Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

1998 18th St, Denver
(720) 726-4068

Recent Reviews

Natasha Fish

Incredible food, hip atmosphere. Such a fun experience, and our waitress Emily was the best!! They're new and working out the kinks of restaurant service, but I highly recommend this place for a fun date night or group party.

Erin Markham

What a fun experience. Great service even with a 9:30 reservation and the food was excellent. We came for our daughters 16th birthday and are so happy we did. Thank you

Samuel Granado

Great little restaurant nestled behind Union Station. Service was great and the food was just as good. Everything was seasoned perfectly. Will definitely come back for more.

Mike Barbalacci

All is excellent. Everything is delicious. Been there a number of times. Except.....hard to get in and out in a reasonable amount of time at lunch. Fun and lots of food. Reasonably priced. Parking is jacked up and hit or miss.

Amanda K.

I really loved this place and was a regular, going multiple times a week. It's convenient to Union Station and reasonably priced, and the food is usually good. The service, however, has scared me away. This location can't keep servers or hosts and has gone through tons since opening. A couple are competent, but most really struggle. Getting a fresh grill grate or drink can be a frustrating experience, as servers rarely come by tables. I don't go out to dinner to be ignored by waitstaff and forced to wait 15 minutes for water, 40 minutes for raw meat or almost 50 minutes (!!!) for fried rice. This has started happening regularly enough that I won't return.

Ving T.

We had a very nice girl's dinner at Gyu. The atmosphere, food and drinks were really good. We just ate too much.

Aly H.

Far exceeded expectations and we had high ones! Quinny did a great job of explaining the menu and the happy hour menu for 2 was the perfect amount of food for 2 people. Pair it with a beer and your tummy will be content. Fun atmosphere and attentive service. You can't go wrong here!

Emily G.

Came here late one night after arriving back in Denver and had a great meal. I've been to the Tustin CA location many times. Denver location has a clean modern feel with waaaay better exhaust fans! Went with the meat lovers meal for 2 people and likes everything. The table grils work really well - even hot heat. Good cooks perfectly. I'm a big yakiniku fan and this place delivers.

Penny J.

had sucky yaki vegetable bibimbap which shouldnt be called bibimbap because it does the native korean dish a total disservice. just as you could never call a pepperoni pizza with one pepperoni and a dollop of sauce with a few sprinkles of cheese a pizza -the same logic would be applicable to the bibimbap served at denver's gyu-kaku. 98%rice 2%'vegetables'- which was literally a few super thinly chopped mushrooms and some strands of wilted spinach. good flavor but did not taste like a bibimbap- though they did 'mix' the rice, which covers the bibim and as mentioned the 98% of rice covers the 'bap' it was only $8.50 but again not a bibimbap. much more like a fried rice

Citah Y.

This was my first time having Japanese bbq and will NOT be my last! Honestly I think I prefer this over Korean bbq. This is not all you can eat. They have meal sets depending on how many people you have or they have al a carte. I recommend the meal set if you want a full experience and try a few more things. But if you don't care for all the extras ordering al a carte might be the way to go for you. The meal sets are pretty similar to each other. Comes with soup, salad, an appetizer, and meats and veggies for grilling. A few items differ depending on the meal sets you get which is determined by how many people you have. It's not all bbq and grilling items on the menu. They have rice bowls, noodles, ramen, etc. We did add a couple more meats that were not apart of the meal set. Also, added an order of the garlic noodles which I recommend if you are a garlic lover. The noodles were think and soft and so garlicy. One of my favorites that was in the meal set was the beef sukiyaki rice bowl that come in one of those stone bowl that are heated so the rice gets crispy. Other additional things we ordered were some pickled veggies and peppers which were delish! Not one bad thing we ate! Experience and food were great. Staff was very friendly and explained everything. This is not a quick bite type place so do set aside some time to grill and enjoy everything. Definitely be back. Already drooling by just writing this review.

Nikki J.

My friend and I made a reservation for this place because the place was going to be full. When we walked in, there was no one at the front desk and we waited at least 10 minutes before someone could seat us even though multiple waiter/waitresses passed by us. There was no one else standing by the door except for us so it was not that busy during that time. My friend and me it was rude of them to do that. When we were finally seated, nobody came to serve us until 15 minutes later and then took our order. The food tasted good but the service was really bad. Overall, the place did not feel welcoming and the food takes a long time.

Alex Borton

The food was awesome, and the customer service is amazing. I will recommend to get a reservation at least a day in advance for weekend trips.

Shin M.

My friend and I got the lunch special. It seemed Like it was going to be a lot of food but it was just right. Every course was really tasty! Meat was well seasoned. Love the s'mores option as a dessert even tho it has nothing to do with Japanese cuisine. A bit pricey but that's expected with Japanese food. Nice restaurant ambiance.

Victoria N.

The food is here is pretty stinking good. I know it's not Korean BBQ but same concept only a step up! The cuts of meat were so much better and it was legit! I will start this off by saying that my SO and I are currently doing a detox and we agreed to meet here for a friend's birthday. Our friends are pretty badass and they picked a place where we could have more options to eat. I will say, we were THAT table tonight. We were asking everything that was in the food and told them we couldn't eat a lot of the stuff. (No dairy, soy, gluten, etc.) Our waiter was super nice about it and we felt terrible because I know it's the worst when someone tries to come in and change everything. They were super accommodating and did everything we asked! Then things started to go downhill from there. Our party got the samurai course with 3 extra appetizers and 5 extra a la carte meats. If you look at the menu, the samurai course comes with a boat load of stuff. We got our 5 meats right after salads came out. Then got the rice and noodles and then the meats for the course steadily. The miso soup never came and neither did any of the appetizers. We were eating and chatting away anyway so no big deal. We weren't upset about any of it and just told our waiter not to worry about the appetizers but we'd like the soup. This was when we found out the miso soup machine was down. We didn't know that. Okay, no big deal. We brought cake and were ready to do that anyway. So our waiter started clearing the table to prepare for the dessert and that's when things got really real. He was trying to stack everything up super high to the point where we were kind of impressed. Until we weren't. He ended up spilling the soy sauce all over my SO and it splashed onto me. I've been a waitress and I know that freaking sucks so we tried to stay calm. He asked us about bringing soda water and napkins to clean it. He did and we proceeded to wipe our clothes. Mine wasn't too bad but he was soaked. The thing was more than half full when it spilled and he got the brunt of it. We were calm and didn't make a scene because karma. But then we asked for stuff for cake and he brought us plates and a knife but so silverware. Then he brought the check. Now we weren't here to get anything out of it but as a previous waitress, when you mess up, you fix it. He didn't even help us clean. We wiped down the table and the bench at the booth, not him, and he couldn't even take off anything. I don't know if that's asking a lot but usually free dessert or something is a norm for where I worked. The birthday boy politely made a comment to the waiter about it and he said he would talk to his manager. The manager came back and said he took off a sake and a salad. Oh but wait, the salads were included with the samurai course! What the heck?! So the birthday boy went back to the manager to explain everything to which it seems he didn't know the extent of everything that had happened. He handled it very well and we were very appreciative. Would've given this place 5 stars if it wasn't for service that wasn't the greatest!

Richard Borg

Great Japanese BBQ, great selection. Tasted very good, and prices were not bad. We came in late for our reservation, with an extra person on a Saturday night and they still seated us. Service was amazing.

Paul C.

It pains me to write this review about one of my favorite restaurant franchise. I was super excited when I found out Gyu Kaku was coming to Denver. Tonight was my second time coming since it opened. Honestly, the service was extremely disappointing (especially for a franchise origin from Japan, which prides itself in service). I will say the kitchen (the quality of the food), no complain. It is superb. But you already know that this review is about service. Problems (1) The non-caring attitude: We notified them the ceiling above us was dripping water (multiple times). The manager said that we should move away from the water spot to avoid being dripped on. We playing dodge ball? Then our server gave us a "sorry, i can't help you" face and walked off. So it sprinkled on. I guess if you pretend that this is Rainforest Cafe, then it's a good cooling effect? (2) Forgot our order. Ordered rice, never came. When found out, the response was "uh.... I thought I forgot something". Oh well. (3) Told them we are celebrating two birthdays. By the end of the night, we got the check with no birthday cheers from the staff, at least not until the host of the party reminded them again. We are thankful for the good company we had tonight, no thanks to the staff of Gyu Kaku though. P.S. I have visited Gyu Kaku in Tokyo, Honolulu, Vancouver, Houston, Vegas. By far, DENVER location has the least to offer (no AYCE) and sub-par service.

Jeff Palop

great food. good service, good price

Gloria Reh

Great experience. Nice selection of meats. Japanese fried chicken is soooo good. Love the shishito peppers. Definitely a must try. Been here twice since they opened.

Jeffrey Schiller

Food was terrific and the waitress was great explaining how to prepare the food. Prices are very reasonable. Will totally go back next time I'm in the area!

Zack Hintz

It was absolutely delicious, however, the young woman who was our waitress provided my party with very poor service, compared to what we had seen from other staff members who were attentive and polite to their guests. Our server, however, seemed somewhat oblivious, only changing our grill twice throughout our meal, after being asked to by a member of my party. The food was great but I would guess this young woman was hired for her looks rather than her skills, unfortunately I didn't catch her name, but our standard 15% tip no more should hopefully let her know she could be doing better. I jokingly said to a member of my party after seeing how great other staff members were, "I wish I could tip one of them instead".

Matthew Cisneros

I wasn't expecting a "cook it yourself" experience. It is. The wait staff was super helpful. Food was great. I went with four friends and we had a great time.

Lucy L.

We came back 3 more times after our 1st time and the 4th time we were not too happy with the service . Totally different from the last few experience. It was super slow during brunch on Sunday . We waited forever for our meat to come and by the time the bill came, they over charged us the extra options for no reason . We didn't order the extra options. I didn't look at the itemized bill until I got home and Then that's when I realized they charge over charge me $9 total for the extra options that we never ordered or received!! They need to really pay attention to this when they get short staff or too busy . Hope they will train their staff better .

Jeff T.

Thoroughly enjoyed our first visit! Our server, whom I apologize but don't have her name, was just stellar. Informative, efficient, checked in regularly, and genuinely friendly. With all that comes, the 4 top table is pretty small but the table was kept clear of dishes by our server and any passing staff member. We went with the Samurai set for 4 and had to add an order of the Kobe beef. The standouts were the Harami in Secret Pot, Filet Mignon, Premium Sirloin, and of course the Kobe which just melts in your mouth. The sirloin and Kobe came with a premium dipping sauce...but you really don't need it. The flavor of the grilled beef stood on its own. I actually didn't care much for the premium dipping sauce; it just tasted like a watery teriyaki sauce. Tables have a selection of soy sauces which is all you really need-a spicy, ponzu and sweet soy. The salad and the garlic noodles were also surprisingly delicious. The Sukiyaki Bibimbap was good but didn't blow us away. We also ordered the Shisito peppers app; 1 in 10 peppers supposed pack some heat. Peppers had a nice charred grill flavor and I managed to get a hot one-nothing unbearable but enough to get my attention. Parking is challenging; we opted to take an Uber which I highly recommend. We had a 5pm reservation and were seated at about 5:15pm. Despite being very busy, drinks and appetizers came quickly with meats coming at a comfortable pace shortly afterwards. Being a big Korean BBQ fan, the Japanese Yakiniku experience is very similar but with elevated meat quality. The two options are priced comparably. Without doubt, we loved our visit today and look forward to coming again; we are inclined to choose a la carte next time to get more of our favorites.

Vi T.

In Denver where there is a lackluster of Asian BBQ, Gyu-Kaku is a strong contender for the top spot; I'm actually glad that it opened here. However, for the price paid between two people, the quantity of meat served was disappointing, that we walked out after a 2-hour meal feeling only half-full. Speaking of 2-hour meal, it felt as long as if we were doing a tasting 8-course menu, except instead of going from one dish to another, we had enough time to let each fully digest. For reasons I cannot explain, the meat took so long to come out, though the restataurant was not busy when we came in. I probably would come again but would make sure to allocate enough time instead of being worried about re-feeding the parking meter.

Danting C.

I had been an absolute fan of Guu-Kaku and I was so excited that there would finally be one opened in Denver! The BBQ was consistent with all other Gyu-kaku I had been to. Their lunch menus were really good value with choices of two meats, rice, salad, drinks and choices of s'mores or ice cream. The restaurant can get really busy during dinner hour and I highly recommend marking a reservation beforehand. Only thing I thought that could have been better was the service. For both times I have been there, it took a while for our food to come out. And one time our server didn't seem to know the menu very well. The other Gyu-KaKu I have been to all had Lady M cake as an dessert option. I wonder if eventually they would start serving it in Denver. Parking was a pain as there were only street parkings. We ended up parking our car at the wholefoods.

Anna B.

High quality meats, great experience, will be back! Love the sake selection, and the authenticity of the varieties offered. We were also very impressed with the various appetizer options we had (hot & cold). We opted for the experience of cooking our own meat on the Japanese grill, and we were NOT disappointed! Loved the different cuts of pork & beef we tasted. Everything was seasoned to perfection! They also have some yummy sauces you can dip in too! We didn't try it, but you can even get S'mores for dessert to cook over the grill!

Starr L.

We came here for happy hour, starts at 3:00pm. We got the $50 dinner for two meal. I was expecting that this place would be similar to the Korean BBQ restaurants we had in town; however, it exceeded my expectations. The quality of the meats alone were way different, they were great! Let's talk about the marinades...the marinades for the korean BBQ all taste similar to one another, this place had shoyu, miso, basil, and some other flavors. They all were distinct from one another. Plus the three dipping sauces that were provided, I didn't leave here swollen from all the sodium intake. The grills are pretty hot and don't take an hour to cook a thin piece of brisket. "40 seconds," they say. The staff were great, they were informative with the cooking times for the meats and explained every dish. I do like the fact they slowly bring out a couple of meats at a time, instead of just pile all of them on you. Some people may not like this, but I enjoy the mindful eating habits. Definitely will return to try other dishes!!

Peter Muller

Amazing! I loved the food, and so did my wife and my children. The s'mores were a nice treat. The noodles were delicious, and it only made sense for my wife and I to order more. Service was amazing. My waitress was very friendly. However, the room was a bit stuffy, and I suggest cooling the place a bit. With all of the BBQ, it was quite warm. But, the food and the prices made it great, and made the perseverance of the heat worth it. Great team! Hope your success will go farther.


Very nice dining experience in downtown Denver. Delicious cuts of meat and sides all ready to be grilled to your liking. Extensive menu and options for every setting. We went with the Meat lovers option and was not disappointed. Doesn't look like much food but we were struggling to finish. Highly recommended. The reservation system could use some work, we had to wait over an hour after we were told it would only be a 30 minute wait. Other then that, excellent restaurant.

Ryan McCarty

Had the most impressive experience when eating here earlier today. Russell and his staff were some of the most friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff I've ever seen! And the food was amazing as always. Will definitely be sure to stop again next time I'm in Denver.

Ayana Short

Soooo yummy and a fun date night ! It reminded us of a place we ate at in Japan! We are so excited that this place has come to Denver and can’t wait to eat here again. The staff and food were excellent. I will say the bathroom I used could use a little love but it wasn’t a major issue. We highly recommend to anyone that loves good food.

Christina D.

Four of us had lunch reservations at 12:30pm on a Sunday. We were unfortunately all running late (didn't realize there was a game so parking was difficult), and the first two arrived at 12:37pm. We were told we would be checked in, but would have to wait until the whole party arrived. No big deal, we waited, and were seated quickly after another party member joined us. We ordered fried chicken, sukiyaki bibimbap, filet Mignon, Duck, pork belly, toro beef, mushroom medley, corn with butter, gyu-tan negi, harami in secret pot, hangar steak, and yakishabu beef. We also thought we ordered shishito peppers, but they never arrived, and weren't on the bill. Huh. The fried chicken came out first, and it was pretty tasty. The sukiyaki bibimbap came out quickly afterwards, was mixed tableside for us, and then pressed against the sides of the hot bowl to make the rice crisp. We let it sit a little longer than the 3 minutes suggested, but it didn't matter. The rice wasn't crisp, and that was sad because that dish was basically a giant rice bowl with a few pieces of meat and a couple scallions. It did not resemble any bibimbap I've ever had before, or any sukiyaki-don. The sad thing here, though, was the meat. When we ordered, we assumed they would be delivered with appropriate marinades, as we were never asked about marinades. We got plain meat that we grilled and tried to season using the condiments on the table (that were oddly sweet for some reason), and were consequently sad. We didn't even have salt or pepper on the table. We were all confused as to why everything was so bland. What made it even more confusing was some of the meat that came out towards the end of the meal, like the Harami in secret pot and the yakishabu beef, *was* marinated. So then we weren't sure if the first meats we received were supposed to be marinated or not. At checkout, our waiter let us know he was new, and thanked us for our patience. It was only when we got home and looked at the menu again that we found we weren't wrong about the meat being bland - we had no marinades! Unsure how something like this happens. I give two stars because the chicken was good, the meat quality was reasonable, and there were wait staff who were trying really hard to make people happy. But missing the meat's flavor options, which are sort of the point of this restaurant, is pretty awful.

Y S.

Made a reservation for 5 and was seated right away. I've been to a few in CA and I am so excited that this place is finally I CO! The happy hour is the best and i'll be sure to coming here all the time. Also! Their rewards program is AWESOME.

Damian Wang

I know is a new place so there are thing that still need to work around. Need a hostess instead of poor manager running around doing everything! Waitress bring the APPETIZER after all the food are served. Waited 30 minutes for the food to come and we were starving that is why we order Japanese Fried Chicken for appetizer.

Ashley L.

I have attended 4 other Gyu-Kaku's in CA for by far this one is just subpar. I attended the soft opening and had great service, but now since they have been open it's just meh. It's currently 630pm on a WEDNESDAY and there is a 2 HOUR WAIT. The fact that this place mostly runs on reservations is absurd and doesn't call for walk-in customers, it's a horrible business plan. Since I have been writing this review approx 8 people have walked in and left, all disappointed by how this establishment is run. I love Gyu-Kaku and it's delicious, but having things already booked out 2hrs on a random Wednesday, seems meh to me. I wouldn't have minded if the wait was 30-60min, but 2hrs in insane. ....oh and now about 12 people have walked in and walked out due to the wait time.

Damian W.

9 pm reservation. Finally got table 9:05 after waiting 25 minutes. 30 minutes after ordering only got SAKI drink. I know is a new place so there are few thing that still need to work around. Like need a HOSTESS instead of poor manager running around doing everything! Poor Manager need to manage instead of been a super busboy!! Waitress bring the APPETIZER after all the food are served. We were starving after waiting so long that is why we order Japanese Fried Chicken for appetizer. Food is great. I love that I can cook my own steak to the way I love. Kobe beef melt in your mouth like butter!! The dry age steak are awesome too!! Beef Tongue is a must too with the green onion sauce! Will definitely be back!! Hopefully they work out the service a bit better!!!

Elizabeth S.

I originally tried this chain in Yokohama, Japan, so when I heard this place opened in Denver, I had to try. We went there on the second day of soft opening. We made a reservation in advance. When we got there and welcomed by friendly staffs. We ordered quite a few items off of the menu and shared them between three adults and three kids. You must try the kalbe, and Karaage. We even got Karaage to go. If you're feeling adventurous, try the tongue. My brother liked the hormones, but that wasn't my favorite, but you never know, it could be yours. I will be back for sure!!


Amazing experience! The staff was great and our waitress Heather was awesome... We ordered the deal that feeds 6 and everything was perfect. The meats were tender and the s'mores topped our dinner off perfectly.

Melissa Rausch

Food, prices, and service were excellent. One of my new favourite spots in the area. Be especially respectful and smart when you dine here, and try not to bring your children.

Melissa Ngoc Truong

We went for the soft opening for dinner and had EXCEPTIONAL service! Enjoyed the food too. One thing I hope they can do is add a bar where patrons could wait and have a drink before their reservation. We will be back!