There's something small-town about a restaurant that's open all day: You can stop in for coffee and a quick breakfast and exchange a cheery "Good morning" with the staff, nod hello over a lunchtime sandwich, and tuck into a satisfying meal at the end of the day. Even if you're not there three times a day, you'll feel like a member of the family before long as you get to know the crew at each shift. That's what we look for in restaurants that are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner: a welcoming style of hospitality, a familiar feeling of hanging out in the family kitchen — and great food, of course, served from dawn to dusk. Here are the ten best all-day restaurants in Denver, listed in alphabetical order.
10. Bacon Social House
2434 West 44th Avenue
Tucked away in the courtyard of Cobbler's Corner in Sunnyside, Bacon hides a stylish, Mod dining room and a menu that's heavy on breakfast items all day. Chef Brian Crow mixes things up so that you're not locked into tradition at any time of day. You can go savory with spicy shrimp and grits when the doors open at 7:30 a.m. or opt for boozy French toast doused in Grand Marnier for an after-dark treat.
1644 Platte Street
The aroma of baked goods, courtesy of pastry chef Michael Conti, waft across the order counter, giving you a hint of what to expect. Settle in with a newspaper, a cappuccino and a doughnut or flaky pastry in the morning, or head over once the rotisserie oven cranks up for sandwiches fattened with roast porchetta, chicken or lamb — all of which phase into hearty entrees for the dinner hour. Gleaming taps spout batched cocktails, local beers, wine and cold-brew coffee, so there's a perfect drink on tap for any time of day.
8. City, O' City
206 East 13th Avenue
It seems like this beloved, meat-free eatery never closes. We've snarfed savory waffles just under the last-call wire with final rounds of Friday-night drinks and greeted the dawn with muffins fresh from the oven. While the rest of us sleep, the City, O' City crew is loading up that last rack of dishes before heading home or cranking up the mixer for sweet a.m. treats. Scrambles, seitan hot wings and steaming pizzas bring in the Capitol Hill masses at all hours of the day.
7. Devil's Food Bakery & Cookery
1020 South Gaylord Street
Devil's Food is the quintessential neighborhood coffeehouse, with shabby-chic decor and fresh-baked treats to accompany espresso drinks and straight-up coffee. But something wonderful happens at 5 p.m., when the atmosphere shifts from coffee bar to date-night destination: A full-fledged dinner menu emerges from the tiny kitchen, featuring homey eats like roast chicken and creamy pot pie. Of course, breakfast is far more than grab-and-go; you'll find buttermilk pancakes, savory quiches and an array of traditional and creative eggs Benedict.
6. The Humble Pie Store
3550 East Colfax Avenue
There's nothing more decadent than pie for breakfast, but you'll find far more at the Humble Pie Store if you wander in when the doors open at 7 a.m. Whether you have a morning sweet tooth or lean toward something more savory, you'll find exactly what you want — all wrapped in flaky pastry. And because Humble Pie is located on Colfax Avenue, a bar is a necessity; here it feels like an apothecary, with bottles stacked high on shelves behind the pastry counter. Say "Coffee and pie, oh my," or get a little crazy with a cocktail and pie.
Keep reading for the rest of the list...
5. Mercantile Dining & Provision
1701 Wynkoop Street
Every detail is thought out at Mercantile, whether you're just stopping in for coffee and a croissant (yes, they're baked in-house, and yes, they're some of the best in town) or selecting something more sumptuous — salmon rilettes or pastrami hash, perhaps — for breakfast. In the airy market, a bowl of sheep's-milk yogurt with fruit and granola feels like a fancy vacation meal, and a sandwich stacked with the kitchen's own mortadella, pâté or slow-roasted meats is the perfect sendoff for a railway voyage. And, of course, reservations for dinner will land you a top Denver dining experience, courtesy of chef/owner Alex Seidel and his right-hand man, Matt Vawter.
4. Olive & Finch
1552 East 17th Avenue
It's amazing how much goodness chef/owner Mary Nguyen packs into her tiny neighborhood bakery, market and eatery. Skillet breakfasts, sandwiches worthy of moans and groans, and a daily specials board of dinner entrees all attract guests from the Uptown neighborhood and beyond. And soon Nguyen will be doubling down on her all-day cafe, as Olive & Finch is set to open a second location in Cherry Creek later this year.
3. Pop's Place
2020 Lawrence Street
The Ballpark neighborhood was once a collection of bars and warehouses, with not much in between. But the local population has exploded thanks to new condos, townhomes and apartments mushrooming up in the area — and all of those new downtown denizens need a local hangout. Chef Stephen Kleinman and neighborhood sausage slinger Jim Pittenger (of Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs) have provided that place with Pop's, where breakfast options run from farm-style buttermilk pancakes to goofy creations like a hush-puppy Benedict, while dinner surprises with cioppino and a daily roast. In between, juicy burgers and rustic soups make the place feel just like a home in the heart of the city.
650 Sherman Street
Racines has provided a prime meeting place for the power set, a drop-in spot for neighbors, and common ground for family dinners for more than three decades. Regulars still think of the Sherman Street address as "new," even after a dozen years in that spot, where omelets, big salads, pasta dishes and Southwestern holdouts have been the name of the game since the beginning.
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1. Vital Root
3915 Tennyson Street
Justin Cucci's Edible Beats restaurant group (with Root Down, Linger and Ophelia's already in the bag) turns its attentions toward the casual side of dining with this new meatless eatery on Tennyson Street. All the fun and flavor of the group's previous efforts are there, plus cold-pressed juices and nut milks, a focus on health and a full complement of plates of all sizes to get you through the day. International flavors punch up dishes like an Indian breakfast dosa with sambar and mint chutney in the morning, a tofu banh mi with delicious yuca fries for lunch, and vibrant stir-fries packed with the spices of Thailand and Korea for dinner. You'll feel so good that a low-alcohol cocktail — made with those cold-pressed juices — won't induce guilt.