The late night scene at some of Denver's iconic greasy spoon joints is unbeatable and so is that big fat burrito smothered in all sorts of spicy sauces soaking up the last five strong drinks of the evening. But a giant stack of pancakes in a bright orange and blue-hued room are a welcome sight for the bleary-eyed or perky morning person. There are four joints that diners seem to return to over and over again: Jelly, Syrup, Tom's Urban 24, and Snooze.
Jelly, the breakfast eatery that started in Capitol Hill, now has a Southeast outpost close to the University of Denver. That gives Denver more options to find the Jelly pancakes, benedicts, scrambles, sliders, and hashes. The retro interior's highlights are the old cereal boxes lining some of the walls and teacup chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. Don't miss the Jelly donuts which come in a variety of flavors from lemon, jelly, and cinnamon, to maple bacon, Bhakti.
Syrup, a new generation breakfast and lunch restaurant, also serves its guests from two locations- the original one in Cherry Creek North and a new Downtown addition. This eatery specializes in pancakes and waffles, which are available as free-standing entrees or flights, as well as house-made syrups that range from buttermilk, apple-cinnamon, and to seasonal ones like strawberry and apricot. Among the must haves, the Foster a dish made with your choice of pancakes, waffles or French toast, topped with bananas sautéed in vanilla-maple syrup.
Tom's Urban 24 is not quite like the other three in this group.
The space is modern and bright, large and colored in the trendy turquoise and orange common in several similar restaurants. The modern 24 hour diner that opened last fall in Larimer Square serves an expansive menu of anything from tacos to pancakes, pho to craft cocktails. The breakfast stays traditional but ethnic influences appear in many of the dishes. A crowd favorite: the lemon poppy seed pancakes.
Snooze is a phenomenon. The A.M. eatery that got its start on a very urban corner of the Ballpark neighborhood has built a cult-like following. No matter the day or hour or particular location, if the kitchen at Snooze is open, there is a line out the door. Always. What to get? Pancakes. In all sorts of forms from pineapple upside down to red velvet and sweet potato.
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