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Mar 1, 2010 08:25 PM

family friendly lunches in denver and aurora

we'll be in town for a family event and have time to explore! our kids (9 and 12) are foodies and have pretty adventurous palates...looking for something casual, local, fun, authentic near the museum of art and also in aurora- no national chains please! thanks!

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  1. I always steer my friends with kids to Vesta dipping grill in LoDo and D Bar Desserts, as well as snooze for breakfast, they have all been thrilled.

    4 Replies
    1. re: tesnjen

      thanks tesnjen! as i am not really familiar with the city's geography- LoDo is downtown near museum?
      anyone else want to weigh in?
      what about mexican? chili? other denver specialties? how about brewpubs you can have kids at so mom and dad can sample some of the local adult fare?

      1. re: sgl

        LoDo is not really near the museum, but the 16th Street Mall has a free shuttle bus that runs up and down it, so traveling from the museum to any places downtown ("LoDo" stands for "Lower downtown") is easy. As for brewpubs, the Wynkoop Brewery is also in Lodo and has good food.

        For cheaper good family friendly eats, the Wazee Supper Club has pizzas and sandwiches and is also in LoDo.

        I second Snooze for breakfast/brunch. But while it is sort of downtown, it would involve a good bit of walking.

        Will you have a car and be willing to travel around Denver? That might help get more suggestions.

        1. re: sgl

          Yes, from DAM you can walk to the 16th St Shuttle and then walk to any of the ones I mentioned. As far as brewpubs, Wynkoop would be my pick. Buenos aires Pizza is suppossed to have great pizza, (I've never been there, but it's been talked about a ton) and is in the area. Rio Grande would be fun, great drinks, average food, coming from California, I have yet to find a great mexican place here, but it's downtown and a fun atmosphere. If you like Creole type, Gumbos is also downtown and right off the tree trolly shuttle. The 9th door is a solid suggestion for Tapas style eating. Zengo is kinda fun, good tasting menu on the weekends, it's kinda a Latin Asian theme, but I have been wowed by their tasting menu offerings the last few visits, although I can't say their regular menu has enticed me all that much.

          1. re: tesnjen

            thanks all- we will have a car and are willing to travel a bit, but need to limit to mid-day- anything in the aurora area?

      2. Aurora has two great restaurants - The Athenian (greek) and Star of India (indian). Both are awesome and definitely not chains.

        In terms of Denver, here are a few....
        Sam's #3 (diner)
        Lucille's (creole)
        Imperial (chinese)
        Real De Minas (Mexican - on east side)
        9th Door (spanish - might be tough for kids but cool place!)

        7 Replies
        1. re: Heyteacher

          thanks so much!!
          anyone else??? i will definitely post my reveiws!

          just to up the ante a bit: any ideas of where to stop between airport and hotel in aurora for thurs pm dinner with kids?

          1. re: sgl

            Where in Aurora? The land area is enormous. The aLoft Hotel Denver Intl Airport and other nearby accommodations are in Aurora. So is the Wingate by Wyndham, many miles to the south.

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              clearly i am clueless (which as a los angeleno is probably expected? :)...) we are staying at double tree denver southeast in aurora on east iliff place- ring a bell- you guys are aweome by the way -

              1. re: sgl

                The greek restaurant I mentioned above is just east of your hotel at Chambers and Iliff. Also, there is a little diner close to you (Rosie's) that's decent as well as Sam's #3 which is an AWESOME diner for breakfast and lunch at Parker and Havana (about 10 min drive). Star of India is at Parker and Dartmouth - about 10 or so minutes from your hotel.

                1. re: Heyteacher

                  yay! hey teacher and all the rest
                  thanks so much! we'll keep you posted

                2. re: sgl

                  Caldonia's barbecue on Parker road & Iliff would be a nice lunch with the kids. Serious Q, nice big deck with a great view of the front range and it's a good time of year for decks and views.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    If you want BBQ, you'd be better off going to Shead's or Big Papa.

          2. hey all
            wanted to report on our chow related and influenced experiences last weekend
            thank you to all the denver chowhounders who replied!
            thurs nite we went to caledonias and met our cousins there-they were amused that this is where we were eating- it was a perfect spot to kick back and veg after a day of travel- yes the tvs were blaring, the food was just ok, not great- but it was festive, homey, the service was great and the price was right
            next day we went to snooze for brunch- the first one we stopped at on ?colorado? had a 60 minute wait on a non-holidy friday at 11 am! wow! we were kindly directed to another branch in the area closer to downtown near the ball park- 20 minutes and one spring snowstorm filled walk later we were seated and had the BEST meal of the weekend and one of the most creative, delicious and generous brunches ever! great ambience, cool neighborhood, fantastic food- i had the smoked salmon benedict- amazing balance, hearty and filling, hubby had the "sandwich i am" the combo of salty sweet savory was perfect- my son had a burger- loved it- daughter had pancakes- with bacon caramel-- we were amazed that our family had not heard of or been there- but we advised them to get there asap!
            we did eat at the greek place on illif- that is where our family event was held on sat pm- in the former heather ridge country club- yes? pretty standard fare- chicken and spanakopitas (sp?) seemed homemade and were good- the gyros meat was suspicious for some sort of frozen, commercial product- but perhaps the catering dept uses dif food than the extremely busy bar and restaurant?

            i did notice alot of korean and some middle eastern food in the area and was curious as to what people's opinions on these establishments were for next time
            again many thanks for the recs and contributing to a memorable weekend with my family!