If you haven’t seen the sun rise in a while, you might be slightly fuzzy on the fundamentals of breakfast: basically, it’s brunch, but earlier and with less booze. Don’t like the sound of that at all? Then follow some top local chefs to their favorite brunch spots here instead. Otherwise, read on for a taste of the 14 best breakfasts in town right now.
City Park, Baker, Berkeley
What you’re getting: A biscuit sandwich bigger and brighter than your brain
Miraculous as the human brain may be, it’s got nothing on the works of genius that are loaded biscuits from the Atomic Cowboy’s resident breakfast kitchen. In addition to the Franklin, try the Schooner with catfish fried in beer batter, then smothered in coleslaw and tartar sauce, or the Dahlia with house-made sausage plus a fried egg, apple butter, and maple syrup.
What you’re getting: Enfrijoladas
This here’s the Mexican equivalent of an old-school roadside diner: snug, jam-packed, and full of color, chatter, clatter, and warmth, with an enormous menu and portions to match. Order its take on the classic comfort dish known as enfrijoladas and you basically get to eat enchiladas for breakfast -- filled with scrambled eggs and chorizo, smothered in creamy bean sauce, accompanied by totally gratuitous hash browns and bacon, and optionally washed down with what must be a quart-sized glass of horchata.
Washington Virginia Vale
What you’re getting: PuffyNutz
Go ahead, roll your eyes at these Cronut knockoffs. Then take a bite -- they’ll keep rolling all the way back in your head as you go into fits of rapture over Josh Schwab’s tender, buttery, sticky pastry monsters, whether filled with Baileys custard and topped with Guinness frosting à la Irish car bombs, or stuffed croque-monsieur style with ham, cheese, and berry jam. Not that the rest of the lineup is chopped liver when PuffyNutz aren’t available -- it isn’t the size of the nut that matters, it’s the quality.
Central Platte Valley
What you’re getting: Fritters
Sure, you can quit anytime you want. It’s just that today, a slab of fried batter oozinggoat cheese, cheddar, and Parmesan sounds so soothing. And tomorrow, a toffee-brushed fritter studded with bits of bourbon-glazed apple and bacon lardons won’t hurt anyone, right? Never mind the weed motif of this new donut shop or the fact that it also sells cigarettes and airplane bottles of booze: it’s the killer sugar highs Habit’s pushing from dawn to midnight that’ll get you.
What you’re getting: The No. 1
Lotsa bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches in the world. Not so many made by a chef who also makes the bacon. That’s what we call quality control.
What you’re getting: Potato waffles
When you daydream that you’re the star of a romantic comedy (don’t even try to deny it), who meets cute while sipping espresso and reading a clever novel, this is exactly the kind of adorable bakery-cafe you’re picturing in the background. Until you actually eat here. From then on, your mind’s eye will be zooming in on Andrea Knight’s potato waffles with house-smoked salmon and chive crème fraîche alongside a mimosa. Leave the dream girl, take all the pastries.
What you’re getting: A skillet, a scramble, a sandwich -- really anything with eggs
Given that Mary Nguyen’s sunny neighborhood hangout is one of Denver’s best spots for sandwiches period, a brilliant hand-held breakfast goes without saying here. But the Milano -- a cast-iron pan full of prosciutto, mozzarella, spinach, potatoes, pesto, and more beneath two fried eggs -- is so luscious you’ll wish you had the privacy to eat it with your hands too.
What you’re getting: Healthier with every bite
Seriously, you can’t go wrong at this shiny new snack bar. With seasonal topping combos like peaches, walnuts, brown sugar, and fresh cream or mango, coconut, ginger, and apricot honey, owner Jenna Berrios makes the sexiest oatmeal ever (you can also build your own bowl with 40-plus add-ons from hemp seeds to toffee bits). Equally aphrodisiacal are smoothies like the bananacado-lime with dates, spinach, and coconut milk, as well as coffee drinks flavored with salted caramel or chocolate and chili syrup. We’re sensing a post-workout pick-up joint in the making.
What you’re getting: Churro donuts and roasted vegetable hash
Nailed it. The two sisters who own this instant hit at the edge of Berkeley found a dream team in Exec Chef Enrique Socarras (formerly of Cuba Cuba) and pastry chef Letisha Steele (ex-WaterCourse Bakery), who are turning out the likes of dulce de leche-laced churro holes, mezcal-cured gravlax with pretzel toast, guava-filled pasteles, and crispy-soft root veggie hash in an effortlessly charming space with a full bar that makes you cooler just by bellying up to it.
What you’re getting: Pastries from Babette’s, coffee from Boxcar Coffee Roasters
Why cramp your style with specific recommendations? For one thing, you never know what this gourmet food hall’s nationally acclaimed bakery and roastery might be offering at any given time. For another, you’re a spontaneous kind of guy: one day a bear claw and a macchiato might be in order, the next an iced toddy and a blueberry danish. Whatever the case, we trust you to do it to it.
What you’re getting: The Good Night
From flapjacks inspired by Sicilian cannoli to eggs Benedict made with Rhode Island-style johnnycakes, chef-partner Ryan Turano’s influences skew super eclectic. But this sandwich of fried eggs, house-made chorizo, avocado, tomato, and Boursin layered between two more sandwiches -- each a whole grilled-cheese -- could only spring from the mind of a madman. Its name tells you everything you need to know about the nap in store if you order it.
What you’re getting: Chinese buns and pastries
Though it’s best known for its bánh mì, this sit-down offshoot of a nearby Viet-Chinese bakery opens mid-morning to serve coffee drinks alongside several of the goodies you know and love from dim sum, including steamed pork buns, you tiao (crullers), and the biggest sesame balls you’ll ever see outside of a Hong Kong mafia bathhouse.
Washington Park West
What you’re getting: A shot of jugo de limón y chile
Technically, the face-meltingly sour and spicy little glass of cayenne-spiked lime juice served at this popular outpost of a Kentucky franchise comes only with the chilaquiles. But you can ask for it with anything. And then you can ask for another. And then you can ask for a take-home jug. It’s the mother’s milk of metabolic boosts.
1. Fritangas Mexican Restaurant3090 W Alameda Ave, Denver
2. Glazed & Confuzed5301 Leetsdale Dr, Denver
3. Habit Doughnut Dispensary1553 Platte St, Denver
4. Masterpiece Deli1575 Central St, Denver
5. The Noshery4994 Lowell Boulevard, Denver
6. Olive & Finch1552 E 17th Ave, Denver
7. Prosperoats2550 15th Street, Denver
8. Revelry Kitchen4140 W 38th Ave, Denver
9. Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen725 E 26th Ave, Denver
10. The Source3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver
11. Sunny's2239 W 44th Ave, Denver
12. Vinh Xoung Bakery2370 W Almadea Ave, Denver
13. Wild Eggs300 E Alameda Ave, Denver
This eatery serves up so much more than tacos and burritos (but their breakfast burrito is a must have). Fritangas offers authentic Mexican enchiladas, mariscos (seafood), huaraches, tortas, and gorditas—all crafted corn dough tortillas. Come hungry—the portions are huge.
This Southeast spot is a testament to the sheer amount of flavor you can create using only all-natural, locally sourced ingredients. The offerings here are unlike anything else you’ll see in the Denver area: while the menu changes daily, expect eclectic tastes like jalapeño cerveza-cream cheese with chipotle drizzle, as well as mojito, caramelized miso, and more. Glazed & Confuzed is a pastry wonderland as seen through the eyes of Chef Josh Schwab, and while there’s ample seating available in the contemporary cafeteria-like space, we suggest getting there early -- it’s no secret that these are some of the best donuts in the state, and the queue can get quite long.
With its pink and white dispensary cross out front, one would hope that Habit Doughnut Dispensary be legit -- and it certainly is. These funky, one-of-a-kind donuts are nothing short of genius AND you get a FREE coffee with your pastry! Check out their honey brioche donut with espresso glaze, peanut butter drizzle, chocolate cookie crumble, and potato chips.
Chefs Steve Allee and Justin Brunson take sandwiches seriously, and you will too after you try their legendary Cubano - slow roasted mojo brined pork, black forest ham, swiss cheese, dill pickles, yellow mustard and garlic aioli on a toasted roll. For those of you returning to the office after lunch, ease the pain with one of their rotating micro-brews. Or a crown & coke. Or a few. Of each.
The potato waffles here are going to change the way you look at ordinary waffles.
Olive & Finch is a rare bird -- an establishment devoted to using local, organic, and sustainable ingredients in order to make fast, convenient dishes for you when you're on the run. Get your hands on a pulled pork breakfast scramble or a Reuben made with house-cured pastrami without even leaving your car -- they have curbside delivery to make things as easy as possible.
Who said that a healthy breakfast has to be boring?
Their churro donuts and roasted vegetable hash will quickly become your Sunday brunch staple.
Imagine baskets overflowing with everything bagels and ramekins stuffed with scallion cream cheese. What you are now imagining: Rosenberg's.
This gourmet food hall has something for everyone.
You can't stop by here without ordering The Good Night, a sandwich consisting of fried eggs, house-made chorizo, avocado, tomato, and Boursin layered in between two grilled cheese sandwiches.
Pop by here for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and you certainly won't be disappointed.
Serving a "whimsical" and egg-heavy menu of morning food all day, Southwest-situated Wild Eggs boasts "specially commissioned egg artwork" and walls painted "robin's egg blue", and is the first Coloradan incarnation of a concept its Denver-born owners have already brought to Louisville, Kentucky three times, so factor in basketball, and that state's now got four things going for it!