Baseball season in Denver brings the Ballpark neighborhood to life. And while it’s always exciting to cheer for Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, and the rest of the Rockies’ sluggers, we also get jazzed up about eating and drinking downtown before—and, of course, after—our excursions to Coors Field. Consider this your 2018 cheat sheet to all of the deliciousness within walking distance of the stadium.
We’re not (that) superstitious, but we do believe it’s important to set the right tone for a winning game day. Good vibes are in abundance at Recess Beer Garden in the nearby Highland neighborhood, where the tree-shaded outdoor patio and more than two dozen beers on tap are sure to put you in the right mood. If it’s a weekend game, settle in for brunch (try the massive breakfast burrito, smothered in house-made pork green chile and a “brewmosa,” which is what you get when you combine an Avery White Rascal with OJ) and then stroll over to the stadium. You can also get your competitive juices flowing early with a round of Monopoly or Connect Four from Recess’ board game collection. 2715 17th St., #103, 720-638-0020
With 70 Colorado beers on tap, more than 100 local spirits behind the bar, and spectacular south-facing views of downtown, pregaming at Tap Fourteen’s rooftop beer garden is, well, tops. The three-year-old Ballpark location serves what chef Andrea Valera calls “American Alpine fare.” Expect bar classics like nachos, wings, tacos, and juicy burgers. We like the classic Ballpark burger (American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion jam on a soft challah bun) paired with Broomfield’s Four Nose’s Brewing Company’s refreshing Sap Tap NE IPA. 1920 Blake St., 303-297-8279
Baseball games and hot dogs have a symbiotic relationship, and nobody does a better wiener than local favorite Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs. You can enjoy those particular puppies inside the Coors Field outpost on the third floor or mosey over to the Larimer Street location two blocks away for patio seating and a larger menu. The caramelized-onion-and-cream-cheese-topped reindeer dog is a Denver classic, but Biker Jim’s features fresh weekly specials, too, such as the recent Buddha Dog, which comes topped with caramelized eggplant and vindaloo curry. 2148 Larimer St., 720-746-9355
With its elegant dining room and higher-end fare, the Bindery, which is just a mile from Coors Field across I-25, may not be an obvious game-day choice. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying and celebratory meal after a long game. Chef-owner Linda Hampsten Fox recently updated the menu at her six-month-old restaurant to reflect the flavors of spring: Milk- and honey-brined lamb chops with dill-inflected quinoa tabbouleh; fresh goat robiola (an Italian soft-ripened cheese) with sugar snap peas; and a delicate carrot-filled ravioli with carrot-top butter. 1817 Central St., 303-993-2394
It isn’t really a Rockies’ game if you don’t stop at Jackson’s LoDo, which has been open since before the Rockies’ threw their first pitch at Coors Field. Whether you do this before, after, or even during the game is your call. (If you dip out during, make sure you get your hand stamped as you leave so you can get back into the stadium.) On hot game days when you’ve been baking in the sun for a couple of hours, it’s nice to mosey across to Jackson’s for a beer and a stretch of the legs. Bonus: With killer specials like $4 Colorado craft drafts on Tuesdays and all-you-can-drink Fridays ($10 for ladies; $20 for gents), Jackson’s is a no-brainer. 1520 20th St., 303-298-7625
For an energetic post-game environment, head to nearby ViewHouse to celebrate with the masses. It will definitely be crowded, and there will definitely be some rowdy fans in attendance, but you won’t mind once you have a drink in your hand and are playing a raucous round of volleyball. Try the ViewHouse Margarita, made with pineapple-infused tequila, to keep the party going. 2015 Market St., 720-878-2015
If you want to relax after a long game, Ultreia, the five-month-old Iberian hideaway inside Union Station, is the place to do it. Settle into the velvet banquettes in the jewel-box space or grab a patio table for stellar people-watching; order one of the creative gin and tonics (we’re partial to the “Fennel-y Spring’s” bubbly combo of lemon, blackberries, and fennel). Then feast on James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski’s and chef de cuisine Adam Branz’s delightful tapas and pintxos—don’t miss the pork ribs and the goat cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in jamón serrano. Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St., #125, 303-534-1970