The Buckhorn Exchange is Denver's oldest restaurant. Its a popular place too, despite the steep prices. The Buckhorn is pretty old school, with an upstairs lounge and a singer impersonating Willie Nelson (at least on Thursdays).
The restaurant is pretty casual environment wise, but its menu strives to be exotic. Elk, buffalo and venison are the main selections, with some fish and steaks thrown in for the more mainstream crowd. Prices range from $30-40 per entree.
Although most Denver residents would probably disagree, I thought this place was overpriced and more average than great. I tried the buffalo prime rib. I know prime rib is a high fat cut of meat, but my $30 plus dollars bought me far more fat than meat. It also bought me a baked potato and a salad, but the entree is the main attraction, and this one wasn't up to par.
Unless you can't live without a plate of game, I'd suggest the Denver Chophouse or even reliable chain restaurant Ruth's Chris instead. You'll still pay a bit of money, particularly at RC, but you'll receive more quality for your dollar.
Favorite Dish: Not the buffalo. Perhaps the steaks are really good though.
As we are leaving I hear, "I don't know why people dress up to come here...or come here at all." That pretty much sums it up. We were "trapped" by the ads in the tourist magazines that claimed it was Denver's oldest restaurant, and the wild game served was certainly different. We called ahead and were told we'd be in the rooftop garden, which is a screened in porch outside. It was fine. There was a chuckwagon where the food is cooked. We noticed most everyone dressed up to come here. The entrees ranged from $28-$50ish dollars and included elk, buffalo, beef, quail, game hen, and salmon. Of the three adult entrees ordered, 2 arrived incorrect. One guest had the choice of 2 toppings, and received the topping he didn't order. He opted not to complain. The second guest didn't receive the rice her hen was supposed to be on. She asked the waitress for it. A few minutes later the waitress returned to check on our food, and still no rice. The guest had to ask her again! We also overheard the people next to us order a certain appetizer, "since you recommended it." The waitress replied, "I didn't recommend it, I just told you about it." Uh, okay. It seemed like she didn't really want to help anyone. Service was slow, way overpriced for the service you got. Food was okay, but not worth the $$$.
Favorite Dish: My FAVORITE thing about this restaurant was not a dish (although the buffalo steak was good) but the water refiller. There was one man going around refilling water and clearing dishes. He shone above all the other employees, and was really the best water person I had ever seen!
As decribed in other reviews here, this place was once a great restaurant. Now, many of us that love great restaurants know the Buckhorn as a "Tourist Trap". Oh, theres some fun tourist things to eat, like rattlesnake and game meat, but there are way better "game" restaurants in town. I'd go in the afternoon..... when its slow..... go to the bar, have a cocktail, and walk around and look at some very cool stuffed animals and just old stuff... from the past. Trurly a very interesting Buffalo Bill based history... He did go here eons ago....
Favorite Dish: The mustard, and the ranch dressing.....
Claims to be Denver's oldest resturant and has liquor licence #1 to prove it. The place is designed to bring back the old west, there are stuffed animal heads on the walls, and though it is strange at first, they fit the perfectly with the food and atmostphere.
Favorite Dish: This is the place you want to go, if you are willing to try a wide range of foods. They serve rattlesnake, elk, venison, buffalo, along with more common foods. The meats are well cooked. This is the perfect place to get a sampler meal or share food with friends.
For more than a century Buckhorn Exchange has been the end of the line--serving steak and beer to adventurers stepping off the train. The restaurant was founded in 1893 by Henry 'Shorty Scout' Zietz, and it keeps up the tradition, serving light rail passengers in a museum of taxidermy, antique weapons and photos of visiting celebrities.
Eating at the Buckhorn is really like a big-game adventure. Appetizers include fried alligator tail served with cocktail sauce; peppered duck breast in raspberry and red Zinfandel; and rattlesnake marinated in red chili and lime. For dinner, the tender and succulent buffalo prime rib rivals any beef version, and the broiled quail, served in a prickly pear and apricot glaze, is rich with subtle sweetness. They have music entertainment in the lounge/bar on the 2nd floor some evenings.
The wall really are covered with animal heads and full bodies, so be prepared. If you are into this kind of thing, take a walk around and see all the different animals they have hanging around. If you are a vegetarian or are traveling with one don't bother going here, I don't think that there is anything on the menu without meat except maybe a salad.
Favorite Dish: The Peppered Duck Breast Appetizer; the Pheasant; the Pheasant, Quail & Duck Combination; the Elk & Buffalo combo are all wonderful. I think the Pheasant is my absolute favorite dinner to get there. I’ve also had the rattlesnake & alligator appetizers and they were very good also. The garlic mashed potatoes are the best. Their soups have also been excellent every time. I have been there 4 or 5 times now and have never had room for dessert, so I can't comment on any of those
I called 1 week ahead and made reservations for my Anniversary. When we got there they put us in the "Garden Room". A room that looked like it used to be a screened in porch and for winter they put plastic around screens and used garage heaters and sat us in patio furniture. Not the romance I was looking for.
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