Are you traveling this holiday season? Most likely if you are, then a trip to Denver International Airport (DEN) is probably in your future. While the airport continues its major renovations, new additions are slowly being added, including new restaurants.
Sure, DIA offers your classic Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s, and a whole host of other fast food joints, but it also showcases a unique variety of local restaurants and breweries to help make those long delays go by quicker. Discover our dining guide to Denver International Airport below.
Where To Eat Inside Denver’s Airport
Denver Airport has options for dining both before and after security. The latter provides way more restaurants to choose from, but of course, you’ll need a boarding pass to make it through security. Remember to arrive early in order to add some leisure time to your trek and ensure a stress-free start to your trip. There is also some fascinating art inside Denver Airport to spot.
Once through the main security, you’ll head down to the underground tram that leads to the three concourses (or gates): A, B, and C and it stops in that order. If you go all the way to C, you can ride it the other way back to B, then A, then Jeppesen Terminal. So if you have the time, you can stop and dine in any of the concourses.
Note: The restaurants listed below may close and new ones open in their place. Please let us know if you see anything that needs updating. Thank you! You can view the complete list of restaurants here.
Concourse A Restaurants – After Security
Concourse A accesses all of the A Gates. It’s the only one you can walk to from Jeppesen Terminal through a separate security screen on the north (opposite) side of the Hotel/Transit Center. You can also go through one of the two main TSA screenings and take the train to the first stop for Concourse A. These gates are mainly for Frontier Airline flights, which has a hub here.
Denver Central Market
Just as Denver is home to several different food halls, the food hall revolution has also made its way to DIA with the Denver Central Market. Designed to offer a variety of food choices all in one place, it’s the ideal choice for a family of many different tastes.
Visit the Denver Central Market in Concourse A for a myriad of foods in one dining experience. The market menu includes a grab n’ go cheese board from Culture, classic burgers, rotisserie chicken, and breakfast burritos from SK Provisions, plus sushi and pizza options.
(This brewery is temporarily closed, but hopefully will be back in action soon.)
When that layover seems to last forever, sit back and relax with food and a good beer from the Breckenridge Brewery. Choose from their lineup of award-winning beers plus bar food choices to calm those hungry stomachs.
(Snarf’s is also temporarily closed while DIA does construction in the A Gates.)
A Colorado original fast-casual chain, Snarf’s Sandwiches puts the yum in yummy sandwiches. Snarf down one of their fully-loaded sandwiches that include classic choices like a BLT or specialty sandwiches such as their Prime Rib and Provolone. They also offer soups and salads.
Additional food options in the A Gates:
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
- Brother’s BBQ (Temporarily closed)
- Caribou Coffee
- Denver Chophouse
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Freshens Fresh Food Studio
- KFC Express/Pizza Hut Express
- Mesa Verde Bar & Grill
- Panda Express
- Vino Volo
Concourse B Restaurants – After Security
Most of the employees I’ve asked prefer or at least recognize Concourse B as having the most/best choices for dining. Located centrally between Gates A and C, it makes an easy stop via tram no matter what gate you depart, so long as you have the time.
Get a taste of the Rockies with a visit to Elway’s. With Colorado-themed appetizers and entrees, this is the place for those looking for a good steak on their way to that next business meeting. Featuring hand-cut USDA prime steaks, fresh fish, and much more – all complete with a full bar. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Lounge 5280 Wine Bar
Savor the flavor of Colorado with a stop-in at the Lounge 5280. Featuring wines from around the world, cocktails, spirits, and beer from Colorado’s crafter brewers, the Lounge is a casual place to escape the hectic atmosphere of the airport, even for just a little while. To compliment your drinks they also offer a list of food items from sandwiches and salads to a charcuterie board and other cocktail-appropriate snacks.
New Belgium Brewing
Sample your favorite craft beer from New Belgium at their sit-down restaurant. The menu offers sandwiches and salads, plus tasty sides and desserts. They recently renovated their space to allow for more seating options, natural light, and an abundance of TVs so you can catch a game.
Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs
For those craving a good hot dog, stop in at Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs. A Colorado original, the restaurant features award-winning gourmet hot dogs, made from a blend of pork and beef with a smoky flavor that “snaps” every time you bite in! Choose from hot dogs, burgers, and tasty sides including deep-fried green beans. Beer and wine are also offered.
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
One of several new additions to the concourse over the past few years, Snooze is the key to starting your day off on the right foot. With a menu full of hearty breakfast options, you can rest assured knowing you’ll be fueled up for the rest of your adventure. In addition to the classic pancakes and other breakfast staples, they also serve sandwiches, burritos, tostadas, and an array of drinks.
This quirky and very popular doughnut shop started in Portland and now has a location in the B Gates. It offers a wide range of unique and creative doughnuts with interesting toppings such as bacon, cereal, and even fruit loops. Voodoo Doughnut is a must-visit spot for travelers looking for a tasty and Instagram-worthy snack while passing through the airport.
Additional food options:
- Aviator’s Sports Bar & Bar-B-Que
- Cantina Grill
- Caribou Coffee
- City Wok
- Cru Food and Wine Bar
- Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli
- Jamba Juice
- Kabod Coffee
- Modern Market
- Pizza Hut Express
- Pour La France!
- Qdoba Mexican Eats
- Que Bueno! Mexican Grill
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
- Sara Lee Sandwich Shoppe
- SMASHBURGER & Bar
- Starbucks Coffee (2 locations)
- Wolfgang Puck
Concourse C Restaurants – After Security
Like B, Concourse C also provides a feast of food to pick from. You can find plenty of Colorado-born restaurants, including Root Down and SMASHBURGER, and everything from farm-to-table to fast casual.
Great Divide Brewing
As one of the latest additions to DIA’s food and beverage lineup, the Great Divide Brewing now showcases its hand-crafted beers along with a decent selection of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees to weary travelers.
Little Man Ice Cream
Ok well, this isn’t exactly the spot for a well-balanced meal but who can resist the funky flavors of Denver-favorite, Little Man Ice Cream? Offering homemade ice cream, sorbet, their famous “sammies” plus a few boozy options, you really can’t go wrong.
Root Down DIA
Another Denver favorite that got its start in LoDo, Root Down DIA brings its award-winning menu to the airport. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their fare focuses on a locally-sourced, farm-to-fork philosophy. Choose from appetizers, sandwiches, a selection of raw foods, and of course a plethora of options for cocktails, wine, beer, spirits, and sake.
The Magic Pan
Who doesn’t love a good crepe? The Magic Pan offers just that, with both sweet and savory options all wrapped around a delicious filling. Choose from sharp cheddar cheese or turkey club to cinnamon or banana chocolate, plus so many more!
Additional options include:
- Auntie Anne’s
- Big Bowl
- Caribou Coffee
- Coors Silver Bullet Bar
- Dazbog Coffee
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Jamba Juice
- La Casita
- Modern Market
- SMASHBURGER & Bar
- Starbucks Coffee
- Tapas Sky Bar
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
- Timberline Steaks & Grille
- Villa Pizza
- Vino Volo
- Woody Creek Bakery & Café
Jeppesen Terminal Restaurants – Before Security
Housed under the iconic mountain-like rooftop, Jeppesen Terminal is currently under renovation inside. It’s still operating of course, with two ends for airport security screenings, and a handful of food options before security. This main pre-security terminal offers a few restaurant options including the Boulder Beer Tap House, Cantina Grill, Kabod Coffee and a Subway.
Hotel and transit area
The hotel and transit areas also provide dining and drinking options. The Westin Hotel (affiliate link) offers the Grill & Vine for farm-to-table cuisine, the Sky Lounge for beverages and small eats, and Ingredients – their deli that serves as the hotel’s grab-n-go restaurant.
Read about the top hotels near Denver Airport, which includes the four star Westin Hotel located next to Jeppesen Terminal.
Outside of Denver Airport on Pena Blvd
The final stretch of road before Denver Airport is Pena Blvd. Though it’s a mostly barren road for 10+ miles, passing by desert prairie land, it also zips past a stretch of hotels, car rental places. Just when you’re about to reach the airport, there is a food court called Final Approach. It doubles as a Cell Phone Waiting Lot.
Go inside for a choice Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Dunkin’, Schlotsky’s, Wendy’s or Tia’s Authentic New Mexican Eats. It’s located at 7680 N Wenatchee Street in Denver. It’s the perfect place to await arriving passengers, especially those hit with a delay due of Rocky Mountain weather.
Thanks for checking out some of the best restaurants for dining at Denver International Airport. Please let us know if we’re missing a good place to eat, or if one of the aforementioned food options is closed. Here’s a list of Denver Airport bars to imbibe at. Happy travels!