10. DJ's Berkeley Cafe and DJ's Ninth Avenue Cafe
3838 Tennyson Street, 303-482-1841
865 Lincoln Street, 303-386-3375
The ten-year-old DJ's, opened by Colorado brothers Jason and Devin Stallings a decade ago and more recently joined by its younger sibling in the Golden Triangle, brings neighbors together over hot coffee and warming meals. Without pretense, the two sunny spots gave rise to the city's current Benedict obsession, with variations on the open-faced egg sandwich for lovers of seafood, Southwestern or New York delis. But this isn't fussy food for fawning and photos; most of the menu is simple and hearty and served with love.
9. The Egg Shell of Downtown
950 17th Street
Despite moving twice in its thirty-year lifetime, the Egg Shell has maintained an honest, homey feel. What started out in a little nook in Cherry Creek moved to bigger digs in the same neighborhood in 2009, which then closed last September due to redevelopment of the block. But this spring, the Egg Shell found a new home downtown, in the former home of Cafe Options, where you'll find a mix of modern and old-fashioned on one menu. Sure there's a trendy — and tasty — avocado toast, but the Egg Shell sticks with tried and true, too, in the form of Denver omelets and breakfast burritos. Not to be missed is a sweet morning treat of banana-bread French toast.
8. Four Friends Kitchen
2893 Roslyn Street
Despite a couple of chef changes in its first year, this Stapleton stop has maintained consistent crowds, offering Southern-tinged dishes with several variations on grits as the stars. A bright, modern dining room and rooftop patio draw families from all over Denver's east side, while creative takes on home-kitchen favorites keep them coming back. Smoked-brisket hash is a great way to start the day, but stick around for lunch for green-chile and chicken cobbler that'll have you wondering why someone's grandma didn't invent this fifty years ago.
1420 East 18th Avenue
Coffee and eggs: simple, right? Well, not at tiny Onefold, where international influences bring surprises that never fail to please, no matter how unfamiliar to most Denver breakfast seekers. A hot bowl of congee is hard to find even in the city's most traditional Chinese eateries, but Onefold nails the creamy rice porridge by balancing spicy, savory and salty ingredients: duck confit and a poached egg nestle in alongside squiggles of soy sauce and hot chile oil. But the kitchen is equally adept at turning out breakfast burritos or even just a plate of eggs and hash browns, all fried up in rich duck fat.
6. Revelry Kitchen
4140 West 38th Avenue
Revelry opened last fall on West 38th Avenue and immediately gained the attention of nearby Sunnyside and West Highland neighbors. Crusty biscuits get a Colorado-style bump with a slathering of chorizo gravy, and other Latin American flavors pop up in tres leches French toast, chilaquiles and churro doughnuts. That influence extends to lunch, too, with a Cubano sandwich compliments of chef Enrique Socarras. Lately, Revelry has been making the foray into post-lunch options, with a weekday happy hour until 6 p.m. and occasional chef's dinners.
Keep reading for the rest of the list...