Annie's Cafe & Bar
Molly Martin

Annie's, which has been serving comfort food since 1981, may have to close or relocate soon — the building it currently occupies (the former home of Goodfriends) was listed for sale in late 2021. In the meantime, we'll be visiting this Colfax classic as often as possible, especially for breakfast. While it's open for lunch and dinner, too, the friendly (to the point that you feel like family) service and crowd-pleasing menu options — ranging from buttermilk pancakes to chicken-fried steak to a green chile-smothered breakfast burrito — make it the perfect place to start your day.

Lucile's Creole Cafe
Molly Martin

Open daily for breakfast and lunch only, this Louisiana-inspired favorite got its start in Boulder in 1980 and now has six locations in Colorado. Your experience here comes with a dash of Creole country kitsch, with knickknacks hanging from the walls and silverware wrapped in brightly colored fabric. Start with powdered sugar-covered beignets and your own personal-sized bottle of bubbles with freshly squeezed juice, or a cup of Lucile's chicory coffee. The giant, buttery biscuits with housemade jam are a must, too. And no matter what entree you get, you can (and should) opt for half grits, half potatoes on the side. Douse it all with the housemade hot sauce, and enjoy your trip to the South.

Onefold
Mark Antonation

We like to get ducked up at Onefold during breakfast and lunch, and if it were open for dinner, we'd get ducked down in the evening. The Uptown eatery, founded in 2008 by Mark and Terese Nery, now has a sister location in the Union Station area, and both are heavy on the bird. Breakfast burritos and tacos are filled with potatoes cooked in duck fat, while the breakfast fried rice includes two fried duck eggs. Not ducked up enough for you? Try the duck congee, made with duck broth, duck confit and a poached duck egg, or the fried rice at lunch, which is also made with duck confit. No disrespect to the almighty chicken — we'll always adore your availability — but breakfast is an extra level of quacktastic at Onefold.

Mimosas by the bottle? Check. Novelty cocktails with fun names? Check. A full menu of actual food options (eggs Benedict! Breakfast tacos! Lemon blueberry ricotta pancakes!)? Check. Jaw-dropping drag entertainers? Check. The Triangle serves up drag brunches with a different theme — think anything from Legally Blonde to the discography of Janet Jackson — every Sunday. Tables are available for parties of two, four, six or eight guests, and the cover fee is per table instead of per person (around $5 a head if you split it). And if you need extra time to sleep off your hangover, there are both morning and afternoon shows.

Bonfire Burritos
Molly Martin

For four high school friends in Golden, getting breakfast burritos made by an elderly Mexican woman named Cecilia, who sold them out of a small yellow trailer, was a ritual. Fast-forward several career moves: One of those friends noticed the trailer was for sale and brought the group back together to start a business. In the years since, the burrito joint has made two moves — first to a larger trailer, and then to a brick-and-mortar location in Golden, where crowds gather for foil-wrapped creations like the Chupacabra, loaded with eggs, hash browns, chorizo, sausage, bacon, chipotle crema, cotija and cheddar cheeses, and your choice of mild, 50/50 or "fuego" green chile. Bonus: Bonfire also serves a mean spicy Bloody Mary.

Poulette Bakeshop
Poulette Bakeshop/Instagram

Alen Ramos and Carolyn Nugent have impressive résumés — the two met and fell in love while working under world-renowned chef Joël Robuchon and went on to travel the world, earning such honors as being the thirteenth and fourteenth Americans to be invited to work in the kitchen of Spain's el Bulli (San Pellegrino's Best Restaurant in the World), learning from legends like Thomas Keller and leading Tartine's first expansion. During the pandemic, they began selling baked goods out of their Parker home under the name Ulster Street Pastry. In late 2021, they opened Poulette, where they serve up insanely gorgeous pastries, loaves of bread, naturally leavened bagels and other goodies made with world-class skill.

Best Wood-Fired Bakery
Molly Martin

Funky Flame got its start as a delivery-only cottage-foods business in December 2020 and quickly gained a following for its wood-fired bread — and for owner Allison Declercq's Instagram videos of herself dancing with her dog, Magoo, in front of her bright-yellow wood-fired oven. Now you can find Funky Flame cooking (and maybe dancing) at the Radiator in Sunnyside on a regular basis. Declercq has expanded her offerings to include Funky 'Za pizzas, hand pies, pastries, snacks and more, but picking up a loaf of the OG bread — which sometimes appears in fun colors like green (made with spinach and spirulina) and yellow (thanks to turmeric) — is a must.

thefunkyflame.com
Bakery Four
Shawn Bergin

Shawn Bergin moved to Denver with dreams of starting a bakery business, but he never imagined it would take off the way it did. Bakery Four drew long lines of fans and quickly outgrew its small Highlands home. Now it's back, in an expansive new space that will allow Bergin to make much larger quantities of his sought-after pastries, bread and bagels. There aren't many options for bagel lovers in Denver, but Bergin's naturally leavened take satisfies even East Coast natives with its mild sourdough tang, perfect chewy insides and ideal crunch outside.

Best Doughnuts
Molly Martin

Founded in Indiana by a father-and-son team, Parlor Doughnuts made its way to Denver in 2021 when a family friend of the original owners who lived in Colorado took an opportunity to ditch his sales career and opened locations here. Parlor's signature layered doughnuts are plump, tall, fully draped in icing and made with laminated dough for an extremely indulgent effect. Offered in flavors like French toast and raspberry pistachio, these become more than a doughnut; they're a full-on sweet culinary experience.

Once located inside Zeppelin Station, Dandy Lion made a move to Park Hill in September 2021. With the move, owners Duc Huynh (the man behind banh mi favorite Vinh Xuong Bakery) and his wife, Dominique, added a unique spin: The latest iteration of Dandy Lion is part coffee shop, part plant store. Lush with greenery, the bright space is a tranquil spot for sipping lavender lattes, Vietnamese iced coffee and chai paired with bites like croissants and breakfast burritos.

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