As one of my goals for my golden year, I noted that I needed to visit Denver. Ya know, see something new. Every year I tend to visit the same cities & this year I needed to branch out a bit. Naturally, being the follow through-er that I am, I went! & thankfully during the best time of the year, October. Something about hearing those autumn leaves crunch under my boots, smelling hot cinnamon cider, & feeling that chilly wind crash on my neck, were all almost too great to leave. The food turned out to be overly impressive, the coffee blew me away, there’s a brewery on every corner, & some rooftop views that don’t disappoint. You could say Denver is my kind of city. So when I was in Denver, I didn’t leave the city. Yes, I went to Denver and didn’t go to the mountains. If you know me well, you know why that makes complete sense. Plus, you could totally see the mountain range from the rooftop bars anyway. All in all, I’m really happy that I went. I stayed in my first Airbnb, explored a new city, & most importantly, ate my way through Denver. This blog will feature 16 breweries, 11 restaurants, 3 ice cream shops, & 2 coffee spots. I’ll also talk a little about what I did, and some pro tips if you want to check out Denver for yourself. Ahh, the wild west.
From the Union Station to the RiNo Art District, from MLK to Highland, & all the streets between, literally.
Here is my breakdown of Denver:
Day 1: Since our flight out of Miami had been delayed nearly two hours, we ended up making it to Denver around 12 p.m. on Thursday. We took a Lyft straight to the Airbnb & checked in promptly. Eager to check out the city, we quickly changed our attire & made our way downtown. Levi & I went to a couple dispensaries in the RiNo (River North) district, bought a couple edibles, & made our way to View House bar. View House is a must do if you’re in the city. The view from their top floor is one of the best I saw on the trip. They also stock some local craft beers on draft & in bottles/cans. The food? To die for. Fresh ingredients, multiple options/substitutions & did I mention the beer? Exhausted from traveling & eating & walking around, we decided to call it a night. With four long days ahead of us, we were going to need our energy. We were right.
Day 2: We Lyfted straight to Denver’s Union Station, where I ate at Acme Delicatessian & then an hour later at a different breakfast place called Snooze. This is why my total for food came to $400. No regrets. At Acme, I had their signature LOX Bagel. An everything bagel topped with salmon, cream cheese, tomato, & capers. Delicious is an understatement. Since Acme doesn’t have coffee, & we all know how I have caffeine running through my veins, they directed me next door. Still inside Union Station, I tried Pigtrain coffee bar. This coffee spot has the cutest do-it-yourself add on station where you can add your own cream, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. So as I was standing in line for my coffee, Levi wandered over to Terminal Bar. Which you guessed it, is also in Denver’s Union Station. This place is just awesome, it’s all black and white, classic, & just so neat. The whole atmosphere of Union Station is unbelievable, the hustle & bustle, the people, the transit, just really blew me away. Enough to visit it three more times on this trip. Then we made our way to Snooze, I had the classic breakfast but it did not disappoint. Their hash browns are to die for. Snooze was so good, we ate their twice on this trip. Levi & I never do that! After finishing our breakfast we started walking around the city. We stumbled across 16th Street Mall, which has some good stores like Loft, Forever 21, and Sephora. After the mall, we went to Rock Bottom Brewing where we shared a flight. Crossed the street over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where we had dessert. Then, after the chocolate factory, something amazing happened. We discovered the motorized scooters. AND, we snagged two for ourselves. If you’re not familiar with the motor scooter craze you can watch a short video about it here. But what I can tell you is that this completely revolutionized our means of transportation, and we got to see so much more of Denver! Right now there are 5 brands of scooters on the streets of Denver, Lime, Bird, Lyft, Spin, & Razor. Lime & Razor go the fastest, Lime also says the battery percentage, Bird’s are easy to come by, Lyft’s you can reserve, etc. They all have a few different perks but it’s all the same jist. $1 to unlock, 15 cents a minute. Once we discovered these, my wallet was doomed. A total of $278.33 was spent on scooters this trip for Levi and I combined. *facepalm* That’s why I’m not kidding when I say & all the streets between because we covered an average of 6 miles a day. We scootered to breweries, cideries, restaurants, parks, & cute places like Dairy block, & Larimer St. I have to say, these scooters were my favorite part of the trip! On day 2 we also checked out Little Biju’s Curry Shop. This was my first time having Indian food & WOW. If I ever find myself in Denver I’m making a point to get back here. This is the Chipotle of Indian food, it’s a build as you go style restaurant that brings the heat, or not, based on your preferences. All in the same area (River North), we headed to Stem Ciders, followed by Our Mutual Friend Brewing, 14 er & Odell Brewing. Then, something amazing happened. Levi and I stumbled across my favorite taproom ever, First Draft! First Draft is awesome for beer and cider lovers because you hook your debit card up to a pour card and get to pour the beer right out of the wall yourself! I’ve been to similar places while traveling, but this place took the cake with the outgoing atmosphere & crowd. We stayed here basically all night and turned in around 2 a.m.
Day 3: Lyfted straight to Denver Biscuit Company & had ourselves a classic midwestern breakfast. The wait was over two hours so we had a little impromptu photo shoot in our downtime. And yes found some more scooters. When we did get seated, we got the best spot in the house! The top bar that looks over the place and has a bartender serving you drinks as you finish them. My kinda place. At Denver Biscuit Co. I had ‘The Franklin’. A buttermilk biscuit with fried chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, smothered in housemate sausage gravy, with an egg on top to make it more breakfasty. Don’t skip out on their cinnamon rolls either, to. die. for. Next, we scootered around the city, checked out the graffiti art in the RiNo district, and sat in the park for a bit. We ate dinner that night at Work & Class, a really trendy American tapas restaurant. If you don’t know what tapas are, the best way I can describe it is a sharable, smaller sized, still very much full price, menu that is designed to be shared among your table. The food was great, the service was fantastic, and the atmosphere is upbeat. After Work & Class we headed to Dairy Block to see what exciting stuff was happening on that side of town. To my surprise, quite a lot. This whole ‘marketplace/dining hall’ concept that seems to be popping up in various cities, ya know like six restaurants in one location sort of thing? Phenomenal. Outstanding. I can defiantly get behind this. Its such a neat idea because if you’re going out with a group of friends you’re not limited to just one menu, you can choose from any of the restaurants. The only thing shared is the tables and space. After Dairy Block we went to Union Station for Milkbox Creamery. I got pumpkin pie ice-cream & Levi got a delicious cookie and cream milkshake. We stayed at Union Station and drank at the Terminal Bar all night.
Day 4: My favorite day by far! We got up early to snag our scooters and covered the most mileage this day. From 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. we scootered all around Denver including up to Highland and through city park. We started off at Dairy Block to get coffee from a sweet shop called Morning Jones. Then we headed to Highlands to a collective eatery named Avanti. Not overly impressed, we headed back to where we started, Denver’s Central Market. Here I ate at a restaurant inside called SK Provisions. The half chicken is delicious and their homemade sides are impressively fresh and tasty. I also had to snag some ice-cream in the central market at a place called High Point Creamery. The salted caramel, just wow. After lunch, we knocked out four breweries and one cider place. We went to Great Divide Brewing Company, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, C squared Ciders, Ratio Beerworks, & Epic Brewing. We would scooter to the next spot down the road, lock our scooters, share a flight, and continue on. It was really fun hopping around the city enjoying new beer and meeting new people. Everywhere we went people were so friendly and just happy to talk your ear off. After boozing for a few hours we headed back to the Airbnb and freshened up for the Warriors vs. Nuggets game. Although Golden State lost, I got to see them play in person for the first time! After the game, we walked through the city, revisited a few of our favorite breweries, and eventually called it a night.
Day 5: We went back to our favorite place that we experienced on the trip for breakfast, Snooze. This time I had the Snooze Studs Deluxe. A heaping portion of hash browns, covered with melted cheddar & jack cheese, scallions plus a choice of two fillings, and topped with eggs. After our breakfast, we rented our scooters and made one last round around the city. We visited Wynkoop Brewing, Cerveceria, my favorite one from the trip, Denver Beer Company,10 Barrel Brewing & last but not least, Beryls Beer Co. We also checked out Highland, Lodo, and Five Points this day. We did a total of 7 miles on scooters, hung out in the park, and enjoyed our last day in Denver!
So that’s it! My recap of Denver, the mile high city. So punny.
Now that I’ve gone and experienced, I’m ready to share some pro tips for you:
Denver is freezing in the shade and burning in the sun, bring a cardigan with you everywhere.
If you’d like to see a mountain, but you’re not renting a car, take a train from Union Station out to Golden, that’s the closest mountain experience.
Or rent that car and go to Boulder. Be prepared, it’s quite a ways from the immediate city.
GET THE SCOOTERS OMGGGGG
Edibles are good in moderation.
October is the best time to go.
Do your research! Look up places to eat and things to do so you don’t waste any time!
Talk to the locals, if you need something, they’ve got the best insights.