Tea in Denver (and sundry other travel questions)
February 4, 2020 5:47 AM   Subscribe

I’ll be traveling to Denver today for a few days, staying downtown. I’m looking for a reliable place to get decent tea/tisanes, in walking distance of the convention center.

Also, where are the good (fast, local) lunch spots nearby? And is there anywhere worth a longer trip for dinner? (I will not have a car.)

Also also, is there anything special I need to know about public transit in Denver?
posted by eirias to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The 16th Street "mall ride" bus is free and very handy. The train to and from the airport is 10$ and easy to navigate . Otherwise bus service is perfectly cromulent, and the drivers are usually very friendly and helpful.

Lots of newer trendy restaurants near Union station. The AC Hotel by Marriott has a few nice bars one with a good gin selection.
posted by travertina at 6:51 AM on February 4, 2020

I was just in Denver for a conference a couple of weeks ago. The only transit I took was the train from the airport and the 16th street bus, but both were fine. The 16th street bus comes every couple of minutes during the day and you just step on or off.

I had a decent sandwich at a market/deli place on Larimer (a few blocks northwest of the convention center) that I think is just called "The Market." Modern Market on 16th/Champa is a nice fast-casual type place that I gather is a regional chain that started in Boulder. If you're willing to go a bit farther, the Denver Central Market on Larimer around 26th is a cafeteria-style place with a bunch of different options inside -- but that's about 1.5 miles away from the convention center (I was staying in that area, so it was on my way).

I drink coffee instead of tea, usually, so I'm not sure where the best options are for that. Novo Coffee on Glenarm between 16th and 17th and Fluid Coffee Bar on Stout/17th were both nice spaces, at least, and Fluid does mention loose-leaf tea from a local company on their website.

Apparently I favor places with the word 'market' in the name.
posted by egregious theorem at 7:30 AM on February 4, 2020

I'm a food and travel writer who lives in Denver. Cook's Fresh Market is IMO the best place along the 16th Street Mall for breakfast and lunch and has a nice selection of to-go items for noshing in your hotel. In Union Station, Next Door is always a solid choice. (I ate there yesterday.) To splash out at dinner, Mercantile (also in Union Station) or Tavernetta (next to Union) will not disappoint.

House of Commons is just over 25 on Platte Street, and has a good tea store. Enjoy!
posted by cyndigo at 8:59 AM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

If you want to get all fancy you can make reservations for high tea at the Brown Palace.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:18 AM on February 4, 2020

Tea Cloud if you want boba. The soup dumplings at ChoLon are delicious.
posted by sugarbomb at 10:49 AM on February 4, 2020

Coffee and Tea:

The Market is my favorite morning place hands down - they place quiet classical music, there's old people reading newspapers, and they've got good food and drink.

Leela European Cafe is sort of a weird punk bar that also serves coffee and tea in the morning, if you're into that.

Novo Coffee is :thumbsup:

Dazbog is fine. Starbucks is fine. Caribou is fine.

Fast Lunch:

There's a Snarf's (sandwiches) next to the convention center.
Modern Market is solid.
There's a bunch of food carts on 16th - my favorite is a greek place called Shondiz on Glenarm and 16th
There's Pho
There's two indian buffets - Little India is slightly better than the other one, IMO.
I personally don't like Menya (asian) but you might.
I enjoy Kyoto Ramen.

Longer Trip
Is anything worth going to for dinner? Nah, not really. But if you want a nicer place to go out to dinner, there's certainly a few things to check out:

Anywhere in the highlands (northwest of you about 10 min walk) (you'll probably need a reservation)
- Linger
- El Five
- Avanti is a food hall - you don't need a reservation to go there

Food and Drink:
- Upstairs in union station there's a great cocktail bar
- Wynkoop Brewing next to union station has excellent beer and pretty good food

Good luck!
You can DM me for more specific recs if you want!
posted by lalunamel at 6:46 PM on February 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Second cocktails or tea at the Brown Palace. Their cocktails are amazing. For a special meal, I thought this combination Japanese restaurant/tea garden/Aikido dojo was totally unique and the food was fantastic.
posted by shadygrove at 7:01 PM on February 4, 2020

Within walking distance and good dinner spots:

Euclid Hall--great beer selection and meat-centric food that is delicious, and heavy

Tag--pricey but always delicious and a great time
posted by fyrebelley at 9:07 PM on February 4, 2020

Will third high tea at Brown Palace. We did it after the conference ended, before we hit the road to the airport. It was a nice way to cap off the trip, winding down from how hectic we'd been. Plus the architecture in there was kinda crazy, so taking pictures was fun.
posted by librarianamy at 11:05 AM on February 5, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks for your recommendations - I followed as many of them as I had time for and was not disappointed once. lalunamel, your descriptions of the Market and of Leela’s were spot on. Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel was oddly expensive, but my photos made my family very jealous, and I am not a bit sorry!
posted by eirias at 1:47 PM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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