Buckhorn Exchange – Denver, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Buckhorn Exchange

Wall to wall taxidermy at Denver's oldest and most exotic steakhouse. 


Founded in 1893, the Buckhorn Exchange displays antique weapons, hundreds of mounted animal heads, and other assorted taxidermy upon its bright red walls.

In addition to the old-timey stuffed animal aesthetic, the menu boasts unique meats for the adventurous: rattlesnake, alligator tail, buffalo sausage, elk, quail, game hen, pheasant, venison, and Rocky Mountain Oysters (bull testicles).

The restaurant also claims to have been visited by Buffalo Bill himself and to be the oldest in all of Denver and displays its liquor license, labeled as Denver’s first, to prove it.  The Buckhorn hosts an annual “Buffalo Bill Look-alike” contest, with previous winners displayed along the walls of the staircase. Typically on Friday and weekend nights, you can catch two old cowboys in authentic western wear performing traditional prairie songs near the upstairs bar.

Many dignitaries, including five United States presidents, have visited the Exchange, including Theodore Roosevelt when he visited as president in 1905. He hunted with the owner, Henry H. “Shorty Scout” Zietz, during his visit. A Cape buffalo head Roosevelt shot hangs in the restaurant, one of 500 stuffed animals within the facility.  

Know Before You Go

If using the lightrail, take the C, D, E, F, or H trains to the 10th and Osage station. The restaurant is directly across from the tracks.

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