The weekend is upon us, friends. And it's a busy one, packed with (coffee) beans, brunch, beverages, border collies and a bazaar. Keep reading for six of the best food and drink events from Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1, as well as more dates you'll want to mark on the culinary calendar.
Friday, September 29
It's only fitting that the beverage that allows so many of us to function before noon has its very own day: National Coffee Day is Friday, September, 29. And Boyer's Coffee Cafe, 7295 Washington Street, is ready to feed your addiction with its National Coffee Day Celebration from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Show up for free drip coffee, a chance to win Boyer's swag, deep discounts on bags of coffee and coffee drinks, live music, food trucks (Code 7, Knock on Wood Smokehouse and Teal Tacos will be in attendance) and a "reverse" food truck accepting donations of non-perishable food for the Denver Rescue Mission. The hardest part will be getting over there before you have your first cup of joe.
Saturday, September 30
Four-legged fans of Declaration Brewing, 2030 South Cherokee Street, bared their teeth when the brewery barred beagles (and all other dogs) from its comfortable and spacious beer garden (don't blame the brewery, though; they were just obeying the law). But on Saturday, September 30, Declaration is welcoming back the hounds with the opening of its new dog patio, specifically designed to be up to canine code. Starting at noon, the patio is open to party for people and pooches alike. Denver Dumb Friends League will be on the premises with adoptable dogs, and $1 from the purchase of designated beers will go to the shelter. Add in live music and food trucks (Gyros King for you, Smart Cookie Barkery for your best buddy) and you've got a party fit for your fine furry friends.
The cultural mashup that is TheBigWonderful continues Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1, when bluegrass meets beer fest meets Turkish bazaar at Oktobergrass. The creative incubator is returning to its roots at 4400 Fox Street with vendors and live music both days; Everyone Orchestra, Chain Station and Gipsy Moon will take the stage while you shop at trucks of both the food and fashion persuasions. There will also be a Pickin' Lounge this year, so bring your banjo. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the libations flow from 2 to 6 p.m., with local favorites Bear Creek Distillery, Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery and Infinite Monkey Theorem serving up drinks. Single tickets range from $5 to $49 at thebigwonderful.com.
The only problem with food trucks is that they're on wheels. Just when you think you've tracked down your favorite barbecued pork in a cornbread bowl or plate of Vietnamese tacos, the engines rev up and the truck is off to some craft brewery across town. That's why Denver needs more food-truck rallies. And that's why you won't want to miss the Truck Stop: Food Truck Rally in Five Points on Saturday, September 30. Come hungry and thirsty to the intersection of 24th and Welton streets between noon and 6 p.m., where you'll find more than twenty mobile kitchens smoking, frying, chilling, grilling and otherwise serving up delicious grub. Nab your advance tickets at twoparts.com; $20 will get you four drink tokens and two food tokens, and you can always purchase more at the event. Now hit the road!
Urban (very urban) winery Bonacquisti Wine,at 4640 Pecos Street, is celebrating the arrival of autumn with the second Northside Wine and Music Festival on Saturday, September 30. From 4 to 9 p.m., the space will be hosting music from Fedora Nights and Latin Sol, as well as vintner Paul Bonacquisti's own Italian sausages from Uncle Paulie's Italian Sausage and barbecue from RevneD BBQ Company. And the wine? For $20, you'll get a keepsake wine glass and five tastings, including some of the winery's barrel-aged wines being released this fall. Get your tickets at the event Facebook page. See you on the Northside (and whatever you do, don't call it Highland).
Sunday, October 1
The folks at Stem Ciders know their stuff; it's our favorite cidery in town. And on Sunday, October 1, the joint will be hopping as Stem, 2811 Walnut Street, teams up with the Real Dill and the Post for a pop-up brunch. Both Stem and the Real Dill's products will be featured at a Bloody Cider bar, which will boast a cider/Real Dill collaboration dubbed A Salted Cucumber, as well as the Real Dill's excellent Bloody Mary Mix. Add to that all the pickled garnishes you could ask for, and you'll have a lighter (but no less delicious) alternative to the classic Bloody Mary bar. To balance out the beverages, there will also be a 100 percent gluten-free, all-you-can-eat, Southern-style brunch buffet from the Post serving up shrimp and grits, biscuits, collards, poached eggs and pastries. Fair warning: Stem's tap room is tiny and its fans are legion, so you don't want to sleep in this Sunday morning. Get your tickets ($15 to $40) at twoparts.com.
Plan ahead for the following food and drink events...
Tuesday, October 3, and Wednesday, October 4
The Den brothers are throwing a party, and you'll want to add it to your social calendar. On Tuesday, October 3, and Wednesday, October 4, the roof of the parking garage at the corner of South Pearl Street and East Florida Avenue will turn into a veritable Japanese street fair from 5 to 9 p.m. Not only will Toshi and Yasu Kizaki be providing food from Sushi Den, Izakaya Den and Ototo, but they've called on twenty of their Japanese chef friends to hop the pond and lend their talents to the rooftop party. Expect ramen, yakisoba noodles, the hard-to-find-in-Denver okonomiyaki, yakiniku (Japanese barbecue) and lots, lots more. Tickets are $75 and include three drinks (additional beverages will be available for purchase). And this party is for a good cause (or three) — proceeds benefit hurricanes Irma (the Miami Foundation) and Harvey (Target Hunger) relief efforts in Florida and Texas, as well as earthquake relief efforts in Kumamoto, Japan, the hosts' hometown. As with every party the Kizakis host, this one is likely to sell out, so check out sushiden.net asap for details and tickets.
Wednesday, October 4
Matt and Carrie Stein's unpretentious seafood restaurant, Chowder Room, 560 South Broadway, is joining the Great American Beer Festival fun on Wednesday, October 4 at 6 p.m. with its eight-course beer dinner. Great Divide Brewing Co. will provide the suds, and reps will be on hand to talk about the pairings and answer questions. Unlike many GABF events, this will be a civilized evening — no rushing the bar to be the first to get that hip new pour, no beard-to-beard standing room only crowds crammed into a too-small, too-hot space, just the Steins' easy, genuine hospitality, and a great dinner that will leave you feeling nourished and ready to take on the rest of the fest. Call the restaurant, 303-777-3474, to reserve your seat ($75).
Alex Seidel is taking advantage of the upcoming Beer Week to entice some of the best breweries in the country to team up for the 3rd Annual Mercantile Invitational (otherwise known as a beer dinner). Mercantile Dining & Provision, 1701 Wynkoop Street, will host Trillium Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales on Wednesday, October 4, at 6:30 p.m. for a five-course dinner. Who's cooking, you may ask? The chef lineup isn't too shabby, either;it includes Seidel, John Tesar (of Element Kitchen + Cocktail and Knife), Kevin Nashan (The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.) and Cesar Pita (Rancho Pescadero). Dinner, $150, includes tax and tip, and you can reserve your seat by calling 720-460-3733 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, October 13
Everyone knows that fall is the season for heavier things — sweaters, socks and drinks. One of our favorite fall and winter pastimes (and make no mistake, winter is coming) is enjoying a generous pour of whiskey and a cigar by a crackling fireplace. Bonus points if there's a bear-skin rug on the floor. So prepare for the season by tasting and testing a wealth of whiskeys at The WhiskyX on Friday, October 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard, will host more than fifty whiskeys, and VIP ticket holders will have access to food from premier Denver chefs Elise Wiggins (Cattivella), Jennifer Jasinski (Ultreia, Euclid Hall, Rioja, etc.) and Paul C. Reilly (Beast + Bottle and Coperta). Tickets ($75 or $125) are on sale now at thewhiskyx.com.
Sunday, October 15
Mark your calendars: Westword's annual celebration of Denver's dining scene is moving inside and uptown. On Sunday, October 15, Feast will fill the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, with more than forty eateries that are favorites of Westword writers and readers; they'll be serving a wealth of nibbles that you can wash down with unlimited drink samples from Feast's liquor sponsors. Get more information and tickets at westwordfeast.com.
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Sunday, October 15, through Thursday, October 19
Nights are getting cooler — you may have even broken out your fall quilt already. That means it's the perfect time to start planning for EatDenver's 2017 Harvest Week. This year, the week of dinners will highlight two to three farms per night, representing five of Colorado’s farming regions. The lineup: October 15, Western Slope; October 16, Front Range; October 17, Eastern Plains; October 18, Four Corners; October 19, Urban Farm. All dinners are at the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, which transforms from an industrial urban farm into a suprisingly twinkly and comfortable dinner venue. Tickets, $85, are now on sale at harvestweek.com.