Lists

Denver's Ten Best Mardi Gras Food and Drink Celebrations

Jax Fish House is flying in live crawfish (first class, we hope) for Fat Tuesday.
Jax Fish House is flying in live crawfish (first class, we hope) for Fat Tuesday. Courtesy Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (LoDo) Facebook
click to enlarge The Hurricane: a destructive force of nature or a meteorological event? You decide. - COURTESY JULEP
The Hurricane: a destructive force of nature or a meteorological event? You decide.
Courtesy Julep
Americans are great at boozifying celebratory days that historically have nothing to do with living it up: the death of St. Patrick, the Battle of Puebla, the night before Thanksgiving. And while that can lead to some cringeworthy moments (white people: Stop with the sombreros, serapes and Pancho Villa ’staches already!), Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday" in English) is a day everyone can get behind, because it has always been a celebration of excess in advance of Lent's ritual fast. To start your celebrations early, one of our favorite Southern joints in town, Julep, 3258 Larimer Street, is closed Mondays and Tuesdays but is offering specials on Hurricanes, beignets, New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp and (in a true regional mashup) Rocky Mountain Oysters Rockefeller on Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2. So start your partying early — if you ever stopped — and plan for one of these ten celebrations before giving up all the good stuff until Easter.
click to enlarge Last year's Mardi Gras celebration at Englewood Grand brought out the feathers and fun. - COURTESY ENGLEWOOD GRAND FACEBOOK
Last year's Mardi Gras celebration at Englewood Grand brought out the feathers and fun.
Courtesy Englewood Grand Facebook
Dairy Block
1800 Wazee Street
720-360-4700
The Dairy Block might know how to throw a party, but it's not as up to speed on religious holidays. Celebrating Fat Tuesday on Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, might help you avoid a Wednesday morning hangover, but it also stretches the deprivation of Lent from 40 days to 42. Still, the weekend festivities are worth attending: From 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, a Masquerade Bacchanal will take over the alley, with Big Easy-themed food and drinks, live entertainment and giveaways to guests decked out in their finest Carnaval gear (masks are required; bring your own or purchase one at the entrance); Sunday boasts a family-friendly Petite Parade with miniature floats circling the block and an Alley Party where circus performers, kids' crafts, brass bands and bites will bring the fun from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get details, purchase tickets for the Masquerade ($80) and register your parade float on the Dairy Block website. And if you want to keep partying through Tuesday, we won't tell a soul.

Englewood Grand
3435 South Broadway, Englewood
303-568-9948

Revelers looking for a relaxed vibe should hit up this friendly neighborhood joint, where the staff is welcoming whether you're bellying up to the bar for the first time or the 500th. And on Mardi Gras, there are fifty more reasons to spend the evening here: Free king cake will be served, and if you find the baby, you win a $50 bar tab. Wash down your cake with $6 Sazeracs starting at 4 p.m.; indulge in Cajun food and hear live jazz from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Details are on the bar's Facebook page.

click to enlarge Jax Fish House is flying in live crawfish (first class, we hope) for Fat Tuesday. - COURTESY JAX FISH HOUSE & OYSTER BAR (LODO) FACEBOOK
Jax Fish House is flying in live crawfish (first class, we hope) for Fat Tuesday.
Courtesy Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (LoDo) Facebook
Jax Fish House
Various locations
Unsurprisingly, Jax Fish House is closing out Carnaval with an extravagant Fat Tuesday menu. Starting at 4 p.m., the Glendale, LoDo and Boulder locations will be rolling out specials including gumbo, king cake beignets and crawfish in spicy broth with the traditional accoutrements of potatoes, corn and andouille sausage. Also of note is the all-night happy-hour pricing on freshly shucked oysters ($1.50 apiece) and $3 oyster shooters. Reservations aren't required, but you don't want to miss out on the limited amount of crawfish (which is being flown in live from the Pelican State), so they are recommended. Find the whole menu on the Jax Fish House website.

click to enlarge You can get Southern-fried food every day at Lincoln's Roadhouse, but it's turning up the heat on Mardi Gras. - COURTESY LINCOLN'S ROADHOUSE FACEBOOK
You can get Southern-fried food every day at Lincoln's Roadhouse, but it's turning up the heat on Mardi Gras.
Courtesy Lincoln's Roadhouse Facebook
Lincoln's Roadhouse
1201 South Pearl Street
303-777-3700
This rowdy blues venue is a great stop for Cajun food all year long; its everyday menu includes nearly every preparation of crawfish a Coloradan can imagine, from Cajun popcorn (deep-fried crawfish tails served with remoulade) to po' boys to étoufée. And on Mardi Gras, the bar is adding the traditional boil to its already expansive Deep South offerings. Since the joint opens at 11 a.m. and stays open until 2 a.m., there's plenty of time for you to get your fill of mudbugs before taking in the show at the no-cover bar. Visit Lincoln's Facebook page for event details and its website for upcoming shows.

My Make Studio
6460 East Yale Avenue
720-334-8001
There are a few reasons we can think of for making cookies to celebrate Mardi Gras. Perhaps you're giving up hard drugs and liquor, and sugar being a relatively benign indulgence, you'll be using your stash of sweets to ease yourself into Lent. Perhaps you plan on eating your entire batch of cookies the same night (no judgment here). Maybe you're babysitting your godchild while their parents are out collecting beads. Or perhaps you just don't want to get blitzed on a Tuesday night. All are legitimate reasons to register for the cookie-decorating class at My Make Studio, where you'll learn the ins and outs of making royal icing as well as the details of decorating Mardi Gras-themed sugar cookies. Class ($44.40 with code 15OFF) runs from 6 to 8 p.m, with beer and wine available for purchase if you want to bid farewell to Carnaval with a tipple or two. Reserve your spot on the My Make Studio website.

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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