Off-Site Conference Dining

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by Megan DiMaria

I can’t wait for the ACFW conference to come to my hometown and to welcome all my friends to one of the best locations on earth.

In the next few weeks I’ll post some dining options to suit most tastes and budgets. Are you familiar with It’s a great site for reviews. You might want to go online to check out some of the choices that I’ll list.

We’ll discuss restaurants you can walk to as well as those a quick light rail ride away. The light rail is about a five minute walk from the hotel, and the fare is $2 each way/$1 each way for seniors. The fare box takes quarters or bills but returns change in dollar coins only.

Most of the meals are included in the conference fee, but Friday night’s dinner is a fun break to get out and investigate what’s around with new friends and old. There are also some great, close restaurants you can visit if you want to get away for breakfast or lunch.

Price range is a relative indication of cost. Some restaurants did not list prices online.

$ = Inexpensive

$$ = Moderate

$$$ = Pricey

$$$$ = Ultra High-End

The Lift, $$ located inside the Marriott, serves all-American cuisine (burgers, sandwiches, steaks, pasta, etc.). $10 – $20. They don’t have a website but the Marriott promises to email me a menu that I will share with you.

There are several restaurants within walking distance from the Marriott Tech. The hotel address is 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver, Colorado 80237. Feel free to Google directions from the hotel the restaurants so that you’ll have some context to where they are located and how to get there.

By the way, it’s always easy to tell which direction you’re heading in when you’re in Denver. If the mountains are in front of you, you’re heading west. If they’re on your left, you’re going north.

Darcy’s Bistro & Pub is about .03 miles if you don’t mind walking through parking lots to get there. Basically, it’s due east of the hotel. Darcy’s combines traditional Irish fare, such as corned beef and cabbage, with great steaks and fresh seafood, delicious tapas (Spanish small plates), salads and sandwiches. Reviews.

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant $$ is about .02 miles down the road from the hotel on the same street, located at 5050 S. Syracuse Street. There’s no website, but here’s the reviews on

Paradise Bakery $ is .01 miles south on Syracuse Street. They’re a great option for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner. They stop serving soup, salad, and sandwiches at 3:00, and are bakery only from 3:00 to 4:00.

If you’re willing to walk ½ mile, there’s a strip mall at 8000 E. Belleview Ave. with several dining choices. From the hotel, walk south on S. Syracuse St. to Belleview. Cross Belleview and turn left (right). Continue walking about .02 miles and the strip mall’s on your right.

The Original Pancake House $$ is open seven days a week with limited hours: 6a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s very, very good is you’re looking for breakfast food.

Bara Sushi $$$ The reviews on yelp rave about the bento box which is a lunch box with a little of this and a little of that. The biggest raves? The bento box is $10! Unfortunately their website looks like a work in progress, and the menu/prices are not listed.

Il Forniao $$-$$$ serves delicious Italian food. Their menu is online, and depending what you get (share a pizza?) the price varies.

Chipotle $ is a Colorado company known for gourmet burritos and tacos (no kidding!). The helpings are so large that you might want to share a meal with someone.

Erbert & Gerbert’s Subs and Clubs $ serves sandwiches, soups, sides, and desserts.

Santoro’s Pizzeria $ (303) 770-7428, is on 8101 E Belleview Avenue about .07 of a mile from the hotel. Walk south to Belleview and turn left. It is on the left side of the road about .01 mile off Belleview on a private lane.

The next dining post will discuss restaurant options south at Park Meadows. Some may call it a shopping mall, but they refer to themselves as a retail resort.


Megan DiMaria is an author and speaker who enjoys cheering on other writers in their pursuits and encouraging women to embrace life’s demands and delights.

She is an active member of ACFW and several other writers groups and is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands.

A prisoner of hope,
Megan DiMaria

Out of Her Hands, Tyndale House, October 2008
Searching for Spice, Tyndale House, April 2008

Read my Denver Writing Examiner articles

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