Lunch at Denver’s Oldest Restaurant-The Buckhorn Exchange

The Buckhorn Exchange is Denver’s oldest restaurant, open since 1893. The area around the restaurant is going through a rebirth, with construction all around. Luckily, this building has remained unchanged and frozen in time.

Walking into the building, you can feel the rich Colorado history and can only imagine all the interesting people that have passed through in the last century. What makes this restaurant unique, is the taxidermy animals that cover almost every inch. In addition to bucks and moose, you will also see zebras, mountain lions, birds, and even some bears….just to name a few.

We sat downstairs, in a room towards the back. It was lunch and the restaurant wasn’t packed. If you’re going for dinner, on the weekend or during a popular time of year, I’d recommend making reservations. Our waitress was sweet and did not rush us, knowing we had just arrived in town. Most of our time during lunch was spent looking up at all the animals. When I tell you there’s every animal you can imagine, I’m not exaggerating. The menu gives the history of the building and restaurant, which we found quite interesting and a good use of the menus. We kept a copy for our albums.

The menu consists of a lot of meat options, they have you usual steaks, pork, and fish. If you or someone in your party is an adventurous eater, you should try some of their unique dishes such as ostrich, yak, or alligator.

And there they are, Rocky Mountain Oysters

Going completely out of our comfort zone, we (my husband) ordered Rocky Mountain Oysters as our appetizer. I had no idea what to expect. When the appetizer came out, it looked like any other basket of fried food. Honestly, the meat itself didn’t taste like much. The crisp breading was tasty and dipping sauces were good. Surprisingly, our kids loved them! They had no idea what they were and we won’t be telling them for a long, long time! For our meals, I ordered a beef burger and my husband ordered a bison burger. Both were really good. You could tell they were freshly made and of good quality.

Silly ole bears

Before leaving, we had to use the restrooms, which are located upstairs. The staircase leading up gave a different perspective of the downstairs dining room and even more animals we missed at eye level. Frames line the walls with pictures of various guests from over the years. Once upstairs, we saw the bar. The woodwork on the bar was beautiful. Black and white pictures of yesteryear are framed behind the bar. Also upstairs were some tables and lounge chairs. A group of older men were up there, enjoying their afternoon. It was a very laid back atmosphere up there. Off the main building, was an area that was a few steps down and more like a three season room. It had tables and more animals. Two huge bears great you and are a great place for some fun pictures. In the back corner is the unicorn the staff speaks up. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but it’s in far corner of that room.

Overall Buckhorn Experience

You won’t be able to find another restaurant like this one. It’s full of Denver history. If the walls could talk, I’m sure they’d have plenty to tell us. The decor is one of a kind and rich in character. The food was homemade, fresh, and, if you decide to give it a try, exotic.

We would definitely recommend stopping in, to check out a piece of Denver history!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. loretta0921 says:

    is this related to the Buckhorn in San Antonio?


    Liked by 1 person

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