Whether you're rejoicing or scowling that Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year, and whether your plans to celebrate include a weekend coupled up or boycotting every romantic notion in town, you probably have to eat at some point. If you need extra energy to power your romantic endeavors (or bottomless mimosas to drown your sorrows, whichever the case may be), why not skip the expensive pre-fixe dinners and cozy up with a morning-of or morning-after brunch? Here are our picks for the ten best romantic breakfast dates in Denver.
10) Beatrice & Woodsley 38 South Broadway 303-777-3505 Built around storybook romance inspired by a D.H. Lawrence poem; the decor of Beatrice & Woodsley was designed to bring to life the tale of a French winemaker's daughter who falls in love with a lumberjack's son. Share a creamy and tart Apollo's Creed cocktail, a modern-day version of Cupid's love potion made with delicate honey chamomile syrup, lemon juice, ginger liqueur, pear and apple vodka, and Greek yogurt. Pair it with some whimsical Southern fixin's for a meal that'll make your heart sing. Available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
9) Bistro Vendome 1420 Larimer Street 303-825-3232 A charming, neighborhood bistro in historic Larimer Square, Bistro Vendome is part of Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch's impressive stable of eateries that consistently land in our Best of Denver lists. Enjoy dining among hanging lights and crisp white linens as you're transported to an elegant Parisian street cafe. You'll have no problem satisfying your sweet tooth with the crepe du jour or the Gaufre Maison, a plate of fluffy waffles topped with vanilla wafers, bananas, Nutella, and hazelnut brittle that make it (almost) perfectly acceptable to lick the plate. Available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
8) Devil's Food Bakery and Cookery 1020 South Gaylord Street 303-733-7448 If you're keen on paying a little extra attention to that special someone this V-day, Devil's Food Bakery & Cookery may make it a bit easier with its no-cell-phone policy. Digitally disconnect and enjoy each other's undivided attention from what we voted the best Benedict in Denver. Available Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep reading for more romantic brunch spots for Valentine's Day.
7) Duo 2413 West 32nd Avenue 303-477-4141 For a touch of cheer, enjoy the homey open kitchen at this Highland gem. The cider-glazed pork Benedict and Egg-in-the-Basket, a savory treat of rosemary Canadian bacon, goat-cheese fonduta and spicy greens on challah, are second only to the endearing children's "recipes" found on the place mats (which may just become foreshadowing). Available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
6) Ellyngton's at the Brown Palace 321 17th Street 303-297-3111 For any excuse to celebrate, the bubbly at Ellyngton's Dom brunch is the ultimate splurge. The lavish buffet spread includes eggs, waffles, a carving station, sushi, and seafood as well as four tiers of champagne to toast your sweetheart at the iconic Brown Palace Hotel, which has housed everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama. Available Saturday from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
5) Ignite Burgers and Lounge 2124 Larimer Street 303-296-2600 For dining al fresco, you can't do much better than Ignite's heated and weatherproofed rooftop, even on a chilly day. Carb-load on breakfast burgers with a side of man candy (candied bacon kicked up with chile flakes, molasses and brown sugar) while enjoying killer views of the entire downtown skyline, as a sweet way to treat your own man candy. Because isn't bacon the way to everyone's heart? Available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Keep reading for more romantic brunch spots for Valentine's Day.
3) Marlowe's 501 16th Street 303-595-3700 Known more as a traditional martini bar, Marlowe's, inside the historic Kittredge Building (technically the city's first "skyscraper"), is a time machine back to a simpler time, when romance ruled and Denver was more cowtown than cosmopolitan destination. The building itself is an architectural marvel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places -- an ideal setting for an intimate brunch affair. Available Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2) P17 1600 E. 17th Avenue 80218 Ever since Mary Nguyen made the switch from Asian fusion to French bistro, P17's image took a turn for the sultry. Surrounded by a dark-gray color scheme, exposed brick and a wall of mirrors, enjoy small plates to share, like stuffed French toast with blueberries, walnuts and ricotta or fresh beignets with apple butter. Available Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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1) Sugarmill 2461 Larimer Street 303-297-3540 If you can't make it all the way to Paris, Sugarmill may be the next best option, especially if you're craving dessert for breakfast -- or at least a little sweet talk. Noah French's pastry counter is second to none, upping the sugary goodness inside restaurateur Troy Guard's intimate coffeehouse bistro. Unlike slow-pace and heavy brunches designed for lingering, this is a quick and delicious spot to refuel if you have more, ahem, pressing activities to get back to. Available Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.