Get ready to graze the menus, chefs and cuisines of Denver’s crowded restaurant scene with the return of Denver Restaurant Week, which marks its 15th installment Feb. 22-March 3.
Restaurants can begin registering for the event — one of the country’s largest and most popular — this month, while menus for dinners will be posted in January.
Denver Restaurant Week’s event earlier this year gathered more than 240 restaurants for 10 days of meal deals designed to drive traffic to the Mile High City’s fast-growing food scene.
Participating restaurants decided on either a $25, $35 or $45 price for their menu and created a multi-course “dining experience” over the two-weekend event, according to Visit Denver, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau.
The tiered pricing structure, which debuted in 2017, returns for a third year thanks to the popularity of its “approachable pricing structure.”
“We started Denver Restaurant Week along with our partners to celebrate the city’s culinary scene and to change some less-than-enthusiastic local opinions about what we had here,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver, in a press statement.
“Over the past 15 years, Denver has grown to be internationally recognized as a top culinary destination; and Denver Restaurant Week has evolved as well, becoming a beloved annual event and celebration of how hard our chefs, restaurateurs and service industry have worked to put Denver on the culinary map.”
Denver’s food scene has benefited immensely from the city’s population and tourism boom of the last few years, with more than 245 new restaurants opening in 2017 and about as many expected to open by the end of 2018, Visit Denver said.
The city has racked up tour-guide honors and TV appearances at a rapid clip, including fourth place on Zagat’s “Most Exciting Food City” of 2018, Season 15 of the TV-competition “Top Chef” (in 2017) and a Colorado outpost of the internationally acclaimed Slow Food Nations festival.
The James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food world, also named a quartet of Denver chefs as semifinalists in 2018 and awarded Alex Seidel (Fruition, Mercantile Dining & Provisions) the Best Chef: Southwest award in May at a ceremony in Chicago — following fellow Denverite and “Top Chef Masters” contestant Jennifer Jasinski (of Euclid Hall, Rioja, Stoic & Genuine and others), who won the same award in 2013.