Things to Do

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Enjoy great wine and food in the Blanchard Family Wines tasting room, which looks out onto Dairy Block's alley.
Enjoy great wine and food in the Blanchard Family Wines tasting room, which looks out onto Dairy Block's alley. Mark Antonation

click to enlarge Enjoy great wine and food in the Blanchard Family Wines tasting room, which looks out onto Dairy Block's alley. - MARK ANTONATION
Enjoy great wine and food in the Blanchard Family Wines tasting room, which looks out onto Dairy Block's alley.
Mark Antonation
We hope you had a chance to honor those who fought for our country this Memorial Day weekend (and maybe also to swill some cheap rosé). With the long weekend behind us, here are five great food and drink events through the end of May, plus more in the days ahead.

click to enlarge A Food Bank of the Rockies mobile distribution site. - COURTESY FOOD BANK OF THE ROCKIES FACEBOOK
A Food Bank of the Rockies mobile distribution site.
Courtesy Food Bank of the Rockies Facebook
Tuesday, May 28
While many children look forward to the end of the school year the way a puppy looks forward to finding your new shoes, one in six Colorado kids (over 15 percent!) are ambivalent about the arrival of summer — because they depend on school lunches for regular meals. So Food Bank of the Rockies is partnering with organizations around the state to operate the Summer Food Service Program, where kids under eighteen can show up for free breakfasts and lunches — no income requirements or registration needed — at locations around their communities. The kickoff event is on Tuesday, May 28, at Hinkley High School, 1250 Chambers Road in Aurora, where from 9 a.m. to noon, kids can get a free meal and participate in activities while parents shop the mobile food pantry. Get details and find locations offering meals for children on the Food Bank's website.

Wednesday, May 29
Another day, another round of pink drinks. But Avelina, 1550 17th Street, goes beyond just wine this summer as it serves up a quartet of rosy beer, cocktails and yes, wine, every Hump Day through the summer months. From 3 to 6 p.m., get Denver Beer Co.'s Princess Yum Yum, a rosé martini, and still or sparkling rosé for just $6 each along with some prime patio time.

Thursday, May 30

Illegal Pete's at 1851 West 38th Avenue is wrapping up Mental Health Awareness Month on Thursday, May 30, with a fundraiser benefiting the Second Wind Fund, an organization dedicated to removing barriers to treatment for young people at risk of suicide. Half of sales from 5 to 11 p.m., as well as all the proceeds from "pay what you want" pints from Cerebral Brewing, will be donated to Second Wind, and comedian Christie Buchele (and others) will be taking the stage from 9 to 11 p.m.

Summer is the time for porch pounders, as the ubiquitous "Rosé all Day!" promotions indicate, but if you're looking for other varietals this week, consider Blanchard Family Wines. On Thursday, May 30, the Blanchard tasting room, 1855 Blake Street, is releasing its latest vintages and teaming up with tasting-menu specialist Via Alba for a five-course meal starting at 7 p.m. You'll get salt cod fritters and fresh oysters on the half-shell paired with sauvignon blanc; saffron risotto and foraged mushrooms with pinot noir; and a decadent lemon ricotta cheesecake with chamomile honey and hazelnuts alongside a crisp viognier. While knocking back glass after glass of ice-cold wine on your patio is indeed a seasonal delight, savoring — not swilling — your beverage with excellent food is a timeless pleasure. Tickets, $98, are on sale on Eventbrite.

click to enlarge Uchi's bar will play with light and color at the Chroma Mixology pop-up on May 31. - MARK ANTONATION
Uchi's bar will play with light and color at the Chroma Mixology pop-up on May 31.
Mark Antonation
Friday, May 31
If you want your drinks to not only make you feel tipsy but also look good on the ’gram, you'll want to hit up Chroma Mixology on Friday, May 31. The pop-up bar (put on by Thrice and hosted at Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street) will combine light projections, silent disco and seven rainbow-hued cocktails for an immersive art experience from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.; there will also be an aura reader on hand to tell you what color you're projecting into the universe. Find out more on Thrice's website, then RSVP on Eventbrite.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.
click to enlarge Want some of this?  Get your ticket ASAP. - MARK ANTONATION
Want some of this? Get your ticket ASAP.
Mark Antonation
Sunday, June 2
Sunday, June 2, marks the sixth time that Ace Eat Serve, 501 East 17th Avenue, will put away the ping-pong tables in favor of poultry at Wings & Whiskey. The event, a fundraiser for the Denver Housing Authority's Youth Culinary Academy, brings eight restaurants in town together to pit their crispy, spicy, saucy or smoky version of the bar bite against one another — and you're the lucky judge. From 4 to 7 p.m., you'll get unlimited bird and beer, three whiskey cocktails (or sake) and the chance to enter the wing-eating contest, all for just $55. Don't chicken out: Pick up your tickets on Ace's website.

click to enlarge Succulent carnitas at 2018's Top Taco. - JAKE COX
Succulent carnitas at 2018's Top Taco.
Jake Cox
Thursday, June 27
Nobody loves tacos more than we do — but can you eat $135 worth of them? If you can't, it's not for lack of opportunity at this year's Top Taco. The annual competition takes place on Thursday, June 27, at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, when more than fifty restaurants around town will go head-to-head to see who can serve the best iteration of the classic Mexican street food. There will be tacos for all tastes: street-style (Cilantro & Perejil, Adelitas, Las Delicias), crowd-pleasers (Uno Mas, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Los Chingones) and WTF (Tupelo Honey, Syrup). Not only will tacos fill your tummy, but tequila and margs are also on tap. Still don't think you can stuff over a hundred bucks worth of food in your estómago? Not to worry: GA tickets start at $75 on the event website.

click to enlarge One of the many Slow Food Nations' snails. - LINNEA COVINGTON
One of the many Slow Food Nations' snails.
Linnea Covington
Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21
Slow Food Nations appeals to everyone (except, perhaps, unrepentant fast-food aficionados). The international food fest kicks off its third year in town on Friday, July 19, and will run nearly forty chef demos, lectures, workshops, parties and dinners — plus the enormous Taste Marketplace, with over 100 vendors hawking their wares and handing out samples — through Sunday, July 21. About half the events taking place around town (but mainly around Larimer Square at Larimer and 14th streets) are free, but the rest require tickets, which start at $20. Visit the Slow Food Nations website to see the whole weekend's schedule and make sure you nab tickets for your can't-miss events.

Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks, including Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Antojitos La Poblanita, Carniceria Aaliyah, El Gallo Blanco, Issai's Catering, Kachina Cantina, La Fiesta, Los Chingones, Lucha Cantina, Mariscos El Rey 2, Los Mesones, Neveria Jedany's, Taco Block, Torta Grill, Yareth's, El Coco Pirata and more. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to [email protected].
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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation