Local culinary pros have made this weekend ritual more fun—and delicious—than ever before. From the tastiest fried chicken to the fluffiest pancakes, here, in no particular order, are our picks for the best brunch fare in the Denver metro area.

Editor’s Note: This is a living list that was last updated on February 10, 2023. Did we miss your favorite? Email us at dining@5280.com.

The Bindery | LoHi

The Bindery’s industrial-chic dining room. Photograph by Sarah Boyum

Cradling a porcelain mug of steaming joe inside the Bindery’s bright, bustling space on Central Street is a beautiful way to greet the day. The beans come from Denver’s Queen City Coffee Collective, which has been seducing local java lovers with its artisan, direct-trade coffees since 2007. The lattes, cortados, and house chais play well with chef-owner Linda Hampsten Fox’s roster of weekend brunch specialties. Get the aptly named You’ll Never Want Another Pancake Dutch Baby with Gruyére, River Bear ham, and mustard gelato and a side of straw potatoes (elevated hash browns) served with horseradish creme. Or try the breakfast carbonara, an eye-opener studded with bacon, pork belly, a sunny-side duck egg, and Parmesan. 1817 Central St.

City, O’ City | Capitol Hill

Vegetarian and vegan Denverites need not suffer through bland tofu scrambles and butter-free toast, thanks to Cap Hill’s hipster institution, City, O’ City, where the entire a.m. menu (served daily, not just on weekends) is plant-based-diet friendly. A meatless morning meal here looks like waffles with bourbon-brined chicken-fried cauliflower. Or a sardou, a rendition of the Louisiana-style breakfast dish presented with two eggs or tofu, grilled artichoke hearts, creamed spinach, and toasted almonds. There’s even a full bar to sate all of your kombucha mimosa needs. 206 E. 13th Ave.

Lucile’s Creole Cafe | Multiple locations

A plate of four beignets covered with powdered sugar at Lucile's Creole Cafe.
The beignets at Lucile’s Creole Cafe do not skimp on the powdered sugar. Photo by Ethan Pan

Outposts of this iconic Big Easy–inspired restaurant reach from Fort Collins to Littleton, with its newest location opening last May in downtown Erie. Regardless of which storefront you enter, though, you’ll always feel at home. Pair New Orleans classics like beignets and chicory coffee (a caffeine-free alternative to regular coffee with a similar but lighter aroma) for a quick and easy brunch. Or dive into the heartier shrimp and grits made with andouille sausage and red pepper, and upgrade to the jalapeño cheese grits for an extra kick. Denver locations: 275 S. Logan St., 2095 S. Ogden St. 

Urban Egg | Cherry Creek & Southmoor Park

A brunch assortment at Urban Egg.
The avocado and cheddar chicken melt, Fred’s Hawaiian pancake, and Rocky Mountain corned beef hash at Urban Egg. Photo by Ethan Pan

Open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (and 2:30 p.m. on the weekends), this daytime eatery offers a sunny atmosphere for early birds and night owls alike. The sweet-and-savory corned beef hash made with shredded potatoes, peppers, and a jalapeño bacon chutney is the perfect canvas for a runny yolk. Larger appetites can take on the massive avocado and cheddar chicken melt, stacked high with avocado, cheese, bacon, tomato, onion, and basil pesto aïoli. Wash it all down with a glass of the Cure juice: Depending on your hangover preferences, enjoy the vitamins from the pineapple, orange juice, and coconut water straight up, or add a shot of in-house pineapple-infused vodka for some hair of the dog, rightfully dubbed “the Cause.” 3033 E. First Ave., 6991 E. Belleview Ave.

Nurture | West Highland

Superfood waffles at Nest Cafe inside Nurture. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison
Superfood waffles at Nest Cafe inside Nurture. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison

Waffles can be finicky. They’re often too sweet, too mushy, too dry, or too plain. But Nest Cafe’s Superfood Waffles would be Goldilocks’ choice—and they’re ours, too. The firm-but-fluffy, gluten-free stackers are made with adaptogenics including ashwagandha and reishi mushroom powder, as well as health-boosting ingredients like cinnamon, lemon juice, and a blend of almond, tapioca, and rice flours. Piled with fresh banana, gooey berry compote, airy whipped coconut cream, and just the right amount of maple syrup, the dish is a breakfast indulgence that you can feel good about eating. 2949 Federal Blvd.

Split Lip | RiNo

When nothing but the crispiest, juiciest fried bird in town will do, mosy to RiNo’s Number Thirty Eight, where Split Lip has been slinging sandwiches and regionally inspired burgers since 2021. Grab a drink from one of the warehouse’s many drink portals and nosh on finger-licking specialties like the fiery-as-you-like hot chicken sandwich, which comes in your choice of sauce (if you’re a heat-seeker, go for the XXX) and layered with slaw and pickles. For those with a sweet tooth, the brunch-centric plate of fried chicken over a house-crafted funnel cake is an absolute must-try. Number Thirty Eight, 3560 Chestnut Place

The Original | Downtown

Tucked in McGregor Square, the Original offers an urban diner experience with a nostalgic twist. The breakfast and lunch eatery—which has an atmosphere inspired by vintage railway dining cars and 1950s-era diners—is an excellent place to indulge in classic and reinvented Americana cuisine. Start with the cinnamon croughnuts with crème anglaise then feast on the chicken fried steak smothered in classic white gravy with two eggs your way. Or try the duck fat matzo ball soup, a belly-warmer that’ll cure anything that ails you. 16th 20th St.

Stowaway Kitchen | RiNo

Inside Stowaway Kitchen. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison
Inside Stowaway Kitchen. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison

Stowaway Kitchen’s rotating toast is always a thoughtful nod to the best of the seasons and the creativity of its chefs. Prior iterations have included the sardine-topped Beans and ’Dines, and the current iteration of mushroom tartine is a sourdough showstopper slathered with deep pink beet hummus and piled high with sautéed cremini and oyster mushrooms, eggs of your choice, and almond dukkah (a roasted spice and nut blend). Don’t forget to grab a gluten-free cookie or brownie on your way out the door. 2528 Walnut St., Suite 104

Sullivan Scrap Kitchen | City Park West

Even though brunching at Sullivan Scrap Kitchen means technically eating leftovers—the underutilized ingredients from chef-owner Terence Rogers’ catering service, TBD Foods—the team’s commitment to sustainability and seasonal flavors make the dishes some of the best in town. Look for the smoked-trout-topped eggs Benedict, which are composed of toasted house bread, cured fish filets, local mixed greens, sous vide eggs, and fennel pollen Hollandaise sauce. 1740 E. 17th Ave.

The Bagel Deli and Restaurant | Hampden

A plate of matzo brew and an everything bagel with coffee for brunch at Bagel Deli.
An everything bagel and matzo brei at the Bagel Deli. Photo by Ethan Pan

Kick off a weekend of relaxation with the Bagel Deli’s unfussy food, casual ambience, and warm hospitality. Open since 1967, the restaurant boasts a menu chock full of Jewish deli delights, from the requisite bagels with a schmear to potato latkes and mile high pastrami sandwiches. Even simple preparations like the matzo brei, similar to scrambled eggs but with the unleavened flatbread mixed in, sing with a side of applesauce and honey. It’s fare that will warm you from the belly up. 6439 E. Hampden Ave.

Snooze, An A.M. Eatery | Multiple locations

French toast at Snooze an A.M. Eatery. Photo courtesy of Snooze

Snooze is one of Colorado’s most beloved breakfast and brunch destinations, as evidenced by the hours-long waits at Snooze outposts across the Front Range. From stacked Bennys and decadent pancakes to boozy cocktails, the Denver-born chain has all of the greatest hits of early day fare. Because Snooze is also committed to sustainability practices like earth-friendly packaging, carbon sequestering, and waste reduction, diners can indulge in the brûléed-banana-laden Funky Monkey French Toast and green-chile-smothered huevos tostadas while feeling a little less guilty about their impact on the planet.  

Apple Blossom | Downtown

The abundance of excellent choices on the menu at Apple Blossom inside the Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver—from corned lamb shank hash to a croque madame—make it difficult to settle on what to order. But skipping the buttermilk pancake is a crime. To make the beloved breakfast classic, executive chef Russ Fox cooks the vanilla-infused batter in individual skillets with plenty of butter on top of the stove and in the oven. The resulting masterpiece is the fluffiest, crispiest pancake you can get in Denver. Add the smoked duck ham for an extra-indulgent topper. 822 18th St.

Jelly | Capitol Hill & University

This charming breakfast-all-day restaurant is a local brunch classic for myriad reasons: from-scratch jams and jellies, strong coffee, and vintage-cereal-box-chic decor. But if we’re being very honest, it’s Jelly’s doughnut holes we love the most. Made to order and available in eight flavors—including crème anglaise, lemon-filled, maple bacon, and cinnamon sugar—each morsel is an ode to the glorious duo of carbs and sweetness. Bonus: Gluten-free doughnut bites are also available. 600 E. 13th Ave., 1700 E. Evans Ave.

American Elm | West Highland

American Elm’s biscuits and gravy. Photo by Patricia Kaowthumrong

An afternoon nap is always a welcome weekend highlight, and the biscuits and gravy at American Elm will knock you out in the best possible way. At the West Highland haunt, the diner-style fave is composed of two giant, flaky brown butter biscuits shrouded in chunky gravy flecked with River Bear American Meats sausage and accompanied by smashed tater tots. Ask for your spuds “Elm style”—entangled in smoked cheddar, pickled Fresno peppers, sliced scallions, and bacon bits—because sometimes brunch calls for something extra. 4132 W. 38th Ave. (Note: American Elm’s last brunch service will be on September 24).

HiRa Patisserie | Aurora

The Ethiopian breakfast platter at HiRa Patisserie. Photo by Patricia Kaowthumrong

Ethiopian native Hiwot Solomon debuted HiRa Cafe & Patisserie in 2019, introducing Denverites to the cake-and-coffee culture—and tasty breakfast dishes—of her homeland. At the small, light-filled, strip-mall spot, patrons can pair Solomon’s house-baked cakes with single-origin Ethiopian coffee, a tradition in cafes Solomon frequented in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital. But for a heartier early-day meal, we recommend the breakfast combo. The entrée comes with enkulal firfir, scrambled eggs cooked with diced jalapeño, tomato, and onion; chechebsa, pieces of flatbread seasoned with fragrant berbere, garlic, and fenugreek and drizzled with honey; and kwanta firfir, morsels of torn injera soaked in a berbere-zinged sauce and mixed with bits of beef. The shareable dish is a symphony of flavors and textures worth driving for. 10782 E. Iliff Ave, Aurora

Onefold | Uptown Area & Downtown

Onefold’s breakfast fried rice. Photo courtesy of Onefold

Until Onefold debuted its first location in the Uptown area seven years ago, fried rice wasn’t the first, or even second, thing we thought about when we contemplated a big, brunch-y bowl of carbs. But then we devoured a heaping serving of Onefold’s spectacular fried rice with lap cheong (Chinese sausage), and everything changed. The rice is toasted in duck fat—which the kitchen also uses to cook eggs and crispy hash browns—then seasoned with garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and a touch of chile oil. Garnished with sautéed slices of sweet, meaty lap cheong (or duck, ham, or bacon) and two fried eggs, it’s a satisfying surprise that we intend to eat on repeat. 1420 E. 18th Ave., 1919 19th St.

Tamayo | Downtown

Brunch at Tamayo is an epic affair, thanks to the 21-year-old modern Mexican restaurant’s legendary bottomless menu. For just $42, you can indulge in unlimited small plates and free-flowing cocktails, including margs, bloody marys and marias (a rendition of the classic with tequila instead of vodka), and mimosas, for two hours. Curate your own feast with shareable dishes such as pulled-chicken-stuffed flautas with crema fresca; crispy chipotle-zinged bacon; sweet and savory caramelized plantains; and Tajín-dusted seasonal fruit. The tres leches cake with raspberry sauce and toasted coconut is also worth saving room for. 1400 Larimer St.

Noisette Restaurant & Bakery | LoHi

The brouillade aux truffes at Noisette. Photo by Patricia Kaowthumrong

Chefs Tim and Lillian Lu are masters at preparing elegant, yet approachable French cuisine. On Sundays at Noisette, the husband-and-wife team extends their talents to brunch, when they offer freshly baked pastries and exquisitely plated breakfast specialties. We love the brouillade aux truffes, ultra-creamy soft scrambled eggs drizzled with chicken jus and showered with shaved Perigord truffles (it pairs perfectly with the crusty house-made baguette). Or go for the paleron de bouef au poivre, a flatiron steak presented on a bed of pepper cream with a side of crispy fries. 3254 Navajo St., Suite 100

Sunday Vinyl | Downtown

At Sunday Vinyl at Union Station, killer playlists and beverages are the heart of every meal, including brunch, when classic menu items receive refined makeovers (think: cacio e pepe crullers and eggs Benedict with brown butter hollandaise. The wine bar’s take on the mimosa—which is produced with Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, instead of Champagne or prosecco—is a case in point. Cava tends to have more balanced citrusy notes than its effervescent peers, making it ideal for pairing with fruit juices. Whether you choose to order your mimosa with orange, pineapple, or grapefruit juice, the cocktail may inspire you to reconsider your love for the cheaper, bottomless varieties. 1803 16th St. Mall

Garibaldi Mexican Bistro | Englewood

We’re not sure what we love most about Garibaldi Mexican Bistro’s breakfast burrito: the fillings or the value. Stuffed with freshly made scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, house-made green chile, and your choice of chorizo, sausage, or bacon, the tortilla-wrapped beauty only sets you back $8; and for just $1 more, you can get it blanketed with mild, pork-studded green chile. In addition to its excellent tacos and Aztec-style specialties, the burrito is just another reason this gas station joint is a charmer. 3298 S. Broadway, Englewood (attached to the Conoco)

Tangerine | Boulder, Lafayette, and Longmont

The corned beef hash at Tangerine. Photo by Gavin Harrison

Since chef Alec Schuler opened Tangerine in north Boulder in 2011, the restaurant has expanded its breakfast empire to Lafayette and Longmont. The generously portioned corned beef hash—peppered with giant chunks of the tangy brisket, bacon bits, strands of caramelized onion, and crispy, gently charred potatoes—is a staple at all three locations. Brimming with salty, fatty, and starchy flavors, it’s rib-sticking sustenance at its best. 300 S. Public Rd., Lafayette; 2777 Iris Ave, Boulder; 379 Main St., Longmont

Tessa Delicatessen | Park Hill

The egg sandwich at Tessa Deli. Photo by Patricia Kaowthumrong

At first glance, chef Vince Howard’s egg sandwich may look ordinary, but one bite will prove otherwise. The keys to the stacker’s magic include a jammy basted egg (cooked in hot fat), thick bacon, herbaceous pesto, melty provolone, and nutty arugula; the extra-squishy house-made milk bun doesn’t hurt either. There’s also an option with ham, scrambled egg, and cheddar on ciabatta. Both are priced at just $8, so you can easily add a $5 glass of wine or brew or $8 bloody mary to your order without breaking the bank. 5724 E. Colfax Ave.

Baba & Pop’s Pierogi | Aurora

Baba and Pop's
The loaded Buddy Mary at Baba & Pop’s Pierogi in Aurora. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison

The Buddy Mary from Polish restaurant Baba & Pop’s is best enjoyed with, well, a buddy (or several). The monstrous, 50-ounce fish bowl comes topped with everything you could ever want in a bloody—and maybe more. To get to the juice, you first have to maneuver around accompaniments like fried chicken kabobs, potato-and-cheese pierogi, an entire kielbasa sausage, bacon slices, and skewers full of pickles, olives, pepperoncinis, and cheese curds. At $48, this cocktail is practically a meal in itself, and one we’re happy to indulge in. 9945 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora

Zaidy’s Deli & Bakery | Washington Virginia Vale

When 35-year-old Zaidy’s closed in October 2020, it left a void in the Jewish restaurant scene. But in 2021, father-and-son duo Max and Joel Appel and local bakery pro Beth Ginsberg resurrected the popular a.m. joint, which the trio purchased from original owner Gerard Rudofsky. The new Zaidy’s is located on South Holly Street, where regulars gather once more for bottomless coffee, potato latkes, and of course, bagels. Our go-to order is the smoked fish platter with house-cured salmon, served with a bagel of your choice (go for an everything) accompanied by airy cream cheese, capers, tomato, onion, and coleslaw. This January, the new proprietors expanded the space to include more take-home options, so be sure to pick up a loaf of challah or container of matzo ball soup for later. 600 S. Holly St., Suite 114

Le French | Southmoor Park

The Poulet Pistou crêpe at Le French. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison
The Poulet Pistou crêpe at Le French. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison

At this four-year-old, Parisian-inspired bakery and cafe, Senegalese-French sisters Aminata and Rougui Dia dish out brunch comforts like perfect omelets, quiches, and tartines, and the can’t-miss fried chicken with yassa sauce (a Senegalese preparation of slow-cooked onion and lemon) over French toast. But when only a melt-in-your-mouth folded pancake will do, turn to the array of sweet and savory crêpes, which are naturally gluten-free. We like the Poulet Pistou, a bright, springy rendition stuffed with tarragon roasted chicken, plump cherry tomatoes, wilted baby spinach, basil pistou (a French pesto), and gooey Gruyère cheese. 4901 S. Newport St.

Pozole Rojo at La Diabla. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison
Pozole Rojo at La Diabla. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison

La Diabla | Ballpark

James Beard Award finalist Jose Avila dishes out traditional Mexican specialties like chilaquiles (tortilla chips simmered in a cheesy chile sauce) and huaraches (a masa flatbread topped with meat and eggs) at this humble pozoleria. To ease the sting of last night’s adventures, we recommend a bowl of spicy pozole rojo made with slow-simmered pork broth, topped with pork and crispy, thick-cut chicharrones. Also don’t skip the Blood In Blood Out michelada—a hair of the dog concoction made with a house tomato blend, tequila, and Modelo Especial that soothes even the sharpest of headaches. 2233 Larimer St.

Brunch for Every Occasion

We considered all the reasons Denverites go out for brunch in order to find the ideal spot for your occasion.

Hungry for Meat

Carnivores can revel in a menu full of meat at Bacon Social House, which serves flights of its signature slices, as well as bacon-laced bloody marys, BLTs, breakfast sandwiches, and salads.

Treating the Kids

Acova’s on-site playground is the ultimate kid-pleaser while the Highland eatery’s commitment to gluten-free fare gives all gluten-averse Denverites—and those who love them—reason to celebrate. 3651 Navajo St.

Entertaining the In-Laws

On Sunday mornings, bassist Matt Skellenger treats Breakfast on Broadway brunchers to original songs and Frank Sinatra classics (weather dependent; call 303-788-9998 to confirm). The cream-cheese-stuffed French toast tastes even better with tunes. 2901 S. Broadway, Englewood

Hungover and Bleary-Eyed

Head to Uptown’s Steuben’s to shake off what’s left of Saturday night with an order of Steubie Snacks (powder-sugar-coated hunks of crispy pork) and a fried-chicken-stuffed biscuit smothered in gravy. 523 E. 17th Ave.

Just Slightly Hungover

Hashtag’s libations—especially the Fruity Cougar, made with vodka, fresh berries, seasonal kombucha, and lime juice—and hearty hash with adobo-seasoned pork shoulder, roasted anaheim chiles, grilled onions, and ranchero sauce are the ultimate hangover-banishing combo. 10155 E. 29th Dr., Suite 120

Looking for Beer

Pair the brewed-on-site citrus-rich Broken Bridge Hazy IPA or the Bee’s Knees (raspberry honey blonde ale) with your chicken and waffles or whiskey-battered French toast at Briar Common Brewery & Eatery in Jefferson Park. 2298 N. Clay St.

In Search of All the Drinks

With a robust roster of house cocktails, craft beers, and wines—and dedicated frozen drink bar (the Big Chill at Wolf Bar)—it’s safe to say Avanti Food & Beverage in LoHi is the ultimate Sunday brunch spot for fashion-forward boozers. 3200 N. Pecos St.

On a Weekday

Die-hard brunchers can enjoy loaded waffles, open-face omelets, and signature breakfast sandwiches (go for the hot chicken biscuit) every day from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at one of two Early Bird locations. 11940 Bradburn Blvd., Suite 400, Westminster; 5425 Landmark Place, Suite 101, Greenwood Village

Read More

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The Best Over-the-Top Brunch Buffets in the Denver Area
The 10 Best Breakfast Burritos in Denver and Beyond
A Denver Brunch for Every Budget

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.
Ethan Pan
Ethan Pan
Ethan Pan is 5280’s assistant food editor, writing and editing for the print magazine and 5280.com. Follow his dining/cooking Instagram @ethans_pan.
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July 2019 and is thrilled to be overseeing all of 5280 Magazine’s dining coverage. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.
Riane Menardi Morrison
Riane Menardi Morrison
Riane is 5280’s former digital strategy editor and assistant food editor. She writes food and culture content. Follow her at @riane__eats.