THE NEIGHBORHOOD: South Park Hill
Park Hill’s suburb-in-the-city vibe is still strong, but the neighborhood’s tiny commercial spots (Kearney Street, Oneida Street, and so on) are hopping. What that means is that residents have easy commutes to downtown, next-door access to City Park (and the Denver Zoo), and the option of sipping a happy hour glass of wine within walking distance of their stoop. In short, it’s the good life.
Boundaries: Colorado Boulevard to the west, East 23rd Avenue to the north, Quebec Street to the east, and Colfax Avenue to the south.
The Vibe: Park Hill used to be the neighborhood where your college roommate was from. In other words, it was a home base for empty nesters. Now, though, the neighborhood has a new generation of young families, meaning that you’re likely to encounter a full spectrum of ages on an afternoon walk.
Main Drag: Montview Boulevard is lined with towering trees and ancient homes, but you’ll find more businesses on East 23rd Avenue and Colfax Avenue.
Grub: If you try one restaurant in South Park Hill, it must be the recently expanded Tables, which is on our 2014 list of best restaurants. The menu changes regularly, and you’ll have plenty of time to mull the options after sipping on a Leopold Bros. sazerac (rye, bitters, absinthe, and sugar with a lemon peel). If you want a little lower price point—and favor an impressive beer list—head to Table Top on Oneida Street. After dinner, nab a counter spot at Neighbors, a wine bar packed with date-night parents, or head to Nuggs Ice Cream for two scoops on top of a handmade waffle cone.
Roll: Park Hill’s quiet streets are made for cruising—of the two-wheel variety. There are ample bike lanes, but let’s face it: Park Hill is basically one big bike lane. (On weekends, especially, cruisers seem to outnumber cars.) The Park Hill Peloton organizes group rides, Estelle Bicycles carries drool-worthy frames and wheels, and nearby Bike Depot, a nonprofit bike shop in North Park Hill, helps fuel the foot-powered frenzy. Post-ride, stretch out with an Align and Flow yoga class at Endorphin.
Kids Corner: Kearney Street between 23rd and 22nd Avenue is a utopia for kids (or the parents hoping to keep them entertained). There are painting sessions at Art Garage, cupcakes at Cake Crumbs, and cheesy pies at Oblio’s Pizzeria. Or there are karate classes at Omniform Martial Arts Academy, tumbling lessons at Dardano’s School of Gymnastics, Inc., ukulele courses at Wands and Wishes, and haircuts in an airplane seat at Little b’s. Get the idea?
Shop: Based on our small test sample, it has proven impossible to walk out of Moss Pink Flora & Botanicals without buying one of their gorgeous floral arrangements. Across the street, the Park Hill Community Bookstore has been a neighborhood staple for bookworms for more than four decades. And while Spinelli’s Market is another neighborhood cornerstone, a recent change in management means that the shop is constantly evolving (a recent add: to-go pizza dough, fresh mozzarella, and a selection of cured meats for a last-minute semi-homemade dinner). On Colfax Avenue, Mod Livin’ is a go-to for quirky modern furnishings.
Be Neighborly: Don’t miss booking dinner at one of Bistro Barbès’ cozy tables in North Park Hill. If it is on the menu, you’ll be impressed by the duck confit, but you’ll be just as awed by the oh-so fresh veggies, which seem to star in every dish.
—Photography by Sarah Boyum