My Favorite Things: Denver

Several years ago, I used to live in Denver. Jeremy and I met in North Carolina and had been dating for just over a year, and we’d decided to move back to his home state together. We got a light-filled garden apartment with a bathroom fitted with retro green tiles. We got engaged in this apartment, we adopted our little angel Lilly in this apartment, planned our future in this apartment, the list goes on and on and on…

Of course, this gives me the most nostalgic attachment to Denver. Now, we spend a few months in Colorado here and there, and even if we’ve only been gone 6 months or so, things always seem be be changing. I know that’s the nature of large cities, and especially cities growing at the rate Denver is!

While I started a list of wonderful places in Denver quite a while ago, I always seem to be editing it. If I keep it up at this pace, I’ll be editing forever and never post! So, without further rambling, here are my favorite places in one of my favorite cities. (You should really come here and check it out for yourself.)

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EAT

City O’City – This is probably my favorite restaurant in Denver. If you love food, get the Southwestern “Chicken” and Waffles and thank me later.

Steuben’s -Another one of my favorite places, I always suggest Steuben’s as a brunch spot instead of waiting in line at Snooze. Their green chili cheeseburger is SO good.

Zengo – My favorite brunch in town, hands down. Zengo serves Latin/Asian fusion and UNLIMITED brunch (meaning all the food and drinks you can handle)!

Benny’s – A true classic Mexican resturants. Their crispy chili rellanos with green chili are what dreams are made of.

Santiagos – Two of the most beautiful words in the English language: breakfast burritos.

Snooze – If you’ve got the time to wait in line, and you love pancakes, Snooze is your spot.

VooDoo Donuts – There are tons of VooDoo shops now, but it’s still worth a stop. They have unique flavors and vegan options! Remember to take cash since they don’t accept cards.

Lola – Delicious Mexican food, tableside guac, and live music on Sundays. If that’s not enough to entice you into going, I’m not sure what else I can do.

Linger – Linger got its name because it’s in an old mortuary called Olingers. But the food is most definitely not dead (pun intended), and the rooftop view is awesome.

Little Man Ice Cream – After Linger, head to Little Man next door for dessert.

Root Down – RD is exactly the sort of neighborhood place that feels perfect for meeting friends after work or hanging out for a casual weekend dinner.

Butcher’s Bistro – If you like steak, this is your place. Plus it’s in a cool part of town so you can walk it off after.

Biju’s Little Curry Shop – You all know curry is my favorite food, so it should not be a surprise a curry shop is on my list.

Liks Ice Cream – Another spot for super tasty ice cream, especially in the summer, but you’ll see Denver-ites eating ice cream all year (they don’t seem to get cold like us Southerners).

uncle – Right after curry in my list of favorite foods, you’ll find ramen. In my opinion, uncle does the best ramen in Denver. Plus, their brussel sprout salad and pork belly steamed buns will change your life.

Forest Room 5 – Super duper hip. Rustic interior, situated in the Highlands, which is one of my favorite areas of the city. The inside is rustic and artsy.

The Truffle Table – CHEESE BAR! CHEESE BAR! CHEESE BAR! Do I need to keep going?

Denver Biscuit Co. – A whole company based on biscuits?! Sign yourself up for a good meal.

Allegra Coffee Roasters – I’m a Starbucks addict, but I also love a good, well thought out coffee shop. Allegra caters to us remote workers, and have an open concept so you can see the beans in the back.

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SHOP

Queen City General Store – This is one of my favorite stores in the whole city. They sell all my favorite things, organic skincare, crystals, enamel pins, Moon Juice products, succulents, and more!

Cherry Creek Mall + Cherry Creek North – Cherry Creek mall is some of the best shopping in Denver, especially on the top floor. Across the street is Cherry Creek North, which has smaller boutiques. Here’s a list of their shops, I always go over and shop at Calypso.

Hermes – I just talked about Cherry Creek North above, but the Hermes is one of the most gorgeous stores I’ve ever seen, inside and out.

Restoration Hardware – Another in the CC area, Restoration has really stepped up their game the past few years. They encourage you to really try out their products, and their rooftop view is just gorgeous!

Topo Designs – Jeremy is obsessed with Topo. USA made and intended to be used and abused outside, if you’re an outdoors fanatic, you’ll love the Denver flagship.

Larimer Square – I know I said this above, but I really love Larimer Square. Right in the middle of downtown Denver, there are tons of shops and bars and restaurants. Here’s a list of their stores, my favorites are Blush and Aillea.

Uniqlo – Certainly not unique to Denver, but Uniqlo is a very cool, very affordable place to get quality basics. They make really great layering pieces to keep you warm on the slopes.

The Highlands Shops – The whole area of the Highlands is a great place to hang out and eat and shop. It’s worth a trip for the flagship R.E.I. where they’ll let you test out their kayaks on the river or take a bike for a spin in the neighborhood.

Mouthfuls – Do you have a little dog that you love as much as I love my Lilly? Then you’ll probably find something in Mouthfuls, including a super cute dog treat bar.

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PLAY

Murals – Scouting street art in downtown Denver is one of my favorite pastimes. This list will give you a great head start, check them out and tell me your favorites!

Little Raven Street – Zengo is on Little Raven, which may explain my attachment to it, but the park and bridge are really pretty.

Rino District – If you visit Topo Designs, you can also check out the murals in the area.

Alamo Placita Park – A teeny tiny park, but when the flowers are in bloom, it’s absolute heaven.

Coors Brewery Tour – A staple to any Colorado visit. There’s a free tour and free beer involved. Plus, the town of Golden is cute, and seeing how Colorado’s most popular export gets made is awesome.

Big Blue Bear – The sweet blue giant stares into the lobby of the Colorado Convention Center and is a fantastic spot to stop and snap some pics.

LoDo Wellness Center – I’d never make a list of things to do in Denver without mentioning a shop selling one of Colorado’s biggest tourist draws. Here’s their menu, you need to be 21 and show your ID, then have yourself some nice legal fun.

Denver Art Museum – You can’t miss it, it’s the giant, asymmetrical building downtown, and has the most incredible exhibits. Absolutely worth a visit.

Red Rocks – I love Red Rocks! It’s such a stunning location no matter what, but if you’re in town in the summer, do your best to see a film or band at the venue.

Sports – Coloradans are obsessed with sports. OBSESSED. Jeremy is a Nuggets guy above all else (even me), and if you dig sports too, a baseball game at Coors Field or basketball game at the Pepsi Center.

Crawford Hotel at Union Station – Union Station in general is really cool and I’d recommend giving it a try. But it’s even better if you choose to stay there, at the beautiful Crawford Hotel, where Snooze does the room service with their legendary pancakes.

5280 Magazine – If you’re looking for things to do or more insight about what’s going on around town, pick up a copy of 5280 Mag and you’ll be speaking the native language in no time.

Denver International Airport – Conspiracy theory enthusiasts look no further! It would take much too long to list out all the theories that surround the airport, but read through this article and you’ll find so much exciting information. (Side note: I LOVE this conspiracy theory business SO much.)

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BONUS

Honestly, if you come to Denver for more than 2 or 3 days, I’d suggest renting a car. Downtown is super easy to navigate on foot or the trolly and there’s always Uber, but you don’t want to miss out on some of the best parts of Colorado, which can be found just ouside the city. Here’s some of the things you should try!

Garden of the Gods – The most beautiful park down in Colorado Springs. Take your car and enjoy the free drive through the park. If the weather is nice, hike around to some of the best views you’ll find anywhere.

Idaho Springs – This is a cute little town with amazing pizza (at Beau Jo’s) and relaxing hot springs with the most wonderful mud bath.

The Broadmoor – The Broadmoor is the longest running 5 Star resort in the world. Their spa is award winning and immaculate, and their restraunts are off the charts. Jeremy and I took a mini honeymoon here right after our wedding (in January 2011) and one of my best memories is soaking in the outdoor hot tub overlooking the golf course while snowflakes fell all around us. It still makes me smile all these years later.

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I already know I’ll be updating this list fairly often, but I figure this is a pretty good start to what I like best in one of my favorite and most vibrant cities.

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