A Taste of Colorado | August 31–September 2

This beloved Labor Day tradition at Civic Center Park is a gathering of favorite restaurants and food trucks serving up everything from festival fare (think: giant turkey legs and funnel cakes) to specialties like South African curry stews from Taste of Soweto and flaky Argentinian pastries from Lazo Empanadas. Enjoy full-size or sample portions of dishes while you get down to free live music from more than 25 national and regional artists. Free entry; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Monday, 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.

Colorado Sake House Anniversary Party | September 1

Toast to the one-year anniversary of Colorado’s only maker of fermented rice wine with sake bloody Marys, Peach Neguri mimosas, a live DJ, tons of giveaways, and a pop-up sushi bar from an Uchi chef. Fold your own origami creation to hang in the new taproom, too. Free; 3559 Larimer St.; 12–9 p.m.

Live Art Installation at Barcelona Wine Bar | September 1–2 

In alignment with the CRUSH Walls fest in RiNo, local chalk artist Laura Thomas will create a temporary installation on the sidewalk in front of Barcelona Wine Bar, which will also bring its Spanish cuisine outdoors by serving paella in the open air near the artist’s station. All day Saturday and Sunday; 2900 Larimer St.

Lady Gaga vs. Madonna Labor Day Brunch at Postino LoHi | September 2

Pop hits like “Crazy for You” and “Born This Way” are the perfect Labor Day brunch soundtrack, even if the singing stars are battling over Bennys. Mimosas, glasses of wine, and pitchers of beer are just $5; leotards, wigs, and face glitter are encouraged but not required. Pay a penny for a mimosa if you do dress up. 2715 17th St.; 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Denver Food & Wine Festival | September 4–8

Foodies can cross multiple items off their culinary bucket lists at this five-day bash, from al fresco Dinner Under the Stars on Liberati Restaurant and Brewery’s massive patio to a star bartender competition at Exdo Event Center to the signature Grand Tasting, when more than 40 Mile High City restaurants, including Bamboo Sushi and Woodie Fisher, prepare their best Mile High City bites. Ticket prices, locations, and times vary; full schedule here

Dessert’d: A Non-Expected Culinary Experience at Safta | September 4

Ben & Jerry’s sweet event series comes to Denver, presenting plant-based small plates and a dessert using the brand’s non-dairy flavors by Safta chef Alon Shaya. Tickets also include an all-you-can-eat spread of B & J’s non-dairy ice cream, and proceeds benefit the Shaya Barnett Foundation, committed to providing culinary education and resources to high school students. $15 in advance, $20 the day of the event; Safta at the Source, 3330 Brighton Blvd. #201; 6–8 p.m.

The Source Hotel & Market Hall Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary | September 5

Brighton Boulevard’s modern hotel-retail-restaurant baby, the Source Hotel & Market Hall, is turning one! Commemorate the occasion with free Chandon rosé (if you’re one of the first 200 people to arrive), let loose to tunes by Glovebox Money, nosh on party bites by the Woods, and sip on a birthday beer from New Belgium Brewing. Free entry; 3330 Brighton Blvd; 4–11 p.m.

Vinyl Bingo Wednesdays and Live DJ Saturdays at Rita’s Law | September 4–28

Sail over the mid-week hump by partaking in two rounds of patio bingo centered around what DJ Wes is spinning; prizes and rotating musical genres (’90s hip hop, ’80s pop) mean it’s going to become a regular outing. Return on Saturdays during happy hour for live DJs across a range of styles, including, of course, jazz—it is Five Points, after all. 2209 Welton St.;Wednesday bingo goes from 6:30–8:30 p.m., Saturday DJs spin from  4–7 p.m.

Chef’s Garden Patio Dinner—James Beard Edition at Urban Farmer | September 5

Urban Farmer’s Chris Starkus recently made his debut at New York City’s James Beard House with a menu anchored by Colorado ingredients, including heirloom produce he grew himself at his homestead Lost Creek Micro Farm in Lakewood. Denverites can experience the menu at this one-night-only affairs. Sake kasu–cured Colorado trout, fermented watermelon carpaccio, and Bootheel 7 Ranch 99-day dry-aged New York strip steak and steak tartare are just a few delicious dishes that will showcase the beautiful food grown right here at home. $185; 1659 Wazee St., 7–10 p.m.

Cidermass in Snowmass | September 7

Sample ciders from 30 producers from around the country, including our very own OG Colorado Cider Co., Washington’s Schilling Cider, and Vermont’s Stowe Cider, and participate in apple bobbing, eating cider donuts on a string (no hands!), and other giggle-inducing activities. $35 in advance, $45 the day of the event; 49 Village Square, Snowmass Village; 1–4 p.m.

The Lobby 10 Year Anniversary Party | September 7

The Lobby is throwing itself a birthday party, complete with live music by Part & Parcel and Emma Mayes & the Soul, lawn games in the courtyard, a $10 throwback menu, and extended happy hour specials. Celebrate the neighborhood joint by having a cocktail and some chicken and waffles in its lovely European-style courtyard. Free entry; 2191 Arapahoe St.; 2–6 p.m.

Westwood Chile Fest 2019 | September 7

This bash pays tribute to the Westwood neighborhood’s Hispanic population, with art, music, and dance events including a chile-eating contest and grub such as street-style tacos from Kahlo’s and Los Dulces Brewery’s chicha, a fermented South American sipper. Proceeds from the event go to the nonprofit Re:Vision, which works to provide the Westwood community with healthy, affordable food. 3738 Morrison Rd.; 12–7 p.m.

Frisco’s Fall Fest | September 7–8 

Snow-marbled Mount Royal and the Victorian storefronts along Frisco’s Main Street are the backdrop for this fun-for-all fest. Adults can enhance their collections with jewelry, pottery, paintings, and photographs by local and regional artists while the kiddos express their creativity through free art projects. The “Flavors of Frisco” event on September 7, from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., will feature samples from local eateries and a beer garden; don’t miss the Palisade peach bread pudding and whole roasted pig tacos from Bagali’s and Ein Prosit’s German sausages. A portion of the proceeds goes to Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. Free; 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Art District Fest | September 7–8

With a mission to build community and momentum for Denver artists and makers, this artsy affair takes place the second annual weekend of CRUSH Walls. Spend the day watching live painting and art demos hosted by Red Wolf Gallery, and check out exhibits by local artists and craft vendors. Hand-held bites from food trucks and craft beer and cocktails will also be available. Free; 2424 Larimer St. (next to the Ramble Hotel); Saturday, 12–10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Shakesbeer Presents: A Midsummer Night’s Dram at Seedstock Brewery | September 8 

The Wit’s Shakesbeer, a collection of artists who perform boozy adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, will perform a 60-minute adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Seedstock Brewery. The actors will imbibe before and during the show, resulting in a hijinx-riddled, LOL-inducing experience. Free; 3610 W. Colfax Ave., 3–5 p.m.

Bar Zero Zero-Proof Mix-Off Fundraiser at Dazzle | September 11

Elyse Kimmel from the Green Russell, Sebastian Zydek of El Five, and Chad Gray of Julep are among the eight bartenders who will shake up their best non-alcoholic cocktails at this Dazzle-hosted fundraiser. The competition benefits Bar Zero, a forthcoming restaurant and sober bar that offers job training to those in recovery and a community hub for those living on the wagon for any reason. Attendees will pick a people’s choice winner and savor appetizers by Dazzle chef Paul Rose. $40; 1512 Curtis St.; 7–9 p.m.

Breckenridge Wine Classic | September 12–15

The chance to taste samples from an international collection of more than 500 wines, beers, and spirits is just one tempting aspect of Breck’s signature foodie gathering. In addition to the grand tastings, be sure to attend a dinner series session, where local establishments like Aurum Breckenridge and Carboy Winery offer multi-course meals complemented by wine pairings from master sommeliers. Ticket prices vary; full event schedule here

Run for the Rosé at the Dairy Block | September 14

Most Chandon rosé garden parties don’t take place in an alley, but the Dairy Block has a very pretty alley. So head downtown and get a glass of Chandon Brut Rosé and passed appetizers from Brutø for $35; $90 will get you two entry tickets, plus a bottle and picnic board of snacks. 1800 Wazee St. (north side of the alley); 12–4 p.m. 

Woods Block ‘19 in Five Points| September 14

This neighborhood (but welcoming to all) block party will celebrate community, craft beer, and local nonprofit partner Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. There, you can drink limited release Woods Boos Brewing beers, listen to live music, and nibble on food from Carbon Cafe and Cluster Truck. All participating businesses will donate funds towards the completion of a VOC project; last year, the party proceeds allowed a team from Woods Boss to restore the Cherry Creek Natural Trail at Castlewood Canyon State Park. Free entry; 2200 block of California St.; 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 

Suave Fest at Steam on the Platte | September 14

The first Latino craft beer festival in the U.S. is being held in Denver, where pints from 10 local breweries will flow. Look for Dos Luces, Cheluna, and Lady Justice, to name just a few, as well as Latin food trucks galore. The fest also marks the grand opening of Raíces Brewing Co. (in the same space), heralding the arrival of the brewery, restaurant, and multicultural center that celebrates Chicano, Latinx, Caribbean, and indigenous roots (“raíces”). Tickets start at $45; 2060 W. Colfax Ave.  

“So, You Want to Throw a Cocktail Party” class at Poka Lola | September 14 

As part of Poka Lola Social Club’s bi-monthly cocktail class series, bartender Devin Chapnick will teach attendees how to make two cocktails that will dazzle guests at their next soirées. He’ll also school you on rums, liqueurs, fresh juices, and home-made syrups while students snack on nuts, olives, caprese skewers, French onion dip with crudité and ranch chips, deviled eggs, and Poka Sliders. $45; the Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, 1850 Wazee St.; 2–4 p.m.

Denver Pizza Palooza at Industry | September 14

There’s truly a slice for everyone at this fest championing the ultimate crowd-pleaser of the food world. Kids can play yard games like cornhole and chow down on plain cheese slices while more adventurous eaters seek out banana pepper or fig-and-prosciutto pies from restaurants like Crush Pizza and Marco’s Coal Fired. Three performers will cover the music bases, playing everything from today’s hits to throwback 90s melodies. Tickets start at $45; 3001 Brighton Blvd.; 1:30–9 p.m. 

Sloan’s Lake Fall Bazaar | September 14–15

Retail therapy, fall-themed games (football, anyone?), and beer and cider tastings may be the best way to welcome the changing seasons at Sloan’s Lake. Presented by Denver Bazaar, the market will have 100 vendors and fashion trucks and libations from Prost Brewing Company, Redstone Meadery, Blue Tile Brewing, and more. Free entry; 1565 N. Raleigh St.; 12–6 p.m.

Women’s Wine Guild of Colorado Website & Membership Launch Party at Noble Riot | September 16

Join the Women’s Wine Guild of Colorado for a night of networking and camaraderie. The nonprofit is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment where females in the food, wine, and hospitality industries can thrive, so head to RiNo to support their new endeavor. Of course, there’ll be wine selections from female winemakers and appetizers from Noble Riot and Nocturne, plus all the info you need to join via  the organization’s new website. Free; 1336 27th St.; 6–8 p.m.

Dining Out for Kids Day Fundraiser | September 17 

Satisfy your craving for a great meal and a fabulous cause on September 17, when more than two dozen restaurants donate up to 25 percent of their day’s sales to benefit children receiving care at Mount Saint Vincent, a treatment center for children with behavioral and emotional challenges due to mental illness, trauma, abuse, or neglect. Biju’s Little Curry Shop, Denver Biscuit Company, and the Way Back are among the participants. Locations vary

Denver E.A.T.S.S. Native Supper at Mile High Station | September 17

Epicurean Award to Support Scholars (E.A.T.S.S.) is a culinary showcase that gives patrons the chance to taste and learn about indigenous foods, with proceeds benefiting Native American students. Chef Ben Jacobs of Tocabe, a member of the Osage nation, will host the event, which also features specialties from Claire Westcott of Safta, Paul Warthen of Potager Restaurant, and Zachary Patzy of Il Posto. $55; Mile High Station, 2027 Colfax Ave.; 5:30–8:30 p.m.

5th Annual Food Fight for Scleroderma at the BAC Appliance Center | September 18 

Some of the best chefs and bartenders in the Denver area will come together to raise funds and awareness for the Scleroderma Foundation’s Rocky Mountain Chapter by competing in three categories—savory, sweet, and sip. Participants include Cindhura Reddy (Spuntino), Tim Ashbaugh (Colt & Gray, Saint Ellie), Sean Lauer (A Notte Denver, Hop Alley), and Anna Martinez (Temper Chocolates and Confections). Tickets start a $85; 1880 W. Oxford Ave., Englewood; 6–9 p.m. (VIP entrance is at 5 p.m.)

Gabby Gourmet Mexican Independence Day Dinner at Que Bueno Suerte | September 19 

Chef Ivan Ceballos, a native of Heroica Veracruz, Mexico, will craft a special four-course menu, pairing each dish with a Mexican wine. Expect culinary nods to the diversity of Mexico’s many regions, from a peach and watermelon gazpacho to “chile en nogada,” a traditional dish of poblano chiles stuffed with spiced shredded meats and fruits topped with a walnut-based cream sauce. $47; 1518 S. Pearl St.; call (720) 642-7322 for reservations; 6:30 p.m.

Fall Wine & Food Classic in Vail | September 20-21

The high country’s fall splendor will be on display as more than 30 of Vail’s finest chefs prepare their best dishes alongside nearly 50 vintners from the southern hemisphere. Events include a grand tasting and special brunches at Matsuhisa, Vintage, and on Vail Mountain, partnered with outdoor activities like foliage hikes and yoga in the park. Ticket prices vary; full schedule here

Pueblo’s 25th Annual Chile and Frijoles Festival | September 20-22

This autumn fest pays tribute to the harvest of one of southern Colorado’s most beloved crops: the Pueblo chile. Watch the jalapeño-eating contest and chihuahua parade, and try the Pueblo slopper, the town’s signature dish featuring an open-faced burger smothered in green chile and topped with raw chopped onions. $5 daily admission (children 12 and under are free); Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo; times vary

Denver Oktoberfest | September 20–22, 27–29

Stein hoisting, keg bowling, weiner dog races—there’s nothing average about this 50th anniversary party, one of Denver’s biggest beer events. A new addition this year: Purchase a pass to Rhein Haus’ beer hall for unlimited brews; a bottomless Bavarian brunch; all-you-can-eat bratwursts, spicy smoked brats, habañero cheddarwurst, and Polish kielbasa; and late night snacks (hello, German chocolate cupcakes). Entry is free but beer hall tickets start at $90; 2100 Larimer St.; times vary

Copper and Chords at Stranahan’s | September 21

This inaugural whiskey-themed music festival at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey will feature live performances from artists Gasoline Lollipops, Strange Americans, Kyle Emerson, Brianna Straut, and CITRA. Food truck fare, Stranahan’s whiskey drinks, and brews from New Belgium will give you all of the energy—and liquid courage—you need to dance the day away. $45; 200 S. Kalamanth St.; 2–8 p.m.

Rollin @ Rama | September 21

Learn how to make California, vegetarian, and specialty rolls at an interactive two-hour class at Sushi-Rama at Fitzsimons in Aurora. Every guest will take home a Makisu mat to put their new skills to the test. $30 plus tax and gratuity; 13650 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora; 11 a.m.–1 p.m. 

Vegan Autumn Celebration Dinner at St Julien Hotel & Spa | September 23

Boulder’s St Julien Hotel will ring in autumn with a vegan harvest dinner, featuring menu items that highlight the vegetables and herbs grown on-property and a cocktail reception in the garden. The dinner will be held on the terrace while the sun sets behind the Flatirons, and guests will be given seed packets to plant and harvest their own vegetables at home. $49.95; 900 Walnut St., Boulder; 5:30 p.m.

Cornucopia at the DaVita Village | September 25

Raise a glass to end hunger at Metro Caring’s fundraising event, which unites community partners who want to eliminate barriers and issues that impact thousands of Denverites. Tickets include drinks and food from new chefs who recently graduated from La Receta, an intensive training program run by Mi Casa Resource Center that teaches food entrepreneurs the necessary skills to be successful in running a food business. Tickets start at $75; 2000 16th St., 14th floor; 6–8:30 p.m.

Screening of Tempopo at the Alamo Drafthouse | September 28

Considered one of the best food films of all time, Tempopo is a comedic tale about a band of “ramen ronin” who guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe. The special movie screening is part of the preprogramming for the Flatirons Food Film Festival, taking place October 10–14 in Boulder. $12.50; 8905 Westminster Blvd., Westminster; 4 p.m

The Poke Bar Pop-Up at Exdo | September 29

Pokémon-inspired burgers, games, and beer, wine, and cocktails are the highlights of this one-of-a-kind pop-up. Put on that Pikachu or Charmander costume for the chance to win prizes, and test your knowledge of the Pokémon empire in trivia battles with other fans. $45; 1399 35th St.; 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m. 

Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July 2019 and is thrilled to oversee all of the magazine’s dining coverage. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.