The last time I was in Denver, I was seventeen. On my second trip back, I got older and Denver got cooler. I think I turned around to Ron (because he walks at a snail’s pace) a half dozen times and said, “Why does Denver have to be so cool?!” It’s like a hipster is running the City Planning office and everyone’s okay with it. People were nice, food was incredible, and the weather was just perfect. So let’s dive in.
We stayed at The ART, a Hotel in the Museum District of downtown. By far one of the trendiest hotel lobbies I have seen, with contemporary pieces donning the walls and a driftwood horse taking its place by the sliding glass doors.
On the other side of those doors is Fire, the hotel’s restaurant and bar that lives up to its name with multiple fire pits throughout the outdoor space. This is also the space that would host my Saturday morning yoga session followed by the Recovery Brunch – smoothies, vegetable hash and all sorts of yum.
The Denver food scene did not disappoint, with a few James Beard nominations across town. Our first stop was Mercantile inside of the picturesque Union Station. This market and restaurant offered the best charcuterie board selections. Also on our table for dinner, the sweet corn and truffle risotto as well as the Bangs Island mussels.
But back to Union Station. When you imagine a magical movie-style train station at the beginning of a Rom-Com, this is it. This space was absolutely stunning, with vendors on each side, the Terminal Bar in the center, and even a florist right before the boarding doors. If I lived in Denver, you would have to pull me away from the food and the people watching that are all in one spot.
The food malls were also a favorite. Avanti in the LoHi area was a beautiful and clean space with a huge variety of vendors. We tried a few different foods including a lobster roll from The Regional, a chicken Arepas from Quiero Arepas, and gnocchi from Chow Morso. In the River North area of town is The Source – the holder of food vendors, James Beard nominated Acorn and soon to be, a hotel. While there isn’t much around The Source, it’s a destination all on its own. The RiNo Yacht Club sits center to serve up craft cocktails to your liking.
Urban Farmer is a new addition to LoDo, and we loved it for lunch. The burger and the heirloom tomato salad we’re on our table, along with an Urban Farmer and a Farmer No. 4 cocktail. The meatloaf medallions also caught my eye, but there’s only so much time and only so much food intake.
We wandered around LoDo and stumbled upon a few suggested visits including shopping at Goldyn, a boutique I’ll describe as your older sister’s high end closet during a slight hippie stage but you dig it. There’s also Metalmark, where I found my spirit animal in earring form.
In between these two retailers is a big milk jug labeled, ‘Little Man Ice Cream.’ Yes, the line is long. Yes, it’s worth it.
Thank you to the ART, a hotel for hosting us – Colin, Marc, and Giulia, we appreciate your kindness and hospitality! We don’t know when we will return to Denver, but I can promise it won’t be long. We’ll need more of this architecture inspo very soon!