We’ve spent a lot of time in the mountains of Colorado, but it wasn’t until recently that we made our way to Mile High City. We had a fantastic time in Denver, particularly in the hip RiNo and Five Points neighborhoods.
Below, we list our favorite places to eat, drink, and see in Denver:
Where to Stay
- RiNo – Short for “River North Arts District,” RiNo is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Denver. Lots of great restaurants, breweries, and cool murals. It’s a very walkable area and close to downtown.
- Five Points – Located near RiNo, it’s an up and coming neighborhood with lots of cool things to do (particularly coffee shops). Also very walkable and close to downtown.
- LoDo – Short for “Lower Downtown,” it’s the heart of Denver. Has plenty of chain hotels and is still within walking distance of the cool areas.
- City Park – Located further to the east, it’s calmer and more residential than some of the other areas on our list. But there’s still plenty to do, and you’re not far from downtown.
Where to Eat
- The Jerk Truck – Some of the best food truck food we’ve ever had. Perfect Caribbean food to pair with drinking (we got the jerk chicken and fried plantains). Note that this location doesn’t appear on the Google Map below since it’s a food truck. Check their social media to find their current location.
- Ace Eat Serve – Asian fusion with cool cocktails. Some of the best chicken Trav has ever eaten, and Heather enjoyed the bibimbap. They also have ping pong.
- Machete Tequila + Tacos – Clean, light tacos with creative toppings (the fish tacos are a standout). Located next to Cerebral Brewing.
- Biju’s Little Curry Shop – A fast casual curry shop serving tasty, light plates. Note that the RiNo location (mentioned in the accompanying podcast episode) is no longer open, but there’s still a location in the Berkeley neighborhood, north of downtown.
- Thirsty Lion – A sports bar/gastropub located near the historic Union Station.
- Denver Central Market – A beautiful brick food hall, very hip and trendy. We liked the pizza from Vero, but the ice cream is the best (see below).
- High Point Creamery – Located inside the Denver Central Market (plus a couple of other locations around Denver). One of the top 5 ice cream places Trav has ever been, they offer unlimited samples, creative flavors, and all-around scrumptious ice cream (9/10).
- Hi Tide – Very good poké bowls and great fresh seafood in general. A nice option if you’re looking for something lighter.
- Tacos El Guero – A food truck serving classic Mexican street tacos (corn tortilla, meat, onions, and cilantro). Trav recommends the birria (beef short rib).
- Stowaway Kitchen – A cute, hip coffee shop and café. Heather had a delicious breakfast sandwich. Note that space inside is limited, which can be tricky with a baby in a stroller.
Where to Drink
- Epic Brewing – A big name brewery, but good sours and hazy IPAs.
- Our Mutual Friend Brewing – Lots of experimental brews. Trav liked the Russian Imperial Stout.
- Ratio Beerworks – An okay brewery, worth visiting if you’re already in RiNo, but don’t go out of your way.
- 10 Barrel Brewing – Surprisingly good beer (and very good food) for a big brewery.
- Woods Boss Brewing – Strange name, but decent beer if you’re in the area.
- Cerebral Brewing – All-around good beer, very easy to drink. Lots of sours and hazy IPAs. Our favorite brewery we visited in Denver.
Favorite Denver Coffee Spots
- Prodigy Coffeehouse – Good coffee in a fun, airy spot. A bit off the beaten path, but worth checking out if you’re in the area.
- Stowaway Kitchen – Fantastic coffee and ambiance (very Instagramable).
- Pigtrain Coffee – Located in Union Station, has good flat whites and lattes.
- Crema Coffee – Best coffee we had in Denver (5/5).
- Red Rocks – A gorgeous, open-air amphitheater located in Red Rocks Park. We went to see Gregory Alan Isakov and had a blast. Just beware that getting Uber/Lyft back can be chaotic (it’s a 9,500 person venue). Also a fun place to hike.
- Coors Field – Great for a baseball game, located right downtown (very cheap tickets).
- Union Station – Even if you don’t take the train, it’s a cool place to hang out and grab coffee or a bite to eat. It felt like going back in time.
- City Park – A beautiful park to go for a run or just to hang out. Also contains the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
- Denver Zoo – A huge zoo that’s great for kids.
- Wander Through RiNo/Larimer Street Area – One of the hippest neighborhoods in Denver, it’s a fun place to walk around, look at public art (see below), and visit restaurants/breweries.
- CRUSH Walls – Each year, artists from around the world decorate the walls of the RiNo neighborhood with beautiful murals. It’s an open-air art gallery that’s great for admiring (or taking Instagram photos).
- Day Trip to Boulder – Boulder is a fun little city with great restaurants, cool shops, and quality breweries. Only a 35-minute drive from Denver (as long as it isn’t rush hour). If you’re a fit hiker, Mount Sanitas is a great hike.
Want to see all of our favorite Denver destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:
Visiting Denver made us realize that there’s a lot more to Colorado than just mountains and skiing. With world-class breweries, restaurants, and activities both indoors and out, you can bet we’ll be back in the Mile High City soon.
Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.