From Friday to March 12, Denver-area residents have an opportunity to try restaurants from across the city at a fixed price point and menu through Denver Restaurant Week.
Visit Denver started Denver Restaurant Week in 2005 to promote local restaurants and help customers find new places to dine. The fixed prices for menus at each restaurant will remain the same from recent years, something Flavia Light, vice president of tourism at Visit Denver, said is “pretty incredible.” Those prices are either $25, $35 or $45 per person depending on the location.
Restaurants involved range from fast casual concepts to fine dining, according to Light. Denver Restaurant Week’s website can be navigated by cuisine, price point, neighborhood and restrictions such as vegan or gluten free options.
“Our goal at Visit Denver is to promote our city,” Light said. “And one of the ways we do that is promoting our Denver restaurants. So at the end of the day, we want the diners to experience restaurants that they may not have thought of experiencing.”
March is normally a slow time of the year for Denver restaurants, so Visit Denver choose this time frame to try and bring customers to restaurants when they may not feel the pull to go out.
“I think each city has they’re need periods,” Light said. “It’s definitely a time that makes sense, it doesn't coincide with different holidays, it is a time where we usually probably don’t get as many visitors as we usually do throughout the year, so that’s the reason we do it around this time.”
Beth Gruitch, an owner of Crafted Concepts, a hospitality group with Denver Restaurant week offerings at Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia and Bistro Vendome, confirmed this is a quieter time of year for restaurants but said it is an important time to go out and support local businesses.
“I just think that it’s a really awesome opportunity for people to get out and to celebrate new restaurants and celebrate new restaurants that are perhaps new to them,” Gruitch said. “I think it’s an awesome opportunity for restaurants to shine.”
Il Posto Owner and Chef Andrea Frizzi said they've been participating in Denver Restaurant Week since 2008. It's one of the best marketing tools to bring people into his restaurant due to the price point, advertising and marketing, he said. Since the pandemic, the restaurant scene through Frizzi’s eyes has seen less in-person customers — which he attributes to a higher cost of living and inflation on top of Covid-19.
“I remember the first few years it was very crazy,” Frizzi said. “That’s just not the case anymore. It’s still quite successful, but it’s not like it used to be and I think that inflation, cost of living and after corona (COVID-19) … people eat differently.”
This event is presented by Pie Insurance, a provider of small business workers' comp insurance. It is sponsored by Colorado Restaurant Association-Mile High Chapter, OpenTable, Stella Artois, Uber Eats and E&J Gallo Winery.
Denver Restaurant Week will offer to-go and in-person dining options. As Uber Eats is one of the sponsors, the company is offering 20% discounted orders with code DRW2023. Visit denver.org/denver-restaurant-week for more information.