce. The “Chop Chop” salad is amazing, as are the selection of delectable homemade desserts.
1672 Lawrence St.
Fogo de Chão
Set in Lower Downtown (LoDo), Fogo de Chão offers a traditional Brazilian steakhouse experience. The founding brothers hail from the state of Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil’s southernmost state – which borders Argentina and Uruguay. The landscape here is characterized by low mountain ranges and wine country, and the “gauchos” (cowboys) who farm the region have a rich churrasco grilling tradition. Here’s how Fogo de Chão works: guests pay one price for a smorgasbord for grilled meats, which are carved tableside by servers dressed in gaucho-inspired garb. Think chicken, lamb, filet, pork loin, ribs and sausage, filet and ribeye. You’ll receive a coaster – green on one side to indicate you’re ready for more; red on the other to indicate you’re satiated for the time being. Included in the price is a massive “market table” with salads, charcuterie, antipasti and whole foods. Two words: come hungry!
1513 Wynkoop St.
Guard and Grace
Troy Guard is one of Denver’s most renowned, down-to-earth and talented chefs, and he’s building a mini empire you definitely want to be part of. At Guard and Grace, the largest of his concepts (which include a burger joints, a breakfast joint and three taquerias), Guard focuses on wood-fired cooking. The 9,000-square-foot space boasts an almost-Vegas vibe, with its towering wine wall, raw bar and sexy leather-and chrome décor. But it’s the food that’s the steakhouse game changer, namely the expertly-executed sauces and purees that take take typical steakhouse fare from “good” to “marvelous”. Standout menu items include the crispy veal shortbreads, crab catavelli with sunchoke foam, and a filet mignon flight: four ounces each of Prime, Angus and grass-fed cuts. Bonus: “Social hour” is from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, where you can sample small plates and innovative cocktails at happy hour prices.
1801 California St.
This swanky steakhouse, which opened in LoDo in 2017, is a welcome addition to the Denver dining scene. With locations in NYC, Las Vegas, Milan, London and Miami, the upscale concept brings a trendy vibe to the sprawling, 7,000-square-foot space with an in-house deejay, sexy white leather banquettes, and a sleek black-and-white color palette accented by vivid accents and Colorado-inspired artwork. On the menu, you’ll find more creative options that traditional steakhouses: small plates include braised Spanish octopus, tuna and beef tartares, burrata and short rib pappardelle with foie gras. Along with the requisite (outstanding) steaks on the chain’s menu, you’ll find a few dishes that are exclusively served at this location, like the Colorado buffalo with vanilla sunchoke pureé, roasted maitake mushrooms and red currant jus.
1550 Market St.
This beloved American steakhouse is famous for its perfectly-cooked, butter-topped steaks. Founded in New Orleans by Ruth Fertel, a single mother, it was the only upscale restaurant in the city with an all-female staff for many years. The only location in Colorado, the Denver outpost is located in the historic Denver Dry Building, doling up USDA Prime cuts in their signature style: entrees are served on ceramic plates that are heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, then topped with a tablespoon of butter just before they leave the kitchen to create that famous “sizzle.” In addition to steaks, you’ll find chicken, lobster, and an array of mouthwatering side dishes that are plenty big enough for sharing.
707 15th St.
Edge Restaurant & Bar
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel right off Denver’s iconic 16th Street Mall, this progressive American steakhouse prides itself on its relationship with local purveyors. On the menu, you’ll find Colorado-ranched beef and lamb, Boulder natural chicken, and Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey butter alongside seasonal produce sourced from area farmers. Not only that, but the skilled chefs aim to use every part of the animal possible: for example, the edible candles made of beef fat on the “secret” menu (yes, there’s a secret menu, for those in the know). A refreshing take on the traditional steakhouse menu, there are several spotlight-stealing seafood dishes, like the miso-glazed black cod, Dover sole in almond butter sauce, and the Maine lobster tempura. The coup de grâce for meat lovers, however, is the 30-ounce Wagyu Tomahawk steak. A lively, adjacent bar serves small plates that mimic the restaurant menu.
1111 14th St.