Cheeky Monk

One hundred bottles of beer on the wall, one hundred bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall. Unless you're at the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe, which has more like 150 different bottles in its cellar, including rare Belgian and American specialties that you may not be able to find anywhere else. Open since 2007, the Cheeky Monk is the place to go when you're looking for something different.

Jalapenos Mexican Food

Denverites take their breakfast burritos as seriously as they do their bicycle laps around Washington Park, and given the hundreds of burrito trucks, burrito carts and burrito shacks sprinkled throughout the city, it's not easy to choose just one as that marvelous eye-opener. But morning, noon and night, Jalapeños delivers in spades — and spice. Soft-scrambled eggs, melted cheddar, fried cubes of potatoes — enough to alert you to the fact that they're there, but not so many that they overtake everything else — and a fevered, fierce and fiery green chile studded with habanero chiles are tucked into a griddled flour tortilla that sells for a mere $1.99. Bacon, ham, chorizo and even Soyrizo — the vegetarian equivalent of swine — can be added for a small price, and it's available Jalapeños style, too, with grilled onions, tomatoes and jalapeños. No matter which one you order, it's a wrap.

Araujo's Restaurant

Araujo's, a colorful storefront spot in the Federal Boulevard breakfast-burrito triangle that also includes a Santiago's and a Jack-n-Grill, opens at 6 a.m. weekdays (7 a.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. Sunday) and starts handing out the city's best breakfast burritos to go just minutes later. Every day of the week, Araujo's offers a special breakfast burrito from opening until 11 a.m. for just $1.50: a tortilla packed with scrambled eggs, cubes of potato, bits of green chiles and the chef's choice of meat (bacon one day, sausage the next), with cheese and green chile filling all the cracks.

Punch Bowl Social

"Baby, it's not you, it's me." If that's the conversation coming up, then Punch Bowl — Social is the place to walk the talk. This spot has all the bases covered: There's the parlor room with cushy sofas and chairs and dim lighting, so that you can hide your tears and bury your busted ego in one of the water-resistant leather armrests. The always-occupied bathrooms are an ideal refuge where you can seek solace from other jilted lovers. There are ping-pong tables — with paddles, on the off-chance that you want to want to engage in a spanking war — as well as a bowling alley with heavy balls, if you feel like accidentally dropping one on a toe. And don't miss the photo booth, where you can take one last picture of your relationship at the bitter end — then put the resulting photo on the dart board and proceed to deface it. Best of all, Punch Bowl is open late — so as you hang around the bar, drowning your sorrows in punch after punch, you may very well meet someone else.

Renegade Brewing

Located just off the main drag, in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, Renegade Brewing has attracted a satisfying mix of regulars and new visitors since it opened in 2011. With its high ceilings, massive windows, garage doors, exposed brick and gorgeous wooden bar, the tap room is welcoming and cozy, but also large enough to host your after-work happy hour on a moment's notice. Open seven days a week, Renegade typically features a food truck out front and a wide variety of beers on tap, from low-alcohol session ales for more timid drinkers to giant malt or hop bombs for adventurous types. Altogether, it makes for an excellent ambassador for Denver's beer culture.

Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar

Crooked Stave brews what is perhaps the most challenging style of beer — not just for the palates of the general public, but for craft-beer lovers, as well. Sour and wild ales are fermented, usually in wooden barrels, with specific kinds of yeast and bacteria that add funky, occasionally off-putting and potentially addictive flavors to beer. It's not a new fad; the Belgians have been making this style of beer for hundreds of years. But almost no one in the country, let alone Colorado, does it as well as Crooked Stave owner Chad Yakobson, who has built up such a fierce following that his skills are borrowed by other brewers across the country and his ales are talked about by beer geeks around the world. You'll always find a couple of them on tap in the Barrel Cellar (along with interesting people from unexpected places). Crooked Stave will triple its production this year, from 450 to 2,000 barrels, which still makes it one of the smallest breweries in Colorado, but one with an enormous footprint.

Black Shirt Brewing Co.
Mark Antonation

As craft-beer culture grows, breweries, bars and restaurants increasingly add to their collections of style-appropriate glassware. But it took a single-minded dedication on the part of Black Shirt Brewing to help design a brand-new — and somewhat challenging — glass with Golden's Offero Vessels. Based on a coffee-mug design engineered to capture the aromas of a drink as you bring the glass to your lips, the glasses, one with a stem and one without, have slanted rims that can result in spills but also forces drinkers to concentrate on the beverage before them. It's the only glass you'll find at Black Shirt, which opened in October 2012, but even that wouldn't help if the beer wasn't tasty. At Black Shirt, each one is a gem — and worthy of careful, thoughtful sipping.

Vine Street Pub & Brewery

A brewpub needs to do two things: serve its own food and make its own beer. Since opening in 2008, the Vine Street Pub has done the former very well, offering a mix of healthy fare, Colorado-centered creations and elevated pub food, like its meaty, award-winning wings. But last April, the neighborhood spot also became the primary brewing facility for its owner, the Mountain Sun group, which has three other locations, all in Boulder. Vine Street now brings together its already excellent menu with outstanding beers, a mellow vibe, growlers of beer to go, and a sunny patio to give the east side of town a can't-miss spot. Way to put the "brew" in brewpub.

Table 6
Cassandra Kotnik

Table Six is the consummate neighborhood hang, the kind of place where, at least on Sunday, you can wear your mismatched PJs and fit right in with the rest of the smitten disciples — many of them local chefs — who converge in droves for dashing dishes that stretch far beyond pancakes and eggs Benedict. Chef Scott Parker's eccentric menu is a fanciful blast of morning treats, beginning with the tater tots dipped into blood-orange ketchup and moving on to the "haute pocket" filled with Tasso ham, steak, silky scrambled eggs, grilled onions and cheddar. DJ Ginger Perry keeps things hip with energetic spins, and the intriguing cocktails — stiff and sexy — will make you want to linger long after the 2:30 p.m. closing time.

Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet
Mark Antonation

Let's face it: Most brunch displays are mirror images of each other: omelets, waffles, strips of (cold) bacon and shriveled sausage links. And more often than not, you'll pay through the pancake for that kind of carbon-copy brunch spread — most of it stuff that you could make at home. If you wanted to. Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet has a different kind of brunch — and a remarkably inexpensive one at that. Priced at $9.99 per person during the week and $15.99 on the weekends — when the spread includes fresh oysters, ceviches, seafood soups and shrimp prepared in a variety of ways — it's a full day's worth of flavor-bombed fuel that will feed your belly without starving your wallet.

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