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Sep 30, 2009 08:29 AM

Oh Denver, we're hungry.

We, my 2 lucky coworkers and I, are heading out from Boston to your fair city for a 5 day conference. We need to eat, and eat well. And not spend a lot of money for ambiance.

The conference is downtown. Anywhere we can get bison burgers? How about chile verde (Mexican food in general, becuase I will die unless I eat something actually Mexican soon)? What about a breakfast spot? Cocktails? Beer?

Anywhere you would rather see tourists NOT go?

I know I have posted before - just wondering if there's anything else for us to check out.


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  1. Bison burgers: See (Ted's, of course, is a chain).

    Chile verde: Yes, there have been lots of posts about green chile/chili. Search board. Also see for a good deal on margaritas -- and hopefully good food too. Emili's starred as a cart vendor and is now a brick-and-mortar place -- just east of downtown.

    Breakfast: Snooze in the Ballpark neighborhood, but beware that there will probably be a line. Directly downtown: Dixon's, Panzano, and definitely Cafe Options. Near downtown: Racine's.

    Cocktails: Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel (LoDo), Peaks Lounge in the Hyatt Regency
    (superlative view), Colt & Gray in the Platte River Valley (near downtown). You DO pay for ambiance, but IMHO, in these places, it's worthwhile.

    Beer: Oodles of breweries/brewpubs, Wynkoop in LoDo having been the first.

    For my part, I hope tourists/conventioneers/visitors going everywhere/anywhere to discover the city. When I travel elsewhere, I don't want people looking down at me because I'm not a local. Enjoy your stay, and get up into the mountains if you can.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      Hi Malted Milk—

      Not sure what extra info you're looking for since the last thread covered a lot of this same info, but I'll second Claire that visitors (especially chowhounds) are welcome anywhere!

      Re cocktails: I agree with all Claire's suggestions but would emphasize that if you're serious about craft cocktails a la Drink, Eastern Standard, and Green Street, Colt & Gray's the place to go, maybe the new TAG too. Cruise Room is a gorgeous old art deco space, and Peaks has a great view, and the drinks at both are fine, just not special.

      I also agree with Claire that you can get bison burgers at Ted's, but it's too bad that I can't think of any other place downtown that does a buffalo burger...Oh wait! If you're willing to splurge, Elway's at the Ritz does one for lunch. To get the full-on hilarious Denver experience, though, I'd probably hop the light rail a few blocks and go to Buckhorn Exchange for lunch, whose food I don't generally recommend but the trophy head covered space is amazing, and they hopefully can't screw up a buffalo burger.

      There are reviews of most of the places I mentioned in the last thread on my blog, and here's a couple more:

      Here's a post about Peaks:

      Here's one about the Cruise Room:

      And I just did a slew of posts about Colt & Gray on the blog as well, should be on the home page.

      1. re: ClaireWalter

        What I meant was anywhere you wish tourists wouldn't go to make their decisions on Denver. An example: Here in Boston, you really can get a true city feel without going to Cheers.

        1. re: MaltedMilk

          In fact, you *can't* get a feel of Boston *by* going to Cheers.

          Well, for instance, I mentioned Buckhorn Exchange above. It's a trip, but I wouldn't want you going home think it was representative of Denver.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            We both said the same thing.
            You can't get a feel of Boston by going to Cheers.
            You really can get a true city feel without going to Cheers.

            Stay away from Cheers.

            1. re: MaltedMilk

              That's what it comes down to, to be sure.

              The closest thing Denver has to Cheers is probably Casa Bonita, simply b/c it was immortalized by South Park, but really *is* worth visiting for a laugh—not as a place to eat.

              1. re: tatamagouche

                "Closest" except that Cheers represents a neighborhood bar for grownups and Casa Bonita is for long-suffering parents because their kids have fun there. Being a totally mean and selfish mother, I managed to steer my son through his childhood without ever going to Casa Bonita. OTOH, he went to a lot of good restaurants when he was growing up and is now on the sommelier certification track.

                1. re: ClaireWalter

                  That's what it was on the show, but the actual location in Boston is just a theme parkesque burger bar...just as CB is a theme park Mex restaurant.

                  I didn't know that about your son! That's awesome!

      2. My favorite buffalo burgers but, you need a car..............

        Old Louisville Inn. Louisville. Duh.
        The Cork. Boulder.
        Corner Bar in the Boulderado Hotel. Boulder.
        The Fort. I think that they have burgers. I always have the buffalo steak. Morrison.

        4 Replies
        1. re: PitLab

          I live in Denver now, and lived in Boston for 10 years before that, but before that, in the mid-90s, I lived in Boulder, and went on my first couple dates with an old flame to the Corner Bar. I'm not sure I even knew they served food, and I haven't been back since...are my fond memories of it strictly romance related, or is it really as great an old bar as I remember? Really need to get back there.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            The Corner Bar is one of my go-to places in downtown Boulder. The food is consistently good (it's the same kitchen as Q's), the ambiance is comfortable, and it is rarely so crowded that you have to wait a long time to get a table. Plus they have a decent amount of patio seating for those warm evenings. It's not a "blow your socks off" kind of place, but it is good.

            Bonus: it's a "hotel bar" so it is open on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas!

            1. re: LurkerDan

              I'm such a sucker for hotel bars. Any kind—from the ritzy ones in 5-stars to the haphazard ones in roadside chains. Just something about the atmosphere of anonymity and transience.

            2. re: tatamagouche

              Corner Bar is great place. Always local beer on tap such as Avery, Twisted Pine or Boulder's Hazed. Nice menu prepared by Q's as Lurker mentioned. During the summer the patio is the place because we can leash our unruly dogs to the metal fence so that they can lunge at toy poodles.

          2. I usually go to D'Corazon for mexican food in the central biz district.

            City Grille has a really good burger downtown (with or without green chile), anyone had their buffalo burger?

            1530 Blake St Unit C, Denver, CO 80202

            3 Replies
            1. re: SeattliteChower

              Yes I've tried the buffalo burger at City Grille...not the best buffalo burger I've had. They do beef burgers better at City Grille, though I prefer a good Cherry Cricket w/ smoked cheddar. Just wish the Cricket could be more consistent....seems they have one temperature regardless of what you order, so I'm less than thrilled on med-well nights.

              As a side note, I once had an amazing plate of green chile cheese fries at City Grille. Subsequent visits not nearly as good, but with crossed fingers we still order them every time.

              1. re: SE_ME

                Had a bison burger and 471 IPA at Breckenridge Brewing last week. Both were excellent.

              2. re: SeattliteChower

                D'Corazon is maybe my favorite mexican restaurant in town. Green chilli there is awesome. Food is a little heavy for mexican food (not sure if they use more lard or something) but it sure makes it delicious. Also, check to see if the Nuggets, Avs, or Rockies (although no rockies at this time of year) are playing at home that night...if so, you might wait longer for a table (I guess the same can be said about anything in LODO near the stadiums though).

              3. Mexican hasn't been covered yet!

                My personal fave: Tacos Y Salsas.

                Simply the best real-deal tacos, variety meats included, and they serve alcohol all the time (?). Cheap, cheap, cheap. On Federal Blvd, where many good ethic eats can be found.

                1 Reply
                1. Boston poster - a local magazine recently posted the top 100 eats in Denver and there's quite a few downtown. I've got the list up on my blog:

                  I'm going through every single one, snapping a picture, rating it, and writing a review. Hope it helps.