A Quick and Delicious Food Tour of Denver
If you’re looking for a foodie destination like no other, it’s time to make Denver your stop. We travel there every year, in November, and spend a day and a night downtown before heading to Estes Park for Thanksgiving. Spending some time in the Mile-High City gives us a chance to acclimate after our flight and, more importantly, it lets us experience this amazing city.
We’ve eaten at a number of restaurants there, and our most recent trip did not disappoint. Pay attention to this post and your taste buds will thank you.
After landing at the Denver International Airport, find the train and take it to downtown Denver. The train is such a convenient, pleasurable and economical way to travel. It cost around $10.50 per person and you’ll be at Union Station in about 40 minutes, not having to worry about white-knuckling through traffic on an unfamiliar highway.
Once you’re at Union Station, take some time to check it out. There are great shops and restaurants right inside. Last year, we spotted a breakfast/brunch place called Snooze, but our flight time wouldn’t let us stop to eat. This year, we stopped and I’m so glad we did. It’s so good that it’s almost worth a missed flight. Almost.
The menu is diverse and the dishes are varied. Since we weren’t driving, we each imbibed on a Morning Marg to sip on. It was wonderful and perfectly crafted with salt and a lime. To eat, Meg had the Huevos Tostada and I had the Pork Chile Verde Benny—I added an avocado, of course. Both dishes caused us to glance at one another upon first bite, to confirm that each other’s dishes were as delicious as our own.
The food and drink far exceeded what we ever could’ve hoped for and the service was second to none. We left Snooze ready to take on a day of exploration in Denver.
This is a post about food, so I’ll keep our Denver exploration information short. For fun, we walked to Larimer Square in the early afternoon and did some window shopping. This is a lively and historic street in Denver and we can’t wait to check it out at night. After Larimer Square, we walked to the REI Flagship store. Our jaws dropped to the floor when we saw how big the store was. Anything you’d ever need for outdoor pursuits is inside. One of my favorite spots was a white board near the entrance where staff members had listed favorite places to hike, bike, ski, etc. We remembered the recommended hike—Emerald Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park—and did it because of the suggestion. It was breath taking.
We walked everywhere, so we were getting hungry and couldn’t wait for dinner. Meg had surprised me with reservations to El Five, a tapas-style restaurant with an unbelievable view of downtown Denver. The vibe was lively and the space was perfectly decorated for lighting and ambiance.
The drinks are creative and delicious. We tried the Pasarela (rosemary infused tequila/ cinnamon/ lemon/ ginger beer) and it was one of my top drinks ever tried anywhere.
Twice it was suggested that we order the eggplant fries. We did and they were impossible to stop eating, so we didn’t stop. The European sea bass was our entree and it was small—they are tapas, after all—but so good. The dish was presented like a work of art and the taste solidified the art as ‘fine’.
We took a Lyft back to our hotel and turned in.
When morning arrived, we were excited to eat breakfast. The best part is that there’s a restaurant in the hotel called Apple Blossom. Take some time to look at the menu. It’s beautiful. It was our second time eating here and it was just as good, if not more so, than the first time.
The menu changes frequently with the seasons. But, I had shrimp and grits that blew my mind and Meg ordered a grapefruit bruleé along with eggs and potatoes. The ingredients were fresh and again, the service was impeccable.
If you find yourself in Denver, or you make it a destination for whatever reason, I can’t suggest these restaurants enough. If you try them, you’ll have varied and tasty dining experiences at each location.
Have fun and enjoy.