The stretch of Colfax between the Colorado State Capitol at Grant Street and the Bluebird Theater at Adams Street is one of the busiest strips of pavement in Denver, with live music venues large and small lining the streets. Whether you're looking for a good base to soak up an evening's worth of libations or a place to grub after the show, you've got plenty of options. Here's a list of ten can't-miss places to eat before or after catching a show on the 'fax.
10. Barracuda's, 1076 Ogden Street The more you drink, the better Barracuda's gets -- and it definitely gets the job done. Barracuda's is a neighborhood joint just off Colfax with a ton of character and devoted patrons. It's dark, plays terrible music and serves up burgers, sandwiches and breakfast until 4 a.m. on the weekends. If you really feel like you still need drink at this point, Barracuda's also has a full bar.
9. Rockbar, 3015 East Colfax Avenue Nothing like keeping the party going at your favorite neighborhood sweat-box, Rockbar. We know you're skeptical about this one -- but Rockbar has a full kitchen that pumps out tasty bar food like fries and mini corn-dogs. Take a break from the dance floor and find a place to try the surprising delicacies Rockbar has to offer. If it's harming the experience, try not to think about the kitchen and the dance floor existing in the same place.
8. Denver Diner, 740 West Colfax Avenue Denver Diner is a local landmark, and a cult-favorite for washing away current or future hangovers. Open 24 hours, serving a bounty of pancake stacks, huevos rancheros and cheese fries, this place is always filled with a diverse array of Denver locals, young and old. If you're looking to justify some over-indulgent food decisions, do it here. Try the Santa Fe burrito, a smothered, melty, beef creation covered in eggs and hash browns.
7. Slice Works Pizza, 700 East Colfax Slice Works is the new Colfax joint for specialty pizza -- really, really good pizza. From the more traditional pies to masterpieces like the "baked potato" and the "bacon cheeseburger" pie, Slice Works is changing the game, and it boasts a great top-floor bar. If you're seeing a show at the nearby Fillmore or Ogden, you can enjoy a slice and a beer up there before you make your way over, or head there at midnight for 2 knots and a slice for $3.
6. Pinche Taqueria, 1514 York Street The tacos here (first served out of a truck) still continue to amaze at the stationary location on Colfax and York. Conveniently located near Lion's Lair, Ogden and Bluebird, Pinche Taqueria is the most talked-about place to take down a plate of street tacos and tequila-based libations before a show. If you happen to be seeing a show on a Monday, Pinche has happy hour-priced cocktails until its 10 p.m. close.
5. Mezcal, 3230 East Colfax Avenue You know that tequila with the scorpion in the bottle? Mezcal has that and 270 others. It's on the same block as Goosetown Tavern and R-Bar, but if you're looking for home-style Mexican food and agave spirits, you won't want to miss out on this spot. The bartenders are always friendly and attentive, so you can get your drinks in a hurry, or savor every sip on the patio. The tacos and guacamole are a dream.
4. Atomic Cowboy, 3237 East Colfax Avenue Atomic Cowboy can't go wrong. With its close proximity to the Bluebird, happy hour and drink specials every night and Fat Sully's huge New York-style slices, it's no surprise that this place is packed before and after shows. Denver Biscuit Company (also located inside) stops cranking out chicken and biscuits around 2 p.m., but we can dream that someday they'll open to the late night crowd.
3. Tom's Diner, 601 East Colfax Tom's holds a special place in our heart as the 24-hour authentic diner we run for when we get the post-show munchies. Try the typical greasy-spoon breakfast, baskets of fried food and milkshakes. The late-night crowd here makes for some of the best people watching on Colfax, too.
2. Annie's Cafe, 3100 East Colfax Avenue Annie's has been serving up good eats for 31 years, but when they moved to Colfax from 8th and Colorado a few years ago, it got a new crowd with people looking for a place to hang out before and after shows. It has an impressive collection of vintage lunchboxes, as well as an old-school candy counter, making for a quirky atmosphere. You can snack on breakfast (served all day) or burgers, or grab a beer before the venue prices make you want to weep.
1. Pete's Kitchen, 1962 East Colfax Avenue Pete's might very well be the holy grail of late night dining -- especially on Colfax. Pete knows how to please our demographic -- greasy, simple, full of good people watching and an edgy waitstaff. The kitchen has efficiency and speed down to a science, and food gets pumped out in a shockingly timely manner for hordes of drunken show-goers and cops alike. The food does the trick, whether you go for something smothered in green chile or chicken-fried, and it never tastes the same as you remember when (and if) you go back in daylight.