Cafe Society

The best spots in Denver for a girls' night out

I may not be girly, but like any female who doesn't have some sort of social disorder, I've got a group of delightful women with whom I like to spend an inordinate amount of time, typically bitching about my most recent significant other, predicting whose marriage is about to fail, reassuring each other that we're not going to die alone with cats (I hate cats) and, occasionally, even discussing something admirable, like how we're going to singlehandedly save the world.

When the need for one of these social play dates arises, I'm apt to suggest one of the following venues, the best spots in town for an estrogen-laced lovefest. And for you single dudes looking to pick up a ladylike date? The hunting is much better at these fine establishments than it is at Jackson's all-you-can-drink night.

Beatrice & Woodsley, 38 South Broadway, is a fairy-tale incarnate, an enchanted woodland with plush seating under good light where it's possible to imagine that you're the starring princess. Interesting wines are available by the half glass and glass, and cocktails like the Garter of Eden, a delicate blend of gin, dandelion-root simple syrup and apples, plus a menu of interesting small plates, will lubricate soft conversation late into the night.

Trios Enoteca, 1730 Wynkoop Street, features a sizable and frequently updated by-the-glass wine list — and pours that wine in good crystal. Live jazz often adds sophisticated ambience; nooks and crannies near the back of the dark bar offer privacy for intense conversations.

Duo, 2413 West 32nd Avenue, has a shabby-chic rustic charm that lures in young couples on date night, but the bar area is ideal for a girly cocktail or glass of wine. Plus, Duo's pastry chef turns out some of the most inventive desserts in town, making it a good place to get a chocolate fix — or eat dessert for dinner.

El Diablo, 101 Broadway, could be the love child of San Diego and New York's East Village — with just enough edge to make a girl feel a little naughty. Cocktails with spicy habanero peppers accompany plates of tacos perfect for sharing, and everything's delivered by an attractive staff of men who are a little bit more dangerous than your significant other.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk