Denver's dining scene is making a big comeback — and we're hungering to go out. With so many new ventures and old favorites to visit, the choices can be overwhelming. So we're serving up Short Stop, with recommendations for things that should definitely be on your culinary short list. This week, head to City Park Tavern for pub food and one of Denver’s finest skyline views.
City Park Tavern
3181 East 23rd Avenue
Open sunrise to sundown, seven days a week
For more info:
About the place:
The mountains and the Denver skyline are on view in the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
City Park Tavern is tucked into the middle of the eighteen-hole City Park Golf Course, which reopened two years ago after a complete renovation as part of the city’s flood-mitigation project. It serves a clubhouse for golfers, with a lounge area and the golf shop sharing the building — but the amazing Denver skyline view makes it a must-see for non-golfers, too.
The original clubhouse, which was on the corner of York Street and East 26th Avenue, had arguably the best under-the-radar brunch patio in Denver. When the brunch scene blew up nearly a decade ago and there appeared to be one patio seat for every ten Denverites on the weekends, the patio at City Park golf course was always half empty and shady.
The new City Park Tavern, which is operated by FLOG, a company that runs restaurants at four of the city’s golf courses, reopened in September 2020 in a brand-new building farther up the slope that City Park sits on. If you've ever stood on the park side of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and looked west, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from the view at City Park Tavern: an impressive expanse of mountains interrupted only by Denver's skyline.
City Park Tavern, on the city-owned golf course, attracts more than just golfers with its views and pub fare.
That view has attracted the community as well as golfers to the restaurant’s patio. “Depending on the day or time, it could be 50 percent [non-golfers], especially when it’s nicer out,” says assistant manager Rita Pereira. When the patio is too hot, the air-conditioned restaurant, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, offers the same view with more comfort.
You can’t be in a rush at City Park Tavern. There are typically just two or three employees running the bar, dining room, patio and to-go orders for golfers, who can take food on their carts. So settle in, take in the view and enjoy your boozy John Daly. If you want to (kind of) golf, you can also grab a few clubs and a can of beer and hit the driving range: It's $6 for a small bucket, $11 for a medium and $15 for a large.
What you’re eating:
The chicken Caesar wrap at City Park Tavern.
City Park Tavern's menu includes pretty standard pub fare done well, with prices ranging from $5.95 (for a hot dog) to $15.95 (for the steak tidbits with béarnaise), hough in the winter, it also offers prime rib on Friday nights — a 12-ounce cut is $19.95. An extensive kids' menu includes smaller portions of items like nachos, sliders, wings and pasta ($6.95 to $7.95).
Options on the regular menu include classics like a BLT with avocado, a tuna melt and a turkey Rueben. The burger menu is extensive, and the beef can be switched out for a chicken, turkey or veggie patty. Salads, including a Cobb and a Caeser, are available, as is a Caesar wrap. The restaurant also does Mexican surprisingly well; the nachos, in particular, are a must-order to share as an appetizer.
From sun-up until 11 a.m., the restaurant serves a breakfast menu, with options like avocado toast, two types of eggs Benedict, buttermilk pancakes and huevos rancheros, ranging from $6.95 to $11.95.
City Park Tavern also has a full bar, including a beer menu with drafts from Denver Beer Co. and Coors, a selection of canned beer, and a cocktail menu with classics and golf-themed drinks like the Tee Time Spritz (Aperture aperitivo with sparkling wine and club soda) and the John Daly (an Arnold Palmer made with Tito’s vodka).
Inside or outside, sitting at City Park Tavern is a visual and tasty treat for locals, visitors and golfers alike.