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At first glance, Edgewater—a less-than-one-square-mile town on the western shore of Sloan’s Lake—might not look like much. But the city is stocked with enough hidden gems to fill an entire stomach-pleasing, stress-assuaging day. We even drew up a schedule.
9 a.m. Griffin Coffee
The previous iteration of this shop, Coda Coffee, was mostly used for grab-and-go purposes. To create a stay-for-a-while vibe, new owner Peter Hanan, who bought the joint this past February, is building a serene backyard patio—ideal for sipping an espresso flight ($6) featuring three rotating small-batch varieties from local roasters. 5224 W. 25th Ave.
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9:30 a.m. Sloan’s Lake
Walk, jog, or bike along 2.5 miles of shady pathways as you watch kayakers and Jet Skis breeze by. Throughout the summer, the surrounding 177-acre park hosts myriad gatherings, including the Denver Sloan’s Lake Art & Music Festival (August 10 to 11), during which local makers hawk handmade goods like jewelry, accompanied by tunes from area acts like soul outfit the Hazel Miller Band. 1700 N. Sheridan Blvd.
10:30 a.m. Rupert’s at the Edge
This laid-back eatery is known for creative twists on standard breakfast fare. Take, for instance, the Southwestern eggs Benedict constructed with house-made green chile corn fritters and slow roasted pulled pork. Wash it down with a peppery, jalapeño-infused vodka Bloody Mary. 2045 Sheridan Blvd.
Noon. Happy Leaf Kombucha
A move from RiNo to Edgewater three years ago provided Happy Leaf, the first kombucha taproom in Denver, with a more family friendly space to make its probiotic-packed drinks—each flavored with fresh fruits, vegetables, or herbs from fair-trade or local distributors. Grab an orange and basil concoction and then spread out on the spacious front lawn to play one of Happy Leaf’s board games or jump-start your digestion by taking a nap. 5700 W. 25th Ave.
1:30 p.m. 40 West Arts District
While not technically in Edgewater, this walkable and bikeable arts corridor just over the border in Lakewood is worth the short journey southwest. Wander through four miles of galleries, interactive sculptures, and public murals, including a sidewalk painting that functions as a word search. 1560 Teller St.
5 p.m. US Thai Cafe
At this small hole-in-the-wall restaurant, chefs whip up flavor-packed cuisine, including the best massaman curry this far east of Bangkok. Get to the bustling spot early, though, as it doesn’t take reservations during peak hours and the line is often out the door. And be warned: Spicy means spicy. 5228 W. 25th Ave.
7 p.m. Joyride Brewing Co.
Sip a sundowner in the open-air tasting room or head to the new rooftop patio for views of Sloan’s Lake and the Denver skyline. Although the taps rotate weekly, you can’t go wrong with one of the four flagship beers—including the crisp, refreshing Ice Cutter Kölsch—many of which were concocted when Joyride was a homebrew operation in co-owner Grant Babb’s Edgewater basement. 2501 Sheridan Blvd.
On the Edge of Greatness
Edgewater stands to lose its overlooked status come Labor Day weekend, when 75,000-square-foot Edgewater Public Market opens. Thanks to the municipality’s special consumption statute, you can sip wine or beer from one of the food and shopping hall’s to-be-determined breweries and bars while browsing shops such as clothing boutique Velvet Wolf.