My other bloggers out there, do you ever take FOREVER to put up a post because you want to make sure you give it the attention it deserves but time just keeps ticking away?? That’s what happened to my Denver post (and let’s be honest, pretty much any post the past two months). It was such a fun trip! I learned a lot at the conference, spent quality time with Adam, and explored a city I hadn’t been to since I was in 7th grade! We were there June 15-18 and the weather was perfect (even when it rained!).
We mostly stayed in the downtown area, but ventured into the new RINO District and made it to the Red Rocks Amphitheater! I organized all the information below by hotel, food stops, watering holes, and best sites around town 🙂
Hyatt regency Denver at the Denver Convention Center – This was our home for the first three nights and the venue for the Americans for the Arts Convention I was attending. The rooms were fantastic, staff was very friendly, and the location was perfect. But even better than all of that, Comic-Con was happening at the Convention Center across the street and the people watching from this hotel was THE BEST.
AC Hotel Denver Downtown – We transferred to this hotel for our final night in Denver and it was perfect. Much more of a small, boutique feel. The room was smaller and minimalistic but very comfortable and modern. The rooftop bar was closed due to weather when we checked in but we stopped by before flying home, more details below but worth noting: all hotels with rooftop bars get bonus points in my book!
Fusion Taco Truck – The first food I had in Denver and it set the bar high! Located on 16th street, this food truck had a cool asian/greek/mexican fusion situation happening. If there is a line, they are not super fast but the food was so fresh and had the best flavor. There is also a little seating area nearby that is perfect to enjoy the messy tacos before continuing to stroll along the pedestrian corridor.
Henry’s Tavern – Adam picked this spot as the first place I met up with him after my conference got out on Friday evening. We sat at the bar (as always) and Adam loved that they had an ice strip along the back of the bar so your drink could stay cold. I loved the dipping sauces for the giant pretzel we ordered to tie us over before dinner. Winning all around! Also on 16th Street.
Euclid Hall – This was maybe the only place Adam and I knew we wanted to eat at during our trip to Denver after I read him the part of the menu that included bone marrow. (weirdo!) This foodie spot was right around the corner from the main action on Larimer Square and is in a really cool historic building. The atmosphere was trendy and the food creative, fun, and local. They had happy chicken (humanely raised) so I ordered chicken and waffles. Adam had his bone marrow and a plate of assorted sausages. ALL THE MEAT. I definitely recommend this spot for a special meal! We were so full afterwards that our big plans for a night on the town turned into an early night at the hotel room…
The British Bulldog – Adam went to this bar twice after running past it on Saturday morning and deciding it was the perfect World Cup viewing location. I joined him to watch the end of the game on Sunday after my conference ended and we had lunch. It is a classic english pub and despite being SLAMMED when we were there with soccer fans, the food was fast and the staff worked as hard as they could to stay on top of keeping drinks full! We had a limited menu because of the game, so I had fish and chips (let’s be honest, I probably would have ordered that anyways) and it was delicious!
10 Barrel Brewing Co. – Yes, this sounds like it should be in the drink section of the post, but we went here after already hitting up 4 bars and it was the best option still open on a Sunday night that served food. Really, the inside feels more like a restaurant than a bar and the food was excellent! We had pimento cheese and a pizza. I think the beer was good… Sunday was a long night!
Snooze – Every weekend morning should start at Snooze! Wow, what a fun breakfast spot! Adam and I ordered WAY too much food. He had a benedict and I ordered the breakfast burrito (with tofu!) but the star of the show was the pancake trio which included a Pineapple Upside Down Pancake, Sweet Potato Pancake, and a Blueberry Danish Pancake. So good! We also each had cocktails, Adam’s was a green tomato bloody mary that he says is the best bloody mary he has ever had! DEFINITELY make this stop a priority on your visit to Denver.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub – Final stop on our way out of town, located in Union Station where we caught the light rail to get to the airport. We had a giant pretzel (it’s our favorite) and while good, not as yummy as at Henry’s Tavern. They also had a cool Colorado beers flight option that Adam and I split but the service was not great and we ended up pretty stressed trying to make our train. Probably not the best option, even in the station.
ink! Coffee – I love testing out local coffee spots when I’m in a new place and ink! was just two blocks from the hotel so I ran there Saturday morning before the conference got started! It was a really cool space inside, very clean and lots of natural light. The baristas were friendly enough but I got a little of the coffee snob vibe from them. Regardless, my latte was beautiful and delicious!
Bigsby’s Folly – A friend of mine and her fiance picked up Adam and I on Saturday night and took us on a tour of the RiNo (River North Art) District. We started on the far end a Bigsby’s Folly which I loved because 1) it is a winery, 2) it is named after the owner’s dog, and 3) it is the reception venue for my friend’s wedding!
The Infinite Monkey Theorem – Second stop in the RiNo District and another winery but this one had their most popular wines on tap! Loved the vibe inside of this spot, lots of mid-century furniture and quirky decorations.
Finn’s Manor – We ended up eating here too but it has a bar vibe so keeping it under the drinks category. This spot was hopping when we got there late Saturday night! We stayed in the outside area at picnic tables. My favorite part of this bar, they have a courtyard with tables that is surrounded by food trucks (and a drinks trucks!) – such a fun way to eat dinner and hang out. Live music was great too!
The Block Distilling Company – This was a fun end of the night spot. Very chill atmosphere and modern environment. The drinks were way too strong for me (but I am weak when it comes to liquor drinks) but everyone else loved theirs. The bartenders were very friendly and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend checking out this spot, right across from Shake Shack!
Great Divide Brewing Company – There was a storm coming through Sunday afternoon when Adam and I finished up at The British Bulldog watching soccer so we quickly walked the few blocks to the Great Divide Brewing Company and I am so glad we did! I had a few small ounce pours and really enjoyed some of the more unique options they had available. Overall this place had a really comfortable, neighborhood vibe that reminded me of my favorite Ankeny brewery, Firetrucker. Not pretentious, just good beer and good space to relax.
Blue Moon Brewing Company – We last minute decided to start our Sunday night at Blue Moon before hitting up more of the RiNo District and it was fantastic! So many different beer flavors! I wanted to try them all (which would have been a very dangerous decision!). We sat at the bar and the bartenders were very friendly and helpful. The food was great too and this place definitely had a restaurant vibe to it, so I would recommend making time to try out a whole meal if you decide to visit! We didn’t take a tour but they have enough informational signs that you can take a self-guided tour around the back to see their production area.
Epic Brewing Company – Another brewery that would totally be a fun place to live down the street from and regularly hang out with friends. Very casual vibe and lots of interesting sours on tap. They also had some really strong stouts that Adam enjoyed! THe weather was terrible but their outside area looked like it would be the best spot on a nice day.
Stem Ciders – We ventured further into RiNo to Stem Ciders at the recommendation of local friends and it might be one of my favorite spots. Totally comfortable, very friendly bartender, cool atmosphere. I would definitely spend time here if I lived in the area. I also had some of the best ciders of my life, and I have had a ton of ciders!
Terminal Bar – When we pass a cool looking bar, it is tough for Adam and I not to try it out, even on a Monday morning! We went to Terminal Bar while waiting for a table at Snooze and I thoroughly enjoyed the snazzy, old-school atmosphere and my mimosa! If you are wanting to waste time before catching a train in Denver, and don’t mind spending a bit on a cocktail, this is a cute spot.
54 Rooftop – The whole reason Adam and I decided to stay our last night at the AC Hotel was for this bar and it did not disappoint! Definitely a bit on the pricey end of the spectrum, and I wish it had been open the evening of our last night in town, but the seating was comfortable, staff was friendly and prompt, and the views were awesome! I would totally go back to watch a sunset (but get there early to snag a seat, it filled up fast!).
Red Rocks Amphitheater – As part of my conference in Denver, I had the opportunity to sign Adam and I up for an excursion to Red Rocks Amphitheater, a highlight of our trip! During the ride there and back, we heard from nonprofits around the Denver area on local efforts to increase the music scene in the city but once we arrived at the amphitheater, the focus was entirely on the history of the structure and the legends who had performed there. We went backstage, went into the control room for stage sound and lighting, heard the band for that night’s show warming up, and walked all the stairs to the top (which was quite the feat in the thin air!). Such an amazing experience and it is now on my bucket list to attend a concert out there!
Public Art – Downtown Denver was filled with public art, both functional and thought-provoking. Adam and I both had our favorites but the blue bear was definitely high on the list for both of us! So many great examples of how art can infiltrate our everyday built environment.
16th Street Pedestrian Corridor – Just a block off both hotels we stayed at (which were one block from each other!), 16th Street is a pedestrian mall with a free trolley that runs all the way from Union Station down south past the convention center. The street is lined with stores and restaurants, as well as food trucks and pop-up artists. Trees provide lots of shade, tables and chairs line the streets, and overall it was my favorite avenue to walk down every day during my visit.
Now you tell me:
- What are your favorite spots to try out when you are in a new place?
- Have you been to Denver? If so, what was your favorite spot in the city?