where i went: denver

required reading: the meadow by james galvin

where i stayed 

  • magnolia hotel: convenient downtown location, clean and spacious rooms, and warm milk and cookies at night. what more could you ask for in a hotel for a weekend stay in a new city?

bars & breweries

  • henry’s tavern: when i arrived to denver, i had some time to kill before meeting up with friends. henry’s was the perfect spot to post up at the bar, enjoy a couple of great divide ipas and a cheeseburger with fries. the servers were really friendly and helpful. henry’s was large and open but had a cozy and rustic feel.
  • yard house: once i met up with my friends, we headed to yard house. i enjoyed their 22nd anniversary liquid compass ipa. we also had some great appetizers: gardein buffalo wings, poke nachos, and fried mac & cheese.
  • bierstad lagerhaus: shares its space with a cidery and pub. i got their infamous slow pour pilsner (took 5 minutes to pour); my friends and i played cranium and ordered appetizers like thick cut french fries and soft pretzels. this was one of my favorite spots on our trip.
  • the cooper lounge at union station: i had a refreshing gin fizz. this was a fun and swanky place to grab a drink.
  • mercantile dining & provision: i could have spent hours here. this reminded me of a smaller version of eataly. it was part market, part bar, with a delicious menu for appetizers and snacks. we played winegame and had a gorgeous charcuterie plate. i bought some whole bean coffee to take home with me.
  • lustre pearl: this was a fun late-night bar to go to. it was very lively and had great music (we were drawn inside by them playing 90s alt rock).
  • los chingones: we stopped in here for a quick drink before our dinner reservation at super mega bien. i had their house margarita. it was really high energy and seemed like a fun place for dinner. i especially enjoyed the taxidermy alligator (crocodile?) waiting for me at the top of the stairs when i got to the bar.

brunch

  • the nickel at hotel teatro: they had a build your own bloody mary & white russian bar; bottomless mimosas as well. i ordered the southwestern breakfast and we enjoyed a long and lazy brunch to start our day. the hotel had a rustic but glamorous and historic feel to it. this was a great spot for a big group.

dinner

  • supermegabien: this was a really fun and hip place to have dinner for our first night in denver. it is latin american dim sum; the unusual-sounding fusion turned out to be a really great way to try lots of different foods. we ordered a little bit of everything and complimented our huge meal with house-made tonics with gin.
  • hearth & dram: had an upscale yet comfortable vibe. for appetizers, we ordered the steamed hawaiian roll, yellowtail and watermelon ceviche, and grilled octopus & pork belly. i got the flank steak which was served with carrots and their take on tater tots (they were large cubes and delicious). a lot of my friends ordered the lamb and based on my sample of it, it was delicious. at the end of our dinner, i tried fernet for the first time and almost threw up at the table. so that was nice.

shopping 

  • larimer square: an adorable little area to walk around and pop into unique and local shops. one of the boutiques served mulled wine, which was a cute seasonal touch. we also got our photo taken with santa.

favorite bookstore

  • tattered cover: i saw a couple of these while strolling through denver and walked through it at the denver airport. this has a great selection of books and i look forward to spending more time there on my next visit.