Brunch never really goes out of season, but we think there’s no better time to belly up for this boozy midday meal than right now. After all, the weather is warming, patios are opening, and Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are right around the corner. Brunch is practically required! For this roundup, we’ve compiled a diverse list that caters to a variety of tastes—everything is on the menu, from dim sum and pizza to tacos and eggs Benedict. Whether you’re combating a hangover with eggs and a few rounds of mimosas or simply looking for a hearty meal to fuel your weekend adventures, you’ll find it here.
Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $12–$21
Vibe: Meat-centric dishes and excellent cocktails in a tiny Uptown bistro
Whether you snag a seat on the patio facing bustling 17th street or opt for a cozy table inside where funky tunes are sure to be playing, sharing a leisurely meal at Beast & Bottle is a pitch-perfect start to a weekend day. Friendly servers whisk excellent cocktails and/or coffee to your table in a flash; for both in a single glass, order a Whiskey in the Morning, fashioned from rye, Leopold Bros. Three Pins liqueur, demerara sugar, and cold brew coffee. You take a few sips as you struggle to choose between the French omelet with seasonal vegetables and Gruyère or the killer breakfast sandwich, a behemoth of sweet-and-savory goodness pairing a fried egg with house-cured ham, sweet caramelized onions, and apple butter on a fluffy gouda biscuit. Pro tip: Order any entrée that includes lamb shank (as pictured in the decadent hash above) or pig trotters—a recent Sunday special included the juicy pork cut folded into delicate farro crepes and topped with charred scallions and a verdant ramp sauce. Pigs-in-a-blanket everywhere wishes they tasted so good. 719 E. 17th Ave., 303-623-3223
Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $9–$12
Vibe: Quirky, casual Mexican eatery in a sunlit refurbished gas station
Brunch should be three things: delicious, fun, and boozy. And Englewood’s Cochino Taco, the brainchild of the Squeaky Bean’s Johnny Ballen, hits all of those benchmarks. The eccentrically decorated former gas station fills up quickly on the weekends with brunchers looking for cheeky, Mexican-tinged takes on classics. Here, cinnamon-y churros stand in for waffles with crispy fried chicken, and fluffy arepas topped with spicy candied bacon jazz up the standard eggs Benedict. Perhaps the most compelling reason to visit at brunch, however, is the list of seven deluxe breakfast tacos. Try the Barby Ranchera, which comes heaped high with braised barbacoa, caramelized onions, poblano rajas, avocado crema, and scrambled eggs. Wash it all down with a slushy-esque frozen blood orange Bellini or an ice-cold michelada, which is made with Ballen’s own special mix. 3495 S. Downing St., Englewood, 720-573-6174
Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $13–$29
Vibe: No-fuss Southern comfort food in an elegant, relaxed space
For brunch with a dash of Southern flair, head to LoHi’s chic Low Country Kitchen. In just a couple of weeks, the two-month-old spot will unveil its 75-seat rooftop patio, so snag a seat and take in the views over the $29 “bucket on bucket” chicken and bubbles special. It’ll get you five pieces of Low’s succulent fried chicken and an iced bottle of Spanish Mas Fi Brut cava. The cava’s sparkling acidity cuts through the juiciness of the buttermilk-marinated bird, a combo co-owner Katy Vaughn calls “indulgent yet refreshing.” We call it flat-out delicious. You’ll find plenty of other tempting items on the down-home menu, from shrimp and grits to a Benton’s Country ham biscuit to a fried green tomato BLT. 1575 Boulder St., Unit A, 720-512-4168
Weekend Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price Range: $4.75–$8.25
Vibe: Fast-casual pizzeria with elevated touches
Okay, so Pizzeria Locale isn’t really a brunch spot, but we do have a delicious reason for you to head to either of its fast-casual Denver locations this month: the pizza carbonara. This limited availability pie is a collaboration between Locale’s Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provision chef Alex Seidel—and it’ll only be on the menu until the end of May. The irresistible combo of smoked mozzarella, Fruition Farms’ ricotta, prosciutto, crème fraîche, peas, red onion, and a rich egg yolk on the perfectly charred crust makes the ideal morning meal. Pair it with a glass of on-tap vino to complete the brunch vibe. 550 Broadway, 720-508-8828; 3484 W. 32nd Ave., 303-302-2451
Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $9–$49
Vibe: Playful Italian-American steak house fare in Cherry Creek-chic setting
If a steak house isn’t usually your first thought when planning brunch, think again. Quirky-yet-elegant Quality Italian, the two-month-old NYC Italian-American steak house transplant situated in the lobby of the Halcyon hotel, is a welcome addition to our weekend morning scene. The menu naturally includes marbled, dry-aged steaks (served with eggs), sweet options like bananas foster French toast (flambéed tableside), and savory ones like eggs Benedict with a side of local Elevation Meat bacon (splurge for the $5 crab supplement and QI will top your single Benny with a ridiculous amount of sweet, lump crabmeat). Even the nontraditional brunch fare wows; we’re still dreaming about the melt-in-your-mouth sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi, topped with crunchy almonds, a drizzle of honey, and shavings of local Fruition Farms cacio pecora. Bonus: The roaming bellini cart, stocked with fresh fruit juices and purees, means you can create your own favorite cocktail. Che buono! The Halcyon hotel, 241 Columbine St., 303-532-8888
Dim Sum Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price Range: Individual dim sum items start at $2.35 and go up from there
Vibe: Bustling, energetic room with large dim sum selection presented on roving carts
The best part about dim sum, in our humble opinion, isn’t the dumplings, the buns, or even the sweet fried sesame balls. No, it’s the social ritual of gathering a group of friends and family around the table for an endless parade of conversation, tea, and tasty bites. Denver boasts plenty of worthy dim sum spots, but Star Kitchen is still our go-to. The large room still attracts a crowd on weekend mornings, and you’ll likely have to wait for a table. But it’s well worth it once the carts loaded with superb, creamy-crispy pan-fried turnip cake with xo sauce, comfortingly bowls of congee, sweet scallop dumplings, and savory pork belly-stuffed buns begin rolling by. Another reason we like Star Kitchen? In addition to the pots of tea that traditionally accompany dim sum, it’s also got a liquor license, so you can nurse a cold Tsingtao as you eat. 2917 W. Mississippi Ave., 303-936-0089
Brunch Hours: Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $7–$12
Vibe: Low-key hideaway for sweet treats and classic breakfast eats
When pastry chef Ryan Witcher took over Troy Guard’s Sugarmill last year, he immediately set about to expanding brunch service from Saturday-only to including Sundays as well. We’re glad he did, because his revamped a.m. menu is better than ever. While Witcher has worked everywhere from New York City to Singapore, he offers a rather straight-ahead roster of standard American brunch favorites, all of which are executed with aplomb. Go for the textbook eggs Benny, whose hollandaise sauce boasts just the right amount of zing, or the pastrami hash, plated up with duck fat-fried potatoes and a zippy mustard vinaigrette. Of course, sweets are also a high point here: The massive, $7 sticky bun for two and brioche French toast with strawberry-basil compote and mascarpone cream are both worth splurging for. 2461 Larimer St., 303-297-3540
Brunch Hours: Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $11–$14
Vibe: Quality café fare in a homey Capitol Hill neighborhood joint
Over the 13 years Table 6 has been serving Denver eaters, the cozy neighborhood joint hasn’t lost its Midas touch with American comfort food. Chef Mike Winston’s kitchen continues to deliver elevated, seasonal, and unexpected twists at both dinner and during the popular Sunday brunch. Accompanied by tunes from DJ/Hostess Ginger Perry, the exposed-brick dining room grooves with cheerful servers and mimosa-clinking brunchers. Gratis house-made cinnamon roll bites begin your meal, followed by yumminess in many forms. Start with a pile of piping hot tater tots dressed with bacon jam and poblano mayo (or whatever other delicious tot combo Winston has dreamed up), then dive into an excellently cheesy croque monsieur or a hollandaise-drenched springtime crêpe stuffed with favas, peas, asparagus, creminis, and goat cheese. Pro tip: Don’t miss the salted-just-right home fries, which are more akin to crispy, wedge-shaped French fries. 609 Corona St., 303-831-8800