THE NEIGHBORHOOD: CITY PARK WEST
This official neighborhood is just west of City Park, Denver’s largest park. But the hot-hot-hot dining scene is what this neighborhood is better known for—especially recently. Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center also sits smack-dab in the middle of the neighborhood, which means some extra commotion and parking woes, but luckily less siren sound-offs than you’d think. (You also won’t mind if you are sipping a cocktail on one of the area’s numerous patios.)
Boundaries: 23rd Avenue to the north, Downing Street to the west, Colfax Avenue to the south, and York Street to the east.
Who’s There: Young professionals piled into rented rooms in old Victorian homes to save money and young families not yet ready to commit to suburbia.
The Hub: The 17th Avenue strip, for its note-worthy spots to dine and imbibe.
1. Tour: The 125-year-old Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast, which was designed by the same architect as the nearby Molly Brown House.
2. Taste 17th Avenue: You’ll need more than one day to sample the neighborhood’s fare. Start by strolling the strip from Humboldt to Gaylord streets and stopping by these sure-bets:
- Breakfast: Swing by Olive & Finch for their simple, fresh, and affordable menu, with the added bonus of a market and bakery inside.
- Lunch: Pinche Taqueria helped fuel Denver’s taco obsession; find out why. (Try the queso a la plancha taco, which wraps griddled cotija cheese in a tortilla with avocado, tomatillo salsa, and lime.)
- Happy Hour: Head to Vine Street Pub for a good beer—and a burger, if you’re in the mood. Another safe bet is the Thin Man, for its infused vodkas and boozy, house-made sangria.
- Dinner: Make a reservation at Il Posto, where chef Andrea Frizzi creates a new menu daily. Or check in at P17, a bistro with a recently redesigned menu by chef-owner Mary Nguyen (who also owns Olive & Finch).
- Coffee: Visit the Weathervane Café for a lavender latte, which is made with house-made lavender syrup and has a foam painting on top. Afterward, meander to their upstairs shop, Beehive Vintage, to browse through local-acquired 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s garb.
3. Pedal: Cycle to the Denver Bicycle Cafe, and get a quick tire pump while you wait for your pour-over coffee or a Colorado craft lager from one of its 12 taps.
4. Stroll: The East Park Place historic street. Spend the one-block walk eyeing the lead-glass windows and wood-shingled roofs that were built in the early 1900s.
5. Shop: Soul Haus is full of locally made goods, clothing, and funky household items (think: shark fin ice cube trays). Stop by Talulah Jones for last-minute gifts, such as delicate beaded necklaces, and adorable toys for the kids.
Follow digital assistant editor Jerilyn Forsythe on Twitter at @jlforsyt.