When Strings served its final meal last April, Denver diners wondered what would come next. The answer arrived quickly: Restaurateur Frank Day (known for the Denver ChopHouse, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, and Old Chicago) signed the lease in May, and Humboldt Restaurant opened its doors in October.
Where Strings was stuck in a bygone era, Humboldt keeps current with menu classics that lean on the farm-to-table ethos. The towering burger is made of ground beef sourced from Carbondale-based Crystal River Meats; the poultry (from Boulder Natural Meats) is accompanied by risotto stirred with Fort Collins–harvested Hazel Dell mushrooms; there’s a daily specials menu touting what’s in season.
But the best way to sample Humboldt is to stop by during happy hour (3 to 6 p.m. daily) for food and drink that ranges from $1 to $8. The aforementioned burger—stacked with crispy onions, cheddar, and roasted garlic–onion jam—is $8 instead of $14. Add some salty fries for a buck (normally $5, or $4 when ordered sans happy hour burger). If you’re sharing, add the crispy broccoli ($5 rather than $8); the tempura-fried starter has quickly become a signature item. Or try the smoked trout dip with sweet onion jam and potato chips ($7, usually $11).
Drink specials are equally enticing: The $6 cocktails include an easy-to-sip horsefeather (W.L. Weller Bourbon, muddled citrus, ginger syrup, and soda), and there are $4 glasses of wine and pints of beer, including Avery’s Ellie’s Brown and Oskar Blues’ Mama’s Little Yella Pils. A happy hour deal that delivers a solid meal and a drink for less than $20? That’s a place worth seeking out.
1700 Humboldt St., 303-813-1700, humboldtrestaurant.com