Port Side

Even though Denver is awash in coffee shops, a visit to this Huckleberry Roasters can be a stirring experience. The small cafe — the second Roasters location — opened last year in the front of a reclaimed shipping-container building on Larimer Street. The simple, modern interior and preponderance of open MacBooks might give the impression that it's a place for worker bees, but watch both the baristas and the guests for a few minutes, and you'll realize that this is a community spot where nearly everyone knows each other. Owners Koan Goedman and Mark Mann know how to focus on that community; after all, they met at a cafe. And the coffee is good without being pretentious — or at least not too much so, since it's hard to order a pour-over without some pretension.

Readers' choice: Huckleberry Roasters

Beatrice & Woodsley

Since this is the only dish on the Beatrice & Woodsley menu with no description whatsoever, you wouldn't blink if the kitchen actually did serve up monkey brains for brunch, given the restaurant's inclination to surprise customers with interesting combinations and its penchant for storytelling. But the appetizer is actually a pedestrian yet delicious floral-shaped pecan roll — a sweet, syrupy starter that's perfectly portioned to divide into four pieces. And if one of your brunch bunch goes ape over the ooey, gooey Brains, you'd be smart to order a second round.

Root Down

While Root Down updates its brunch menu seasonally, one of the tried-and-true mainstays is the oh-so-delectable banana-bread French toast. Topped with a chicory crème fraîche, cocoa nibs, citrus syrup and salted peanuts that give it an almost tempura-like texture, this is one sinful breakfast plate. If you'd rather not feel guilty starting your day off with dessert, the smaller portion makes a perfect appetizer for the table. But if you have a sweet tooth, go forth and sin some more. You can thank us later.

Duo Restaurant
Scott Lentz

You wouldn't think that the secret to the perfect plate of eggs Benedict would be mustard, but head to Duo and you might be convinced otherwise. The cider-glazed pork Benedict is a runny, creamy mess of all things delicious, but it's the delicate, whole-grain-mustard Hollandaise that ties it all together, lending a bit of tang to the thinly sliced, tender, slow-roasted pulled pork. Served with a grilled ciabatta to sop up any remaining mustard-cider mixture with, this dreamy dish is really good to the last drop — and just might be the first thing you think about when you wake up.

Readers' choice: Lucile's Creole Cafe

Wonderbowl Vietnamese Restaurant

The family that operates Pho Duy opened Wonderbowl on Federal Boulevard last year with a larger menu of Vietnamese fare than most pho joints offer (including the original Pho Duy, right next door). But the family stamp is apparent from the first spoonful of broth. Deep, rich beef flavor predominates, with subtle hints of ginger and star anise in the background. Rather than an intensely spiced or sweet broth, this one is delicate and sophisticated. What makes Wonderbowl so wonderful, though, is not just the broth, but the generous portions of meats mounded onto each order. The #1 bowl, for example, comes with so much rare steak, flank, brisket, tripe and beef tendon that the thin slices rise up from the broth like the tip of an iceberg. Somewhere beneath all of that is a tangle of tender rice noodles; the entire bowl is packed so full that you'll have trouble stirring in the ultra-fresh basil, bean sprouts and jalapeño slices that come on the side. Other, less common noodle soups give added depth to the menu for those who want to stray from straight-up pho into pork- or seafood-based broths with a whole new range of flavors.

Readers' choice: Pho 95

Providence Tavern
Teal Nipp

It's no fluke that Providence Tavern's address and its phone number both end in 5280, because brunch here epitomizes everything that's right about Mile High dining: cheap drinks, amazing Benedicts, a view of the game from every seat in the house...and no waits. Somehow this upscale neighborhood bar has flown under the radar, even though it serves up anything but average bar food. The smoked pork benefit (no, that's not a typo, and, yes, you benefit if you order this) is one of the best Benedicts in town, smothered in a chile-rojo Hollandaise that will set your mouth on fire. Then there's the truffled grilled cheese, made breakfasty with a bacon and egg on top, a foodgasm-inducing sandwich. Digest it all in the comfortable, all-seasons room; it's the perfect place to drink away the day with $8 bottomless mimosas or manmosas and $5 Bloodys.

Readers' choice: Snooze

The Buff Restaurant

A Boulder institution since the mid-'90s, the Buff finally admitted it had outgrown its original location last year and moved up the block, adding 700 square feet of space and some much-needed parking. While the wait times are no shorter at the new spot, this remains a University of Colorado hangout worth hanging around for. Despite its shiny new facade and some modernization, the Buff maintains much of the look and feel of the original, with wood from the old restaurant repurposed for the walls and booths. And the breakfasts are as good as ever. Go, Buff!

The Lobby American Grille
Mark Antonation

Affectionately marketed as "adult daycare," the Lobby doesn't mess around when it comes to drinking. The base price for a bottomless mimosa is $10, but you can upgrade to more exotic flavors like pineapple or grapefruit for $1 extra per bottomless glass, or if you want to get really fancy, try a seasonal Happy Leaf Kombucha mimosa for $16. And if you want to see just how big bottomless can be, go with a party of more than five people, because you'll get a giant tabletop full of mimosas. The best part, though, is that this isn't just a brunch deal: Bottomless mimosas are available Tuesday through Sunday until 3 p.m. and again Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 p.m. until close. You'll want to go early, though, because this place gets slammed and doesn't take reservations after 11 a.m. And you'll want to stay as long as you can before you hit bottom.

Readers' choice: Root Down

Wyman's No. 5
Eric Gruneisen

Best-known as a raucous spot for watching the Blackhawks or for legit Chicago-style deep-dish (cornmeal crust and all), Wyman's No. 5 scores on football Sundays with its Bloody Mary garnished with a White Castle slider. Channeling a few bars in Joliet, Illinois, where the owners grew up, the garnish is offered as a hangover helper to add some sustenance to your morning beverage. With no White Castle in Colorado, the source of these delectable little patties is a mystery we're not sure we want to solve. Just keep 'em coming.

Punch Bowl Social

At most Bloody Mary bars, you get to augment your drink with a few seasonings and some garnishes, then go on your not-so-very-merry way. But not at Punch Bowl Social. At this Bloody Mary bar to end all Bloody Mary bars, you can choose between five different tomato or tomatillo mixes from the Real Dill and Salty Iguana for a red or green base, then layer on the proteins, veggies and spices. Every garnish and accoutrement — from shrimp and jicama tossed in chile powder to a beautiful charcuterie platter with Tender Belly ham, salami and pepperoni — has been meticulously thought out. There are even three housemade spice mixes — Chinese five-spice, six-pepper and "mouth of the South" — that you can use to doctor your drink for a taste that's often imitated, never duplicated. A Bloody here is a whole meal in a glass.

Readers' choice: The Hornet

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