From an outsider’s perspective, Denver’s geography might seem like a handicap for seafood lovers. In the heart of Glendale, Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar delivers a culinary sea breeze that enlivens the landlocked dining scene. Regularly acclaimed as the area’s best seafood, the local upscale chain has been presenting the freshest, most sustainable catches to the coastless since 1994.
Jax has anchored its reputation as a champion of the sustainable seafood movement, boasting both Colorado’s and Missouri’s first Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch certifications. These accolades don’t just belong to the brand, they underscore the dedication to quality and sustainability that beats at the heart of the restaurant’s ethos.
Alight on Jax’s rooftop patio on any given summer evening and enjoy the happy hour—a daily affair from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Stop by on Fridays for live music on the patio from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
Begin your dining experience by ordering some bivalves from the raw bar. Oysters are the star of Jax’s stage, and among the rotating array flown in daily from the East and West Coasts is the Crackerjax, a proprietary oyster only available here. Sourced in partnership with Rappahannock Oyster Co., it captures the essence of the sea and fresh water, offering a bite of salt and a kiss of sweetness—a consummate blend. All of the oysters are fresh, sustainably sourced, and best appreciated in their naked glory. Each mollusk tells a story of the restaurant’s focus on sustainability and quality. It is worth noting that these luscious bivalves can also be savored in shooter form, for those who like their oysters with a spirited twist.
The charred Spanish octopus starter pairs smoky, tender cephalopod with the earthy chimichurri and piquant mustard greens. If you fancy greens of a different kind, the Jax caesar salad boasts crisp gem lettuces offset by the tangy mustard dressing and the umami richness of white anchovies.
When it comes to entrées, the spring vegetable risotto is a savory amalgamation of seasonal vegetables that we opted to crown with juicy grilled jumbo shrimp. The seared New England scallops offer a delicate sweetness enhanced by the kohlrabi purée and the charred rapini.
And then, the grand finale—the Warm Blueberry Buckle. Life-changingly good, it marries the tartness of blueberries with the creaminess of whipped ricotta and a hint of spice from chile agave.
In the light-soaked interiors or on the glass-rimmed rooftop bar, Jax triumphantly asserts that one does not need the coast to experience the finest the ocean has to offer. From the rooftop patio to the daily happy hour, Jax does many things well—and creating a memorable seafood dining experience is most certainly one of them.