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The 49th's AK Vacay burger comes topped with pineapple cream cheese, candied bacon, and fresh jalapeño. Photo by Carrie Dow

Eating and Drinking Adventures at the 49th Food & Spirits

This is Denver's only Alaska-themed restaurant.

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If you pause to think about it, Alaska and Colorado have much in common: fantastic mountain scenery, amazing wildlife, and that pioneering Western Frontier spirit. This might explain the appeal of the 49th Food & Spirits, an Alaska-themed bar located near the corner of Stanford Avenue and Kipling Parkway.

The three-year-old spot is tucked into a strip mall behind a convenience store just south of the Federal Correctional Facility. Inconspicuous on the outside, the inside has a cozy, log cabin-esque feel and a large wooden bar. Vintage posters of pin-up girls in fishing gear from Pacific-Alaska Airways hang from the walls.

Photo by Carrie Dow

The menu is seafood-centric, with options such as glazed Pacific salmon, crab cakes, and blackened cod—but the burgers are the real stars. The pub’s patties are made from a flavorful mix of elk and beef, served on whole-wheat buns with a choice of steak fries, pub chips, or fresh veggies. My go-to is the AK Vacay Burger, which comes with pineapple cream cheese, thick candied bacon, and slices of fresh jalapeño. The sweet cream cheese is the perfect foil to the bacon, though it does little to tame the spicy chile burn.

Another noteworthy thing about the 49th is its beverage program: Suds from Alaskan Brewing Company take up six of the bar’s ten taps. The bar even offers flights of four eight-ounce ABC beers—including the standard Alaskan Amber, Alaskan White, Icy Bay IPA, and Freeride APA, and rotating seasonal offerings—for just $9. It’s not quite the same thing as a trip Alaska, but it still satisfies our cravings for adventure.

4550 S. Kipling St., #6, 280-255-2021

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