Denver Redux
February 28, 2012 4:27 PM   Subscribe

I asked a question awhile back about relocating to Denver. Mr. Anonnymoose and I just booked our reconnaissance trip for this weekend! Looking for current suggestions for a two-day itinerary.

I know I--and others--have asked a similar (but different) question previously, but now that we've actually set a date, I am curious whether anyone has suggestions for must-dos over this weekend. We will be in town over this coming Sunday and Monday. Since we have so little time, this isn't really a serious research trip--this is more of a quick visit to see if we like the flavor of the city. We will be staying right downtown, and want to explore that vicinity and the surrounding areas.

We want to try things in any of these categories:

- Brewpubs (we love beer) and interesting bars (is that brewery tour worth doing at all?)
- Museums of all kinds
- Places for brunch, lunch, and dinner--we basically like every kind of food
- Antiques-type places as applicable, the more offbeat the better
- Good coffee shops--the kind that offer a comfy, pleasant place to sit and talk or read in addition to sipping good-quality coffee
- Parks and gardens
- Record stores
- Any interesting historical tours or what have you (we love history and old buildings)

As you can see in my previous question (if you're so inclined), we also really like live music of various stripes. We know we can't possible fit one thing form all of those categories into a mere 48 hours, but we're just brainstorming. Assume that we are perusing the Westword and other resources as we compile our weekend dossier, but any suggestions for a "quick highlights" trip--specific to this weekend or otherwise--are welcome.
posted by anonnymoose to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Brunch: Lucile's, Super Star Asian for dim sum (skip if you are coming from a place with a well-reputed Chinatown), Lola.
Antiques: Lots of stores on lower Broadway. Then, have pizza at Pasquini's.
Coffee: I like Rooster and Moon and Paris on the Platte (not the best service, but a nice place to drink coffee, and if you are food lovers, Savory Spice Shop is on the same block).
Parks: many to choose from. Washington Park is the best one for people watching.
Records: Twist and Shout (chosen because it is in the same little complex as the Tattered Cover -- but I do not know if it is the best place to buy records).
History: Molly Brown House.
Beer: Many many brewpubs; will leave it to others to recommend.
Don't know where you're staying downtown, but I wouldn't recommend you spend too much time at the 16th Street Mall -- bland, touristy, and not representative of the city.
posted by Wordwoman at 5:08 PM on February 28, 2012

Brunch would have to be Snooze on 23rd and Larimer. Breckenridge Brewery, Great Divide and Wynkoop Breweries are all w/in walking distance of Snooze and each other. Then you can walk to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fogo De Chao is a pretty awesome Brazilian steakhouse but it's a little on the steep side. Stella's in Wash Park is a great coffee shop. I could go on but i'll let other throw in their suggestions.
posted by no bueno at 5:11 PM on February 28, 2012

i can't help you on the brewpubs, as i'm not a big fan of beer, sadly.

if you're more the continental/quickish lunch type, the market has great little pastries and sandwich/salad type items. across the street(ish) from it is a wonderful place if you want to have a nice dinner, bistro vendome (try the frites, they're wonderful). i also really liked swing thai, the spring rolls are fantastic. st. mark's is an interesting little coffee shop, with good coffee. if you want burgers, duffy's cherry cricket is good, and has many options. if you want something incredibly casual and dineresque with good milkshakes (i liked their breakfast, too), sam's no. 3.

if you'll have a car and want to check out the outer environs at all, hickory house has decent bbq and excellent onion rings. it's in parker, though, which might be a bit far. a little further than that is castle rock, which has an excellent casual restaurant called pegasus on the square, but maybe these two should be saved for if you move and have more time.

denver art museum just finished an expansion not too long ago, they usually have something interesting going on.
posted by koroshiya at 5:20 PM on February 28, 2012

Best answer: Well if no one else is going to recommend beer I'll keep my list going. Falling Rock taphouse is also near Breckenridge Brewery and has TONS of beer. If you end up on 16th St Mall (which I don't recommend) go to the Yard House, claims to have the most draft beers of anywhere in the world. Cheeky Monk has a very eclectic selection of many Belgian beers. Vine St. Pub has some good Southern Sun brews but it's cash only and not particularly close to too much else. Longmont is a drive but it has Left Hand brewery which is one of my favorites. Try the left hand milk stout. Oskar Blues is also great and in Longmont. Probably not the best for this trip but a must do for later. Mountains are getting some good snow Thurs/Fri if you're skiers.
posted by no bueno at 5:44 PM on February 28, 2012

Denver has tons of breakfast places: Dozens, Snooze ,Toast, Syrup, Delectable Egg.....
posted by brujita at 6:26 PM on February 28, 2012

You could spend a long time drinking great beers at Falling Rock Taphouse without repeating an order.
posted by mmascolino at 6:54 PM on February 28, 2012

Freshcraft on Blake Street has a good selection of food and beer. As for parks, I'm partial to Cheeseman Park. There's a nice view and it's an old cemetery! The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is great for kids and adults. For shopping, my favorite place is on Broadway between Alameda and Ellsworth. There are quirky little shops in there.
posted by Fister Roboto at 7:41 PM on February 28, 2012

these are all downtown unless noted:
Brewpub: Great Divide (the tour is okay, too)
Museums: Museum of Contemporary Art (smaller), Denver Art Museum (larger)
Food: City o City (Vegetarian, near the State Capital), Arada (Ethiopian on Santa Fe), Marco's Pizza , seconding Snooze for breakfast (but there is always a crazy wait)
Antiques: I'm not sure, but there are cool retro shops on South Broadway (around 1st)
Coffee: Pablo's (6th and Washington). Fuck everywhere else.....except maybe Crema (north of downtown, maybe on Larimer?)
Parks: Wash Park, City Park (neither are downtown)
Records: Twist n Shout on E. Colfax
History: Brown Palace?
posted by fieldtrip at 8:52 PM on February 28, 2012

Best answer: Just moved here recently doing a brewery tour on our drive from New Jersey, stopping at around 15 or so in various states from western PA (Gamble Mill Inn), Maumee Bay Brew Pub (Toledo), 3 Floyds (Munster), various Milwaukee (Lakefront), Green Bay (Hinterland), Appleton (Stone Cellar), and others in South Dakota, Kansas, and finally touring around Colorado.

Buy a beer map of the discount coupon books that lists the states breweries. Get one at GABF!

So far in Denver/Boulder.

Dry Dock: No food but deals with local wing place. Out in Aurora. Suburbs. You want to brew your own? This is the place to buy supplies. They give the Great American Beer Fest ingredients list and sell you the equipment. Best beer is Vanilla Porter, but good IPA's.
Renegade: Awesome new place. Easy access from I25 or downtown ish.
Denver Brewing Co.: Not far from Renegade. Near I 25. Good new place started about 8 months. Good brews.
Wynkoop: First sample of Chili Beer. Downtown neer ball park and others.
Twisted Pine: Serve good food. Close to the Movement and The Spot climbing gyms. In Boulder. You want good beers, they have a good selection. If you like Chili Beers, you haven't tried the Ghost Face Killer? Good luck.... bring tissues.
Mountain sun: Good mix. Good food. Once you get into Boulder.
AVERY!MUST go here if in Boulder. Better beers.

Outside of Denver:
Lefthand: Milk Stout. Get the Nitro Push. NORTH.
Oskar Blues: Good food. Good vibe. Great beer selections. Went for Mardi Gras. Best beer was Dogfishhead from Delaware but, Oskar IPA's were tasty. NORTH
Rock Yard: Good mix. Pub Food. WAY SOUTH! Cheapest place to purchase the resealable and decorative Growlers. Sell the collaboration brew. 13 Breweries participated. SOUTH.
Breckenridge: Ski resorts. WEST. Beers after hiking a 14er taste the best.
Mahogany Ridge Brew Pub: Steamboat Springs. GREAT FOOD. Good beers. WAY NORTH!

Plenty more to hit in ALL parts of Colorado. Get a Beerfinder app and type in the local cities. Some obvious missing are in Fort Collins and the Springs, but we need to pace ourselves.

Do you like Beer? Do you like running? Try Hashing. A drinking club with a running problem.

No crap on tap Falling Rock Tap House. Downtown to try a bunch of different, but not always CO beers.

Best Decision to move West. If you like beer you picked the correct state.

posted by brent at 11:19 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't know if you like whiskey, but Stranahans might be a place to stop by. They've got a nice little restaurant attached and offer tours. I'm not sure if they still have live music on weekends, but I played there a couple time awhile back.

Paris on the Platte has live music often weekend nights, as does Stella's Coffee House.

Other than that, you're pretty much covered, although I especially recommend the Cheeky Monk.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:45 AM on February 29, 2012

Response by poster: You guys have basically planned our itinerary for us, and we are so grateful! These are all great suggestions. We are both VERY excited to try Cheeky Monk and Lucile's, especially. Keep them coming!
posted by anonnymoose at 12:14 PM on February 29, 2012

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