History buffs and extreme carnivores alike get a kick out of Buckhorn Exchange. Granted Colorado’s first liquor license granted over 100 years ago, it’s still got all the trappings of a rustic saloon, from the walls covered over with trophy heads to the cowboy-hatted country crooners serenading the crowd in the upstairs bar.
And the menu reflects the décor, featuring savory game dishes—slow-roasted buffalo prime rib, elk, pheasant and quail. Even yak pops up occasionally. Better still for the adventurous of palate are the appetizers: Fried Alligator Tail, Chile-Marinated Rattlesnake and yes, even Batter-Fried Rocky Mountain Oysters are available for the (gulp) asking. Food prices aren’t cheap, but the wine list compensates, with many bottles in the $20 to $40 range. Just a couple of light rail stops from downtown, this legendary joint has to be seen to be believed—even if vegetarians would rather look the other way.