We’re officially down to just about two weeks before we move from Denver. I’m not sure what most people do before they leave the city, and even country, that’s been their home for their entire life or almost 15 years, but for me and Eric, it pretty much centers around food and drink! Don’t get us wrong; we’re of course spending time with friends and family, yet for us as a couple we have a bucket-list of places in Denver we want to eat at before saying adios to D-town for an indefinite amount of time. We think you may like these places too, since Eric is quite the foodie and even knows a lot about the restaurant scene and great chefs in town. Check out our list and see if you’ve been to any of these or let us know if there’s a place you recommend we add to our gastronomic circuit. (Reader’s Hint: Click on the Restaurant Titles/headers to visit their website.)
Returning to Favorites
These are the places that we’ve been to before, but love so much that we have to enjoy once again before we go. They hold a lot of great memories for us and one of our favorite things about experiencing great food and drink: the people of the establishment. The fact that we’re making sure to go again as part of our last hooray means that you gotta go, whether it’s your first time or a fond returning like us.
So many people don’t know we have this amazing pub here in Denver. It’s like traveling to London, but without the jet-lag. They have one of the largest collections of single-malt scotch in the world outside of London, their food is delicious with authentic Bangers and Mash, great happy hour and delicious wings. If you don’t like single-malt scotch, you can enjoy their artisan beer that they brew themselves. And if you like single-malt scotch, still go a pint of their beer. We really like it.
Eric and I have each been to this pub several times on our own, before our days of being together. Since then we’ve been there only once before and enjoyed an awesome happy hour with their famed wings, amazing scotch and a beer. Boy was I buzzed that night! Only once there together is obviously not enough, so we’re definitely making sure to go again as part of our departure.
Oh Diebolt! Discovering this place was not hard since Eric is like a hound dog when it comes to sniffing out local breweries. Located just north of 38th Avenue, on the corner of Mariposa, it’s easy for us to walk to from LoHi and smack-dab in the middle of one of the most popular, up-and-coming neighborhoods in downtown. With all the new start-ups in Denver of micro-brews, we have had no shortage of what we think are the best of the best when it comes to hand-crafted beers. Diebolt Brewing is especially fun because the owner, Dan Diebolt, and his son founded and run the place. They’ve created not only some of our favorite brews ever, but a great environment for hanging out.
It’s not unusual to find the place packed even on a Tuesday night and many times there at least a handful of friendly dogs getting to have fun there with their owners. We especially love how entire families come. There’s nothing that says Denver more than a dad savoring a beer with a baby strapped to his chest. Gotta love Colorado!
While we seriously love all their beers, some of our faves are the French Saison and the Figgy, which is incredible! They don’t serve food there, but they have great food trucks that come each evening. Our favorite is the what I think is a Ukrainian cuisine food truck, but we can’t remember now what it’s called. It’s really good though so find it! Their sautéed mushrooms and hand-cut fries are delicious and perfect with the beer.
When you’re not scarfing down international yummies, you can wander into the back with your beer in your hand to hang out around the brewing tanks and play rounds of corn-hole. Not only do we have to return because their beer is so good, but they’ve become such “good neighbors” I guess you can say and one of the reasons why we love the area of Denver that we’ve been in this past year.
There will never be enough good things we can say about this exquisite new edition to Denver’s food and restaurant scene. Kobe An is like family to us. Yeah, it helps that they are literally across the street from us and on the corner of our block, but trust me…we would not go so much if it wasn’t spectacular. And it rightfully is. Having opened just last summer and shortly after we also moved into the neighborhood, we made ourselves right at home at our favorite part of a restaurant – the bar. The owners, Marco and Michelle, quickly became friends, as did Mark Mangold, their talented Bar Manager, and their entire staff. Yes, we’ve gotten to know almost all of them by name.
Since Eric and I are pretty health and organic food conscience, we gladly frequent Kobe An for their locally sourced produce, their hand-made sauces and natural and organic ingredients, and their highly valued American Wagyu Kobe Beef. Eating that meat with their deliciously healthy Shabu Shabu makes my mouth water even thinking about it now. Another favorite of mine, is their miso soup, which Marco makes from his own homemade recipe.
We love this place and hardly a week goes by that we’re not there, at least for a good beer or amazing cocktail made by Mark…and yeah, that usually turns into at least a small plate or two, if not a full-on dinner of Shabu Shabu. How could we not make sure to return as much as possible during our last couple weeks here? Well, we can’t, especially because they just introduced sushi to their menu! We’ve already been enjoying it and once again, are thrilled at how fresh the fish is, how well-made and cut it is, and the extent of options of so many rolls, sashimi, and even sushi platters and more that they offer. If you haven’t been to Kobe An yet, make sure you go soon. Tell them all Amalia and Eric send our love!
Trying Out Our Newbies
What a fun place this joint is. They even have a huge back room full of nothing but ping-pong tables. As if drinking delicious libations and eating Asian-Vietnamese comfort food was not enough – you get to play ping-pong too! Ace is another one of those places that Eric and I have each been to before our days as a couple. Me only once and him, quite a few more times.
We are definitely making it to this place before we jet out from town. I keep being tortured by Eric recounting to me his tantalizing memories of their Crispy Fish and Banh Mi sandwhiches…oh my gosh, I’m looking at their menu even now and my stomach is growling with desire!
Ace also has a fantastic bar, outdoor patio area to eat and hang out on, and a really neat juice bar. What will really stand out is their VW Van bar…don’t really know what to call it except a cool bar on wheels, literally. Let us know if you want to go in the next two weeks, but we will surely be there!
I’m really excited to enjoy lunch in the gardens at Domo. Eric has told me so much about the place and it’s another one of those hidden treasures in downtown Denver that a lot of people don’t know about. Their known for Japanese country food and have a gorgeous Japanese garden that is a meditative garden you spend time in or walk through. They also have outdoor areas for eating in as well.
Have you been to Domo? I’ll let you know how my experience is once we go in the coming weeks.
This place was new to me, but the first time Eric and I experienced it together was just a week ago, so we’re checking it off our list since we’ve been talking about going for some time now. It was great! We loved walking around the lobby of The Brown Palace a bit before The Ship’s Tavern opened at 11am. Then we saddled up to the long authentic wood bar and had the best time becoming friends with the great bartender there. He loves traveling too and has done quite a bit all over the world.
We went the somewhat brunch route and had delicious Bloody Mary’s along with sharing a nicely sized portion of crab cakes. They were superb and writing about them now has me really craving them again. Sitting there at the bar, we looked around and it dawned on us that we were in a setting that coincided serendipitously with what we were talking about just that morning.
You see, Eric had a dream the night before that we owned a sailboat and were traveling and sailing all over the world. We decided that morning that we’re going to own our own sailboat one day…And here we were, sitting in The Ship’s Tavern, surrounded by hand-crafted sailboat models, pictures of traveling and the sea, and even a life-size crow’s nest and top mast right in the center of the whole place and only feet away from us… How much more of a fun omen can that be?
If there’s any place to get great Italian food in Denver, it’s in our neighborhood. What is now Lower Highland, used to be the Italian neighborhood of Denver back in the day. And by “back in the day” I mean those classic days of the Italian Mafia and prohibition era of bootlegging.
Eric and I popped in late last summer while walking the neighborhood. It’s so close to where we live right now and it leaves nothing to be desired for an authentic Italian experience. The bartender was friendly and when we mentioned that we live in the old Smalldone house, a line of old-timer heads whipped in our direction from along the old bar. All of the sudden remarks began to pierce the air, ranging from “Have you started digging yet?”, “have you found any dead bodies?”, and “Don’t throw away any coffee cans…”. From there, the stories and friendly retellings began to flow and we realized…the essence of the Italian community is still here.
That particular night, as lame as it sounds, we only got a side of their meatballs for take-out. They were after all packed, even at the bar, but now I wish we had stayed and waited as long as needed to eat there. They’re known for their sausage and peppers and their hand-made spaghetti. It’s funny that we haven’t formally dined there, but we already know what we’re going to order when we do. And that’s going to be very soon here.
Here’s another great local brewing company that, believe it or not, neither one of us has been to. I’ve always felt like the name of the company goes so well with its location. I know…I haven’t been there. But I’ve driven by. It’s this area in the far northern reaches of downtown; the outskirts of the newly popular Rhino art district. There are warehouses around and train tracks. Maybe now you can see what I mean.
These guys have been known for crafting some pretty astounding and tasty brews. Even now, they have a Red Ale Project going on and, from the looks of their website, they’re an emerging concert venue for Denver. “The Backyard” is where they’re featuring an impressive and fun line-up of summer concerts soon. This is another place where it’s dedicated just to brewing beer so they don’t serve food, but they have food trucks that arrive for a variety of options, a different one each night. Check out their calendar to see who’s serving up deliciousness and when: http://www.blackshirtbrewingco.com/calendar
We’re definitely going to remedy the fact that we haven’t made it there in the year that we’ve been in LoHi, just across the highway, and are hightailing it for a fun evening of their brews.
We are big fans of Whiskey. Among other things, yes; but whiskey is a special love of our’s. So it’s no surprise that when the news came out about Laws Whiskey, Eric knew a lot about the founder, their story, and their origins. Better yet, we knew that it was one of the best whiskeys coming out on the market right now.
They have a great website with an online reservation tool for reserving spaces on their tours. We just booked ourselves to go this week! Reporting on that will definitely be a post of its own soon.
Anything We’re Missing?
We hope this gives you some good recommendations for your own adventures in enjoying the food and drink of Denver. If you have any stories of visiting these places or have your own suggestions of where we should make it before we move, please let us know! Happy eating and happy traveling!