5. Fruition. Cozy and unassuming, it gets national raves for its knockout farm-to-table menu. The lineup changes seasonally, but the potato-wrapped oysters Rockefeller are a staple, and chef-farmer Alex Seidel’s pasta carbonara is legendary. $$$; 1313 E. Sixth Ave.; 303/831-1962.
6. ChoLon (pictured). Fresh from a post as executive chef at NYC’s Buddakan (once the fifth-highest-grossing U.S. restaurant), chef Lon Symensma helped launch this game-changer in 2010. We love his riffs on Asian street food: toast spread with kaya (coconut jam) and dipped in a frothy egg “cloud,” and banana-leaf sorbet with passion fruit seltzer. $$$; 1555 Blake St.; 303/353-5223.
7. D Bar Desserts. Chefs Lisa Bailey and Keegan Gerhard can cook anything, but pastries thrill them—and that’s good news for Denver. Watch them work their magic from the bar, or loll on the patio with a sweet wine and chocolate-hazelnut beignets. 1475 E. 17th Ave.; 303/861-4710.