I always plan my trips around the meals and drinks I want to indulge on while visiting a new city. My recent 48 hour trip to Denver was no exception – I may have even fit more than 3 meals per day 😂😂😂 #sorrynotsorry
Denver has an amazing food and beverage scene, comparable to New Orleans, Houston, New York, you name it! I was completely blown away by every single spot we visited during this vacation – and I’m counting the days until I can return to all of these spots.
Breakfast: At the Magnolia Hotel Denver
I left Houston at the crack of dawn and was obviously starving by the time I made it to Union Station in Denver. After a quick 10 minute walk to the hotel, I was sitting down having coffee and breakfast at Harry’s inside the Magnolia Hotel.
Don’t miss this dish: Español Benedict (poached eggs, chorizo & a green chili hollandaise).
After walking around Denver on a day that was surprisingly warm, I needed to cool down with an Aperol Spritz. Rioja is an iconic Denver restaurant, and although I didn’t have time to fit in a full meal there, we popped in for a couple of cocktails.
Late Lunch: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (LoDo)
Did you know you can get some of the freshest seafood while in Denver? Yup. It’s flown in every single day to Jax Fish & Oyster Bar! This neighborhood fish house is not only known for their oyster bar but also for their commitment to sustainable seafood! They even have their own proprietary oyster, the Emersum Oyster, which comes to them from Rappahannock River Oysters (RRO) in Virginia.
Don’t miss this dish: Emersum oysters & their Key Lime Pie
Happy Hour: Linger
Prepare to be blown away by the drinks, the food, the service and the place itself. Linger is an old mortuary turned restaurant with a rooftop lounge & global small plates. Yes, you heard that right! Tucked in the LoHi neighborhood, Linger is a spot that you cannot miss when you’re in Denver.
Don’t miss these dishes: 5-Spice Pork Bell Bao Bun & Mexican Hot Chocolate Caramel (WOW!)
Don’t miss this cocktail: Sangria Rojo
Dinner & Drinks: El Five
Save room for the amazing things that you’ll see, eat and drink at El Five, y’all! On the 5th floor of a LoHi building, you’ll find unobstructed city views of the downtown Denver skyline, tapas de Gibraltar & Gin Tonics.
Walking into El Five feels like you just entered the hippest spot on the Mediterranean! I wish we could have had more time to come back for a second night at El Five; the Gin Tonics, the food, the service and the ambiance were unlike any other place I’ve been!
Don’t miss this dish: Spreads of the Med, Peanut & Charred Carrot Hummus and House-Made Pita
Don’t miss this cocktail: Gin Tonic De Barcelona – there are 5 varieties. Try at least 2 of them!
Late Night Drinks: Williams & Graham
Behind a bookcase, you’ll find this speakeasy that also happens to be one of the best 50 bars in the world! After dinner, I suggest you pop in here for a nightcap (or two). You won’t be disappointed.
Brunch & a Show: Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
A Sunday funday unlike any other begins with brunch and a show at Ophelia’s. If you’ve already booked your trip to Denver as you’ve been reading this, do yourself a favor and get a reservation at Ophelia’s now! It was completely full when I went, and I would have hated to miss this magical experience. This is one of the funkiest meals I’ve ever had, the huge multi-level restaurant with live music has great vibes, and delicious eclectic American eats.
Don’t miss this dish: The Bison Burger on a Pretzel Bun
Don’t miss this cocktail: The Cold Bruno, it’ll wake you right up!
Post-Brunch Fun: 54Thirty Rooftop Bar
I was very excited to check out the rooftop bar at Le Méridien Hotel, unfortunately, there was a lot of snow that day and we were unable to go. However, I’m keeping it on the list because everyone told us it was a must-see when in Denver!
Happy Hour: Avanti Food & Beverage
After checking out the Denver Art Museum (which is currently under renovation and has less exhibits than usual btw), we were ready to relax a bit before dinner. We hopped over to LoHi again and visited Avanti Food & Beverage. I had visited Avanti in a previous trip to Denver and it’s one of the best food halls I’ve ever been to. It’s cozy, the food is great, it has 2 bars and in the winter they feature a Miracle Pop Up Bar (reservations are required for this pop up).
Dinner: Root Down
Root Down is one of the most beloved restaurants in Denver. The restaurant is housed inside a converted filling station, with repurposed basketball court floors and serves globally-influenced seasonal cuisine, with a focus on organic, natural and locally-sourced ingredients. It’s impossible to pick a favorite restaurant from this trip, but this one came pretty close to being our favorite!
When planning this trip I was captivated by their purpose “Root Down aims to connect the neighborhood to a dining experience in the same way ingredients are connected to food”, and you could truly feel this in everything they did. From the impeccable service, to all of the details inside the restaurant and the exquisite dishes we tried; there are really no words to describe how great this meal was.
As I reached the end of this meal, it started snowing very hard and I had a flight to catch so we had to miss dessert, but that just means we are going to make it the first stop next time!
Don’t miss this dish: Because their menu is seasonal some dishes I had might not be available anymore, but we heard the Bufala Burrata, Rissotto and Gnocchi are available year-round (with seasonal flavors!)
Don’t miss this drink: Their wine selection was superb! Be sure to ask their awesome sommelier for suggestions.
Denver’s food scene has to be one of the best in the country, and I’ll soon be back for more!