Dining in Denver: Morning, Noon, and Night

Where to go, and what to eat, in the Mile-High City, 24-7.

March 2009


The Ultimate
Opus Restaurant

2575 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-703-6787
Upon taking your seat at a white linen-draped table by the roaring fire, and sipping from a flute of complimentary Champagne, it's hard to imagine spending Sunday mornings anywhere else. Gracious servers, a cozy ambience, and chef-owner Michael Long's innovative New American dishes like sweet corn crab cakes, smokehouse Benedict, and roasted caramel apple tarte Tatin combine for one of the most harmonious brunches in town.

The deal-maker

2262 Larimer St., 303-297-0700
Sure, most people head to Snooze on the weekends for brunch, but we like the breakfast spot best during the week. That's when the crowds are thinner and the tables are populated with young professionals working deals over sweet potato pancakes, oatmeal brûlée, and mugs of hot coffee. So long as there's an order of Juan's breakfast tacos—corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, hash browns, jack cheese, and ranchero sauce—at the table, we're convinced this is the best way to conduct business.

The Classic

321 17th St., 303-297-3111
The elegant ambience at Ellyngton's in the Brown Palace Hotel provides the perfect setting for the quintessential power breakfast. One of the few local spots (surprisingly) that offers a bona fide Denver omelet, as well as other time-honored favorites such as cream chipped beef and broiled grapefruit, Ellyngton's starts the day with true comfort. Servers also deliver savory Greek frittatas, portobello eggs Florentine, and delicate French toast made with a trio of freshly baked breads. For true decadence, try the Dom Pérignon brunch on Sunday.

The Traveler
Les Delices de Paris

600 S. Holly St., 303-320-7596
No need to fly across the pond when Les Delices de Paris is right in your backyard. French-born Gerard and Christelle Donat own this authentic Parisian pastry shop, located on South Holly. Flaky croissants, savory quiche Provençal, heavenly chocolate éclairs, and warm Grand Marnier crêpes pair with smooth cups of coffee. Savor this morning meal on the tiny patio or at one of the five small tables inside.

The Grande Madame
Bistro Vendôme

1420 Larimer St., 303-825-3232
Sunshine streams through the tall French doors at Bistro Vendôme, one of Denver's most bustling brunch spots. Chef Jennifer Jasinski's second success story (the first being Rioja) has all the ambience and flavor of a classic French bistro—and with a shady patio, it's an oasis in the city when the weather is warm. Excellent pain perdu, delicate brioche with asparagus, egg, red-onion marmalade, and béarnaise, and a piled-high croque madame sandwich star on the classic Sunday brunch menu. For a bit more luxury, add a bubbly poire royale.

The Player

1575 Boulder St., 720-570-8686
For a spot that's best known for its cocktails, Lola serves a bang-up brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Chef Jamey Fader has always made sure the midday offerings are out of the ordinary and satisfying. Try the banana buñuelos (coffee-dusted donuts) and crawfish and grits, or choose the short-rib hash with smoked goat cheese—you can't go wrong, especially when you add a Mexican mimosa (Tecate, OJ, tequila, and fresh lime) to the mix.

The Newcomer
Bistro One

1294 S. Broadway, 720-974-0602
When Bistro One opened its doors in May 2008, South Broadway gained a new sense of sophistication. The darkwood-lined dining room, accented with white leather chairs and bursts of cornflower blue, makes for a happy spot for brunch. The menu is equally dazzling, with cinnamony French toast made from house-crafted bread, fluffy hollandaise-doused eggs Benedict, and a croque madame with Champagne cream. Chef Olav Peterson also offers dishes such as classic steak frites and French onion soup for those craving something a little heartier.

The Southern Belle

Multiple locations
There's more to New Orleans cookin' than beignets, but Lucile's hot-from-the-fryer pastries are just the way to start off the day. Smothered with strawberry-rhubarb jam and taken down with a cup of chicory coffee, they're about all you need. Except, you're at Lucile's and that means decadent eggs Sardou (eggs Benedict with shrimp and creamed spinach) or cozy rice pudding porridge. Given the chance, dine at the original Boulder location, but all four Lucile's dish up a delicious slice of Creole comfort.

The Minimalist
The Kitchen

1039 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-544-5973
Thanks to farm-fresh ingredients and honest flavors, the Kitchen stands apart from other restaurants for breakfast. Start the morning with pastry chef Nathan Miller's rich cannelés or buttery croissants and a perfectly brewed cappuccino, but don't leave this community bistro without ordering the savory plate of poached eggs with rustic grilled bread, fresh greens, and slow-roasted Long Family Farms pork braised in apple juice and wine.

The Staple

2413 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-4141
There are few greater weekend pleasures than leisurely sipping coffee while basking in the morning sun. That luxury is only made better when coffee is delivered to your table in a French press and the window you're sitting next to is at Duo. This Highland neighborhood bistro feels like home—with warm wood floors, exposed brick, and mismatched napkins—in a way that few restaurants can. Couple that coziness with an order of the pastry basket bulging with scones and breakfast breads or the seasonally inspired quiche—you'll never flip a pancake at home again.