February 9, 2019

A Complete guide to Denver Colorado

My friend Ilana and I were hanging out one day and spur of the moment decided we HAD to go to Denver. She is a fashion historian and caught wind of the Dior exhibit that’s at the Denver Art Museum until March. We literally got to planning our trip the next day!

I highly recommend staying at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco. It is centrally located with a ton of walkable sights and eats. From the gorgeous aesthetic of the lobby and the guest rooms, to the luscious bedding, and cozy feel — I will definitely be staying at this beautiful place again. Oh, and the room service was exceptional — makes sense because the food is made downstairs at Panzano (more on this delicious authentic Italian restaurant next), be sure to order the eggs Benedict. The staff is seriously wonderful as well, but our favorite was the concierge, Paul. He literally became our bestie the whole trip!

Let’s grub!

“Offering the best in contemporary Northern Italian cuisine with a focus on local, seasonal and organic ingredients, Panzano delivers unparalleled service and an award-winning wine list in a spectacular urban setting in downtown Denver. It’s no wonder Panzano has been awarded 4 diamonds by AAA and named one of Zagat’s best restaurants in America.”

What we ordered

Gluten Free Foccaccia, Brussels Sprouts, Foie Gras Macaron, Beet Salad, Bucatini, Lamb Chops, Fazzoletti, Tiramisu, Chocolate Budino, and Cannolis


CASTELLO DI VOLPAIA “CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA” 2014 Sangiovese Blend Chianti Classico Tuscany — I had to order this wine because I toured the little town it’s made in while I was traveling around Tuscany lat year! What a fun taste flashback!

ORIN SWIFT “8 Years in the Desert” Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah

Details on what you’ve got to order

CAVOLINI DI BRUXELLES fried brussels sprouts, apple cider reduction, pistachios, rosemary salt, sliced green apple

INSALATA DI BARBABIETOLA baby​ beets, smoked ricotta, charred carrots, toasted hazelnuts, pickled vegetables, baked citrus meringue

AGNELLO CHOP colorado rack of lamb, seasonal mushrooms, brussels leaves, cured pancetta, ricotta-lamb croquettes, whole grain mustard jus

PEPE NERO FAZZOLETTI (gluten free) black pepper fazzoletti, butter poached lobster, basil pesto, black garlic coulis, parmesan crisp

TIRAMISU Espresso,​ lady fingers, amaretto mascarpone, cocoa

And of course I had to test out their Old Fashioned. I approve!

Safta brings you on a journey through food and beverage which pays homage to the culinary landscape of Israel. With influences that stem from the Middle East, Europe and North Africa, this menu reflects a collection of moments where food and culture have crossed paths, offering a taste of an ever-evolving cuisine. Wood fired pita bread baked steps from the table will soak up the flavors of Israel, Bulgaria, Yemen, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Palestine and Greece.”

Quite possibly my favorite meal of the trip, but it’s hard to say for sure because every place was so wonderful in its own right!

What we ordered

Pickles, Labneh, Cauliflower Hummus, Falafel, Shakshouka, Halloumi Cheese, Latkes, and LOTS OF PITA (made with a 100 year old starter)


THE FIG PICTURE bourbon, fig, byrrh, lemon, egg


Details on what you’ve got to order

LABNEH pink peppercorns, olive oil, shallots

CAULIFLOWER HUMMUS Yemenite curry and onions

FALAFEL tahini and herbs

HALLOUMI CHEESE apple butter, urfa chili, fennel

LATKES (not seeing them on the current menu, but if you see them, ORDER)

The Family Jones — part distillery, part restaurant — if I lived in Denver I would definitely make this one of my regular spots. Since they distill all the spirits they use for the cocktails, the taste and balance of the drinks are on point. We took a tour upstairs and got the inside scoop on all the experimental flavors going on up there. We were thourougly impressed by the food too!

What we ordered

Salmon, Pumpkin Fondue, 48 HR Beef, Pineapple Pork, Ice Cream Sandwich


FLIGHT a sample of all of the spirits they distill for just $7!

COLORADO SOUR stopgap bourbon, jones house amaretto, lemon, egg white

THIEF IN THE GARDEN stopgap rye, carrot, ginger, tumeric

& a cocktail that the mixologist made up for me that was basically a Palo Santo flavored Old Fashioned (I still dream about it!)

Details on what you’ve got to order

ROASTED PUMPKIN FONDUE gruyère, white cheddar, parmesan, apples, beets, croutons, gremolata

48HR BEEF raclette crackers, roasted potato, oyster mushrooms, chimichurri, smoked kewpie

RUM RAISIN ICE CREAM ginger snaps, candied walnuts

You can also schedule a guided tour and tasting at their distillery location in Loveland, Colorado.

“We know from experience that there is nothing more satisfying than that first bite of a truly great pizza: the crunch and chew of the perfect crust, the sweetness of the sauce, the earthy aroma of basil and the salty taste of fresh mozzarella that lingers for just a moment on your tongue. At Marco’s Coal Fired we want to bring that feeling to you, which is why we’ve worked hard to bring you the finest ingredients like Antico Molino Caputo ‘00’ flour, tomatoes from the San Marzano region of Italy, cheeses from the Italian countryside and fresh produce from Colorado.  Our pizzamakers were trained by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napolitani, a group of Pizzaiuoli that are regarded as the best in the world.  Our restaurant is certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the only VPN certified pizzeria in the State of Colorado.  All in an effort to bring you the authentic pizza of Naples, the birthplace of pizza!”

What we ordered

Arugula Salad, Limoncello Chicken Wings, Meatballs, Eggplant Rollatini, Del Re Pizza, Cacio e Pepe PizzaNutella Pizza


MOBSTER’S BETTER HALF Caorunn Gin, Aperol, St Germain, and Lime Juice. Shaken and Served Up with a Flamed Orange Garnish

MARCO’S OLD FASHIONED Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Honey Simple Syrup, Angostura Bitters, Orange Bitters. Served on the Rocks with an Orange

Details on what you’ve got to order

*Note: they have gluten free crust that is phenomenal!*

EGGPLANT ROLLATINI Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella, Ricotta, San Marzano Tomato Sauce

DEL RE PIZZA Fresh Mozzarella, Truffle Cream Spread, Mushrooms, Prosciutto di Parma, Fresh Basil, EVOO

CACIO E PEPE PIZZA Bechemel Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Caciocavallo, Pecorino, Porchetta, Butcher Black Pepper


“A clandestine drinking spot revived from the ruins of the former Cherry Creek Post Office. Born of the glory and prosperity of the decades following WWII in America, and America’s greatest generation, B&GC is a celebration of the type of cocktailing and revelry often reserved for the elite, wealthy and powerful. B&GC inspires a time and place thought to be lost to the ages. Each sip is an experience, and each tipple filled with the titillating promise of exhilaration. Welcome to our little hideaway.”

What we ordered

Marcona Almonds, Deviled Eggs (Order both!)


SALARY MA’AM Suntory Toki Whiskey, Naked Grouse Scotch,
Rhine Hall Pear Eau de Vie, Elderflower Tonic, Pink Peppercorn, Rose

& they make delicious virgin drinks if you’d like to go down that avenue!

“We serve all needs to all people. We’ve got breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, patio, specialty coffee, and a craft beer, wine and cocktail bar. Eclectic and repurposed decor, fun and friendly staff. Whether you need a latte at 7am or a whiskey at 1:30am, we are here for you. We use local produce whenever possible, and even have our own urban micro farm which provides much of our produce in the summer. We pair with other local vendors, from coffee to beer to cheese, to ensure their success as well. We support local artists by having monthly in-house gallery shows, and we are often feeding travelers such as musicians, poets, politicians; the doers and makers of the world. come be a part of our community!” — City O’ City (a great vegetarian option!)

What we ordered

Curried Carrot Soup, Chicken and Waffles, Biscuits and Gravy

Details on what you’ve got to order

CHICKEN AND WAFFLES waffle with bourbon-brined chicken-fried cauliflower, bourbon maple syrup, chive creme fraiche and carrot bacon

Corvus Coffee: “We work directly at origin to purchase coffee, and develop programs with farmers to improve quality. Each farmer has their own unique needs and barriers to better quality, and working with them in person allows us to understand them and support their individual goals. We focus on quality because we believe it is the most tangible asset a farmer can possess, and the key to sustainability…Our Flagship espresso bar and roast works is located on S. Broadway just south of downtown Denver, Colorado. Our goal here is to provide a platform where excellent coffees can be showcased with attention to detail.”

I got the cold brew with some sort of cherry bitters. Ilana got a latte & we both enjoyed our scones — one of them was gluten free! This is a great spot to stop by for a quick bite or hang out and enjoy it in house!

Little Man Ice Cream: named after founder Paul Tamburello’s father, Peter Tamburello (nicknamed Little Man). Although small in stature, he was big in heart and making a difference in the world was his legacy. Little Man Ice Cream is Paul’s way of keeping his father’s legacy resilient. Inspired by vintage Coney Island hot dog-shaped stands, business is conducted within a twenty-eight foot tall, 14,000 lb. cream can. Little Man Ice Cream is all about the EXPERIENCE!”

I got a scoop of Banana Pudding and a scoop of Cookie Dough in a waffle cone. I don’t think you can go wrong at Little Man!

The Rackhouse: “As the tasting room for two of Denver’s premier booze producers, Bierstadt Lager and C Squared Ciders, The Rackhouse creates a unique dining experience by placing you in the middle of our 21,000 square foot production facility. We are bringing you the freshest, most well-built Lager and Cider in the city, all while providing a unique dining experience where you feel like a part of the production process.Our menu, is based on the brewed-food movement and capitalizes on our unique relationship with our in-house production partners. We have cocktails and wine if that’s your thing and a ton of games and activities in our Beer Hall that can host events accommodating up to 300 people.”

I got an Old Fashioned & the Rackhouse Hot which is basically a fried chicken sandwich with slaw and pickles! SO GOOD! This place reminds me of Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles — great for big groups and activities!

Union Lodge No. 1 is a Denver specialty cocktail bar that stands as a tribute to the true American bars of late 19th century, and celebrates the art of crafting specialty cocktails. Step through our doors to enjoy a libation of the highest caliber, and be transported to a time before prohibition, where the creativity of barmen flourished. Our expert bartenders apply their passion and years of experience toward creating specialty cocktails, reminiscent of the masterpieces of the pre-prohibition era. We are proud to bring the specialty cocktail movement back to its origin, and celebrate the rich history of crafting superior drinks.”

I love the cozy vibe of this place. We all ordered different cocktails and loved them. I didn’t snap a photo, but trust me, check this place out!

Let’s Explore!

Denver Art Museum: We only checked out the Dior exhibit but it was phenomenal and I imagine that any exhibit here is worth seeing!

Regal Vintage: If you’ve been following along for awhile, you know that I love thrifting and vintage! This place has items dating back to the 1890s all the way to the 1990s! I love how everything is organized by eras, meaning I can walk in and go straight to the 60s and 70s sections! You can see the 2 items I picked up above!

Rockmount Ranch Wear: “Jack A. Weil “Papa Jack”, founded Rockmount Ranch Wear Mfg. Co. in 1946. He was the oldest CEO in the world, working daily until age 107. He is to Western wear what Henry Ford is to the car. Papa Jack made the first Western shirts with snaps and is key to popularizing Western fashion. He was also the first to commercialize bolo ties.”

When you think of western wear you’re probably picturing one of Rockmount’s shirts. I picked up a dark denim version for myself!

Red Rocks: Whether you visit for a hike or for some live music, you’ve got to make the trip! It’s just a 20 minute drive from Denver. I am happy to say I bought tickets to two shows coming up this year, so I will definitely be spending some more time in Denver very soon!

I was seriously blown away by the food, the vibe and the kindness of everyone in Denver! I couldn’t have pulled off this wonderful trip without the help of my friend Ilana! She will be joining me later this year for a road trip to head back to Denver for those aforementioned shows at Red Rocks!

Have you been to Denver? I would love to hear the spots that you love below in the comments!

Happy Travels,

Corey, Miss Foodie Problems


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Born and raised in Los Angeles, I love to have a home base in such a food-focused city. Whether I am traveling out of the country, around the US, or exploring the culturally diverse expanse of LA I feel at home while meeting new people, eating new foods, and expanding my outlook!