Denver Cheap Eats: Best Restaurants Without the Expense

When it comes to dining, Denver ranks among the best food cities in the world, according to People magazine and Zagat. Top Chef has even hosted a season here. But there’s more. Visitors don’t have to spend a ton to eat well. Keep reading for the best Denver cheap eats and what to order.

Denver Cheap Eats: Best Places for Low Prices and High Quality

denver cheap eats breakfast

Sam’s No. 3

Sam’s No. 3 ranks among the best Denver cheap eats for prices and variety. Visitors select from more than 100 menu items served in a traditional diner setting. To find it, just head to downtown Denver.

For breakfast, sample plates large and small. Omelets, burritos, meats, fruit, Benedicts and griddles – there is no shortage of options. Those who want lunch will find Sam’s No. 3 Coney Island specials, Sam’s burgers, salads, chili, and soup. For dinner, try an entree. Top choices include Colorado ribeye, mom’s meatloaf, Rocky Mountain trout and Mexican dishes. In addition, kids have a huge menu with 20-plus items.


This Native American restaurant aims to bring American Indian cuisine to everyone. With a focus on authentic flavors and fresh ingredients, Tocabe prepares each dish fresh every day. Additionally, they source ingredients from native and indigenous growers and local vendors.

Tocabe has two locations in Denver: North Denver and Greenwood Village. Menus depend on location, but some commonalities include Indian taco, medicine wheel nachos and posu bowls. For the best local dining option, order bison ribs. This Tocabe favorite is cured 24 hours and served with frybread.

denver cheap eats healthy

Mad Greens

For healthy meals on a budget, try Mad Greens. This chain restaurant has locations in multiple states and over a dozen locations in Denver. The restaurant focuses on quality and freshness, specializing in salads, grain bowls, wraps, soups and drinks.

Salads feature fresh fruits, veggies and optional meats with names like mighty Aphrodite, mad Caesar and Mark Twain. Grain bowls combine rice with meats and veggies, while wraps offer flavors such as Santa Fe and sweet bacon blue. Pair anything with a fresh bowl of soup for a hearty meal.

Illegal Pete’s

Illegal Pete’s also has multiple locations in Denver. However, this gem is known for pub fare in a friendly atmosphere. Here, it’s all about having a good time and supporting the local community. Illegal Pete’s also hosts live music and welcomes new artists.

On the menu, select from burritos, bowls, tacos, salads and nachos. Then add meats, veggies, cheese and other goodies. Other must-trys are Illegal Pete’s specialties such as quesadillas, fish tacos, taquitos and potato bowls. Visitors also have access to a full bar serving local beer and signature margaritas.

denver restaurants affordable family

Pete’s Kitchen

This local favorite ranks among the top Denver cheap eats for its legendary reputation for food and service. Pete’s Kitchen has been a Denver staple for over 50 years and stays open 24-7.

Try both American diner food and healthy options at Pete’s. Soups and salads rank as top starters. Then choose from dozens of burgers, sandwiches, entrees and breakfast favorites. Need some direction? Gyros plate, Pete’s platter, chef breakfast special and steak are all good options.


Pho-natic ranks among the best Vietnamese restaurants in Denver. The restaurant is family owned and operated and focuses on Vietnamese street food paired with modern Asian flavors.

Start with traditional spring or egg rolls. Then decide on rice plates, noodle bowls and Vietnamese noodle soup. Pho-natic serves meats including pork, rare steak, shrimp, spicy beef, chicken and brisket. Plus, vegetarians can order bowls with tofu. No matter the entree, it’s fast, fresh and 100% Vietnamese flavor.

denver eats pizza restaurant

Fat Sully’s Pizza

Dig into affordable and tasty pizza at Fat Sully’s, which has been featured on Food Network and The Grill Dads. The restaurant serves New York-style pizza and has a few locations in Denver. Guests are welcome to dine in for lunch to late-night, or place a delivery order.

The menu is simple: order by the slice or pie. Although, house pies are only available to those dining at the restaurant. Slices and pies feature fresh toppings such as meats, veggies and fruits. Try them with pepperoni, meatballs, sausage, olives, onions, and more options. Most people order by the slice, and they are huge. Even kids have fun eating giant slices.

Snarf’s Sandwiches

Also among the best Denver cheap eats is Snarf’s Sandwiches. This casual spot has multiple locations in Denver, so it’s easy to find one. As the name suggests, Snarf’s specializes in sandwiches served on fresh baked bread.

Sandwiches include meats and cheese sliced fresh on-site. Try roast beef, BLT, corned beef, brisket and steak. Vegetarians and gluten-free options are available as well. Those who want a salad also have tasty options such as Snarf made with turkey, ham, two cheeses, and other goodies.

Need something to do? Check out Denver’s professional sports scene. Then find budget-friendly Denver vacation homes.