The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Double cheeseburgers layered with juicy smashed beef patties and tangy dill-pickle-flavored onions. Fluffy hoagie rolls stuffed with tender braised lamb, charred onion mayo, and arugula. Potato brioche buns piled high with chile-crisp-infused fried chicken thighs, ranch-dressed gai lan (Chinese broccoli) slaw, and pickled daikon radish. “We just want to have fun and do things that nobody else is doing,” says Cliff Blauvelt, chef-owner of Sunnyside’s eight-month-old Bodega Denver, who honed his craft at restaurants such as Steuben’s in Uptown and multiple locations of Tap & Burger for more than two decades. At his own spot, with the help of executive chef Jesse Moore, Blauvelt is taking sandwiches to a fresh level of irresistibility, as evidenced by the consistent line of patrons waiting to order at the fast-casual joint during lunchtime. Blauvelt and Moore’s creativity is also reflected in the eatery’s salads and sides, such as the mixed bag of fries. The medley of five types of crispy spuds includes sidewinders (S-curved taters), wedges, tots, sweet potato waffles, and straight-cut fries served with a green-chile-zinged sauce. Snag an order of the Holla Back dessert—griddled banana bread with maple butter and a walnut oat crumble—for a late-afternoon pick-me-up.