My sister put together this great list of things to do in Denver, and I wanted to make sure I put it somewhere permanent. These are all great suggestions.
places to eat that are out of the ordinary:
Rio - Great Patio and potent margaritas
Fresh Craft - fun menu with a wide varity of beers on tap, weekly changing craft cocktail menu
The Market - one of Denver's great coffee shops and deli's
DuffyRoll - iconic sweet rolls
Wynkoop Brewery - once owned by the current Governor of Colorado, great beer
Illegal Petes - Big Burritos ala some of your more well known... but the difference here is that they support local and touring musicians have a record label and are probably the nicest guys around... here is there current schedule for July events (there are several new stores open... colfax and race, broadway and alameda are great options too)
My Brother's Bar - you won't find a sign on the outside for this longstanding Denver institution but you can listen for the classical music playing and know you are in the right place. There is a lot of history in the building ranging from Prohibition to the Beat writers.
Osterio Marco - Frank Bonnano's italian eatery with pizza and salads on Larimer Square
Celtic Tavern - located in LoDo, standard pub fare with off track betting
Los Chingones - mexican bistro and cantina off Broadway and Larimer
Snooze an a.m. eatery - located on Larimer and 27th / Union Station - long waits for delicious pancakes and breakfast. They are very popular
Crave Burgers - HUGE burgers with wacky toppings but delicious to share
Eculid Hall - beer hall and dining in a long time Denver Historic Building. One of Denver's premier chefs is partner in the restaurant along with Rioja, Bisto Vendome that are also in the area.
Larimer Square: home of lots of dining and drinking and shopping options
Sushi Sasa - top rated and a local favorite they sometimes have karoake in the basement but usually it's reservable for large parties.
SushiRama - conveyor belt sushi from one of Denver's top rated sushi chefs
places to eat and drink in the Highlands neighborhood
Postino - a favorite place opened recently from a team in Arizona. Great bruschetta, sandwhiches, salads and very nicely curated wine selection
linger - one of the area's more popular restaurants housed in one of Denver's oldest mortuary buildings... the design honors that history but the food is top of the line... very popular
Little Man Icecream - - look for the giant milk can
places to drink:
Cruise Room in the Oxford hotel - modeled after a bar that was in theQueen Mary ..very small intimate and known for their cocktails
Williams and Graham - Denvers top rated small table speak easy... there will be a wait for sure... - out of the way but world renowned (31st and Tejon - LoHi)
Green Russel - Larimer Square... no more than groups of six but they infuse their own bitters, sodas, and are tops in the mixology scene right now. Busy but classy...
Union Station and Terminal Bar - Denver's rail station is reinvigorated into a hotel space, restauarant hub and open space. Mercantile is a great place for breakfast and there is a Snooze in the building (long waits for pancakes.... but fancy and delicious pancakes)
Ophelias Electric Soapbox - Contemporary Space in an old brothel and adult bookstore. Make sure to look around...They have live music and a great bar program. Food vears to vegetarian side of the spectrum and is very highly rated... if you are just drinking the bar is cool, if you wish to eat make sure to ask for a table or you will get a small cocktail area for your food which may be awkward. Let them know upfront and they will try to accommodate
Marios Double Daughters Salotto - a funky bar based on a story... ecclictic atmosphere and drink menus... goth nights and comedy nights sometimes thrown in the mix through the week... if you get hungry you can get a slice of pizza at Marios Two Fisted Pizza right next door (until late in the evening/morning)
Bars and Music Venues on South Broadway (a 5 minute cab ride... uber and lyft will also know where to take you)
Adrift on South Broadway - tiki Polynesian style bar
Illegal Petes just a little bit further down the block)
Punch Bowl Social - bowling, drinking, dining, ping pong... cornhole... drinking... it's really got it all.
3 Kings Tavern - punk rock and pinball ... owned by the nicest guys in Denver... we love this place... lots of beers on tap
Hi Dive small intimate rollicking music club that has been on the scene since the early 2000's (in the late 90s it was a punk rock club then a hippie jam band joint... finally resting on national up and coming bands looking to build a dedicated following... The Fray and Nathaniel Ratelieff all got their start here.... ) a great place to see live music... next door is a small hip restaurant called Sputnick that has a great bar menu. Friday and Saturday nights are the big nights for the venue.
Breweries with tap rooms or beer or cocktail 'centric places
Falling Rock Tap House - ok not a brewery but a tap house with LOTs of beers on tap (still considered a hidden gem) (ugh... autostart music beware)
Breckingridge Brewery - now corporate owned but a stalwort of the denver brew scene
The Rackhouse: big establishment newly built home of the brewery for C Squared Ciders
Rheinhaus - Bocce ball, brats and beers - newer place opened up on Blake. Really great food.
Note too that the Denver Brewery Guide has an exceptional list to peruse for options too... Beer can be a very personal endevour so best to check out the list to decide which to go to.
Drinking places on Market that are very popular
Cowboy Bar/Tavern Downtown
Places to Play
Lucky Strike - bowling at the Denver Pavillions
Comedy Works - Larimer Square and the Denver Tech Center - national touring comedy acts with local openers
Coyote Ugly - just like the movie but no Tyra Banks
Art and Culture
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver - smaller museum with quarterly rotating exhibits that will make you think. They have a small cafe' on the third floor with amazing views of Downtown and the Front Range
Denver Art Museum - Denver is becoming a world class art space and our museum covers two large buildings with many levels of all types of art. Final Fridays host a evening event around a theme called Untitled that is great fun.
Colorado History Museum - newly built building housing all things Colorado with a little dash of National History as well....fun current exhibit through January 8 2017 is "Awkward Family Photos"
Place to hear music
El Chapultapec - once the grande dame of the Colorado Jazz scene.. a little weathered but there are musicians in there every night
Herb's Hideout - classic and divey of a divebar... live music most nights
Dazzle - denver's premier jazz supper club... music 7 nights a week with local and national acts - they are a listening room in the main room so shhhhh... but the bar can get rollicking (a short uber/lyft away from downtown)
Nocturne- local and national acts with a focus on a themed menu around a jazz musician... talking is allowed
Larimer Lounge - Denver's great rock and roll room... national touring acts playing a small venue
Meadowlark - tiny subterranean room... intimate but great local acts are usually booked there... Monday night open Jazz mic (they have a cafe upstairs that is known for their vegan fare)
Summit Music Hall - large touring acts come through this venue, rollicking rock and roll or punk rock mostly
Marquis - smaller national touring acts come through this venue... more all ages and punk rock shows, but not always... great by the slice pizza open late
Places to Shop:
Pavillions - national retailers with some small local stores, dining and movies are also available
Tattered Cover - bookstore (not as great as she used to be, it's only one floor now but they have a VERY diverse magazine selection)
Rockmount - home of the original western snap shirt... pricey but a peice of nostalgia and long wearing
Mutiny Information Cafe - located on South Broadway (and open late) it's a local used bookstore, used records, comic books, community space and coffee shop. They by far have the coolest art and comic books available in the local area, friends of ours own it and it is amazing. They have national music acts that will come in and play, spoken word and comedy too... it's really amazing.
Places to Dance:
Beta (edm powerhouse.... guys who own it have their own label)
Places to sing Karaoke:
Armidas - down the block from Dazzle
Punch Bowl Social (private karoake rooms) - very popular dining and drinking establishment on South Broadway
Events around Denver that are happening around that time:
Robot Revolution - at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Sweet and Lucky - (a fully immersive and interactive theater production taking place at a wearhouse about 15 minutes out of downtown) only in the evening
Historic Denver Walking Tours - sponsored by the Colorado History Museum
Cirque du Soleil - Toruk the First Flight - based on Avatar in the Pepsi Center Parking Lot
Afternoon High Tea at the Brown Palace (reservations required through Open Table)