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Denver’s newly designated Uptown neighborhood (the city dubs it North Capitol Hill) is a mishmash of old and new, characterized by longtime Denver standbys, brick rowhouses, picturesque places of worship, as well as trendy eateries, upscale condos, and patios a-plenty. A stone’s throw from downtown, this epicurean environ offers a relaxed but vibrant alternative to the chain establishments that line 16th Street.
Boundaries: Broadway to the west, 20th Avenue to the north, Park Avenue and Downing to the east, and Colfax Avenue to the south.
Who’s there: Young professionals hoping to live out a Friends fantasy, downtown’s lunch crowd, out-of-towners, any and all patio dwellers.
Main Drag: Most of the neighborhood’s hottest eateries, bars, and shops are located on 17th Avenue, but you can also find some offbeat treasures along Colfax Avenue.
Grub: Get your morning meal on at Fork & Spoon on the corner of Colfax Avenue and Logan Street. Homemade blackberry and peach jam, local Whiskey Barrel coffee and espresso, hollandaise made fresh by the hour, and an unpretentious atmosphere makes this spot perfect for shaking off sleepiness. Or visit Beast + Bottle, one of our 25 Best Restaurants, which offers a quaint farm-to-table brunch (pork galore) in a cozy building on 17th (they also serve dinner).
For lunch, combat the crowd that flocks from downtown and swing by Steuben’s for a substantial serving of urban comfort food (holy Monte Cristo sandwich), or hit up Park & Co for a no-nonsense beer and burger pairing (try the El Chilango). You can also visit Ace Eat Serve—part rowdy bar and part bustling Asian eatery—for dinner, drinks, and/or debauchery.
For a posh supper, check out Argyll Whisky Beer for British-inspired eats (don’t miss the Sticky Toffee Pudding) and peruse the largest whisky selection in Colorado. If tequila is more your style, try Margs Uptown’s specialty margaritas and their eclectic world tacos (we’re fans of the Korean pork). Not feeling exotic? Pick up some dinner makings at Marczyk Fine Foods, and snag some Colorado-made MM Local preserves or Ritual Chocolate to keep on hand, you know… just in case.
Sweet eats: Sweet-seekers everywhere rejoiced when D Bar re-opened in its bigger (and better) location on the corner of 19th and Pennsylvania last November. This trusted purveyor of all things sinfully sweet is responsible for many chocolate cake awakenings, but don’t forget to check out the equally tasty dinner and drink options.
Go artsy: Uptown’s intimate Leon Gallery’s monthly solo shows feature up-and-coming contemporary Denver artists. Located at the corner of 17th and Downing, the gallery also hosts musical guests and poetry readings. This month’s exhibition, Beautiful Pornography, reveals the vulnerable nude photographs of Scott D. Barman.
Get your funk on: The Denver Turnverein dance and cultural center, built in 1921, is a nonprofit dance organization that is home to Tango Colorado, the Colorado Swing Dance Club, the Rocky Mountain Swing Dance Club, and Salsa Central Denver. This regal building at 16th Avenue and Clarkson Street is a hub of the Denver dance community and offers nightly dance classes through the stately French doors of its main ballroom. Or snag tickets to a show at one of Denver’s iconic music venues—Fillmore Auditorium and the Ogden Theatre—both located on Colfax.
Pamper: After perusing Uptown’s many attractions, your sore tootsies may be begging for a pedicure at Woodhouse Day Spa. Housed in an elegant three-story building built for Senator Elmer Merritt in 1886, Woodhouse offers facials, massages, body treatments, and day packages. Ward off any post-gluttony guilt by dropping in to Samadhi Center for Yoga at 19th and Pearl.
—Photography by Sarah Boyum