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Ten Bars and Restaurants for a Labor Day Weekend Staycation in Denver

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6. Declaration Brewing
2030 South Cherokee Street
303-955-7410

Declaration throws open its doors at noon on Sundays, so you can grab a prime table on the patio or belly up to the bar. The brewery has a dedicated food-truck pad inside its beer-garden gates, which could mean pizza, tacos, barbecue or Japanese eats, depending on the truck of the day. Declaration generally has a minimum of nine or ten brews on tap, in styles ranging from quaffable lagers and wheat beers to bolder saisons, stouts and sour beers. And it's only a couple of blocks off Broadway, so you can wander over if you desire to check out the antique dealers and pot shops.

7. Domo
1365 Osage Street
303-595-3666
Heading back into downtown on the D Line, get off at the Osage Station and make the short walk to Domo, but don't be fooled by the warehouse-like exterior; instead, look for the front entrance surrounded by well-manicured evergreens. Inside is one of Denver's most beautiful dining rooms, with sandstone slabs for tabletops, tree stumps for chairs and chandeliers made from driftwood and Japanese newspaper. Take a walk around the zen garden out back (and if the weather's nice, ask for a table there) and take a peek into the re-creation of a rustic Japanese farmhouse. The food is suited to the surroundings, with country-style Japanese cuisine that's hearty, filling and delicious. Since you can't do a trip to Japan on a three-day weekend, this is the next best thing.

Monday, September 5
For Labor Day itself, head to the hot, hot neighborhood known as Lower Highland — or LoHi, if you're parsimonious with your syllables. A healthy breakfast, a lunchtime party and a rooftop dinner await.

8. American Cultures
3233 Tejon Street
720-402-8394

If you feel like you overindulged — even for a holiday — over the weekend, American Cultures is the place to regain your balance with a healthy breakfast. The tap room specializes in kombucha and serves several varieties of the funky, fermented tea from top Colorado producers like Rowdy Mermaid, Health-Ade and TruBucha. Once topped off with probiotics, order a cup of Method Roasters coffee and a bowl of Rebel Oats. But wait, this is a vacation — so there's definitely room for a kombucha float made with Sweet Action ice cream. 

9. Lola Coastal Mexican
1575 Boulder Street
720-570-8686

While you're on vacation, Lola definitely isn't. Instead, the grand lady of the neighborhood is opening earlier than usual to throw a party with tacos, barbecue, live music and cheap margaritas. The regular menu won't be served, but there will be plenty of good grub and fun in the sun. Festivities begin at noon.

10. Avanti Food & Beverage
3200 Pecos Street
720-269-4778

The last stop before it's time to return to the drudgery of everyday life is Avanti, where you can choose from seven different kitchens serving everything from Venezuelan arepas to Nashville hot chicken sandwiches to sushi and sashimi. Two bars pouring craft beers and clever cocktails, plus a rooftop patio with breathtaking views of the city make this food hall the perfect place to wind down a vacation. 

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation