Lists

The Ten Best Brunches in Denver

Molly Martin
Steak and eggs with chimichurri from Señor Bear.
Denver is a city that loves to brunch. Reservations are pretty much essential for the midday meal that draws crowds (even on weekdays, at the spots that offer that). And what makes a brunch worth waiting for? The food, of course, which must satiate cravings, whether you're in the mood for sweet, savory or a touch of both. But with so many places offering the basics, those that go beyond the average menu options stand out.

Excelling at boozy brunch staples like Bloodys and mimosas is a must, too, but bonus points for taking things up a notch with creative cocktails, coffee options and N/A alternatives — because brunch is also about pleasing a crowd. These excursions often involve a group, and even if they don't, brunch should feel like a celebration. After all, you're combining two meals in one, right? It's logical to want double the fun, too.

If you're looking for a good time with a side of eggs cooked just right, here are the ten best brunches in Denver:
click to enlarge The original Bacon Social House location is in the Sunnyside neighborhood. - BACON SOCIAL HOUSE
The original Bacon Social House location is in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
Bacon Social House

Bacon Social House

Multiple locations

Since getting its start in Sunnyside in 2014, this brunch-only spot has expanded with outposts in Littleton and on South Broadway (as well as one in Minneapolis). As the name says, it's all about bacon here — bacon flights, bacon shrimp and grits, bacon and chocolate pancakes, bacon tots instead of traditional hash browns, a  Bloody Mary made with bacon-infused vodka.... But even if you're not in the mood for smoked meat, there are options, including vegetarian ones. Each location also has an outdoor patio (a rooftop one in Littleton) and a focus on bringing the fun with a friendly staff, lively playlist and full cocktail list. So start with a Breakfast Shot that, yup, comes with a slice of bacon. 
click to enlarge The Bindery excels at casual elegance. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
The Bindery excels at casual elegance.
Danielle Lirette

The Bindery

1817 Central Street
303-993-2364

With an open, airy dining room and breezy patio, chef Linda Hampsten Fox's LoHi eatery is less about party and more about elegance — but sometimes that's exactly the kind of atmosphere that's most appealing. At brunch, which is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., each dish is conceived almost as a poem, and the menu reads like an autobiography of the chef's journey through childhood memories and international destinations. Taste your way through Polish family meals, the hillsides of Italy and coastal Mexico while remaining grounded in Colorado ingredients and hospitality. Don't forget to load up on pastries to go.
click to enlarge The cheese omelet at Lucile's. - MOLLY MARTIN
The cheese omelet at Lucile's.
Molly Martin

Lucile's Creole Cafe

Multiple locations

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.
click to enlarge A creamy, cheesy take on shrimp and grits at Mimosas. - MOLLY MARTIN
A creamy, cheesy take on shrimp and grits at Mimosas.
Molly Martin

Mimosas

2752 Welton Street
720-372-7572

In August 2020, this eatery opened as the first effort from the food-and-beverage arm of the Flyfisher Group, a Five Points-based private equity investment firm headed by businessman Matthew Burkett that's been focused on reinvesting in the historic neighborhood. The space is bright and cheery, with splashes of orange — including actual images of oranges on one wall — and an R&B-heavy playlist. The menu leans Southern, with such items as biscuits and gravy and a cheesy, rich take on shrimp and grits studded with slices of Andouille sausage. And of course there are mimosas — a whole list of them, available by the glass or in three flight options, alongside a selection of bubbly by the bottle.
Bacon fried rice with duck fat-fried eggs from Onefold. - ONEFOLD/INSTAGRAM
Bacon fried rice with duck fat-fried eggs from Onefold.
Onefold/Instagram

Onefold

1420 East 18th Avenue
303-954-0877
1919 19th Street
720-788-7550

If you're over Benedicts and scrambles, Onefold is ready to make eggs interesting again. The original Uptown location opened in 2015 and quickly gained a following for such dishes as bacon fried rice (or a Chinese sausage version) topped with a duck fat-fried egg, and congee (a savory rice porridge) with rich duck confit and spicy chile oil. Even more typical options are stepped up here, like the breakfast tacos topped with griddled cheese. In late 2021, a second location at Union Station was added after a year of pandemic-related delays, so now twice as many people can enjoy this brunch favorite.
Root Down is ideal for a boozy brunch experience. - ROOT DOWN/INSTAGRAM
Root Down is ideal for a boozy brunch experience.
Root Down/Instagram

Root Down

1600 West 33rd Avenue
303-993-4200

An OG of the Denver brunch scene, Root Down has been perfecting the boozy weekend meal since 2009, when restaurateur Justin Cucci opened his eatery in a space that was formerly a garage. More than a decade later, its bold mashups of international influences paired with a commitment to pleasing vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free customers remain a draw. On warm days, the patio is the place to enjoy such dishes as zucchini bread French toast, the veggie-packed tofu "paneer" scramble, and the fried chicken and goat cheese biscuit with red chile mushroom gravy. Making the best even better: bottomless mimosas, available in classic or blood orange.
click to enlarge Chilaquiles with chorizo verde at Señor Bear. - MOLLY MARTIN
Chilaquiles with chorizo verde at Señor Bear.
Molly Martin

Señor Bear

3301 Tejon Street
720-572-5997
This Latin eatery from the Culinary Creative Group (which is also behind such spots as Bar Dough and sister restaurant Mister Oso) only serves brunch on Sundays starting at 10 a.m., but that brunch is unlike any in town. The familiar gets amped way up here, with options like French toast made with brioche and topped with lime vanilla whipped cream, brown-butter syrup and a pile of chopped chile-glazed bacon; steak and eggs with a bright and herbaceous chimichurri sauce; and a sweet and savory take on a breakfast sandwich served on a Mallorca roll with ham, a fried egg, guacamole and cheese with poblano chile. Pair all that with one of the best palomas in town or a Bloody with a serious kick, and you've got a recipe for a new Sunday tradition.
 
click to enlarge MOLLY MARTIN
Molly Martin

Star Kitchen

2917 West Mississippi Avenue
303-936-0089

While this spot is short on booze (though it does offer a small selection of beer and wine to ease your hangover), we can forgive that brunch shortcoming given the seemingly endless appeal of a solid dim sum experience. Denver doesn't have the huge dim sum scene you'll find in cities like Chicago or New York, but we've got Star Kitchen, where the carts — back after a pandemic hiatus — roll out of the kitchen loaded with dumplings of all kinds, fried noodles, shrimp balls, chicken feet, sticky rice and on and on. Go early (the line to add your name to the list forms before the place opens on weekends), bring a big group that knows how to eat family-style, and feast your way to happiness doused in chile oil. 
The mushroom tartine with beet hummus at Stowaway Kitchen. - STOWAWAY KITCHEN/INSTAGRAM
The mushroom tartine with beet hummus at Stowaway Kitchen.
Stowaway Kitchen/Instagram

Stowaway Kitchen

2528 Walnut Street
720-583-5481

Inspired by their adventures abroad — particularly in Australia and New Zealand — owners Amy Cohen and Hayden Barnie opened this cafe and restaurant in 2015 and have been serving up some of the most creative brunch fare in town ever since. Unlike the typical heavy, nap-inducing eats that fill most brunch menus, the food at Stowaway skews lighter and draws from global influences with items like the colorful mushroom tartine with sautéed oyster and cremini mushrooms, beet hummus and a poached egg sprinkled with almond dukkah on toasted sourdough; and the Japanese asa-gohan ("breakfast") with grilled, salted Verlasso salmon over rice with a poached egg, avocado, carrot and ginger slaw, toasted nori and sesame seeds. As befits a cafe, the coffee game is on point, but so are the cocktails, which include a mezcal-spiked Bloody.
click to enlarge The Cinnamon Swirl pancake at Urban Egg is a must. - MOLLY MARTIN
The Cinnamon Swirl pancake at Urban Egg is a must.
Molly Martin

Urban Egg

Multiple locations

If you're looking for the big menu, the something-for-everyone brunch experience, this is the place to go. Now with eight Colorado spots, Urban Egg is a growing, locally owned chain that prioritizes community and people-first values, and backs that up with high-quality food that consistently comes through on flavor and execution. Offerings run the gamut, from a cinnamon-swirled pancake and crunchy corn flake-coated French toast to a lineup of Benedicts, sandwiches, salads, two takes on avocado toast and, of course, plenty of eggs, as well as a vegetarian green chile that won't leave you missing the pork. A full coffee and cocktail program is bolstered by a selection of fresh-pressed juices that can be spiked with booze: This is brunch, after all.