Denver street art is always popping up in unexpected places — including on local eateries, whether a trendy coffee shop, innovative food hall or historic cafe. Here are ten of our favorite street-art pieces on the menu at Denver restaurants.
1284 South Pearl Street
AikoPops offers more than just delicious and outrageously flavored popsicles. At its home base on Old South Pearl, you can dine on equally creative sandwiches from the mind of owner Christopher Mosera, including The Bird or The Holy Cow. Then enjoy the popsicle street art on the back patio, painted by artist Thien Tao.
11) Avanti Food & Beverage
3200 Pecos Street
Jason Thiekle, one of the street artists we praised for his work on "Kim and Jessie," is at it again — painting a beautiful, abstract, line-heavy image on the north wall of Avanti Food & Beverage. This one-of-a-kind Denver restaurant incubator opened last month in the middle of LoHi. Thiekle's work only adds to the building's super-hip vibe.
10) Bella Vista
127 East 20th Avenue
Gamma Acosta is always painting something new on the east-facing wall of Bella Vista Mexican restaurant. His most recent piece here is one of our favorites, an unreal reflection of muse and model Devony Davis, with her legs disappearing into the unknown. Gamma recently painted a much larger work in Brussels, where he represented the U.S. for North West Walls.
9) Burrito Giant
3807 Utica Street
Burrito Giant is one of the most decked-out eateries in town; the street art includes happy vegetables on the south wall by Guerilla Garden, also known as Jolt, and an east-facing facade layered with work by several street artists, including MPek, Denoe, Revno, and Shr. The mural wraps around onto the north wall (not pictured) with more street art by Plaant, 84 Pages and Berk Visual.
8) Crema Coffee House
2862 Larimer Street
Crema is one of the city's most popular coffee shops — and one that is fully engulfed in street art and Denver culture. It also happens to deliver on the food, too, with delicious items like a daily quiche with greens, sweet potato pancake, and bomb banh mi sandwiches. The urban art on the exterior includes a gold and black mandala by Gemma Bayly and a goofy character engulfed in red stars by Mike Graves. Graves continues his painting inside the coffeehouse with two fish that seem to swim in and out of the old brick. Look for another piece of urban art — a burned-wood Denver skyline — on the back patio.
7) DADA Art Bar/Sugarmill/Los Chingones
2461 Larimer Street
The Broadway Triangle Art Wall is the official name for this outdoor urban gallery featuring work by Hari and Deepti, Jaime Molina, Pedro Barrios, and Joseph Martinez, Like Minded Productions, and Jolt (also known as Guerilla Garden). The building, designed by Tres Birds Workshop, houses popular eateries Los Chingones, Sugarmill and Dada Art Bar; the murals were unveiled nearly two years ago. Enjoy the multi-modal glory of the "Palabras" piece above, with cutout wooden letters that read "Every day I'm strugglin'."
6) Huckleberry Roasters
4301 Pecos Street
Huckleberry Roasters in Sunnyside is home to this stunning geometric scene — a common photo backdrop for Denver's Instagram obsessed — painted by April Frankenstein. Frankenstein has been traveling and painting this summer in Europe, including an immense mural in Berlin. Find another brightly colored mural by Frankenstein on the 3400 block of Larimer Street.
5) Meadowlark Kitchen
2705 Larimer Street
JB Snyder just recently painted four murals at Meadowlark Kitchen, bringing his shapes and surreal color explosions to the inside and back patio of the RiNo restaurant. Snyder is East coast-born, Chicago raised, but Phoenix-based and has been featured in local publications all over the country. Look for another new piece by Snyder in the Aurora Cultural Arts District.
4) Mercury Cafe
2199 California Street
The Mercury Cafe won the Mayors Design Award in 2010 and most of the murals on the exterior of this legendary Curtis Park cafe were painted nearly twenty years ago, with the first dating back to 1990. The astrology, zen and cat themes make for a trippy street-art scene worth checking out — especially on Friday poetry slam nights.
3) Pressed Juice Daily
1111 Broadway 101A, 1219 East 36th Avenue
Pressed Juice Daily's original location at Downing Street and 36th Avenue is completely wrapped in a mural that pops with green and yellow — with the company's logo glowing on an entire wall, fitting perfectly with its mantra of healthy greens and bright-flavored juices. The popular juicery will open its third location this month in at 4421 West 43rd Avenue.
2) Rebel Restaurant
3763 Wynkoop Street
Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios painted these dope sugar skulls on the exterior of Rebel restaurant, a new spot specializing in Ukrainian menu items. Rebel's imaginative interior and bizarre menu seem to be reflected in the creativity of the mural. Molina has had a busy street-art season this year, decorating Metropolitan State University's Center for Visual Arts to mark its 25th anniversary, as well as creating the "Slow Ride" mural nearby on Walnut Street with Barrios and Joseph Martinez, making our list of the best street art of spring.
1) Session Kitchen (closed)
1518 South Pearl Street
We're sad to see Session Kitchen go, because the brave endeavor boasted some of the most striking international street art in the city. What will happen to it? Whoever claims the space is unlikely to keep every piece, especially not the giant "Session" painted by Ben Eine in the dining room or the upstairs portraits of tatted girls by Fin Dac and Christina Angelina. But it will be a shame if the next tenants paint over this exterior piece by Mear One.