Food & Drink

The 11 best brunches in Denver

Published On 12/10/2014 Published On 12/10/2014
Rebecca Feder

Brunch is more than just an excuse to drink Bloody Marys. It's a time to gather with friends, embrace the "no rules" attitude that allows you to bounce seamlessly between breakfast and lunch, and, fine... also probably drink a bunch of Bloody Marys. These are Denver's 11 best establishments when it comes to overall brunching excellence.

Harman's Eat and Drink

Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek has a reputation for being... pretentious, one might say. Disgustingly rich, some others might say. However, Harman's is the perfect mix of comfort and affordability without sacrificed sophistication. Get yourself a steak Benedict that may well be the reason hollandaise was invented, or a plate of sourdough French toast with sweet cream, pecans, and bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. Bonus: there's plenty of space here, so if you're rolling with a sizable crew, they can accommodate.

Devil's Food

Devil's Food

Wash Park
This neighborhood favorite is ideal for grabbing a cup of coffee and a fresh baked pastry for a weekend stroll, or (ideally) sitting down and digging into a homestyle meal in a space that feels like it was designed by the most hipster Grandmother ever. Dig into classics like huevos rancheros and challah French toast, but don't hesitate to hit up creative twists, like pomegranate crepes served with honey mascarpone & a white chocolate drizzle. On the lunch end of things, the chicken pot pie is something special.

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Lucile's

Multiple locations
This Boulder-based family business has built a mini-empire based on the impeccable Creole cuisine it's been dishing out for 32 years. That means breakfast goodness like eggs Rockefeller (like the oysters, but with eggs!) and shrimp 'n grits -- and as a bonus, most breakfast dishes come with a giant, flaky buttermilk biscuit. Of course, you're also going to want beignets. And don't sleep on lunch options, from po' boys to crawfish etoufee. Come here really, really hungry, basically.

DJ's Berkeley Cafe

DJ's Berkeley Cafe

Multiple locations
It's the breakfast place where everybody knows your name. Ok, maybe not, but it's a no-frills, affordable cafe that'll make you feel like a regular even if you aren't. More importantly, it's a place where you can economically load up on heartiness, like chicken fried steak and PB & J French toast. There's a small espresso bar where they do some serious coffee, and they also have booze. They have a lot going for them, basically.

Table6

Table 6

Capitol Hill
This classy American bistro is mostly known for its dinner service, but on Sundays from 10:30am-2pm, you can land yourself a seriously special brunch. There just aren't many other options if you're craving fried duck meatballs with rice crepes & Sriracha aioli, or papadum flapjacks with garam masala & peach-ginger chutney. And once you've had them, you will be... though be warned -- the menu's subject to change. But if an old favorite went away, something equally tasty has probably taken its place.

Rebecca Feder

Sam's No. 3

Multiple locations
This down-to-earth joint is the place to come cure your hangover. Their novel-length food menu (16 pages!) has seemingly everything, and has it in enormous portions. Look, there's an ENTIRE PAGE of breakfast burritos, okay? And they're all as big as your head and smothered in Sam's famous green chile and a ton of cheese, as is Denver tradition. Do not make big plans after Sam's.

Snooze

Snooze

Multiple locations
This Colorado-born AM eatery started in 2006, and has had a cult following ever since. The menu is a plethora of breakfast goodies -- some traditional, some crazy. Breakfast pot pie, breakfast tacos, pancake flights, and prosciutto Bennies are just a small sample of the indulgences that await you. Be prepared to combat lengthy waits on weekends, but be prepared to be happy you did so.

DazzleJazz

DazzleJazz Lounge

Downtown
People may not think of DazzleJazz as a go-to restaurant, but those who enjoy live jazz while they eat should check it out. Every Sunday from 9:30-1:30am they have a full brunch buffet for $20 a person and a bottomless Bloody Mary/mimosa bar for an extra $10. If you're looking for a more lively experience to go with your eggs, this is it. Reservations are highly recommended, because they do fill up fast, so don't wait until the last minute.

Rebecca Feder

The Universal

Highlands
They're open at 7am every day, which is clutch because it can be tough to snag a table on weekends. The must-try dish here is the cornbread huevos rancheros, which has black beans, roasted tomato salsa, two eggs, avocado, and sour cream layered onto homemade cornbread. They also feature a rotating "grits of the day", which, no matter what day it is, seem to always end up delicious.

Denver Biscuit Company

Denver Biscuit Company

E Colfax and S Broadway
Leave your gluten-averse friends at home, because everything is served on a homemade, fluffy biscuit of goodness. There are gourmet sandwiches with fat-boy fillings like fried chicken and pork belly, and then there's the biscuit French toast, biscuits and gravy, biscuit pot pie... you get the idea. They also have a full bar, complete with Bloodies and mimosas for breakfast -- to help wash down all that buttery goodness.

Rebecca Feder

Lola

LoHi
Serving up coastal Mexican food, Lola is known for it's table-side guacamole and a delicious selection of margaritas and Mexican-inspired cocktails. Don't miss out on the weekend-only brunch. Chicharron Bennies, lobster green chile omelettes, and chicken fried steak served with a green-chile chorizo gravy are just a few reasons to get there. That Bloody Mary is another. Stay after brunch on a Sunday to catch live music, which starts at 2:30pm, along with happy hour.

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1. Harman's Eat and Drink 2900 E 2nd Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (Cherry Creek)

Harman's is the perfect mix of comfort and affordability. Their must-haves include a steak Benedict that will make you fall in love with hollandaise all over again, and a plate of the sourdough french toast with bread piled high, topped with sweet cream, pecans, and a bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. There's a ton of space here, so feel free to gather your 10 or 20 closest friends for a brunch party extravaganza. Open for brunch on weekends from 9am-4pm, and open all day Tuesday-Sundays.

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2. Devil's Food 1020 S Gaylord St, Denver, CO 80209

This neighborhood favorite is ideal for grabbing a cup of coffee and a fresh baked pastry while strolling own the street, or sitting down for a good, home-cooked meal. They serve classic breakfast dishes like huevos rancheros and challah french toast, and they also have a lunch menu available, with great homemade chicken pot pie and sandwiches. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00am-4:00pm.

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3. Table 6 609 Corona St, Denver, CO 80218 (Southwest)

A "playful yet grounded" atmosphere characterizes this classic American bistro, specializing in seasonal dishes with innovative flare. Eat, play, love.

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4. DazzleJazz 930 Lincoln St, Denver, CO 80203

Enjoy live jazz while you eat, and every Sunday from 9:30-1:30, experience their full brunch buffet for $20 a person (for an extra $10, you can access a bottomless Bloody Mary/mimosa bar). If you're looking for a more lively experience to go with your eggs, this is the place for you. Reservations are highly recommended because they do fill up fast, so don't wait till the last minute.

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5. The Universal 2911 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

Although it specializes in breakfast-type eats, The Universal's menu also features an assortment of lunch dishes such as burgers, shrimp and chicken. There's even an excellent selection of wine and beer, in case you feel like wetting your whistle with something a bit more interesting than orange juice.

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6. Denver Biscuit Company 141 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (Southwest)

South Broadway has gained another great late night spot thanks to the second location of the Denver Biscuit Company, meaning that you can now enjoy freshly made biscuits stuffed with fried chicken and honey mustard after a show at the Hi-Dive.

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7. Lola 1575 Boulder St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

This go-to Mexican spot sports sweeping city views, table-side guac, and other traditional Mexican fare, and a daily 4-6p happy hour (Mondays are happy hour all night!) featuring $4 sangria. Step things up with a Fuego Verde cocktail (Corazon blanco, muddled jalapeno, agave).

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