A fancy French bistro and a rocking taqueria. A deli and a wine bar. Not one but two Israeli kitchens. These 10 restaurants couldn’t be more diverse — and they’ve all launched brunch service within the past few months, giving Denverites a myriad of new options for whiling away the weekend in style.Read More
The New Brunch Spots to Check Out in Denver
Where to make the weekend count
1. American Elm
Decked out in coppery and gray-black tones (not to mention wallpaper designed by the Beastie Boys’ Mike D), this urbane West Highland arrival provides a cozy Sunday retreat from the winter cold—for now. Come spring, though, half the neighborhood’s sure to be packing the spacious side patio to soak up the sun over marmalade-laced breakfast martinis and plates of funky, chunky deviled-egg toast or French dips on crusty bread with a heap of tots.
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2. Safta Restaurant
Leave it to Alon Shaya to unveil a Sunday brunch buffet laden with a mix of Jewish-deli classics and the Eastern Mediterranean specialties for which his smash hit at The Source Hotel is known. The prix fixe spread includes bagels with all the trimmings — lox cream cheese, smoked whitefish, pickled herring, capers and onions and more — alongside everything from shakshuka to the savory stuffed pastries called borekas to malabi (milk pudding); it does not include a spritz from the cart that makes the rounds with bubbly and fresh mixers, but the experience wouldn’t be complete without one. Prefer à la carte service? Come on Saturdays, when Safta supplements key items from the lunch menu with creations like baharat-spiced challah French toast in rose-tahini syrup and pastrami-egg sandwiches with gruyère and harissa mayo.
Awash in turquoise and pink, the dining room of this modern Israeli hot spot in LoHi has sunny brunchtime atmosphere to spare—and the menu only enhances it with its smart balance between comfort and adventure. Fried chicken and waffles get a makeover with falafel batter and harissa-spiced honey butter; bubbly saganaki comes topped with slices of duck prosciutto and a poached egg. And then there’s the smoked sable and everything-spice pita, a play on bagels and lox that chef-partner Daniel Asher waxed poetic about here.
4. Sassafras American Eatery, Highlands
If one old Victorian home is good, two is better: Hence the move of this enduring daytime favorite’s flagship location from Jefferson Park to the former Solitaire space in Highland. Though much larger, its new digs are every bit as warm and quaint as the original, complete with multiple garden patios upstairs and down. Of course the hearty, soulful Southern food hasn’t changed a bit either — from Louisiana-style standards like beignets and catfish po’ boys to creations such as chicken-fried eggs over bison hash, mac-and-cheese with pulled pork and collard greens, and the fried-green-tomato Benedict on jalapeño cornbread.
5. Woodie Fisher Kitchen & Bar
A historic fire station on the north edge of LoDo sets the stage for this stylish surprise of a New American kitchen. A soaring skylit ceiling and massive garage doors keep the sunlight streaming in; chandeliers made from old firehoses dangle above the retro-cool furnishings; and an olive tree grows in the middle of it all, making for the sort of open, airy atmosphere the brunch bunch craves. There’s plenty else to crave too: The Cognac-based Jump Street cocktail, containing maple syrup, orange juice, and bacon, is basically breakfast in a glass, while the lavender French toast, pastrami-Swiss flatbread, and Filipino sausage-and-egg fried rice offer sharp twists on daytime faves.
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6. Tessa Delicatessen
Upon opening Tessa in early November, owner Vince Howard told Eater he wanted it to be “that party brunch spot” that’s otherwise scarce in Park Hill and Montclair. Mission accomplished: His neighbors are already popping into the simple but spruce East Colfax storefront for such easygoing stuff as egg-and-bacon sandwiches with provolone and pesto on pretzel bread; lox toast with caper cream cheese; and weekend specials like sausage-kale scrambles with avocado and brussels sprouts. Making things even easier, there’s a playspace for the kiddos as well as bottomless mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar for their parents.
7. Ivy On 7th
Long-term locals are likely to recognize the name Rebecca Weitzman, a rising star in the mid-aughts who left town to make a name for herself in New York (not to mention on TV’s Chopped). Now she’s back with this light, bright Cap Hill charmer, which has been drawing crowds since spring with its easy-breezy breakfast, lunch, and brunch fare seven days a week: Think Monte Cristos made better with local ham, Brie, and apricot jam; steak and eggs dressed up with horseradish crème fraîche and demi-glace; and of course textbook avocado toast. (Note that the weekday and weekend menus differ slightly.)
8. Le Bilboquet Denver
What a place to people-watch. Unabashedly posh from the white tablecloths and zinc bartop to the splashy artwork and staff in vests and bowties, this outpost of one of New York’s flashiest magnets for Francophiles glitters with the silver and gold of Cherry Creek’s socialite throngs. Everyone here is living it up: The bubbly’s flowing, the table talk’s animated, and the food’s indulgent — classic croques monsieurs and crêpes Suzette on the one hand, specials such as cream of parsnip soup and omelets filled with salsify, spinach, and Swiss on the other.
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9. Postino Broadway
With their Lohi location now a neighborhood fixture, the Arizona-based restaurateurs behind this string of sociable wine bars decided to push their luck with an outpost in bustling Baker. Shrewd move: It’s a hit. Flamboyant, rainbow-hued modern decor sets the energetic mood. The kitchen gives the people what they want — not only just-fancy-enough brunch plates like salmon carpaccio with garlic yogurt or panettone French toast in lemon milk sauce but also the option to order off the regular menu, including the signature bruschetta. And as for beverages — Postino’s ultimate claim to fame is its all-day, everyday happy hour, featuring $5 wines by the glass and pitchers of beer until 5 p.m. Yes, even at peak brunchtime.
10. Cochino Taco
This already hopping new taqueria in Baker closely resembles its Englewood sibling in most respects: same kitschy-cool vibe, same freewheeling modern Mexican menu. But there’s one key difference: Bingo Brunch, a raucous weekend tradition that owner Johnny Ballen has resurrected from the old Squeaky Bean — bingo board over the bar, hosts ranging from comedians to drag queens, prizes, and all. Be sure to grab a game card at the host stand, because it’s going to take you a while to polish off that massive breakfast burrito or egg-topped chile relleno anyway, washed down with a $5 margarita on special.
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