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Shells and Sauce, Denver, CO

Shells and Sauce

4.6
4.6
2743 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
General Manager, Oscar Venegas and Executive Chef Marcus Jimenez are serving authentic Italian American food in the heart of Congress Park. Shells and Sauce brings Old Country taste to a cozy neighborhood restaurant. If you’re craving home-made lasagna, meat or fish, Shells and Sauce has a variety of savory appetizers and entrees to chose from. We also boast an extensive wine list to pair with anything you choose, and we offer delicious desserts to top off your evening. Whether you sit on our rooftop or in our main dining room to watch our open kitchen, Shells and Sauce is a great place to entertain friends or family in an inviting setting. Step into our kitchen and let us share our passion for food!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 17 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Italian, American, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Thu, Sun 3:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 3:00 pm–8:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (303) 377-2091

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Marcus Jimenez

  • Catering

    We cater all events. You are welcome to pick up the food or have it delivered from our Catering Menu. We have catered all occasions; from small birthday parties to President Obamas Tour and Media when running for his second term.

  • Private party facilities

    We do private events events from 10-130 guests. We have two floors. Our first floor seats 70 our second floor seats 60. There is a bar on each floor. The second floor is perfect for everything from Wedding Dinners to Corporate Parties. The second floor can be used Privately or Semi Private with Food and Beverage Minimums.

  • Neighborhood

    Cherry Creek

  • Cross street

    12th and Elizabeth.

  • Parking details

    Easy to find parking on the street, or park in our lot behind the restaurant.

  • Public transit

    Bus #10 & 12

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 2,743 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Denver

    Italian

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Filters

  1. DG

    DavidG

    Denver

    28 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We love this restaurant. The food and service are always consistently great!
  2. HE

    HilaryE

    Denver

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our first time to Shells & Sauce and we definitely be back! The neighborhood location is so fun; the funky building with the best upstairs seating all adds to the experience. The staff and server were absolutely fantastic; they all made us feel comfortable and at home. The food! Homemade, authentic Italian comfort food. The margarita flatbread was the perfect starters; my husband had the lasagna and loved it; I had the veggie piccata which was light and delightful! We had a wonderful time!
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    There was four of us and we sat upstairs. the service was fantastic! All the meals and appetizer was great. One thing we love about coming here is the food is always consistently delicious which is hard to find these days. Thanks for a great meal and fabulous service.
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall3food4service4ambience2
    Our waiter was very kind, however it took him a very long time to get to us because it seemed like he had a large section. Manager was going around telling tables that their time was up and so it felt a little rushed.
  5. TS

    TheScotts

    Denver

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 8, 2023

    overall3food4service4ambience3
    Parking is a disaster on a Saturday night. Ambience is cozy but crowded. The mob at the door encroached on our dining space many times and let the frigid air in ceaselessly. This is a pipular place! We were served quickly but other tables had terrible waits. Poor acoustics for conversation, pretty loud. Service was friendly and prompt enough. The restaurant is a really small, packed space. Reminded me of NYC neighborhood dining. As or the food,the gnocchi are tender pillows as they should be but the sauce is too heavy. The picatta with angel hair pasta had a light, refreshing sauce but the veal was tough. The spaghetti with meatballs was pleasing. The fried cheese curds were perfect. If I were local I’d go again. We enjoyed our meal and are thankful we had reservations!
  6. FW

    FoodieWannabe

    Denver

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    I have always loved this place and it didn’t disappoint me this time. The food and service was absolutely impeccable as usual. I only gave 4 stars for ambiance as the tables are super close together resulting in a higher noise level BUT…having so many tables close together allows them to serve more people and shorten wait times so it’s a good trade-off.
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Awesome experience and great food!!
  8. CJ

    CynthiaJ

    Denver

    9 reviews

    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 4, 2023

    overall3food5service3ambience4
    Getting through the confusion of entering the restaurant and speaking with the host, even with a reservation, was the only problem we had. Once seated our server was wonderful and the food was delicious.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 4, 2023

    overall4food2service5ambience5
    We have visited this restaurant many times and it seems to us the food quality has deteriorated. I ordered the chicken pigsty’s and the sauce was tasteless and was congealed on the plate. The same for another guest who ordered the Genoa. We sat upstairs so perhaps the food got chilled on the way up. Our waitress was pleasant and we enjoyed the table bread.
  10. a

    adults

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 4, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Our food was great. We also got good service on a short-staffed-but-busy dinner rush. We will be back; there are like six more things on the menu I need to try. And the specials sounded divine, too.
  11. T

    Tony

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    It was good. The staff were very on the spot. We would come back
  12. KT

    KayT

    Denver

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We have enthusiastically recommended Shells and Sauce to friends because the food is phenomenal and the wait staff is friendly and efficient.
  13. R

    Rachel

    Denver

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience1
    Was so sad to see the updates on the main floor at shells & sauce - one of the main things I always loved about the restaurant was the ambiance (lighting, tables, noise level). The new booths and harsh lighting have completely changed the vibe of the restaurant. Frankly, it kind of looks like a diner inside now, instead of a classic Italian spot. The service and food was just as good as ever, so that’s a win.
  14. N

    Nicolab

    Denver

    5 reviews

    1.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Terrible experience… food was absolutely terrible unfortunately- ordered a pasta dish that was supposed to have a vodka sauce and it came with a runny/watery tomato sauce. My daughter ordered an Alfredo sauce penne dish - it was a watery butter sauce! I don’t understand how an Italian rests can’t serve a dime vodka or Alfredo sauce pasta?
  15. AH

    AmyH

    Denver

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Great place, great location. Was a bit noisy, but that's to be expected with the holidays. Good food and no trouble with our reservation. I would go back!
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great dining experience! Really good food and our waiter was awesome and always super helpful and kept us in the loop about everything. Definitely will come back.
  17. s

    seanz

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Can't say enough good things about our experience. Definitely will be back.
  18. RP

    RobertP

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service (thank you Maria). Great food and large portions. I had the lasagna and a meatball and they were delicious.
  19. V

    Veggielover

    Indiana

    36 reviews

    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Overall a great meal; service great, food spot on! (My dish was not quite hot enough but they were quick to get it warmed up). The only issue was we were seated upstairs and they didn’t have quite enough staff so a lot of the dirty dishes ended up being piled on the bar top adjacent to where we were seated. Certainly didn’t ruin our evening but the reason for 4 stars on ambiance.
  20. WF

    WillFlyForFood

    Denver

    33 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    Close to Botanic Garden and folks tied these two events together. It had Delicious Italian food and I was glad my two friends could join me and see the lights on the same night. We were very early but the wait was worth it.
  21. e

    ehutch36

    Denver

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great food, great experience!!
  22. J

    Jeanne

    Seattle

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Emily the server was fabulous! I’d recommend Happy hour for the value and the food was delicious. Was very busy so make a reservation with open table.
  23. S

    Sussex

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent service and food. They overflowed us to the upstairs dining room which was a little chilly.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    61 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    61 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always great food and service. It has been one of our favorites for years because of consistency!! Ownership runs a great establishment and the servers are top notch.
  25. JC

    JohnC

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The crab bisque was awesome as was our dinners. Great ambience and service.
  26. RC

    RickC

    Denver

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Maria was amazing. made our evening very special. Great atmosphere and great vibe. Rick C.
  27. FL

    FrazerL

    Denver

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 10, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Creative Italian menu, not the routine, and great value. Chefs, menu and servers need to pay attention to allergies. When customer says no onion/green onion garnish, then dish should not be covered in green onion and need to be remade. Check the literature - green onion/onion are one of the most common undiagnosed allergies. Your food is too good to have to feel the need to cover it in green onion.
  28. EW

    ElaineW

    Tampa

    3 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2022

    overall3food4service1ambience1
    Dirty dishes were everywhere in the bar/restaurant upstairs, with very very slow service. Had a reservation, but it took an additional 20-30 minutes to be seated. Host was not very accommodating, expressing that they are overbooked every night. I loved the food here, but their ambiance and service are down hill. Stick to takeout.
  29. M

    Megan

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 7, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience3
    Everything was fine. Nothing was overly delicious or impressive. The building itself is cute and cozy.
  30. SK

    StephanieK

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place. Food was delicious. Servers were outstanding and friendly. Happy to have stumbled upon this restaurant. Will surely return.
  31. B

    Bartman

    Denver

    24 reviews

    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on December 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a neighborhood gem! The food is always delicious and the service is like familya
  32. MK

    MarlaK

    Denver

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great food and awesome service! Cute place with a fun atmosphere. Highly recommend!
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Jaymys was a wonderful server! He was attentive to our needs. He had great wine recommendations. We will definitely be back to sit in his section again!
  34. R

    Rob22

    Denver

    20 reviews

    3.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience4
    Shells & Sauce has always been 1 of our favorites, although we haven't been there in awhile, so we were really looking forward to our return. It wasn't what we expected. Somehow, the kitchen lost our dinner order & our very nice waiter didn't discover that for about 45 minutes after he served appetizers. Then, 2 of the main dishes, cheese ravioli Ziti style & stuffed shells, were tasteless, as if they came out of a can. We were comped for our salads & a desert, which was appreciated, but we were really disappointed nevertheless. We hope last night was just a fluke.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    All 5 of us had different entrees and all were incredible. Everyone that works there seems to love what they do and give excellent service
  36. D

    Denverdiners

    Denver

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Good times for the family!
  37. DM

    DanielleM

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place was fantastic! The food was amazing and the staff was super friendly. I will definitely be going back. So many things on the menu I want to try!
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food. Great place for families.
  39. DD

    DenverDoctorMom

    Denver

    43 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on November 23, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Shells and Sauce is a favorite for many reasons: the food is predictably delicious and carefully prepared, the "feel" of the place is warm, a little busy, and friendly always, the staff are truly caring and kind, and the value for the quality is great. We are always happy with our food choices and food arrives not too fast so one feels rushed, but also not too slowly so the meal drags on... Cocktails and wine choices as well as dining options for every palate are easy to find. Specials are usually seasonal and take advantage of some back of house creativity. Someone who is looking for a quiet, oak-paneled, more pretentious place will not love it here, but then again, everyone who wants something that is warm and friendly and fun and relaxing will outshine those stuffy types. We have been happy at Shells and Sauce every time we have eaten there -- big or small groups, summer outside on the patio or winter when warmth and comfort are at a premium. Never disappointed, we always leave happy and full !
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Shells and Sauce does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates. Shells and Sauce also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (303) 377-2091.

Shells and Sauce is rated 4.6 stars by 2743 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 17 times today
Google Map for Shells and Sauce

2600 E. 12th Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Additional information

  • Cross street

    12th and Elizabeth.

  • Neighborhood

    Cherry Creek

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Thu, Sun 3:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 3:00 pm–8:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Italian, American, Comfort Food

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Easy to find parking on the street, or park in our lot behind the restaurant.

  • Public transit

    Bus #10 & 12

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Marcus Jimenez

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (303) 377-2091

  • Catering

    We cater all events. You are welcome to pick up the food or have it delivered from our Catering Menu. We have catered all occasions; from small birthday parties to President Obamas Tour and Media when running for his second term.

  • Private party facilities

    We do private events events from 10-130 guests. We have two floors. Our first floor seats 70 our second floor seats 60. There is a bar on each floor. The second floor is perfect for everything from Wedding Dinners to Corporate Parties. The second floor can be used Privately or Semi Private with Food and Beverage Minimums.

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