Denver Living

Actually, this page should probably be called “Denver Eating,” but eating and living are like the same thing, right?  Anyways, I thought this would be a better place than my iPhone notes page to keep a running list of all my favorite Denver eateries (though there are some non-food favorites at the very bottom).  I’ve linked both the restaurant website as well as a post I’ve written about it (when possible) so you can get a better feel for the experience.

BREAKFAST/COFFEE

Tried and True Favorites

Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen / “Weekend Things” / I have a slight obsession with this place.  It’s husband-and-wife-owned.  He brings the New Zealand/Australian and she brings the Japanese and it just works.  The Colorful Colorado is our favorite dish.  Those potatoes, that sauce, the pickled radishes!  Neither of us can resist.

Huckleberry Roasters / This is hands down our favorite coffee shop.  They roast their own coffee beans, make the meanest almond milk latte and their iced coffee is on my list of favorite things in this world.  GO!  NOW!  They have a good pastry case and even have a toast menu.  We’re here several times a week and even though every other charge on my credit card is “Huckleberry,” it’s so so worth it.

The Wooden Spoon / “Celebratory Weekend Things” / We ate here one morning and decided right then and there that this was the neighborhood we wanted to live in.  Years later and this place is still one of our favorites.  Get yourself a bomb breakfast sandwich and feel truly alive.  Their coffee is far from the best, but the sandwiches make up for it.

Black Eye Coffee / “Weekend Things: ‘It’s the holidays!'” / Sometimes the service can be less than warm but I’ve never minded because their coffee is good, their space is as hipster as it gets and they make some killer food in house.  The pastry case is stacked and not to sound super Millennial, but they make thee best avocado toast.  It’s one of my favorite quick breakfasts.

Onefold / “Memorial Day Weekend Things” / This place serves THE BEST BREAKFAST BURRITO.  That’s just my opinion, but all other opinions are wrong 🙂  The Vietnamese Iced Coffee is magical and the whole menu is just really different in a good way.  Not that I’ve ever needed to order anything but that burrito.  Also, hot tip: they serve a just slightly smaller version of the burrito for $5 on weekdays between 7 and 9 AM.

Chickee’s Lil Kitchen / This is an order-at-the-window-and-take-it-to-go type of joint and it’s second on my list of best breakfast burritos in Denver ever.  I can’t rave enough about the potatoes and I DON’T EVEN LIKE POTATOES.

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Honorable Mention

Snooze / “Weekend Things” / Do yourself a favor and go early.  Once you’re digging into a flight of pancakes, you won’t even remember that you had to wake up early and you’ll avoid that 1-2 hour wait that consistently exists past 9 AM.

Weathervane Café / “Weekend Things” / I once read a Yelp review of this place that said “Put a bird on it, much?” so if you’re a Portlandia fan, you can understand the aesthetic of this place.  If you’re clueless right now, know that it’s small and funky in a grandmotherly way but it’s charming and there’s so much lavender (get the latte!) that I can’t help but love it here.  They DO have a decent food menu as well!

Sassafras American Eatery / “Weekend Things”  / This little old house turned restaurant is too cute but don’t let the unpretentious décor and humble wait staff fool you into thinking your food won’t be next level.  It’s Southern but so so much more than that.

Sunny’s / “Christmas Things” / Another favorite spot in our ‘hood.  They serve really good food (the owner is the chef!) in a really cute space.  It’s what all neighborhood breakfast spots should be like.  And I’ve never taken anyone who wasn’t equally delighted by their experience.

Devil’s Food Bakery / “Weekend Things” / We like this place so much that we’ll drive the near 30 minutes it takes to get there.  I know from experience that they do the sweet — pancakes with Bavarian cream! — as well as the savory — crunchy huevos rancheros — so you can’t go wrong either way.  It’s got a real homey feel in there and if the wait is long, just head a couple doors down to their coffee shop and get yourself some caffeine and a giant donut hole appetizer.

Annette Scratch to Table / “Weekend Things: When it’s summer in winter” / Look, I’m not the best spokesperson for this restaurant as a whole, but I am the best spokesperson for their pork hash, which is the only things I’ve ever wanted/needed to order.  It comes out in the big ol’ bowl, which crispy potatoes, tender pork, poached eggs and the pièce de résistance, pickled mustard seeds.  So incredible!  Also, they make a daily biscuit and it is VERY important that you order this to start.  You can thank me later.

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RESTAURANTS

Real Casual

Illegal Pete’s / “4th of July Weekend Things” / Don’t tell Joey, but I like Illegal Pete’s more than Chipotle.  Chipotle is where suburban families eat and Illegal Pete’s is where us millennials who want a drink with our burrito eat.  Also, not gonna lie, I LOVE that I can order a kid’s burrito (with cheese AND queso) because it’s cheaper and just the right size.

Masterpiece Delicatessen / I’m not going to pretend this place is cheap.  It’s not.  And I’m not going to pretend it’s the fastest.  It’s also not.  But their sandwiches are so well done and they do not skimp on fillings.  Smoked Turkey is my go-to but the Cuban gives it a run for its money.

Vine Street Pub / “Weekend Things” / This place is a mainstay in our Denver dining repertoire.  The Tempeh Rueben continues to be my absolute favorite thing on the menu.  Sub the French fries on the side 🙂  They also brew their own beer.

Biker Jim’s / “Weekend Things” / The staff is so efficient, the hot dogs are so unique and a better pre-game meal does not exist.  You can’t go wrong, but the Elk Jalapeño Cheddar and Alaskan Reindeer are my favorites.

Park Burger / “Weekend Things” / Take your pick of locations and your pick of burgers because you won’t be disappointed by any of them.  Just be sure to order some sweet potato fries.

Denver Deep Dish / “Weekend Things” / This certainly isn’t the best pizza in the city, but it’s a 5-minute walk from our house, serves a variety of good local beer and never has a wait.  Their deep dish is also better than the stuff I ate in Chicago, so there’s that.

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A Bit More Upscale

Work & Class / “Work & Class: My New Favorite Place” / W&C hits it out of the park EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Don’t be put off by the long wait times, because the food and drinks are so worth it!  If you eat lamb, do not miss an opportunity to taste some of the best you’ve ever had.

Linger / “The Coolest Place I’ve Ever Been” / My absolute favorite place to spend a summer evening is on their rooftop patio.  For me, it doesn’t get better than Linger.

Uncle / “This Week + Dinner at Uncle” / Another small place that can have long wait times, but the end result is very much worth it.  Don’t expect the wait staff to be overly in your face.  They politely take your order, make sure things are to your liking then leave you alone to slurp your bowl of noodles.  Pro move: ORDER THE SPICY CHICKEN RAMEN.

Avanti Food & Beverage / “Weekend Things: GABF & the End of September” / This place is a modern (read: upscale) food court.  There’s a handful of “concepts” all within their own shipping container, then a bunch of open seating and two bars.  If you’re with a group of picky or indecisive eaters, this place is your solution.  P.S. It has a rooftop patio with an incredible view of Downtown Denver.

Cart-Driver / “Denver Passport Part I” / Don’t be put off by the size (TINY) or the confusion (order at the counter, then seat yourself) because you’re about to eat one of the best pizzas of your life.  My favorite is the clam.

Mercantile Dining & Provisions / “Best Tastes of 2015” / They have a fancy dinner menu but lunch is cheaper, more casual and just as delicious.  The sandwiches are of a generous size — the chicken salad and short rib are out of this world — and we love to order a side of their kettle chips.

Ace Restaurant / “Weekend Things” / They have the best kimchi I’ve ever tasted, a great Asian food offering and ping pong in the back.  Sitting out on their patio on a warm night is a pure delight.  And so is that unintentional rhyme.

Dio Mio / Best Tastes 2017 / Joey and I really really love this place and I think it’s so far down on Larimer that it doesn’t get quite as busy as the other popular restaurants in the area.  In other words, it’s a hidden gem.  I’m not going to pretend it’s cheap for an order at the counter place, but that thick freshly-made pasta, those strong cocktails and don’t forget the soft bread they serve to soak up leftover sauce, is so worth the price.

Fish N Beer / “Weekend Things” / Another RiNo favorite!  As the name suggests, they serve fish and beer, both really well.  Plus the staff is just really fun and it makes you happy to be there.  I can’t not tell you to order the blowfish tails because they’re both unique and delicious (I think they might only be available during Happy Hour though) but the fish and chips is also incredibly well done.

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Happy Hour Favorites/Special Occasion Destination

*Root Down / “This Weekend I…” / This is our favorite Happy Hour haunt.  The bar is sunny and hip, the drinks are strong and the food menu does not disappoint.

ChoLon / “(It’s Almost Christmas) Weekend Things”  / This place can get pricey but order the French Onion Soup dumplings, kaya toast and the pork belly buns and you’ll forget what money even is.  But just in case, all of those things are on the HH menu.

Humboldt / “Denver Passport Part I” / We originally went here for dinner, but recent discovery of Happy Hour has rekindled my passion for this place.  Definitely get the trout dip and the burger because it’s award-winning and rightly so.

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Not Food (because I guess I’m not always eating)

Base Coat Nail Salon / An all-natural nail salon that puts the customer first.

Mayan Theater / It’s old, it’s serves alcohol, it shows lesser known films and it’s the best.

Vert Beauty / For all your natural beauty needs, plus the staff is so knowledgeable and can help you find whatever it is you’re looking for.

Denver Public Library / I’ve got a library card and life is good.

Cheesman Park / We got married there! ♥  There’s also a good running path, lots of picnic space and the Denver Botanic Gardens.

The Buell / Check their theater schedule and see a show.

Ogden Theater / Balcony seats for the win, but you’d better show up early to get them.

Red Rocks Amphitheater / Concerts, movies, yoga, but mostly, just breathtaking scenery.

Kindness Yoga / They offer a variety of classes and a variety of teaching styles but I’ve liked 80% of the ones I’ve tried.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver / It’s small enough to only take an hour or two to get through and the rooftop patio is a secret gem!

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Looking for something that’s not listed?  Use the search bar at the top of the page, chances are we’ve been there!

3 thoughts on “Denver Living

  1. So glad to find your list! I’ve been dying to try Tom’s Home Cookin’ too! Spuntino and Euclid Hall are two of my favorite restaurants in the city. I also love Da Lat Vietnamese (down on Federal), Bones, Rioja, bittersweet, and Root Down of course! 🙂

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