Sex & Dating

The Best Date Spot in (Almost) Every Denver ‘Hood

Published On 09/24/2015 Published On 09/24/2015
Flickr/Keith

Cheesman Park

Botanic Gardens (address and info

It’s hard to find a more romantic setting in the middle of the city, plus you can bring in your own picnic (don’t forget the wine). And during the holiday season, flowers in bloom are replaced with blossoms of light making this a year-round winner on date night.

Courtesy of Lena

June Cochran/Courtesy of Ophelia's

Molly Martin/Thrillist

High Point Creamery

Upstairs Circus

Molly Martin/Thrillist

Courtesy of Stir Cooking School
Courtesy of Bones

Grandma's House
Cuba Cuba Cafe & Bar

Americatus

Flickr/Jon's Pics
Clyfford Still Museum
Shells & Sauce

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1. Denver Botanic Gardens 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206 (Congress Park)

Sitting on a luscious 24 acres of gorgeous gardens and plant life, DBG aims to educate and conserve the natural habitats and wildlife of the area.

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2. Leña 24 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203 (Speer)

Housed in a former furniture store, Leña serves dishes that seamlessly weave together the flavors of Latin America. Expect dishes in forms you already know but with an extra level of innovation: empanadas with green plantain dough and poblano, goat tacos, and chicken chilaquiles. While Leña isn't a tapas bar per se, small plates are the go-to order, and most groups (at least the ones who know what they're doing) end their meal with a shared plate of gooey chocolate pelotas fritas made with yucca flour and served with a glass of horchata.

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3. Ophelia's Electric Soapbox , Denver, CO 80202

Given a midcentury gas station, Justin Cucci built the retro, subtly roadside-themed Root Down; given an old mortuary, he designed Linger to put the “fun” in “funerary.” Then he got hold of a former-bordello-turned-porn-shop. So yeah, you bet this sprawling two-story restaurant, lounge, and music venue revels in every louche touch, from nudie posters to black-velvet curtains to bars constructed from pinball panels and Jäger bottles. (As for the “dildos in the window,” Cucci’s still considering -- fingers crossed.) There’ll be funk, country, and hip-hop acts to catch on the downstairs stage. Kung fu flicks to watch on the giant movie screen. Lip-synch battles to wage. But here’s the funniest part: amid all the shenanigans, the kitchen’s keeping it classy, what with delicately smoked bay scallops and miso-bacon ostrich burgers and porter-teriyaki duck wings to soak up your Sex Machines. (That’s the name of a cocktail. Or is it?)

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4. Trattoria Stella 3201 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206

This vibrant venue boasts authentic Italian fare and a charming patio along Colfax Ave. Popular selections include the truffled asparagus spaghetti and the creamy sausage rigate.

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5. High Point Creamery 215 S Holly St, Denver, CO 80246 (Hilltop)

Opened by a husband-and-wife duo, High Point dishes up %100 homemade treats, with their specialty being the bombe, a French-style ice cream "cake", made up of different flavors of ice cream molded together, one at a time.

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6. Upstairs Circus 1500 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202

Arts, crafts, and a full bar? It doesn't get any better than this.

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7. North County 94 Rampart Way, Denver, CO 80230

North County brings California to Colorado with a seafood-heavy menu and Mexican favorites including tacos. The restaurant also has an extensive wine and liquor list, because you need tequila with your fish tacos.

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8. Bones 701 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203 (Capitol Hill)

Two words: lobster ramen. (Well, also "escargot potstickers," but that’s another story.) The first restaurateur in town to see the Momofuku train coming, Frank Bonanno opened his chic noodle bar back in 2008, when that miso-fortified, beurre blanc-slicked, edamame-studded, clawmeat-topped creation became an instant smash hit. Since then, Chef John DePierro has added his own signature -- a Southwest-style bowl with green chiles, braised pork shoulder, hominy, jalapeños, and queso fresco -- to the menu while keeping seasonal tricks such as spinach-chipotle ramen up his sleeve.

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9. Grandma's House 1710 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210

This is just like your Grandma’s house, that is, if your Grandma let you and your friends brew beer in her living room as she knitted sweaters for the tap handles. In addition to their own house brews, many other beers you've never tried find their way on tap in the form of rotating “guest” selections that aspiring beer makers are allowed to brew and then sell on the premises. Cheek pinches and hugs not provided.

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10. Declaration Brewing 2030 South Cherokee St, Denver, CO 80223

When you staff a couple of dudes with PhDs, you’re bound to get some Breaking Bad (Brewing Bad?)-quality product. Top-notch Kölsch, stouts, ambers, pale ales, and pilsners are all available (and consumed) in their sunny 2,000sqft tap room, where glass garage doors give way to an airy beer garden when the weather permits.

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11. Fermaentra 1715 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80210

Fermaentra opened in its doors in 2014 and has since been hydrating the Mile High City with its 24 craft beers made on-site.

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12. Platt Park Brewing 1875 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

Creative brews like Tropical Snow Dance, Astronaut Amber, and Madagascar Dream are just few of the seasonal beers that this place has on tap.

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13. Cuba Cuba Cafe & Bar 1173 Delaware St, Denver, CO 80204

On the outside, this place looks just like a doll house. Inside, however, is a full-scale restaurant that serves some of the best, most authentic Cuban cuisine in Denver.

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14. Americatus New-World Italian 2449 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

This Rino spot is home to what is absolutely some of the best homemade pasta in Denver, and if that's not for you then order a few of the small plates or an entree.

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15. Shells and Sauce 2600 E 12th Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (Congress Park)

Tucked away in Congress Park, Shells and Sauce is the ideal remedy for a pasta craving. The neighborhood Italian-American joint has two indoor dining rooms, an open kitchen, ample rooftop seating (because who doesn't love their pasta with a panoramic view of the park?), and an impressive wine cellar. The space is filled with light wood and big windows, embodying something of a family dining room, while the chefs are on display as they grate parmesan onto fresh tortellini. The house-made pastas are drenched in everything from tabasco ragu and pesto cream sauce to jalapeño sausage alfredo, not to mention the vast assortment of added cheeses. While there are plenty of meat and fish entrees available, and a variety of hearty Italian salads as well, it seems only natural to order shells and sauce at Shells and Sauce.

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