Mexico City Dining Guide

As promised after my epic trip to CDMX, here are some of the spots we visited! We loved CDMX so much and will be back very soon! As usual, you’ll first see my map of the spots we visited here. Interact with it – I’ve added some pretty cool vertical videos for your viewing pleasure!

Brunch

Ojo de Agua was absolutely dreamy and so much so that we visited twice! Quite possibly the cutest spot with the tastiest food…from fresh agua frescas, to smoothies, to acai bowls, to chilaquiles and even sandwiches, you’re gonna want to go there everyday! You can grab the cutest little jars of spices, chocolate-covered coffee beans, etc. while you’re at it.

Look at this napkin holder setup!

Now this is an acai bowl! Fresh scoops of frozen dragon fruit and fresh fruit all over.

The prettiest chilaquiles right? They even give you a couple sides of habanero salsa if you so dare!

This is a cheese crepe stuffed with eggs and veggies and absolutely divine!

Fonda Margarita came highly recommended! They’re featured by Anthony Bourdain and also listed in Eater, Lonely Planet, etc. so definitely give them a try! Surprisingly, it was so close to our hotel! Think we got there earlier than most since it was empty and there were only 4 employees there. But, when we left, there were tons more people and alot more staff. CASH ONLY!

I’m not typically a macchiato or cortadito person, but they know how to make them in CDMX!

Huevos Rancheros – there was ham in here…never have had ham in rancheros.

Chilaquiles verdes – not as pretty as Ojo de Agua’s but tasty

Lunch or Dinner

When in Mexico City, one must eat ALOT of tacos. Specifically, al pastor tacos! And we had our share! If you’re a pork eater, load up on al pastor and cochinita pibil (which I love so much).

The Al Pastor tacos from La Flamita (which we happened to just come across on our walk around town) were delish!

Everywhere you go, you’ll see al pastor tacos and you can’t pass them up!

Everyone kept saying we should definitely hit up El Huequito for the best al pastor tacos so we went. There are tons of locations all over the city! They’re great for late night too! I’ll forever be dreaming of our meal there.

Bistec taco up top, pecha de pollo to the right, and the most amazing cochinita pibil tacos down below. Oh and you’ll get a tray of every salsa imagineable when you sit down!

While we were walking to a super cool jazz spot, Zinco, the hubs was hungry, and we spotted Taqueria Tlaquepaque that was popping inside with locals. You can order to-go right at the Al Pastor area, so he did. We loved watching the guy shave off the pineapple and meat and drop it into a tortilla (check out the map above for a video of this)! They even packed him up some salsas and lime!

Al Pastor tacos are everywhere and you can get them super late too!

Our first night, we had an early dinner (by Mexico City standards) because we were starving, and thankfully, Amaya was a 5-minute walk from our hotel. We were told that the owner of Amaya was also part owner of Bichi Wines, and this wine-lover had to go in to experience the food and wine of course! Staff were so attentive and sweet and the space is gorgeous!

Since Bichi Wines make small batches, this glass of Listan probably won’t be around when you go, but it was delish! Try any of them, they’d love to serve you!

I could have eaten 10 of the Ceviche and Fried fish Tostada

Freakin dreamy gnocchi with kale!

Grilled sea bass – to die for!

Um profiteroles with hazelnut ice cream – O M G

A well-known chef in Austin suggested we dine at Huset, so we made a reservation real quick, and boy am I glad we did! It’s a stunner of a space. They’ve made a magical garden out of what I think is an old warehouse sandwiched between two residential buildings. Be prepared to be WOW’d.

Huset is the most magical place.

This sea bass sashimi and gnocchi were both beautifully presented and absurdly delish!

Chicken and rice – everything cozy!

If you love seafood as much as I do, then Contramar has to be on your dining agenda for your next visit! The scene – quite busy and organized chaos – the staff are so efficient (we spent many a minutes watching them flip tables in 30 seconds or less). Loved the vibes though and well-worth the noise. Make sure to make a reservation!

Mahi Mahi Tiradito – such bright flavors!

Scallop Aguachile – omg that sauce!

Tuna Tostadas – by far the best I’ve had.

Sopes – with tuna! Love me some sopes!

So we originally had reservations elsewhere, but we kept seeing so many sushi restaurants all over town and decided we needed to see why. Enter Rokai and wow, what a great choice! They’re part of a large group of restaurants and each one is so unique. They’ll even walk you to your next destination if within the group – i.e. take me to Tokyo Music Bar or Le Tachinomi Desu for a drink please. We didn’t do the Omakase but they do have 2 options for it.

Kampachi sashimi – oh my word…we almost got another order

Salmon and avocado maki – nom nom

Spicy tuna and avocado maki – that tuna tho!

And all the nigiri!

Coffee and Cocktails

Leave it to me to find all the cute coffee shops! And of course, we stopped in for some epic cocktails too! First up, Cortaditto Cafe. We were walking through the Sunken Gardens aka Parque Hundido, and wanted a place to chill and sip on some coffee. Cortaditto Cafe did not disappoint. Super cute (check out my video in the map), and delish drinks.

We got the cubanitto (up top) and cortaditto (down below) – both perfecto!

Again, after visiting Frida Kahlo’s Museum, we walked through the neighborhood and bumped into a super adorbs spot called Hermann Thomas. I’m obsessed (check out the video in the map).

This space was so modern and beautifully lit. And they’ve got a cute living room too

The cutest macchiato and espresso – all while sitting in a presh living room

Ever had pox (pronounced posh)? We went to a poxeria called La Poxeria because they were playing some bumpin’ music and not crowded like a lot of the spots in Roma.

I got the Moxito – a mojito made with Pox – way better and less sweet than rum!

After our meal at Rokai, they took us across the road to a new spot just added to their group called Tokyo Music Bar. They had a DJ spinning records, and we really liked the scene there. Not crowded, epic cocktails, great convos with the bartenders. If you can’t get into Le Tachinomi Desu (standing room only bar), then hit up Tokyo Music Bar instead.

The pink and white – light and refreshing!

All in all, we had the most amazing trip and seriously are planning our next visit. From history, to culture, to art and to a world-renown food scene, Mexico City has it all! Let me know if you need more recommendations and happy traveling!

January, 2019

ATX vs. HOU BBQ Throwdown 2018 Recap

To state that I’m excited about attending the annual HOU vs ATX Throwdown next year is an understatement. I’m really not big into BBQ – well, I can’t eat as much as a true fan does – but I do love meeting the pitmasters, oogling over the meat and dining with friends and fellow fans!

This year, the throwdown was in Austin at Friends & Allies Brewing back parking lot. If you’ve ever been to a BBQ Festival, you know the lines can get long and the crowd can get wild, but the setup of this one was perfect. The lines were manageable, you could mingle and observe what was cooking at each spot, and the weather for the event was absolutely perfect. Pair it with a delicious brew from Friends & Allies, and you have a Sunday made in heaven!

Here are some photos from the unique BBQ bites we had at the event:

Smoked Brisket Tamale from El Burro and the Bull
Holiday Stuffed Brisket Tamale from Brett’s BBQ
Mexican Street Corn Dog by Bodacious BBQ – the winner!
This Brisket Burnt End Boudin from Stiles Switch was one of my favorites!
Smoked Lengua from LeRoy & Lewis – wowzas!
Smoked Beef Rib Quesadilla from Beavers was my absolute favorite and it won the People’s Choice!
Brett’s brought this nice sweet treat to wash down all the bbq – a strawberry rhubarb cobbler – divine!

If you can’t wait till the next throwdown between ATX and HOU around this time next year, then get your tickets for the HOU BBQ Festival on April 14th now! 

Hope to see you soon!

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

December, 2018

Artista Rosso Now Open for Brunch!

I was invited in by Artista Rosso for a blogger’s brunch preview before the official launch of Brunch service on 12/1. I’m going to be a frequent brunch-er there because HELLO NUTELLA BAR!

If you’ve been to the space at Lamar Union, previously Delicious, the newly renovated spot features a market for the neighboring residents, a coffee bar, an extensive wine selection, a full draught beer selection and tons of grab-and-go items. They’ve also obviously got a kitchen and are whipping out amazing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour and Brunch!

As you can tell from the pictures below, we had a feast! I’ll definitely be visiting again very soon because they’ve got crepes (made to order with lots of nutella!), cannolis (fill them with goodness), and all kinds of other super addictive delicious items that I’m a fan of.

Egg Benedict – look at all that shaved ham!
Coffee Bar view
All the goodness – Breakfast casserole, eggs benedict, garden hash, fruit, toast, mimosas!

Next time you’re looking for a brunch spot, head on over to Lamar Union and dine at Artista Rosso. Treat yo self! 

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

December, 2018

Do You Even Soufflé?

It’s Restaurant Week in Houston the whole month of August and since I travel there for work quite a bit, we decided to try out a spot included on the lineup that we wouldn’t typically go to.

Enter Rise n2, the most beautiful restaurant I’ve been in to date. Located off of Post Oak and San Felipe, this gorgeous French restaurant had me swooning not only for the soufflés but the decor and the kitchen accessories all available for purchase!

Our table setting – love the napkins and the menu that’s a map!

I started off with the French White Wine Flight because French wines are up there on my list of faves. They also brought out some bread which we had a guillotine looking bread cutter to slice the bread – “off with her bread” hehe.

You MUST order some fromage (cheese) from the Cheese Carriage – it’s such a fun experience to watch them make your cheeses of choice into beautiful flowers and see your cheese plate come to life. We tried so many cheeses that we wouldn’t have tried before.

The Cheese cart!

Our pretty plate of cheese!

Our 1st courses on the Restaurant Week menu were the Rise Salad and the Marshmallow Soup. The Rise Salad was so simple and flavorful – really really good!

Rise Salad

The Marshmallow Soup was a carrot and tomato bisque with a goat cheese marshmallow – amazing creation!

Marshmallow Soup

Next up, our soufflés! I ordered the Truffle Infused Mushroom and my friend ordered the Jambon & Gruyere. Both were decadent, rich and absolutely divine!

So beautifully plated and perfectly airy!

Bananas Foster Soufflé

And lastly, our dessert soufflés – Grand Marnier and Bananas Foster – wowzas! We finished these – too good to waste.

I can’t wait to go back and take all of my friends. It’s seriously the most magical place and the food, decor, staff and ambiance were outstanding!

Maybe we’ll meet there soon?

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

August, 2018

Cava is finally in the ATX!

Mediterranean food is by far my favorite cuisine and while some of my favorite spots to indulge in all things Shwarma, Kubideh, Tabouleh and Hummus are in Houston, when I heard fast-casual Cava was headed to Austin from the DC area, I stalked their page everyday for the news!

Enter the healthiest, most welcoming, beautiful Greek & Mediterranean casual modern restaurant!

Their location off Guadalupe aka The Drag has a beautiful patio with Will Bryantz artwork all over the walls making for tons of InstaWorthy shots!

Customized a Grains and Greens bowl with falafel and grilled meatballs

The entire spread with their housemade watermelon mint juice and strawberry citrus

A Grains and Greens bowl with falafel and chicken and a raspberry lime Spindrift

Pita with spicy lamb meatballs!

They have quite the selection of juices and teas – I really enjoyed the Watermelon Mint!

They’re now open in Westlake and coming soon to downtown #ATX off of 6th and Congress very soon!

Try everything, feel good about what you eat, and enjoy the vibes!

Bon Appetite!

-Shveta

July 2018

Best 5 East ATX Happy Hours

Boy do I love me a great happy hour! Especially when food + drinks are involved!

The hubs and I are always on the hunt for a great happy hour during the week because why would you want to spend double to eat just a few minutes later?

Below is a new feature you’ll start to see in some of my posts. You can interact with the map (if you’re a visual person like me wanting to see how close a particular venue is to your home, then you’re going to love this addition)!

Enter my favorite 5 East ATX Happy Hours right now:

Revelry Kitchen + Bar

I’ve been a big time fan of Revelry Kitchen + Bar since they opened! The environment is nice, bright and open, and the staff are super sweet and have been there from the beginning! I’m the Duchess of RKB on Yelp and when that actually happened, the bar manager, Kyle, ordered a crown for me through Favor!

They have Happy Hour all night on Mondays and Tues-Fri 4:00-7:00PM! Select glasses of wine are $2 off, $2 off House Cocktails, $1 off draft and $4 Wells, $3 Texas Cans, and $5 selected appetizers.

Their Chicken Lollipops are a must when you go for happy hour – they have some of the most creative flavors and right now, their Asian Garlic flavor is my go-to!

Address: 1410 E. 6th Street

Website: http://revelryatx.com/

Happy Hour: All night on Monday and Tuesday-Friday 4:00-7:00PM

They’ve got frosé all day!
And dang good Rosé!
Fish tacos and the AKA (avocado, kale, artichoke) dip!
Asian Garlic Chicken Lollipops are my absolute fave!

Unit D Pizzeria

Unit D Pizzeria has been my comfort, sweet spot for almost 2 years. Stop on in and you’ll see why. It’s approachable, aesthetically beautiful, the staff have been there from the beginning and will remember your name, the Neapolitan pizzas are truly a delight, the meat and cheese board is one of the best I’ve had, and they have quite the selection of beer and wine!

Really, you don’t have any excuse not to go. Beware though, it’ll become your favorite, most frequented spot pretty quickly 🙂

Happy Hour deals are clutch here – $5 for their happy hour bites! Try them all. They’re meant to share or enjoy them all on your own and make it a meal!

Address: 2406 Manor Rd. Unit D

Website: http://www.unitdpizzeria.com/

Happy Hour: Monday, Wednesday-Friday 5:00-7:00PM

Please have the Chaat Chicken!
They’ve got a wonderful rosé on happy hour!

Grizzelda’s

I’ve celebrated many occasions at Grizzelda’s (bachelorette, birthday, anniversary, gal’s night) and they always tempt me into coming back for more. Perhaps it’s all the pretty fuscia colored everything, the wonderful service, or the super big hearts the owners have for the community, but I’m a loyal fan.

Have you had their Ceviche Mixto?! OMG, it’s craveable and a must if you go there (during or after happy hour)!  Their Tostaditas picadillo beef from Jacoby’s Ranch are also one of my faves! Get yourself a FroMo for $6 — be careful because it’s so good and strong and you may want a second one but you’ll definitely feel it the next day 🙂 Wines are $2 off per glass as well – they always have the most amazing selection and Vinho Verde rosés!

Grizzelda’s happy hour runs Tues-Fri 5:00-7:00PM so definitely take advantage!

Address: 105 Tillery St.

Website: https://grizzeldas.com/

Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday 5:00-7:00PM

Ceviche Mixto, you have my heart!
Tostaditas with Jacoby Ranch Beef!
FroMo – yasss!
Grizzelda’s prettiest drink!

Blue Dahlia Bistro

Blue Dahlia has a fantastic happy hour including many of our favorites at a heavy discount! Their happy hour runs M-F 3:00-6:30PM and Sundays 6:00-9:00PM and includes this gorgeous meat and cheese board for $10! It comes with a selection of their fresh baked breads! My glass of wine was $5 and they have quite a few options (along with some draft beer).

They have a few of my favorite tartines (open-faced sandwiches) on happy hour as well. I typically order the Egg Salad tartine (because it has capers)!

Honestly, anything and everything I’ve eaten there always blows me away. If you want a place guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds, Blue Dahlia is all yours.

Address: 1115 E. 11th St.

Website: http://bluedahliabistro.com/

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3:00-6:30PM and Sunday 6:00-9:00PM

Meat and cheese board – only $10 during happy hour

Hank’s

Hank’s is the perfect addition to the Windsor Park neighborhood and might I mention that it is HUGE! I can’t wait until it cools off a bit so I can really enjoy the super long front patio that extends the length of the restaurant. They have shades all over now though so it at least keeps the sun from beating down your back in the late afternoon hours.

Their happy hour is epic – 1/2 off appetizers, $5 frozen (Frosé and Palomas) and tap cocktails, $5 tap wine and $1 off beer! They’ve got a large appetizer menu and you can easily make it a dinner – and it’s 1/2 off EVERYDAY from 3-6:30PM!

Address: 5811 Berkman Dr.

Website: www.hanksaustin.com

Happy Hour: Everyday 3:00-6:30PM

The most delish Baked Ricotta
Frosé – the best in town – only $5 during happy hour!
All the happy hour noms!
Frozen Paloma – yassss!

I’ll be sure to update this as my list changes so stay tuned! Comment below if you have other epic happy hour recommendations for me.

Cheers,

-Shveta

*This post is not sponsored and all opinions and pictures are my own.

Updated July, 2018

Celebrated My Birthday with Kodiak Cakes!

TFW you receive an invite to an event at Lenoir hosted by Kodiak Cakes on your birthday, you shift around brunch plans and gooooooooooooooo!

We started off the brunch out in the wine garden on a beautiful Saturday morning and nibbled on some Kodiak Donut Holes with Calamondin Marmalade, Smoked Fish Salad, and a Lenoir Pullman while sipping on some coffee!

They’re laughing with me not at me 🙂 Rachel, Monique and Kelsey – aren’t they adorbs?

Donut Holes

Smoked Fish Salad

We then moved on in to Lenoir’s main space – it’s by far one of my most favorite spots to dine. Super romantic, cute, French-vibes and just adorable!

That chandelier though!

Our table so cutely setup with fresh flowers!

We nommed on so many yummies made with Kodiak Cakes’ products:

Strawberry Pistachio Granola Parfait – I loved the yogurt – kinda like greek but not greek!

Next up, the roasted beet crepe – wowzas, I loved how savory and satisfying it was. And come on, I am a beet-lover!

I present to you the Kodiak Waffle and Smoked Fried Chicken – what an amazing pairing!

Last but not least, the Kodiak Brownie with whipped creme fraiche was delightful! I really enjoyed the brownie and the face that it wasn’t too sweet!

All in all, a wonderful experience with my fellow foodies! I can’t wait to try out more of Kodiak’s products at home as I test out some creations with their ingredients! Thanks to Lenoir for the gorgeous backdrop and Kodiak Cakes for ringing in another year of my life with me 🙂

Bon Appetite,

-Shveta

March 2018

TLC Austin – Everybody Needs Some #TLC

You know I was born and raised in wayyyyyyyyyy south Louisiana right? If you didn’t, now you do! I’m pretty sure I was the first of Indian descent kiddo born in lil ole Thibodaux, LA.

Growing up there, we had crawfish boils all the time. I mean, as soon as it was crawfish catching time, our neighbors would have us all over for the most epic boils. <drooling about those potatoes and corn in the boil right now>

A bunch of us food bloggers were treated to a new take on a traditional seafood boil as well as tons of other really yummy and approachable Texas Comfort Food at the newly opened TLC Austin at Lamar Union last weekend! #media

The space is family-friendly, large, full of TV’s, a gameroom, and a beer hall feel (they’ve got 30 beers on draught) and their cocktails are creative and spot on! Not to mention the food was ridiculously good and super fresh.

Need a place to watch the Super Bowl? TLC should be your spot!

Nomsssss

We started with a tower of oysters and shrimp cocktail. Sorry y’all, I was unable to get a picture but these were SO GOOD and fresh! The shrimp cocktail was really really good and usually I steer clear of them and lean towards the fried stuff.

We were served tons of apps for the table:

Hushpuppies with crawfish etouffe dipping sauce!

Deviled Eggs with bbq yumminess on top!

Fried Okra – I liked them lengthwise!

Oysters Rockefeller – woah, I’d eat that spinach base ALL DAY!

Then the Main Courses started coming out and we got full real quick from all the absolutely delicious sandwiches and chicken fried steak!

They’re large and affordable (in my opinion):

The Enlightenment – all the veggies in this one and that bread is perfectly toasted!

Pork tasso with a pretty egg on top!

Fried Green Tomato BLT – SAY WHATTTTTTTT?!?!

DKR – roast beef sandwich – you must dip it into the tastiest au jus!

The hubs said this was his favorite Chicken Fried Steak ever! And those mashed potatoes and brussels were a really nice addition!

And last but not least, the boiled seafood with amazing cajun spices came out:

Snow Crab, King Crab, Shrimp and P.E.I. Mussels – and don’t forget about those potatoes, corn and BUTTER!

They have an entire portion of the menu dedicated to The Boil – pick your seafood, pick your spices and pick your sauce. I personally love Texas Heat and Cajun Spice and all the lemon garlic butter! But that’s just my cajun roots coming out 🙂

No meal is really complete (although you may not have room in your tummy for anything else), without some dessert. And in my world, CHOCOLATE!

Enter all the sweet treats:

Up top: Chocolate Brownie Middle: Fruit Cobbler Bottom: Texas Pecan Pie

Drooling yet?!

All in all, this is quite the hang out for watching a game or two, nomming on some really delicious food and drinking a bev! The kids will love it too as there are indoor and outdoor games for them to enjoy while you get in some adult time!

Would love to dine at TLC with all of you soon!

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

February, 2018

Oui Oui Gimme Everything Le Politique!

I’ve dined at Le Politique twice in the last week – once for brunch and once for dinner with my coworkers. Both experiences were great with outstanding food and drank!

First off brunch:

The short rib hash – with an egg on top!

Quiche Lorraine!

Legation Burger and Pommes Frites – I’d eat this everyday!

Love their custom cheese boards!

OH MY WORD, YOU MUST EAT THIS PAIN AU CHOCOLAT!

 

Dinner time grub:

A custom cheese board and Escargot to start!

The Boudin Blanc – really really good!

I’d say go in for brunch or dinner soon so you can see what all the hype is about. Let me know your faves! Oh and please, eat a pain au chocolat and get a capuccino!

Bon Appetite!

-Shveta

December, 2017

ATX_Bites’ Guide to Dining in Denver

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!

The Guide:

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 —

Breakfast

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.

Jelly Cafe

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….

Loved the Beet Hummus Avocado Toast!

Carbon Cafe

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

Wonder

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.

Super creamy, yummy golden latte
Love the Left Coast Toast!

Brunch/Lunch

Root Down

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).

Closeup of the Roasted Beet Salad
Masala Eggs (bottom left)

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!

The Shakshuka – So light and flavorful!
The clam escabeche on the Fish Board was delightful!

Happy Hour

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!

Grab a seat outside when it’s nice out!

The Kitchen

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?

Garlic fries and rosé!

Dinner

Linger

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.

Sweet Potato Waffle Fries
Dahi Puri “Perfect Bites”
Pad Thai
Korean Fried Chicken Bao
Tom Yum Soup

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!

El Five

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 🙂

Wine with a view! That’s the moon at the top left corner of the wine.
Amuse Bouche – manchego cheese and other flavors that were ridiculously good!
Charred Baba Ganoush
Chicken Kofta
Green Sofrito Paella
Cauliflower Yufka – tastes like a thinner, tastier samosa
Dragees

Breweries

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!

It’s Pink!

Cerebral Brewing

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!

The Flaming Dragon

Check out our flight…

Epic Brewing

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!

Belgian Flight

Love their space…

Avery Brewing

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!

Gumbo – chicken, crawfish and sausage – CRAVEABLE
Cobb salad with chicken – they used arugula – loved it!

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!

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

Updated Aug 2018