Update: While we still love all the brunches on this list, we've update the list of best brunches in Denver for 2015.
The warm weather heading our way brings with it the desire to stretch weekend breakfasts into blissful, hours-long respites in comfortable booths or on intimate patios. Denver's diverse population of brunch enthusiasts range from outdoor activists loading up for a big bike ride to all-day drinkers. But whether it's eggs Benedict or a big Bloody Mary that you crave, Denver has plenty of perfect spots to get your brunch on.
Here are our dozen favorite brunch spots in the area, presented in no particular order — until number one. Get cracking!
See also: Best Brunch — Fooducopia
12) Beast + Bottle 719 East 17th Avenue
Beast + Bottle's farm-to-fork philosophy and dedication to whole-animal utilization has made this spot a Denver favorite over the past year. The thoughtful brunch menu includes such inspired dishes as lamb-neck red chile served with eggs and hominy, and sheep's-milk ricotta blintzes with fresh strawberries. All eggs are courtesy of B+B's "girls," a flock of Rhode Island Red hens that are housed at Colorado's Cottonwood Creek Farms. The drink menu is nothing to shake a stick at, either: Try one of the "beastly" Bloodys like the "Smoked Maria," a brunch-friendly take that uses mezcal instead of vodka. Or if you're game for an early beer, go for the house saison that City Star Brewing makes specially for Beast + Bottle.
11) Devil's Food 1024 South Gaylord Street
Equal parts charming coffee shop, pastry slinger and supper spot, Devil's Food serves up a mean brunch, too. Whether eating inside or out on the tiny, secluded back patio, diners can choose from such dishes as pan-roasted trout and eggs, an array of Benedicts, shrimp and grits, or piles of fluffy pancakes or Belgian waffles. As a bonus, Devil's Food brunch goes until 4 p.m. on the weekends. The can't miss dish? The crepes. And don't leave without some fresh baked goods.
10) Beatrice & Woodsley 38 South Broadway
The atmosphere at Beatrice & Woodsley alone is reason to visit — but the rustic, seasonally inspired brunch offered within the aspen-packed, urban Colorado wilderness will make you never want to leave. Step inside and you'll feel like you're in a dreamy theater set; sit down and contemplate a menu that reads like a fantastical story, with creations like the summer squash-and-chili bread pudding, a smoky braised lamb-and-egg sandwich, and crawfish beignets with spicy red-pepper aioli. Beatrice & Woodsley also offers an Impressive, well-curated morning cocktail menu.
Continue reading for more brunch spots.
9) Lola 1575 Boulder Street
Inspired by the cuisine — and libations — of coastal Mexico, Lola delivers whether you're looking for a boisterous, booze-filled breakfast or just want to dive into seafood...and there are plenty of options in between. Enjoy live music or the breezy patio while savoring such dishes as lobster deviled eggs and oyster shooters, or smoky-sweet chicken and waffles (named the Best of Denver 2013) and banana-brown sugar pancakes. Wash it all down with a Mexican mimosa (beer, tequila, orange juice and fresh lime) or a big Bloody. The "Ultimate" Bloody is a meal in itself, with chile-poached shrimp, pickles, spicy asparagus, bacon and cheese.
8) Star Kitchen 2917 West Mississippi Avenue
It doesn't matter what time you show up at Star Kitchen on a Saturday or Sunday, because the clock is always stuck on "full and frenetic." Above the rising decibel of deliberating diners, you're marshaled — and sometimes jostled — to your table by a hurried host or hostess. And then the fun really begins, with effusive cart-pushers pimping baskets of pork shumai, chicken feet, dainty dumplings bursting with shrimp and chives, sweet barbecued pork buns, salt-and-pepper squid and egg-custard tarts. Just when you've stretched your belly to the point of no return, another trolley rolls by, tempting you with one more basket of rice-noodle wraps, a platter of Chinese broccoli, sesame balls. It would be easy to stay here all day — but that would be depriving another party in the impatient crowd of its chance to enjoy this moveable feast.
7) Lucile's 275 South Logan Street and four other metro locations
For more than three decades, Lucile's Creole Cafe has been one of Denver's best spots for a homestyle Cajun breakfast — whether it's fluffy beignets, buttermilk pan biscuits with housemade jam, eggs Sardou or the Creole omelet: spicy sausage and ham in a Creole sauce, with a side of country grits, Louisiana hot links or the more traditional red beans or collard greens. Come hungry, leave very, very happy.
6) Root Down 1600 West 33rd Avenue
Ultra-green Root Down emphasizes locally sourced products and ingredients, served up in an urban-cool LoHi space with one of the best views of the Denver skyline. With brunch offerings ranging from a Philly cheesesteak Benedict to almond-flour buttermilk pancakes to a hearty tofu scramble, there's something for brunchers of all factions to nosh on — whether meaty, vegan or gluten-free. A bonus? Root Down's awesome bar pours bottomless blood-orange mimosas long into the afternoon.
Continue reading for more brunch spots.
5) Gaia Bistro 1551 South Pearl Street
When she reviewed Gaia Bistro last summer, Cafe critic Gretchen Kurtz termed it "a true gathering place," and found the brunch at this charming South Pearl favorite as good as ever. The loyal crowds keep coming back for Gaia's idyllic garden patio, tranquil setting and, of course, the food: plates of sweet and savory crepes (offered in smoked turkey, black-pepper honey and goat-cheese variations), and mouth-watering egg creations (such as scrambled eggs, ham and Brie). The pumpkin bread alone could make a meal.
4) Table 6 609 Corona Street
Table 6 won Best Brunch in the Best of Denver 2013 and Best Hip Hop Brunch in Best of Denver 2014, and it's easy to see why. Every Sunday morning, DJ Ginger Perry sets up shop at Table 6 for a breakfast that could double as a dance party. Discerning diners can enjoy their Hollandaise with a side of hip-hop, their biscuits with boom-baps and beats — and their Bloody Marys with, well, another round. Nothing says "hangover cure" like good food, good drinks and grooving tunes.
3) Linger 2030 West 30th Avenue
When Linger joined the brunch bunch, it did so with all the style that owner Justin Cucci has shown in both the decor and menu of this place. The theme riffs on the building's former use as a mortuary, but you can't imagine anything more lively than a meal at Linger, especially when you're downing some of the bar's specialty cocktails. The food celebrates street fare around the world; extra points for the amazing hangover ramen. Now if only they could do something about that building that will soon block even more of the rooftop deck's great view.
2) Squeaky Bean 1500 Wynkoop Street
The ultimate Sunday brunch begins and ends with a Bloody Mary. It's vital, too, that there's something on the board for the egghead, the French-toast fanatic, the potato junkie and the granola-leaning earth muffin. Under chef Theo Adley, the Squeaky Bean's kitchen serves all that and more, but because chief bean-baller Johnny Ballen has a serious fetish for playful diversions, he's got a bag of tricks to elevate the creativity quotient — including the wall-spanning bingo board. Every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., Ballen and his irreverent accomplices roll out two hours of bingo, complete with a bingo ball-cage set, bingo cards and a dedicated bingo announcer in the form of comic Sam Tallent, who's also in charge of the prize patrol, a stash that includes bags of dollar-store trinkets; gift certificates to Golden Corral and a bottle of malt liquor stashed in a paper bag; and a grand prize of $50 to spend at the Squeaky Bean. No matter how the balls bounce, brunch at the Bean always results in a Sunday fun day.
1) Fooducopia 1939 East Kentucky Avenue
First, let us shower accolades on chef Richard Glover's decadent cinnamon-apple French toast: a plate of thick, eggy slices of gold-tinged brioche splayed with caramelized cinnamon-dusted apples, real whipped cream and a fistful of nuts. Then there are the eggs Benedict, mounted with thin, salty sheets of prosciutto topped with a cascading river of cranberry Hollandaise sauce. And a wild-Colorado-mushroom omelette with roasted red peppers and goat cheese. No matter what you order at Fooducopia, an engaging weekday and weekend brunch spot in Washington Park that also doubles as a market emphasizing local ingredients (that's where he gets those apples), you'll marvel and swoon between bites. And now that Fooducopia has a liquor license, mimosas and bloody Marys just add to the welcoming wake-up call. This is the Best Brunch in Denver for 2014.
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