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The Denver restaurant industry is booming and the options are better than ever

Posted at 10:59 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 00:59:30-04

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DENVER -- Growth in our Colorado has had a positive impact on the restaurant industry and it's raising the bar for eateries in Denver.

The Colorado Restaurant Association says nearly 200 new restaurants have opened in Denver this year and that the growth will surpass last year's numbers.

"Denver is starting to be known for its culinary excellence, you see such a great variety of chef driven restaurants here and we are excited for the future," Sonia Riggs, CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association said.

Riggs says not only are there more restaurants, but the quality of the food is getting national attention.

The Wolf's Tailor in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood just landed on Bon Appetit's best new restaurants list.

"We focus on the highest quality of food and the highest quality of drink but presented in a casual and approachable manner. The restaurant is even designed for walk-ins. We love walk-ins," said Matthew Husted, a partner of The Wolf's Tailor.

On the menu you will find pasta, skewers and fresh baked bread inspired by both Japanese and Italian cuisine.

"While some people think there is a lot of contrast between Japan and Italy there is actually a lot of things in common," Husted said. "They love grain, they love fish, they love cooking, they love local, everything about their styles of cooking go hand-in-hand."

Food trucks are also seeing a boom. The City of Denver says they expect to license 750 food trucks by the end of the summer and are seeing a 23% increase this year.

"The food truck industry in Denver is booming, there is never any lack of work," Gilbert Lettig, owner of Papa Beau's, said.

Lettig is a full time Denver firefighter. In 2017, he turned an old FedEx truck into a mobile Italian restaurant — serving up comfort food like chicken Parmesan sandwiches and cannoli's. Food that is worth the wait.

"People that go to food trucks are amazing people, they are understanding. We don't try to get our food out as fast as we can because we want a good quality product," he said.

He says growth in Colorado has done nothing but improve his business.

"I could only see the food truck industry growing, we get calls everyday to see if we can come to their establishment and festivals," Lettig said.

The Colorado Restaurant Association says the number of millennials moving to Colorado is a driving factor for the growth of restaurants because they like to eat out more.

"We’re seeing more and more chef driven restaurants we are seeing more unique concepts and we are seeing more people going out to eat," Riggs said.