Sometimes people ask me for travel tips on places I've lived or spent a lot of time.  The most recent place I've gotten questions about is Denver.  So here is my travel guide to Denver and Colorado surroundings.

Where to eat in Denver... 

Where to eat on the cheap: My favorite Mexican place, La Casita has some of the best green chili you will ever try and the tamales are some of the best in the country.  Even more exciting, a smothered bean burrito with all of the fixings will cost you less than 5 bucks.  A must visit.  Rosa Linda's is another of my other favorites.  Try their cactus burrito.  It's absolutely different and delicious!  Tocabe is a fast, tastey take on American Indian food.  With options from buffalo tacos, medicine wheel nachos and Indian fry bread desserts, it won't be the lowest cholesterol meal you've ever had, but the ingredients are fresh and it's darn good food. For a western, crazy and gourmet take on a hotdog, hit up Jim Baker's Hot Dog Stand. You'll find things like rattlesnake, pheasant, bison and elk dogs.  Bring your camera to Little Man Ice Cream.  Not only do they have fantastic, off kilter flavors that change every day (from Chocolate and Ginger Sorbet, to Salted Caramel Pecan, Mexican Chocolate, Butterfinger Fudge and blueberry cinnamon -- it tastes just like blueberry pie) and make on site cones, they are located in a giant milk tin.  How cool is that?  

Where to eat on the medium: First, Parisi's is a fantastic Italian Deli.  Their foccacia sandwiches are outrageously good as is their gnocchi and most everything else on the menu.  They also have a fine dining establishment downstairs.  I am pretty happy with their deli food, but I have heard it too is excellent.   Swing Thai has a sumptuous green curry and the nummiest, savory sweet mango sticky rice I've ever had. I also love their tofu in special garlic sauce.  They are a local chain, so you can find them if different places around the city.  If you want some exquisite bites with a western flare, I would hit The Squeaky Bean. I am proud to say I found it before The New York Times did.  Also, not to be forgotten are BANG! really good spins on classic American faire, and Julia Blackbird, with modern New Mexican faire and one of my all time favorites.  Try the stuffed acorn squash with red chili or the chili rejenos with three kinds of goat cheese.  SO good.

Pricier faire: One of my favorites is Highland Garden Cafe. It's in two hundred+ year old victorian homes, the food is as lovely as the ambiance.  The menu changes daily, but their bread pudding doesn't and it is literally the best I have ever had.  I could drink their caramel sauce.  Z Cuisine is another spot that will not disappoint.  Really, one of the best restaurants in the country.