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Brunch at Avanti Food & Beverage. Photo by Rachel Adams

Where To Brunch Now

Benedicts, Bloody Marys, and bacon, oh my! Denver’s brunch game is better than ever.

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In the past year, it seems like every restaurant in Denver has begun serving brunch. But which spots sport the absolute best fried chicken, Bennys, and morning cocktails? We were all too happy to spend our weekends eating and drinking our way through the Mile High City’s lineup to compile this list of noteworthy brunch destinations.


The roasted cabbage salad with blue cheese, pears, and pecans at 12@Madison. Photo by Denise Mickelsen

12@Madison

Brunch Hours: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $9–$17
Vibe: Refined-yet-approachable fare and excellent cocktails in a comfortable spot on a tree-lined Congress Park street

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Congress Park is one heck of a lucky neighborhood to have 12@Madison in it—and the Sunday-only brunch menu, while offering dishes that are on the more refined side than your standard eggs-potatoes-toast plate, promises scratch-made delights for all. Young diners will want to horde the pastry basket, filled with tiny treats such as flaky chocolate croissants and pull-apart rolls, and adults will celebrate when the massive Aperol spritzes hit the table. And even though salads aren’t the first thing most Denverites order at brunch, you’d be remiss to ignore 12@Madison’s roasted cabbage iteration (one of our favorite fork-and-knife salads in the Mile High City), which contrasts creamy Spanish blue cheese, poached pears, crunchy pecans, and gently charred cabbage to extraordinary effect. The bacon is thick and crispy, the croque monsieur is perfect, and if the prime rib hash is available, do order it and then congratulate yourself on hitting the brunch jackpot. 1160 Madison St., 720-216-0190

Quiero Arepas
The Perico arepa from Quiero Arepas. Photo by Rachel Adams

Avanti Food & Beverage

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $6–$14
Vibe: Choose-your-own adventure brunching in a seven-vendor food hall replete with two bars and great Denver views

While you might think of Avanti as more of a Saturday night party hub, it’s also an under-appreciated LoHi brunch destination. Each of the food hall’s seven eateries offer their own special weekend items, and the bars keep the Bloody Marys and mimosas flowing. We have a hard time deciding between Queiro Arepas’ Perico arepa (pictured; scrambled eggs, cheese, avocado, cilantro, guasacaca sauce) and American Grind’s classic breakfast sando. 3200 N. Pecos St., 720-269-4778 —Carolyn Davidson

The BIndery
The Bindery’s carrot waffle. Photo by Lucy Beaugard

The Bindery

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $10–$15
Vibe: Eclectic fare in a stylish, sunny LoHi space

Chef-owner Linda Hampsten Fox has cooked everywhere from Italy to Mexico, so it’s no surprise that brunch at her eight-month-old LoHi eatery is a globetrotting adventure. Whether you choose the Spanish-inspired Uova Flamenca (sunny egg, grits, chorizo, roasted red peppers, tomato confit) or the Italian-leaning Uova Alla Cacciatore (angel hair pasta, wild mushrooms, parmesan broth), you’ll feel like a sophisticated world traveler as you dine in the bright, posh space. Bonus: There’s also a selection of fresh pastries baked daily and a full complement of coffee drinks using local Dragonfly Coffee Roasters beans. 1817 Central St., 303-993-2364

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From left to right: Call’s prosciutto and ricotta, grapefruit and feta, and fennel and apple butter tartines. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Call

Brunch Hours: Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $3–$12
Vibe: Fine-dining-caliber food and drink in a casual coffee shop environment

You can get your hands on Call’s Scandinavian-derived fare seven days a week, which is a very good thing considering that it’s basically impossible to tire of chef Duncan Holmes’ impeccable a.m. eats. While the tartine toppings change seasonally (think: smoked mushrooms with buttermilk ricotta), you can always count on sourdough ebelskivers enlivened with house-made jam and anything-but-boring sandwiches like the pork and fried egg with arugula, giardinera, and aïoli on fluffy brioche. There’s also booze, but if you’re recovering from a night out, the refreshing booze-free turmeric-ginger tonic is a pro move. Bonus: On weekends, Holmes and his team stock the pastry case with quiches and puff pastry tarts. 2845 Larimer St., 303-954-0230

Candela Latin Kitchen
Pegao at Candela Latin Kitchen. Photo by Callie Sumlin

Candela Latin Kitchen

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $10–$15
Vibe: The colorful space and free-wheeling Latin American menu are pure fun

If you love tacos, this is the brunch for you. 10-month-old Candela Latin Kitchen serves its full roster of creative tacos for brunch—sweet plantains with roasted poblanos, anyone?—as well as a slew of special breakfast plates. The Canela Pancake is an spicy, cinnamon-y treat topped with a gloriously over-the-top scoop of charred-serrano-blueberry butter. Also worth your time: chef Jesse Vega’s Pegao, a classic Puerto Rican crispy rice dish with black bean purée and a runny egg. 1691 Central St., 303-477-4582

Death & Co.
Death & Co.’s zucchini bread waffle. Photo by Callie Sumlin

Death & Co.

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $7–$17
Vibe: The perpetually mobbed lobby of the Ramble Hotel takes on a hushed, relaxed tone during the morning hours

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Leave it to Death & Co. to devise the fanciest version of eggs Benedict in Denver: A Rosenberg’s onion bagel anchors the dish, which comes topped with chunks of king crab, trout roe, bearnaise sauce, and crème fraîche. It, along with a few other brunch items, are only available on weekends, but you can get DC/AM items (like the sweet zucchini bread waffle, pictured) seven days a week. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Corretto cocktail, which combines almond milk, amaro, vanilla, espresso, and a touch of sea salt. 1280 25th St., 720-330-2660

The classic old-fashioned doughnut is a brunch must-order. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Hedge Row

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $8–$15
Vibe: A something-for-everyone menu offered in a warm, stylish Cherry Creek space

You should go to Hedge Row in Cherry Creek for its superb, brunch-only, old fashioned cake doughnut, a perfect combination of crunchy-craggy nooks and outer edges, tender interior, and gossamer maple glaze. You should also go because Hedge Row, an “American bistro” from the Kitchen Restaurant Group, sports a menu that reads like a Who’s Who of Colorado agriculture, sourcing its greens, eggs, cheese, jam, beef, chicken, bacon, breakfast sausage, and bread from Centennial State producers. (And that’s just noting what’s called out on the menu.) But the best reason yet to go to Hedge Row for brunch: The cooks there know how to appreciate the aforementioned ingredients, turning out a simple, well-executed dishes like custardy scrambled eggs (from Wisdom’s Natural Poultry), sweet and savory toasts (with Grateful Bread loaves, including a decadent caramelized banana French toast that’s really more of a bread pudding), a glorious, juicy burger (made from Koberstein Farms beef), and several other items that will surely come to your table fresh, beautifully cooked, and consistently delicious. 100 Steele St., 720-642-8292

Julep’s classic fried chicken set up comes with biscuits, gravy, grits, and pickles. Photo by Denise Mickelsen

Julep

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $8–$25
Vibe: Superb Southern eats and cocktails on Larimer Street in RiNo

Kyle Foster’s upscale Southern food translates beautifully to brunch. Bourbon cocktails—from the namesake Juleps in their frosty silver cups to a nutmeg-laced, not-too-creamy milk punch—start your meal off right, as does a French press of Method Coffee Roasters brew. Ordering the ultra-fresh green salad, made with Rebel Farms lettuces, whole mint leaves, peas, strawberries, and chunky green goddess dressing is a smart move, if only to offset the incredibly buttery biscuits (a must-order) and Julep’s impeccable fried chicken (another must-order which comes in three styles: Nashville hot, with schmaltz waffles, or classic with biscuits and gravy). Or, order the chicken to take home for later—it’s perfect, even cold from the fridge—and go for the Southern version of a croque monsieur known as the Kentucky Hot Brown, a decadent open-face sandwich piled high with juicy smoked turkey and crisp bacon, blanketed by creamy colby jack Mornay sauce, and crowned with a dollop of tangy tomato jam (instead of traditional tomato slices). It’s a showstopper, as is Julep.  3258 Larimer St., 303-295-8977

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Señor Bear
Señor Bear’s “Comida completa” consists of two fried eggs, potatoes with huancaina sauce, chorizo, avocado, and tostones. Photo by Callie Sumlin

Señor Bear

Brunch Hours: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $10–$22
Vibe: Indulgent portions and free-flowing booze combine for a chef-driven yet relaxed brunch

It’s worth rearranging your weekend schedule to experience Sunday-only brunch at this LoHi pan-Latin eatery. Señor Bear’s brunch menu is anything but standard, with tempting options such as pork shank mofongo, chilaquiles, and a frita Cubana burger. Edmunds even manages to give the standard two-egg combo plate new life: The Comida Completa is a gut-busting mountain of food that includes two fried eggs, Dominican-style chorizo, potatoes with Peruvian huancaina sauce, sliced avocado, strips of fried plantain, and a fried jalapeño. A post-brunch nap is also worth fitting in, especially if you indulge in a frozen sherry cobbler (or two). 3301 Tejon St., 720-572-5997

There’s delicious doughnuts are filled with raspberry jam and lightly coated in cinnamon sugar. Photo by Callie Sumlin

There

Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $9–$17
Vibe: A docile LoHi crowd nursing hangovers in a quirky space with—what else?—more booze

There’s brioche doughnuts—simultaneously crispy and pillowy soft, oozing vivid red splooshes of tart raspberry jam—secured the LoHi restaurant’s spot on this list. In addition to those heavenly fried orbs, you’ll also find oysters by the half dozen served with yuzu soy sauce, lamb chorizo with eggs, and French toast made with massive slices of local Hinman’s Bakery bread. And the Apricot Crisp cocktail (apricot jam, lychee juice, Campari, and Prosecco) beats out a mimosa any day. 3254 Navajo St., 720-500-3254

The Way Back
Gravlax with greens, grains, and egg at the Way Back. Photo courtesy of the Way Back

The Way Back

Brunch Hours: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $9–$19
Vibe: Dark and elegant in the back dining room, with Tennyson Street people-watching in the more casual street-side bar area

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Everything is new for the Way Back these days: new digs, a new chef in Jon Lavelle, and, as of June 3, a new Sunday brunch menu that is sure to bring Berkeley residents running. Lavelle’s morning offerings underscore the fact that he knows just how to toe the line between fancy and unfussy, including everything from a classic Benny and superbly crunchy-juicy fried chicken with biscuits and pepper jelly to less familiar fare like pork and kimchi fried rice and pork hash okonomiyaki. Add in the Way Back’s legendary cocktail program—the Fluffers’ combination of Tequila Ocho, Aperol, Rocky Mountain orange cream soda makes it particularly perfect for day drinking, as it tastes like a bittersweet orange creamsicle—and you’ve got a strong new player in Denver’s brunch game. 3963 Tennyson St., 970-682-6888

Wendell's
Wendell’s Steak & Eggs Benedict. Photo by Callie Sumlin

Wendell’s

Brunch Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrée Price Range: $7–$15
Vibe: A hipster-approved reboot of a classic diner

This modern diner moved into the former DJs Cafe space on Tennyson Street in May, bringing a bright interior update and fresh new menu with it. Sit on its leafy, tranquil patio, sip a cup of local Method Roasters coffee, and debate between chef Chris Lee’s massive double-stack of vanilla bean-flecked pancakes or the New York Deli Benedict (poached eggs, Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen smoked salmon, and citrus hollandaise on a Rosenberg’s bagel). There are also lunch options like a burger and a kale cobb salad, if that’s more your wake up call. 3838 Tennyson St., 720-485-3901

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