My new and improved “Denver Dining Guide” with the Vessel map is here! I’ve added Boulder to the guide as well. Hope it’s super helpful in you planning your foodie (and brewery) adventures with my pics!
Planning a trip to Denver and Boulder and want to know where to eat? Did you know the food scene in Denver is bumpin?!
Here I am sharing my most recent trips to Denver and Boulder and all the eats and drank I enjoyed! And keep in mind, this is just scratching the surface —
Snooze, An A.M. Eatery
Snooze, An A.M. Eatery was born in Denver back in 2006 – we in Austin only got our first bite of Snooze a little over a year ago! I usually prefer to eat at the Denver locations only for authenticity’s sake 🙂
Their menu can be a bit intimidating but a few of my favorites are their boozy coffee drinks, the hashbrown cake, pancakes, and the benny duo. If you’re feeling “healthy,” they have tons of options like the egg white scramble I enjoyed here with a side of bacon (because their bacon is perfectly crispy just like I like it):
They always have some fun syrups to add to your coffee drink of choice. Being that it’s fall, I got the Pumpkin Spice because #basic:
You can always get a pancake flight if you don’t want to commit to any one pancake! You can do the same with the Benny Duo (pick two benedicts)!
We didn’t want a flight – just a bite or two or three of the Chocolate Chip Pancake with Strawberries on top:
Pro Tip: You’ll have to wait at many of Snooze’s locations so go early or closer to closing time.
I don’t typically eat donuts but when I go on vacation, I tend to crave them. Especially the donut holes at Jelly Cafe! Just as Snooze has a wait for a table, so does Jelly Cafe. That’s the whole point of the Donut Holes – order you a bunch of them to hold you over until it’s time to get your grub on.
And, enjoy a Bloody Mary while you wait…
Quite the spot to be….
We totally just ran across Carbon Cafe in LoHi and fell in love with the ambiance, music, plethora of seating, drinks (coffee, beer, wine, booze), breakfast hashes, toasts, sandwiches, Wu Tang Tots and Doughnuts from next door neighbor, Habit Doughnut Dispensary. Pretty much fell in love with Carbon Cafe 🙂
The Mushroom Avocado Toast on 7-grain bread was so good I ate it two days in a row (not ashamed of it)!
The latte in the picture is HONEY LAVENDER y’all! They have at least 10 different super creative syrups available for all your latte spiking needs.
And leave room for a doughnut (minis available at Carbon) or full-size next door at Habit Doughnut Dispensary. I couldn’t resist the pretty pink Raspberry White Chocolate Doughnut. And the doughnut itself is Brioche! NOM!
We had no room for the Wu Tang Tots but they’re totally customizeable – think of them like making your own nachos!
On visit # 4 (I think), I had the Herbivore – soooo good
Everytime I go to Boulder, I spend hours at Wonder! The aesthetics, juices, smoothies, golden lattes, toasts, EVERYTHING – I’m obsessed.
For those of you who can work remote, they’ve got you covered with power outlets. Plenty of seating indoors too. Really, truly love the vibes at Wonder and I know you will too.
Conveniently located on Pearl Street – it’s such a magical place and I get so excited just at the thought of going there.
I love to support community-focused restaurants and when I came across Root Down, I was intrigued by everything they encompass. They use sustainability practices such as growing their own 4,000 sqft garden providing about 20% of their own seasonal produce, sourcing up to 50% of their ingredients locally, using only certified humane animal proteins, composting and recycling, etc. So much goodness in one neighborhood-centric restaurant!
I was excited to try all of their fresh ingredients and my bestie is vegetarian, so Root Down seemed to be the natural place to fill our tummies.
No brunch is complete without a cocktail right? 🙂 I enjoyed the special cocktail of the day, Down the Rabbit Hole, which was made from fresh carrot juice, Gin, lemon juice and thyme. It was super refreshing and absolutely delicious. And pretty too, right?
My best friend ordered the Masala Tofu Scramble but subbed eggs for the tofu. I ordered the Roasted Beet Salad with cured salmon on the side. The Masala eggs tasted just like my Mom’s Indian breakfast dish! And the roasted beets (golden and red) was divine! Loved the salmon on the side for some added protein (although the salad was big enough that I could have gone without the protein).
We had no room for dessert but I bet we would have loved it all! Oh and they have bottomless mimosas for brunch on the weekends – and don’t even think about getting in your car and driving after that – they won’t let you! 🙂
Beast + Bottle
What a cute little spot very close to our AirBnB in Capitol Hill. I quickly glanced at Beast + Botttle’s menu on OpenTable and they had a spot at 11:30, so we headed straight there.
Really enjoyed the Fish Board and Shakshuka (pictured below). Highly recommend dining here!
West End Tavern
Pearl St. has a ton of spots that are perfect for enjoying happy hour while doing some people watching! One of these gems we frequent is the West End Tavern. The bartenders are always friendly and chatty and we’ve enjoyed the food we’ve eaten there everytime.
I’m a huge fan of happy hour pricing – why pay full price when you can pay almost half?!
West End Tavern has a fantastic Happy Hour M-F 3:00-6:00PM and a Late Night Happy Hour Thurs-Sat from 9:00-11:00PM. With $5 house wines, $5 select cocktails, $4 select drafts, and quite a few other deals, you can’t go wrong here!
A long time favorite of mine for the front patio seats and epic happy hour is The Kitchen. Their happy hour runs daily from 2:00-5:00PM. Pricing is epic – some apps are between $4-8, $8-14 meals, $6 wine, and $4 beer! Grab you some oysters and a glass of vino – or some garlic fries and vino – who am I to judge?
I ate at Linger back in 2014 on my first visit to Denver with my husband and we were so blown away by the diversity of the menu as well as the beautiful location and views from this LoHi spot! The plates are meant to be shared and the menu spans the continents and various street food from each.
Because I loved the grub so much 3 years ago, we made reservations for dinner on my bestie trip!
You’ll get a bowl of popcorn upon arriving, so take that into account. It’s seasoned with cumin, paprika and a few other spices and I found myself stuffing my face with them even before we ordered. It’s kinda like chips and salsa, if you know what I mean – SO ADDICTIVE!
We ordered the sweet potato waffle fries (because I order fries always), Dahi Puri “Perfect Bites”, Pad Thai, Korean Fried Chicken Bao, and Tom Yum Soup. My favorite was the Dahi Puri mostly because it reminded me of my Mom’s except honestly (don’t tell her I said this), these were the best I’ve ever had. They didn’t crumble in my hand before I popped one in my mouth.
It’s upstairs right next to Little Man Ice Cream in LoHi and has some pretty epic views of Denver at sunset and night! Go up to the rooftop if you enjoy the breeze and an outdoor view of the city. It’s really breathtaking!
Make a reservation at El Five as soon as you decide to visit Denver. Book a table for sunset on the west side of the restaurant. Thank me later 🙂
The restaurant is HAUT! Up on the 5th floor in LoHi (around the corner from Linger), this spot is reminiscent of a club in Vegas or NYC.
Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy the best views of downtown Denver. I think the views at night under a full moon was pretty dope – I can’t imagine the view at sunset!
So the menu is Mediterranean Tapas – I’m drooling just thinking of it honestly. They feature food and flavors from 10 counties in the Mediterranean.
We enjoyed the Cauliflower Yuka, Chicken Kofta, Charred Baba Ganoush, and the Green Sofrito Paella. Do not leave the restaurant without having dessert – especially the Dragees (dark chocolate hazelnuts dusted in powdered sugar). Trust me, they’re worth it.
Save the paella for the next morning and have it for breakfast – that’s what I did. It’s loaded with superfoods and guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds.
If you love wine like I do, then get a glass. They have quite the selection. Cocktails looked really good too.
Sorry in advance for the weirdly lit pics – it was dark in the restaurant and I did my best 🙂
Alpine Dog Brewing
Spotted Alpine Dog when we were leaving the Ogden Theater to buy tickets to a show.
Yet another reason I love Denver – the sheer number of craft breweries and microbreweries that you’d never know about unless you walked by them!
I liked the natural lighting, opened windows (felt great on a 80-degree day), good selection of craft brews at Alpine Dog.
I tried the “It’s Pink” raspberry sour. Not too sour/tart, with just the right amount of flavor. Went down smooth! Friendly staff and lots of seating too!
Cerebral Brewing was on my list for ages and we finally made it there this trip. If you like the science behind beer, this is the spot for you. If you get a flight, they’ll pour your beer into beakers. It’s a really cool spot and their logo is awesome!
I overheard everyone ordering the Flaming Dragon, so of course, I ordered it to avoid FOMO! It’s a sour with dragonfruit, lime, ginger and lactose – didn’t make me pucker. Super smooth and having ginger in a beer (other than ginger beer) was a new thing for me. I really liked it and would recommend it! We got a flight because we wanted to try all of their beers and were pleased with all of our choices!
Check out our flight…
When my hubs (then boyfriend) first visited Denver together 4 years ago, we hit up a TON of breweries but Epic Brewing was our favorite that trip. We went back to it this past weekend to remind ourselves on why we loved it and always recommend that our friends visit.
The brewery is down off Walnut where others are located. Clearly that area has come a long way since we were here 4 years ago – reminds me of what is going on in Austin right now. Condos and apartments being built all over, restaurants, breweries etc, popping up.
Epic’s taproom is bright, always bustling and they’ve got all of our favorites and so many more to try! If you’ve ever had any of the Brainless series, they rotate out new ones from this taproom.
We each got a flight because there were so many new brews we wanted to try. I had the Belgian Flight and Hubs got the Hoppy one.
My favorite was the Brainless Passionfruit!
Love their space…
When you’re in Boulder, or even Denver because that’s not far, visiting Avery Brewing should be a the top of your list! It’s about 5 miles from the main area of Boulder, but the drive there is beautiful and you get to experience sprawling land and farmland which I find refreshing.
The brewery is MASSIVE! There are 3 different tap areas for you to enjoy a few brews. I prefer the one on the first level because they have a beautiful outdoor patio there too and it feels very bright and open to me.
They’ve got the best food menu I’ve ever seen or experienced at a brewery! Please come hungry – portions are large and shareable.
Try as many of the beers as you want – they have nearly 100 on tap – and can be overwhelming BUT the folks working there are more than happy to suggest something you’d like!
I told you this place was HUGE…
I swear we didn’t just eat and drink our way through Denver and Boulder 🙂
Enjoy your next trip to the Denver area and let me know if you need any suggestions other than the ones here!
Updated Aug 2018