Like a kid scoping out the best trick-or-treating, we've gathered Denver's best treats, potions and boozy drinks to make your Halloween party a night to remember. Steer clear of being a basic witch with a bag of candy, and treat the ghosts and goblins to these favorites on Halloween. Psssst: There are even some gluten-free and vegan options for your ghoulish guests.
1. Colorado Fall Beers
Bottle Shop 33
1080 South Gaylord Street
Bring the beer! Keep it local with these favorites: Denver Beer Co. Hey! Pumpkin, Tommyknocker Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale
, or Renegade Pancakes Maple Porter.
Stroll over to Bottle Shop 33, where the spiritual advisers specialize in helping customers find the right craft beer or boutique wine.
"Our goal is to demystify the process of making great cocktails and the right selection of beer or wine," says general manager Christina Mau. "We focus on the host and the home bartender, giving them everything they need to make and serve the same great cocktails at home that they get at their favorite bars and restaurants."
2. Ghosts and Bats Crispy Potato Snacks
661 Logan Street
For an easy party treat, we had to include a few cult-status TJ's items on our list. To wow your crowd: Dunk the Ghosts and Bats
chips in Caramelized Onion Dip
, put out a platter of Mac & Cheese Bites
or toast some Mini-Pumpkin Pies
3. Halloween Cookies and Cakes
82 Inverness Drive East
Sherry and Brad Isroff started Cakeheads eight years ago, and now this Englewood bakery has achieved national success. Pick up their hand-decorated butter cookies, shaped like skeletons, pumpkins and ghosts, at King Soopers.
"Most bakeries have someone who bakes and decorates," explains owner Brad Isroff. "We have two teams that are either bakers or decorators. It's two sides of the brain."
Cakeheads decorators are specifically trained, starting with dots and lines and moving to more intricate designs. That's how the cakes can not only look good, but taste good, too. Check out the photo gallery for their custom-order cake masterpieces
like the Haunted House, Halloween Brains and Frankenstein.
And don't forget the werewolf in your life: The Isroff's other company, Pawsitively Gourmet
, sells homemade dog treats at local pet stores and Petcos nationwide.
4. Halloween Cupcakes
Yours Truly Cupcake
3047 Larimer Street
Celebrate your spooktacular Halloween with boozy mini-cupcakes from Yours Truly. With flavors like Vampire Red Velvet, Chocolate with Candy Corn, Pumpkin, Ghoulish Vanilla and Champagne Pomegranate, the Halloween Treat Box doesn't trick around.
Walk up to the shop's window on Larimer Street
or place a custom order for delivery Tuesday through Saturday. Yours Truly will be open for Halloween on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
5. Hocus Pocus, Witchcraft and Halloween Mix Popcorn
1561 Champa Street
Get your party popping! City Pop makes fresh, specialty popcorn with proprietary candy-coating recipes to turn the popcorn all shades of Halloween.
For the traditionalist, try Halloween Mix featuring orange- and blackberry-flavored corn. Get your sorcery on with Hocus Pocus, a potion of Dr. Pepper corn and blackberry vanilla, or Witchcraft, a mix of cheesecake, green apple and blackberry. And if you aren't tired of pumpkin spice this season, the caramel corn sweetened with nutmeg and cinnamon is like eating pumpkin pie.
6. Orange and Black Halloween Nachos and Snacks
Make it yourself!
On Halloween, my family ate orange and black food as our pre-trick-or-treating ritual. A festive spread before the sugar high.
Carry the black-and-orange theme throughout your Halloween party with these colorful combos. It's easy: sweet-potato tortilla chips and black-bean dip, carrots and black olives with buffalo ranch, dark chocolate and dried apricots, grilled cheese on dark rye — you get the idea.
Keep reading for more Halloween party treats...