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No, you haven’t been transported via time machine back to the 1950s: Lowry’s former Air Force base is once again home to an officers’-club-style watering hole. The four-month-old restaurant and bar tips its captain’s hat to the base’s original era with a posh combination of gleaming blond wood, studded black leather accents, Edison bulbs galore, and even a baby grand piano. Chef-proprietor Sterling Robinson (of adjacent North County) serves crowd-pleasers like a towering bacon double cheeseburger and crab cakes so meaty they barely hold together. There are also lighter options, including a gorgeous spread of seasonal crudités with spicy hummus. As long as you’re not bound for the cockpit—er, driver’s seat—try a few of the excellent cocktails, which include several riffs on the old fashioned and the aptly named Flyboy (gin, crème de violette, and lavender syrup). 84 Rampart Way, 303-284-0714
This adorable Lakewood restaurant advertises “food like Grandma’s.” Provided your grandmother is A) German and B) a gifted cook, then the tagline rings true. Jovial owner Gaby Berben, a Deutschland native, delights in welcoming guests into her black-and-white-tiled dining room for big bowls of cheesy spätzle or juicy bratwurst with sauerkraut. She specializes in soups and desserts, which change by the week, if not by the day (recent selections included iced tomato soup and decadent Sachertorte). It’s worth planning your visit around the recurring specials—schnitzel on Saturdays and Sundays, potato pancakes on Tuesdays. But if you want the complete Oma experience, show up on “chef’s surprise” Thursdays, when Berben, like any grandma worth her ‘kraut, will decide for you. 245 S. Harlan St., 720-329-8188
Got “taiyaki”? As of April, Aurora does—at a little dessert shop called Snowl, where the hollow, waffle-esque, fish-shaped Japanese cakes are lined with sweet red bean paste or Nutella and then filled with (or placed in a bowl alongside) your choice of vanilla, matcha, honeydew, milk tea, or taro soft-serve. Snowl also sells boba drinks, which range from slushies to milk tea to blended frappés, along with its signature snow bowls. The latter—mountains of flavored shaved milk enshrined in a landscape of toppings—are wonderful for sharing. But such treats aren’t the only sweet things about Snowl: Its fluffy cloud pendant lights, cushy chairs, and exposed brick make it a comfortable, cheerful spot in which to hang out and indulge. 1930 S. Havana St., Unit 5-6, Aurora, 720-542-9902