Reader: If You Want to Eat Before a Show, Play Your Parking -- and Timing

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The Parade of Lights will wind through downtown this weekend, and holiday shows have already taken the stages at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. That means a lot of people are looking for places to eat, fast. Inspired by Gretchen Kurtz's recent review of The Nickel, which the spiffy new restaurant in the Hotel Teatro, we just served up our list of the Ten Best Pre-Theater Restaurants. And readers responded fast, too, with some helpful suggestions of locations -- Sam's #3 -- and timing.

See also: Ten Best Pre-Theater Restaurants in Denver

Says Dave:

I have never understood eating/drinking BEFORE a performance. Much prefer to watch hungry and stay awake. Then enjoy a relaxing dinner AFTER the show.

And here's more advice from Jan:

I've been a season ticket holder to the Denver Center for over twenty years, so I come to the dinner issue from a different perspective. I work downtown. The Theater Company plays start at 6:30 on most week nights; the Broadway series plays usually start at 7:30. Most of the time, I am lucky to grab a happy hour appetizer and a glass of wine with my theater companions. We rarely have time to eat at a sit-down restaurant, especially prior to popular Broadway plays, when restaurants are crowded.

All of the restaurants listed are worthy considerations, but theater-goers need to consider the time it will take to negotiate parking and being seated in the theater, especially if one is not familiar with the theater complex. It is irritating to arrive at the theater on time, and be climbed over by people who failed to plan properly and arrive after the performance has started. Add 30 minutes to your estimated time for dining, so that you have enough cushion to park and get to your seats in the theater. Ushers are very busy in the last 10 minutes before the performance starts, so you can't always waltz in and be seated immediately. Also know where alternative parking is available in case the Performing Arts Center garage is full -- check the Denver Center website. Some of the restaurants allow you to valet park and leave your car while you are at the theater. Don't expect to find street parking.

If you're going to a show at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where do you like to eat? And do you go before or after the show?

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