There's plenty of great new grub around town to try out, as well as a couple of older favorites doing new things. You can cool off with Vietnamese smoothies or check out hot pizza and tacos on Stapleton's eastern frontier. We have six places fun and exciting eats and drinks on our Watch List; for our complete list of restaurant and bar openings in June, check out our June Restaurant Roll Call.
Bambu Desserts & Drinks
1149 South Federal Boulevard
When it's sweltering out, you want the hottest thing going in cold drinks. Fortunately, South Federal Boulevard is now home to Denver's first outpost of the California chain Bambu, which peddles Vietnamese refreshments in several styles. "Chain" might be a dirty word in some cases, but Bambu is an exception, making everything from scratch and using fresh tropical fruits and other produce to create bold, tongue-boggling combinations. Whole coconuts are turned into coconut water and coconut milk for creamy concoctions, while housemade jellies and boba add jiggly fun in curious flavors like lychee, coffee, mango and many, many more.
Bremen's Wine & Tap
2005 West 33rd Avenue
Brunch all week should be the Pied Piper song to Denver ears, and it's definitely the tune being played at Bremen's, where you can enjoy breakfast burritos, pancakes, bacon and eggs, or eggs Benedict beginning at 10 a.m. seven days a week. What's makes chef Matt Selby's Benedict a little different (other than his mastery of seemingly simple but hard-to-perfect Hollandaise sauce) is the use of housemade rotisserie porchetta (that's a loin and belly rolled up together) instead of Canadian bacon. The porchetta comes in sandwich form, too, in case you're looking for something hand-held. Our only complaint: Bremen's Benedict comes in on the high end for similar dishes around town at $17, a price that covers two sauce-swaddled poached eggs, a slab of porchetta, sourdough bread (standing in for English muffins) and country potatoes. We'd make this a regular mid-morning stop for a couple of bucks less.
Los Chingones Stapleton
10195 East 29th Drive
Rooftop patio, icy-cold margaritas, tacos: That's all you need for a summer of fun. And that's what chef Troy Guard just brought to Stapleton this week. The formula is tried and true, having blown up at the original Los Chingones in RiNo as well as more recently at the suburban Belleview Station branch. We're partial to Guard's shredded lamb neck, which balances the best juicy, fatty and crispy components of any quality tortilla topper.
Roostercat Coffee House
1045 Lincoln Street, 303-495-3898
1999 Broadway, 720-454-9616
Roostercat has been a favorite hangout for Golden Triangle and Capitol Hill java junkies for the past few years, but the business is expanding and owner Colin Floom has added a second outlet downtown as well as a roasting facility. If you're nowhere near central Denver or if you just like to relax and enjoy a morning cup in your own kitchen, you can buy Roostercat beans online at roostercatcoffeehouse.com.
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Sprezzatura Pizza and Rocker Spirits
5587 South Hill Street, Littleton
This week Laura Shunk paid a visit to Sprezzatura chef/owner David Rosenfeld, whose mindful approach to building wood-fired pizzas is turning this outdoor oven and trailer into a must-stop in downtown Littleton. When you go, make sure and save room for dessert from partner and pastry chef Kelsey Baker. And, of course, sip on creative cocktails or something neat (or on the rocks, your choice) from the bar at Rocker, where whiskey, rum and vodka go great with Sprezzatura's bold flavors.
2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Sazza, Mondo Market
The Stanley keeps getting hotter as new restaurants and food destinations fill in empty spaces. The second location of Sazza (the original is in Greenwood Village) fired up its oven this week in a bright space across from the Stanley Beer Hall. And where there's pizza, pasta couldn't be too far away. Mondo Market also opened in June, bringing a gourmet market to the marketplace. Unlike the original Mondo Market at the Source, this one has a food counter where you can pull up a stool and enjoy charcuterie boards and pasta dishes before you take a few goodies home to cook something special yourself. And in the batter's circle, Rolling Smoke Barbecue is just awaiting final inspections before opening; check out the two outdoor smokers flanking the west entrance of the Stanley to get a whiff of what to expect from this food truck turned permanent smokehouse.