Best Bar/Restaurant for a Breakup 2023 | Happy Camper Pizza | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

First of all, why are you breaking up with someone in public? But if you must, a busy place with plenty of noise is far superior to an intimate dining or drinking establishment, and you definitely don't want it to be one that could be mistaken for a special-occasion destination. Enter the casual Happy Camper, which is pretty much always packed, making it an easy pick for saying your piece before disappearing into the crowd. Then it's a quick hop across the street for a cocktail at Avanti, where you've got a good chance of meeting a rebound on the rooftop.

Bodega Denver

Chef/owner Cliff Blauvelt (who grew up on the Northside) opened this neighborhood sandwich shop and eatery in August 2022, and it has quickly gained a whole lot of fans. While Bodega Denver serves much more than breakfast (don't miss the double cheeseburger and chili crisp fried chicken sandwich at lunch time), it's the breakfast menu that's made many into regulars. From the basic breakfast sandwich loaded with bacon, eggs, cheese and crispy tater tots on a squishy Kaiser roll to its counterpart, the Boujee — an egg sandwich on focaccia with herbed feta and goat cheese, arugula, muhammara and za'atar — and the standout breakfast burrito, Bodega makes mornings much more palatable.

Molly Martin

Breakfast Inn has been a south Denver staple since 1976, known for its friendly service and the model train that makes loops above the dining room. Although the "and Dinner Too" portion of its name and hours have been dropped, it's still a laid-back breakfast mainstay. While you can't go wrong with options like chicken-fried steak or the Greek omelet, every meal here should be served with a plate of Breakfast Inn's thick, ultra-fluffy sweet cream pancakes for the table to share.

Molly Martin

With its bright and cheery interior and even cheerier staff, Fox Run Cafe has come a long way from its challenging beginnings. After permitting delays pushed its original opening date from January 2020 to March of that year (the very week that restaurants were ordered to shut down because of the pandemic), it opened with just three staff members and offered takeout meals only. Now it has plenty of people on hand as it serves up a menu packed with standouts: Start with an extra-thick slice of griddled banana bread (yes, you do want honey butter on the side) before digging into choices like a tahini Caesar with just the right amount of crunch and a stellar fried chicken biscuit paired with crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fried potatoes.

Danielle Lirette

Alon Shaya is known for creating an impressive spread of modern Israeli fare at Safta, located inside the Source Hotel in RiNo. But during the weekend, the team pulls out all the stops for its brunch buffet. For $50 a person (plus tax and gratuity), guests can dig into a spread of individual-sized cast-iron pans of shakshuka, fresh pita made from locally grown and milled grains, a variety of tasty dips, pastrami hash, smoked fish, latkes, golden pastries, cheese bourekas and much more. Our only advice: Get a reservation for the feast, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

If there is one food item besides green chile that Coloradans are passionate about, it's breakfast burritos. Most people are fiercely loyal to their favorites, but Pablito's is worth mixing up your routine for. This trailer, started by the team at Abrusci's Fire & Vine, operates in the restaurant's parking lot from 7 a.m. to noon on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends. Pablito's offers four standard burritos, with the option to build your own or turn it into a bowl. The go-to is dubbed The Best Damn Burrito...Period, and it lives up to its name: Packed with chorizo, bacon, eggs, hash browns, green chile, a three-cheese blend and avocado crema, it's a filling feast wrapped in a tortilla. Plus, if you sign up for Pablito's loyalty program, your first burrito is on the house.

Molly Martin

This counter-service taqueria on Santa Fe has been serving up some of the best Mexican fare in town for over 35 years — a fact that was honored by the James Beard Foundation in 2020 when it received the America's Classics Award. Between the tacos, green chile and smothered burritos, it's tough to choose favorites, but a stop at El Taco de Mexico hits particularly hard in the morning, whether you opt for a breakfast burrito, huevos rancheros or the special breakfast with eggs, ham, bacon, potatoes, rice and El Taco's stellar refried beans.

Molly Martin

A husband-and-wife team with personal connections to the founder of Parlor Doughnuts, which got its start in Indiana, brought the concept to Denver in 2021, adding a second, smaller outpost in Aurora the following year. Its signature croissant-like layered doughnuts are plump, tall and fully draped in icing. With an array of tempting, playful flavor combinations like the sprinkle-topped Carnival and customer-favorite French toast, sweet dreams are made of these.

Linnea Covington

When Pablo's opened in 2001, coffee shops were primarily places to meet for a cup of joe and conversation, hang out with friends for hours, or even read a book in public (yes, we're talking about pre-wi-fi days). Now, over two decades later, Denver's first craft coffee roaster is still in its nook on the corner of Sixth and Washington. Although it has expanded, moving its roasting facility and adding new shops along the way, the OG Pablo's — where deep maroon walls backdrop plants that have (probably) been there since its inception — retains the spirit of Old Denver, before the city, and craft coffee, became cool. With consistently good coffee and small bites, Pablo's — which still has no wi-fi — is a true neighborhood gathering spot, and the ideal place to relax and unwind.

Courtesy The Bardo Coffeehouse on South Broadway Facebook

For the past thirteen years, the Bardo on South Broadway has offered a quiet reprieve from the otherwise busy bar scene on the strip. Free of alcohol, loud music and dancing, it's a safe place for night owls to converge and students to pull an all-night study sesh. After COVID-19, the Bardo reopened with reduced hours, but it's slowly been extending them; currently, two of its three locations are open until midnight. With any luck, it will return to its pre-pandemic glory days of welcoming guests until 2 a.m. or later, but for now, we're satisfied knowing we can find high-quality caffeine after 6 p.m. on a weeknight.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of