Updated: Mar 31, 2020
I couldn’t come all this way without hitting the town! In addition to the Ski Trip in Breckenridge, we spent one and a half days discovering Denver. I just knew it was more to Denver than... let’s just call it “recreational activities." Though we didn't have as much time as I wanted, we conquered a lot. To prepare, I read a few blogs and researched a few things to make sure I had a great Denver experience.
Here are the top 5 places I enjoyed while in Denver.
1. Great Divide Brewing Co
I’m definitely NOT a beer connoisseur. Heck, I can only handle a few light beers without hurting my taste buds with the awkward yet acquired taste. But one can’t come all this way and not have a few brews in one of the U.S top beer cities.
I guarantee you, Denver knows beer! Denver has over 76 breweries in the metro area and over 100 breweries in the state. From the numerous breweries around the city to the many restaurants serving long lists, you’re bound to be delighted by one of their crafted beers. They even have a stadium named after it along with hosting the U.S. largest beer festival. Coors, the largest brewing facility, is located right outside Denver.
Of all the choices, we were recommended Great Divide Brewing Co. Located in the Ballpark area; this neighborhood brewery has a variety of uniquely flavorful beers to try. Though they all were rather challenging to indulge, I did find 2 quite delightful.
And I couldn’t leave without a guided tour. Learning how the owner gained his passion for beer through his time spent overseas building farms in developing countries and then coming back to Denver and started his company with a team of one was quite exhilarating. The brewery has grown a lot with local favorites and participation with nearby events. Who doesn’t like a local favorite?
Imagine going to into cool swanky warehouse that provides yummy delectables from chef-inspired cuisines. It’s almost like placing a food truck park in a building with 2 bars and a rooftop showcasing an amazing view of the city. Whoever created this place was a pure genius!
Inspired by European markets, this place provides one with 7 different culinary options under one
roof. They have 2 floors that allow you to go from the dining and lounge-y vibe to a rooftop soiree. With knowledgeable handy bartenders putting together a lip-smacking concoction, this place would make you feel as if you were living in the life of luxury. The best part was everything was reasonably priced!
We truly enjoyed ourselves here. No complaints about food choices or limiting your taste because it was so many to choose from. I believe the best part about this place is the food options change. I don’t know how often, but that is a great concept for cooks to try new dishes and keep the customers coming back to explore more options. Definitely on my list to return next time I visit.
3. Williams & Graham
Ever seen in the movies those haunted houses with secret doors that lead to a secret passage?
Well, let’s take out the haunted part because it’s nothing close to scary, but rather cool to open a bookshelf that leads to a bar! Yea that’s right, a hidden bar!
We were uber tired from a day of adventure, but I couldn’t miss my opportunity to visit a real speakeasy bar. Being that this place is considered one of the top bars in the world, I had to see what all the fuss was about. The bar sits on the corner of an ordinary street and when you walk in you see a desk, bookshelf, and a hallway. You hear nothing, but the other bar next door. When it was our turn to enter (of course I asked to open the door), we were met with a burst of chatter coming from a barely lit room. It was very small and intimate setting. We didn’t bother with the menus because it was so dark we couldn’t read them. We ordered our well-made drinks and sat back and took in the ambiance.
This speakeasy is not your normal everyday bar, but more so a destination activity. This is a great place for those who want to enjoy a great cocktail. Being that it was Monday, we were lucky to get in without a reservation. This pre-prohibition speakeasy is a very popular place that tends to fill up rather quickly and with very few seating it doesn’t take much. I recommend one make reservations.
4. Little Man Ice Cream
“I scream, you scream! We all scream for ice-cream!” Ok, not really. I don’t even like ice-cream like that. I just had to try it because I saw it on a list of cool cheap things to do in Denver. Some may say, “It’s all the same”, ok well I do, but I might not add this place to the list.
This ice-cream stand reminded me of those stands you saw in the old movies based in New York. The uniforms and building all fit the bill. In a sense, it was building the grand experience. And did I mention how long the line was? It was only 10:30pm and the line was curving on the sidewalk. Denver was definitely holding on to a secret.
The choices varied and were forever changing. The even had vegan ice-cream! My mouth watered for the orange creamsicle flavor. I read that it was really good here, but when I got there they didn’t have it because it wasn’t a flavor for the day. Bummed, I ended up with my ole faithful butter pecan and I must say it was rather tasty. I still want to go back for my orange creamsicle, though. It’s all Fred’s fault with the push pops because I’m hooked!
5. Jelly Café
Jelly Café was on a list of top breakfast eats in Denver. Known for the nostalgia cereal boxes on the walls and yummy doughnut holes, it was a must try. Being our last day and realizing how much food and beer we'd consumed this trip, we opted to take a bike. Most major cities have the option to rent a bike for an allotted time for a low cost. We walked the city to a nearby rental, grabbed our bikes, and were off to breakfast.
Besides the amazing breakfast, lavender blueberry pancakes to die for, I couldn’t let my last moments in Denver past by without bottomless mimosas. Those mimosas just made the food taste even better as I admire the many cereal boxes of my childhood. It was also a great way to forget how many miles we just biked to find this place. We definitely needed our fuel.
The other best part about breakfast was the doughnuts. Who could resist homemade doughnuts filled with all types of fillings? I believe the best one was the hazelnut (I’m a little biased since hazelnut is my favorite). OMG! My mouth is watering again.
Note: Biking while intoxicated is THE WORST idea ever.
Next time Summer in Denver, XO