Denver is a hip city located in the midst of amazing natural beauty. We have some really good friends in Denver so over the past few years we’ve had opportunities to visit and explore in both the winter, spring & summer seasons. I am sharing some of my favorite spots, as well as places to explore in the surrounding areas. (Pro tip: If this is your first time visiting Denver, just be aware that the altitude can cause symptoms such as nausea and dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water and take it easy if you are doing any hiking.) ♥
River North Arts District
While we are lucky enough to be able to stay with friends when we visit Denver, we spend a lot of our time in this artsy neighborhood and it has plenty of great spots within walking distance.
Thump Coffee | 1201 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80218 (Multiple Locations)
I’ve spent several mornings teleworking from this chill cafe. In addition to delicious coffee beverages they also offer breakfast & lunch options and local beer & kombucha on tap. Wifi is free and unlimited and there are plenty of spots to set up and plug in if you get there early.
Snooze an A.M. Eatery | 2262 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
This was a happening diner in a fun neighborhood, complete with bright & retro decor. Expect a wait and an amazing selection of egg’s benedicts, breakfast sammies and sweet treats.
Rosenbergs Bagels & Deli | 725 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80205
Don’t miss this authentic New York bagel shop on your breakfast rotation in Denver! Yes, the line is really long. Yes, maybe the sandwiches are a bit pricy. But you will not be disappointed with the quality! I mean, they import the water they use to make the bagels from New York, so you know it’s gotta be good.
Sassafras American Eatery | 2637 W 26th Ave, Denver CO 80211
This restaurant has a 2 locations in Denver and one in Golden, Colorado and is also a popular spot. The location we went to in Jefferson Park was in an old house and had eclectic decor and a cute outdoor dining area. The food was American Southern with a strong Cajun flair, and my “Maque Choux Grits” were sooo good with pimento cheese. They also have lots of creative cocktails, milkshakes & coffee drinks – the first Bloody Mary I tried was too spicy (the Sasafrass Mary) and when I couldn’t drink it easily they brought me the Garden Mary with no extra charge which I thought was really nice. We shared the beignets at our table which were pillowy and excellent.
Los Chingones | 2463 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Upscale Mexican in RINO district, has a nice outdoor dining area, creative tacos & good margaritas.
Mizu Izakaya | 1560 Boulder St, Denver, CO 80211
I was surprised to discover Denver has a sushi scene! Mizu had an ultra trendy vibe and the sushi was great – they also had a lot of alternatives to sushi rolls & interesting appetizers, like the crispy brussel sprouts with candied walnuts & lemon oil which were delicious.
The Inventing Room | 4433 W 29th Ave #101, Denver, CO 80212
This place had the most interesting desserts I’ve ever seen – and they are all made with science! Ice cream made on to order with liquid nitrogen is then combined with imaginative ingredients to create instaworthy (and drool worthy) masterpieces. I had the Coconut Rice Pudding Ice Cream with Tropical Fruits & Curried Rice Paper (Amazing), but other items include Creme Brulee Waffle with Grilled Strawberry Jam Ice Cream & Nutella and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Cream & Vanilla Bean Cotton Candy. How could you skip this place?
Ratio Beerworks | 2920 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
As you will discover, Denver and the surrounding areas have a lot of breweries, lots of which I have yet to visit. Ratio, however, has been a staple of ours during our time spent in Denver, located in the RINO neighborhood. It’s selection is simple and I enjoy their French saison the best. The outdoor seating area is really fun and has corn hole and usually cute dogs (with their humans of course!). There are rotating street trucks parked outside if you get hungry.
Avanti Food & Beverage | 3200 Pecos Street, Denver, CO
This whole “upscale cafeteria” with a bar trend has really caught on…and I like it! Avanti is one such place – a group of food vendors and a bar all under one roof. There is also a really cool porch/rooftop area where you can sip your cocktail (Paloma in my case) while looking out at the Denver skyline. I hear it gets crazy crowded for happy hour and at night, my friends and I visited during the week mid afternoon and it was lovely.
Venture Out of the City
I recommend you spend at least a day outside of the city, exploring the surrounding nature and towns. Some great places to visit are Breckenridge (great in the winter for skiing with a cute downtown), Golden (historic town with a river where you can go tubing in the summer), Boulder (college town with pedestrian shopping area and hiking nearby at Chautauqua Park). You can also visit drive up the Mount Evans Scenic Byway and take in the views at the top of this 14,000+ peak, or if you are more ambitious you can also hike it. Red Rocks is a large music venue right outside of the city and is breathtaking – definitely stop by and see it even if you can’t catch a show there.
Denver Cat Company | 3929 Tennyson Street, Denver, Colorado 80212
I have this thing where I now visit Cat Cafes in every city I go to. This isn’t 100% true but I have started racking up my experiences! As far as Cat Cafes go, Denver Cat Company rates really well. There is not a strong discernible “cat smell” and they had tons of ADOPTABLE cuties to play with, some of which were kittens! There is also wifi and nice areas to sit, work & read. There is an $8 entrance fee to cover the cost of the foster program which I think is totally reasonable. Like most cat “cafes” in the US, this is not an actual cafe with meal service, although you can buy coffee, hot chocolate or snacks.
This is a cute area where the cat cafe is and has some nice boutiques & vintage stores. Jolly Goods had a good mix of locally made art, gifts & clothing. SecondLove was also really cute – the interior had a really cool aesthetic and they had a really curated collection of designer and affordable consignment pieces. Lady Jones was a really nice boutique with a lot of trendy yet classy pieces that you could wear to work or out.
RINO (see above) also has a few neat shops, notably Topo, the flagship store of high-design, colorful, USA-made outdoor gear, apparel & bags.