Easter: Is it a day of deep spiritual significance, or is it a day your mom tries to guilt you into going to church with her? Or is it just another Sunday to gather ’round the (significantly more crowded) brunch table and swill mimosas by the carafe? Whether you're into extravagant brunch, cooking for the family or offbeat — even slightly sacrilegious — celebrations, one of these ten events is sure to suit your needs.
Alamo Drafthouse7301 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Don't have the stomach for a hefty brunch? You might like celebrating Easter over something a bit lighter...say, tea. Grab your mom (extra points if she's an eccentric socialite), don your headscarf and head over to the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton for afternoon tea during a showing of the 1975 cult documentary Grey Gardens. Tickets for the 2 p.m. screening, $25, include three servings of tea, a pâté finger sandwich, a savory croissant and some hazelnut-chocolate shortbread (plus Wonder Bread for the raccoons living in the attic) and are on sale on the Alamo Drafhouse website.
The Bindery1817 Central Street
We recently named the bright and bustling Bindery Denver's best brunch, so it stands to reason that a day associated with the in-between meal (and, okay, resurrection of the dead) would jump out to us as one of the best places in town for Easter brunch. Doors will open an hour earlier than usual, at 8 a.m., and in addition to the regular brunch menu — the hearty quinoa porridge topped with duck egg, sweet potatoes and cocoa nibs as well as the croque madame with spinach, prosciutto and egg bathed in bechamel catch our eye — the kitchen is turning out miniature chocolate eggs and carrot cakes and loaves of pane di pasqua, a decorative braided brioche packed with citrus and anise. Call for your spot at the hottest brunch in town, or book your table on the Bindery's website.
CoraFaye's Cafe16251 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
Buffets are a time-honored tradition when you need to feed a big group of people all at once. At best, they're a lively shared experience, where you make new friends going through the line and get your hands on some great grub without having to wait for a harried server to make their way to your table. At worst, they're associated with lukewarm, substandard food that's been sitting out for hours. But at Aurora's famed soul food joint, the food is hot and the company is warm and welcoming, as evidenced by the fact that CoraFaye's is serving both Palm Sunday (April 14) and Easter (April 21) buffets to accommodate all its fans. The setup isn't fancy — you'll be served out of aluminum pans — but you'll get fantastic fried chicken and fish, dense and cheesy macaroni and cheese, and a host of sides, all for $20 ($4 for kiddos under eight, $10 for young'uns under thirteen) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find the details on CoraFaye's Facebook page, then call to make sure you don't miss out on some of the best home cooking in town.
Diebolt Brewing3855 Mariposa Street
We've all seen a certain type of parent melt down at their kids' Easter egg hunt; some of their battles would put Roman gladiators to shame. If you're going to brave the hunters this Easter, at least do it at Diebolt Brewing, where you'll be fighting with other adults over something more meaningful than a plastic egg. The Sunnyside brewery is hosting a beer-can hunt for the "adults," and Easter eggs will be stashed away for the little ones. Bring your own basket and stick to your own weight class for a hunt that will leave everyone happy (and hopefully unharmed). The fun runs from noon to 2 p.m.; find details on the brewery's Facebook page.
Englewood Grand3435 South Broadway, Englewood
Irreverent and inveterate drinkers won't want to miss Englewood Grand's second He Is Risen Pop Tart Party, which actually kicks off on Good Friday, April 19, and runs through Easter Sunday. We can't do much better than the bar's own spectacular description of its ecumenical entertainment, which directly references the Last Supper, Viagra and your childhood chores, and indirectly evokes dread over the eternal disappointment of our fathers and the possibility that maybe there's a hell after all, and we'll definitely end up there someday if we attend this party. Show up at 4 p.m. to drown out the latter two voices in a flurry of booze and, yes, free Pop Tarts.
Il Porcellino Salumi4324 West 41st Avenue
Tradition dictates hot dogs and burgers on the Fourth of July, turkey on Thanksgiving and dry, overcooked ham on Easter. Buck tradition this year — even if you're a purist — by getting your ham at Berkeley butcher shop Il Porcellino, which is selling Colorado hams that have been soaked in a maple and mustard brine, then smoked over hickory wood for a delectably juicy product that will make your friends and family forget about all your honey-baked mishaps in prior years. The three-to-six-pound hams are available for pre-order through Wednesday, April 17, with a $20 deposit, and will run you $16 per pound — but serving a universally loved meal the year after you served the family shoe leather will be priceless. Stop by the shop or call to ensure you come out first in the Ham Hunger Games.
Panzano909 17th Street
So your parents called and want to know what your plans are for Easter Sunday. Before you snap "Sleeping off an epic hangover," pause and consider what their concern for your spiritual life could mean to your brunch life. If you play your cards right, you could score a luxurious meal at Hotel Monaco's renowned Italian eatery on your parents' dime. Call or visit Panzano's website to book your table for $70 per person; the cost includes a Bloody Mary or bellini, prime rib and prosciutto carving stations, chicken and waffles with Calabrian chile honey, mountains of crab legs and shrimp at the shellfish bar, and the satisfaction of managing to parlay your parents' apprehension about your immortal soul into anticipation of their third trip to the buffet.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison
Many a Coloradan has watched the sun go down on Red Rocks, but fewer have watched the sun rise over the sloping sandstone monoliths. Easter Sunday brings the annual Sunrise Service to the park, with doors opening at 4:30 a.m. and worship beginning at 6 a.m. After you've taken in the scenery and service, stick around for the park's Easter brunch at 9 a.m. Ticket prices range from $15 for kids under thirteen to $35 for adults, but considering you get a classic brunch spread (smoked salmon; biscuits and gravy; omelet, waffle and prime rib stations; and potatoes in multiple forms, just to name a few), plus unparalleled vistas and perhaps even an early-morning hike around the park, it's a small price to pay for such a quintessentially Colorado experience. While the service itself is free, reservations are required for brunch; take a look at the amphitheatre's website to make yours.
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Safta3330 Brighton Boulevard
Safta, the swanky Mediterranean restaurant in the Source Hotel, is serving its first Israeli brunch on Sunday, April 21, so it can be Easter brunch if you celebrate that holiday, or it can be just a wonderful and unique experience if you don't. Either way, brunch runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a wealth of smoked and cured fish, fresh cheeses, sweet and savory pastries, pastrami hash, a whole smoked lamb shoulder, shakshuka and, of course, transcendent pita and hummus, all vying for a place on your plate to make the day special indeed. Brunch will run you $45 (excluding booze, though chances are you won't be able to resist the Spritz cart making its way around the dining room). For those who celebrate Passover, the restaurant is also serving a special menu from Friday, April 19, through Saturday, April 27; family-style plates of matzo, bitter greens with almonds and garlic, honey-glazed lamb ribs, and charoset will be served alongside duck and morel matzo ball soup and Wagyu brisket with Yemenite curry. You can get the coursed Passover meal for $65 on April 19 and 20, then items will be served à la carte through April 27. Secure your seat by making reservations on Safta's website.
Stoic & Genuine1701 Wynkoop Street
If you're a late riser — or just looking to avoid the Easter crowd that will certainly be out in force — take advantage of Stoic & Genuine's expanded brunch hours: They'll be serving the meal from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Along with the seafood house's longer hours comes a longer menu, as brunch offerings will be doubled for the day. Along with old favorites like deviled eggs topped with speck, lobster and caviar, and smoked salmon latkes served up with a poached egg and tart lemon-caper crème fraîche, diners can indulge in challah French toast, three specialty omelets and three additional versions of eggs Benedict (though we're not quite sure how the kitchen will beat its regular crab cake Benedict). Go to the restaurant's website to book your table, and if you still can't make it to brunch before suppertime? No worries: The full dinner menu is available starting at 5 p.m.