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Looking for some Denver Recommendations

Hi Denver Chowhouds!

I'm looking for some recommendations in Denver. First, I'll give you some details that might help in what we're looking for. We're a group of 8 guys from Toronto, average age of 40, coming to Denver in the early fall for a Broncos game and hopefully some golf. We'll be staying at the Sheraton downtown but don't mind cabbing it to get around. We are looking for the following:

1) A great Steakhouse, preferably not a chain. Don't mind spending upwards of $140 pp for a great steak and a few drinks.

2) Breakfast spot - must be walking distance from the hotel, quick service and must have great coffee.

3) Brew pub - I've heard that Denver is famous for their brew pubs and beer. Good food would be a bonus. Walking distance to the hotel would be nice but not necessary.

4) Sports bar - Multiple tv's & games to watch would be good. Good food would be a bonus (if one of the brew pubs carries the games, that would work). walking distance would also be a bonus.

5) Anywhere else that is a must try.

On a non-food related point, any golf course recommendations? Also, does anyone know of a car/van service that we could hire to shuttle us around to golf/dinner etc..

Thanks and look forward to the responses.

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  1. Steakhouse:
    Elway's Downtown in the Ritz-Carlton at 18th and Curtis:

    Ideas for brew pubs/sports bars:
    Wynkoop Brewing Co. at 18th and Wynkoop
    Lodo's on Market
    Breckenridge Brewery on Blake

    1. A few suggestions:
      For breakfast, I like Snooze. If you factor the 16th Street shuttle in, the walk shouldn't be too bad (7 blocks). http://www.snoozedenver.com/index.html

      While not technically a brewpub, Falling Rock Tap House has the most diverse beer list in town. http://www.fallingrocktaphouse.com/

      As for golf, I think Arrowhead Golf Course is a great experience for someone visiting the area. As far as transportation goes, I would check with your hotel. http://www.arrowheadcolorado.com/arro...

      1. Nearly everything in downtown is within walking distance of the Sheraton if you use the free 16th Street Mall shuttle.
        1) I would send you to the original Elway's in Cherry Creek for a steak, it's a much better scene for 8 guys from Toronto whose average age is 40.
        2) Hard to beat the breakfasts at Dixons at 16th and Wazee and the Starbucks coffee they serve is very good.
        3) I second the vote for Wynkoop Brewery, Denver's oldest brewpub.
        4) If you don't want to go to Lodo's for sports, the ESPN Zone has 3 million tvs.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Pastajohn

          OK, PJ, you may have to unpack some of your statements for me. Why is the 1 Elway's better than the other for 40-yr-old Torontans? Also Dixon's is a Racine's relative, correct? "Hard to beat" in what sense? I kinda get a kick out of Racine's but I wouldn't call it top of its class.

          What about Sam's No. 3? I've seen praise, but I'm not sure it's been on this board.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Sams does a better than average breakfast, but their coffee is subpar and their Mexican offerings get high praise on this board for reasons I haven't comprehended.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              Although I just looked at the Dixon's menu and that "breakfast salad" sounds really intriguing. Anyone had it?

              1. re: tatamagouche

                Elway's in Cherry Creek has a vibrant bar scene with a mixed crowd of men and women that I thought might appeal to a group of 40 year old Torontan men. Sitting at a high top table in the bar is like watching a movie.

                Dixons is Racines sister restaurant and serves good, straight-ahead breakfasts - no rhubarb pineapple upside down pancakes or truffled scrambled duck eggs with purple Peruvian hash browns. But most importantly, the request for great coffee spurred its recommendation.

                I like the vibe at Sam's #3 but have never been impressed by the food and they definitely have mediocre coffee.

                1. re: Pastajohn

                  Ha, I guess I thought you were saying something about Torontans in particular. Yeah, so it's a pretty funny pick-up scene?

                  Well, I'll have to try Dixon's breakfast salad, b/c what I like best about that group is their salads.

                  Although I have to admit the froufrou dishes you describe sound awesome to me!!

            2. Chowhound has a very narrow mission--where to find deliciousness. General travel planning questions, like where to stay or what else to do while visiting a town, are off topic for our boards, as are golf course recommendations. Please keep your replies focused on helping the poster find great chow, as we've had to remove some off topic suggestions.


              1. i cannot comment on steakhouses or breakfast places....

                1) I have never been impressed with steakhouses.... all the same to me (overpriced and overrated). for proximity palm, chop house, keg are all close. if you guys want a good "co" cexperience the fort might be a good "night out." bit of a drive from lodo, but imo more authentic than what steak houses offer

                2) i am a night owl and rarely go out for breakfast..when i actually have a breakfast we dine in (i'll make it)

                3) if you are looking for a "denver experience," i like wynkoop and flying dog. if you guys want to sample a wide variety of bier... i go falling rock (this is where i take my friends that come into town who like bier).

                4) while i am not a huge fan of the prices, espn zone will give you all the games on misc sized screens. jackson hole is more my style for watching games.

                5) rio for margaritas, a rockies game if they are in town for your trip, brother's bar, illegal pete's for good, cheap burritos.

                1. Breakfast - definitely try Sam's #3 for fantastic breakfast burritos, green chile, greek breakfast items, everything else (ha ha - it's a diner so they have EVERYTHING) and great coffee (I'm not sure what people think is subpar or just ok about their breakfast - I've been eating there for 10 years and I've NEVER had a bad meal and I would eat breakfast foods all day if I could!)
                  Brewpub - your best bet for downtown would be Wynkoop and their food is good
                  I would also recommend Falling Rock Tap House because they have SUCH a huge selection that it's like going to all of the breweries in Colorado in one stop!
                  I can't help you with steakhouses because I don't eat red meat.
                  A great pub downtown (I think they have TVs in there??) is Celtic Tavern - great beers on tap and really good food. Their fish and chips is one of the best in town!

                  My husband was born in London, Ontario and a huge Maple Leafs and Toronto fan in general. Maybe I'll look you up if we end up going to Toronto in October? Have a GREAT time in Denver! It's a great city and just a warning...the football fans can be crazy sometimes.

                  1. The other thing you should add to your menu of dining pleasures is one really good Mexican meal as Denver has some of the best in the U.S. As a Colorado native who has been transplanted to the SE, I cannot get the great, smothered burritos and chile rellenos that I used to. One of our favorite joints when we get back home is Moose Hill Cantina in Lakewood on W. Colfax Ave. Yum! The reason the other blogger told you to go to the Elway's in Cherry Creek, is that it is a HUGE cougar hang-out. Another good golf choice for a public golf course that is close-in and really pretty is Fox Hollow - also in Lakewood. Have a great visit!

                    1. I'm not much for steak, but the carnivores in my family LOVE Sullivans Steak House. And I must admit, the old-school ambiance is nice. They have oysters and lobster and martinis as well.

                      Wynkoop is a good brewery with some nice menu selections. I've heard good things about Falling Rock too.

                      The Fort is a quintessential Denver thing to do. The setting is beautiful (an old adobe building in the foothills that looks over the city) and the food is very unique ... game meats, rockymountain oysters, etc. and awesome mint juleps (and other "cowboy drinks" as my dad calls them).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jesser

                        Forgot about The Fort - yes, it's another Denver institution. Start the evening with a bottle of Tomahawk Champagne (yes, they literally slice the top off the bottle of champagne) and enjoy the amazing view and very unique menu. Another fun place is the Buckhorn Exchange, much closer to Downtown. Great steaks and the room is filled with all different animal mounts. Fried Rocky Mountain Oysters a hit here too.

                        1. re: atlantachowhound

                          If you like to look at MULTIPLE animal carcasses on the wall (including a bear cub), then Buckhorn Exchange is the place for you. I went last month and was horrified and besides that, the food is NOT worth the price tag. Skip it.

                          1. re: Heyteacher

                            If you DO like to be surrounded by what are genteely called trophy animals, Buckhorn IS a genuine institution (holder of liquor license #1). Go there for a drink, but as suggested, don't bother eating there. It's a quick light rail ride from downtown

                      2. Before Elway's (have not been, and it was not open, when we lived and dined there), the best steak house was Del Frisco's in Greenwood/Denver Tech Center area. Yes, it is a mini-chain, but is (was) the best.

                        Wynkoop, as has been commented on, is a good brew-pub. There are several others, that differ only by the brews on tap.

                        Sorry, but we never did "sports bars," so no comment there.

                        As some have stated, The Fort is a unique spot, and well worth the trip out to Evergreen. I still have fond memories of the peanut butter stuffed jalapeƱos - do not be put off by the name. The food was always good to great, and the service, plus the history lesson, was not to be missed. I hope that they have not changed since we left.


                        4 Replies
                          1. re: alpine chef

                            Right you are. Just been too many years, and the gray-matter does not function so well, any longer.

                            Thanks for the correction,

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              not nit-picking, and normally wouldn't have said anything....just stated that because it would shave 15-25 min off the drive from downtown and wouldn't want that to be a deterring factor.

                              1. re: alpine chef

                                No, you made the correct call. If I had thought a bit more, I might even have realized my mistake, but we'd been in the air for 10 days from one coast to the other, then back, so I plead "jet-lag," and a bit of old age too...

                                Considering the drive-time element, the OP should appreciate your comments. I know that I would.


                        1. Steuban's for breakfast. on 17th Street, not a far walk from your hotel. It has an old school diner ambience in a very mod kind of way. The food in sensational (my husband loves the Chicken Fried Steak, and I usually go for the Basic or Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel . . . although the cast-iron skillet french toast is phenomenal, just a little small). Don't miss this Denver gem!

                          Sports bars. Across the street from Steuban's is the Uptown Tavern and they have a bunch of tvs always playing sports. They also have an outside patio that is sensational and there are tvs out there as well.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: leahjensen

                            I love the whole package that is Steuben's. The bartenders are a delight. I wouldn't agree that the food is sensational though. I'd leave it at "solid."

                            1. re: tatamagouche

                              My meat-and-potatoes husband might also characterize Steuben's as "sensational" (if he were the swooning type, he would have swooned over the gravy). But I'm more in your camp, Tatamagouche, and call it "solid." In fairness, I had the chili relleno, which I did like a lot, but it was a bit more yuppified than the all-Amer comfort food for which they are known.

                              1. re: ClaireWalter

                                just seeing these again and wanted to clarify. I really only think that the breakfast is "sensational" everything else is "solid."

                          2. I think all of my votes are seconding...but that just tells you how great the first recommendations are:

                            Steakhouse - The Fort. Elways if cougar is your favorite type of meat. If you don't want to drive, the Chophouse could work out.

                            Breakfast spot - N/A

                            Brew Pub - Wynkoop. Chili beer! If you want to do Breckenridge as well, I'd take the Brew & BBQ at 471 Kalamath Street over the ballpark brew pub any day.

                            Sports bar - ESPN Zone

                            Must try - Falling Rock. Another favorite with out-of-town guests is brunch at Red Rocks. The brunch is pricy ($15 or $17 per person). The food is good but not great. Really, you are paying for a chance to sit out on the natural red sandstone patio, wander around Red Rocks and enjoy a nice view of Denver.

                            Perfect day - Get a rental car the night before. Early breakfast at some greasy spoon in Denver. Early tee time at Arrowhead golf course. Finish up and drive up to Red Rocks for brunch. Check out Dinosaur Ridge. "Fish" (i.e. sit in the shade by the creek and drink beers) Bear Creek. Hit the Fort for an early dinner. Drive down to Denver and wander around downtown - Falling Rock for beers, the Rio for margaritas and insanity or maybe a show at the Comedy Works.