Check out these six Denver area eateries that give you a different kind of dining experience.
Denver has one of the best restaurant scenes around, and some of what you can find here are outside of normal expectations. Themed restaurants in the Mile High are plentiful when one is looking for a unique dining experience. Here are a few notable standouts to keep in mind the next time you want an outside-the-norm dining experience in Denver.
Without further ado, let's dive in!
Lamar Station Plaza, 6715 West Colfax Ave., Lakewood, CO 80214
Courtesy of Casa Bonita Denver (Facebook)
Starting out with "The World’s Most Exciting Restaurant," as they like to call themselves, Casa Bonita is one of Denver’s most iconic and well-known themed restaurants. The Mexican-themed institution boasts 30 attractions within, including the 30-foot waterfall and cliff divers, mariachi bands, a pirate cave, fire jugglers, magicians puppet show, arcade games, El Mercado, and many more.
As well as the attractions, Casa Bonita has margaritas, beer, and a pretty traditional menu with enchiladas, tacos, and chile rellenos, among others. The food is so-so by all accounts, but the real treasure here is the experience. Definitely place you want to go to at least one when you’re in the Mile High City, but make sure you plan ahead and know what’s going on before you go.
218 S. Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
Courtesy of Adrift (Facebook)
The Adrift Tiki Bar is just that, a tropical themed tiki bar that is done in excellent fashion. With rum-based cocktails, island décor, and Polynesian fare, this is an immersive dining experience that gives an authentic and genuine tiki experience right here in Denver. After a remodel in 2016, Adrift serves great cocktails and food, and serves a higher purpose as well; to fund medical, dental, construction, and hunger relief humanitarian projects to those in need all over the world.
Public School 303 (PS303)
1969 16th St. Mall, Denver, CO 80202
Courtesy of PS 303 Denver (Facebook)
Public School 303 or PS303 is a gastropub with a classroom theme that is seen throughout the space, including a solar system mural, ruler lined menus, “homework” takeout boxes, microscopes, and lockers. The menu takes one back to the school cafeteria with pizza, burgers, tater-tots, chorizo mac-n-cheese, and much more. With an inclusive menu, fun vibe, and a great list of craft brews for their “Recess” happy hours, this one makes the grade.
2030 West 30th Ave., Denver, CO 80211
Courtesy of Linger (Facebook)
Linger is a restaurant that embraces the concept of the afterlife, and for good reason; they are located in a historic mortuary. Yes, that’s right! In fact, this place is where Buffalo Bill’s body was housed for six months back in 1917, as the states of Colorado and Wyoming fought over who would get to bury the famed showman and Army scout. (Colorado won; Buffalo Bill is buried at Lookout Mountain.)
Formerly the home of the Olinger family funeral business, the owners have embraced and preserved the history of this space. The Olinger Mortuaries sign was (very) slightly modified to read "Linger Eatuaries," and the interior uses many of the building's original elements as décor and functioning spaced, an old church pew functions as the host stand, water is served from formaldehyde bottles, the garage doors that once welcomed occupied hearses sits open to bring in a breeze. The basement that was the embalming area is now home to shops and a workout space. Open for weekend brunch, weekday lunch (Tuesday through Friday), dinner every day, and a rooftop bar with happy hours this place is anything but dead.
The Game Lounge
1490 Eudora St., Denver CO 80220
Courtesy of the Game Lounge (Facebook)
The Game Lounge is a board game themed restaurant in Park Hill. This place is far more than your average beer garden with board games, it's literally a lounge set up for hours of good times with new and old friends. The game menu is vast, and all are free to play – Clue: Harry Potter, Star Wars games, Game of Thrones games, dice games, and Exploding Kittens all make the list. The food menu is no joke either with loaded fries and crab-stuffed mushrooms on the appetizer list, as well as quesadillas, rice bowls, chili, and pita breads, along with seven taps of rotating local beers and house-made cocktails. Game Lounge also hosts events like first Thursday Open Jam, Connect Four tournaments, Trivia nights, and Sunday all-day happy hours.
Williams & Graham Booksellers
3160 Tejon St., Denver, 80211
Courtesy of Williams & Graham (Facebook)
Williams & Graham Booksellers is an award-winning Denver bar set up like an old speakeasy, hidden behind a bookstore. Due to its popularity, the place is often crowded but well worth the wait. Walking through a secret door to the bar one goes back to the times of prohibition, and has made many lists of top bars to visit, including Thrillist’s 23 Best Secret Bars in the World. With a list of creative original cocktails and over 60 classic drink offerings, there is no doubt this is some of the best places to find high-quality cocktails in the Denver area.
These are by no means all the top-notch themed restaurants you can find in Denver. They are, however, some of our new and old favorites. What about you? What are your favorite themed places to eat in the Denver area? Let us know in the comments below.