Denver has beaten out every city in the U.S. for its exciting offerings in culinary delight, with only three exceptions, in this order:  Chicago, Austin, and Los Angeles, which is rated #1 for this.

The fact the executives at Top Chef moved filming to Denver for its 15th season didn't hurt this ranking.  But what really got attention in 2017 was the opening of numerous establishments by James Beard awardees and other "nationally recognized innovators." Places such as:

Additionally, there are over a dozen new, fancy hotels that have to make sure they stand out, and they've done it enough to contribute to Denver's #4 ranking for Exciting Food Cities.

I might need to step up my game.  My eyes still bug out when you mention chowing down at Ted's Montana Grill or Pete's Kitchen.  But at least I don't brag about eating at Ikea.  I'm pretty sure those vegan meatballs are made out of furniture.