Food Scenes at Mile High City.

Join me on an unforgettable weekend trip to Denver, a city nestled amidst the breathtaking Colorado mountains. From the warm hospitality of its kind-hearted locals to great authentic spots, Denver captivated me. Explore iconic landmarks, savor delicious meals, and immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of this evolving metropolis.

Cyborg Franky

7/16/20239 min read

It's a delight to be back and share my recent adventure to one of the highest cities in the world. Situated exactly 1 mile above sea level, nestled amidst the breathtaking Colorado mountains, this city captivated my senses with its well-planned infrastructure, stunning gardens, and contemporary architecture. However, what truly made my experience memorable was the warmth and friendliness of the locals. I'm already longing to return to Denver, thanks to its kind-hearted inhabitants who exude helpfulness and cheerfulness at every turn.

Interestingly, Colorado wasn't a part of the United States until the 1840s. It once belonged to the vibrant Red Indian communities that thrived in this region. However, everything changed when government officials stumbled upon a colossal gold mine, prompting them to assert their control over the land of Colorado, displacing the native inhabitants. As a result, the city of Denver emerged as a thriving mining district.

It was a weekend getaway, and I relied solely on public transportation throughout my trip, making use of the excellent bus and light rail network that connects every corner of the city. From the moment I landed at the airport to my return journey, commuting was a breeze. Moreover, Denver streets are teeming with convenient options like electric scooters and bicycles, available for rent through apps such as 'Lift' or 'Lime.'

Now, let's delve into the places I explored during my time in Denver. My first stop was Union Station, a bustling hub that perfectly captures the city's vibrant atmosphere. From there, I ventured into the heart of downtown Denver, taking in the energetic ambiance and cityscape. The Denver Performance Art Theater and the Sculpture Garden were next on my list, where I indulged in the local arts scene and admired captivating artworks.

Continuing my journey, I hopped on a bus and made my way to the Denver History Center, immersing myself in the city's rich heritage. From there, I headed to a rather unique destination—the International Church of Cannabis—where intriguing artwork and a distinctive atmosphere awaited. As evening approached, I returned to downtown and found myself wandering along Larimer Street, absorbing the lively surroundings. Serendipity led me to a local comedy club, where I wrapped up my day with a side-splitting stand-up show.

On day two, I had an exciting bike tour scheduled for the afternoon, but not before visiting the Denver Art Museum in the morning. The museum's impressive collection left me captivated and provided a fantastic prelude to the cycling adventure that awaited. After the bike tour, I treated myself to a delightful culinary experience at the Avanti Food Court, savoring a variety of delectable options. As the evening unfolded, I soaked up the vibrant energy of the downtown area before bidding farewell to Denver, with cherished memories in tow.

Now, let's explore the delightful food scenes that Denver has to offer. While the city tends to start its day a bit later, around 9-9:30 am, I found myself hungry and roaming the streets of downtown as early as 8 in the morning. It was during this early adventure that I stumbled upon a gathering of people outside a charming eatery. Curiosity piqued, I decided to investigate, only to discover that it was a popular breakfast spot, aptly named 'The Delectable Egg.' Despite being alone, it took me 25 minutes to secure a seat, as the place was bustling with eager diners eagerly awaiting their morning feast.

I must confess, I'm not typically a huge fan of traditional American breakfast, but I have a weakness for hot chocolate. Nevertheless, once I finally settled at my table, the friendly waitstaff, with their soft-spoken demeanor, made me feel right at home. After perusing the menu, I opted for a combination: grilled chicken, scrambled eggs with mozzarella, French toast, and a comforting cup of Hot Cocoa.

As I seasoned the eggs with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, the flavors melded together beautifully, complemented by the delightful stretchiness of the melted mozzarella. The chicken breast, cooked to tender perfection, boasted subtle yet satisfying flavors, far from bland. The overall breakfast experience was both gratifying and filling. However, the true highlight came in the form of the hot cocoa—an unparalleled delight. It was, without a doubt, the best hot cocoa I have ever had in my life, a heavenly elixir that warmed both my body and soul.

After indulging in a hearty breakfast at 'The Delectable Egg,' I found myself pleasantly satiated for most of the day, despite exploring the city on foot. However, as evening approached and my visit to the International Church of Cannabis concluded, a gentle pang of hunger began to stir within me. As I made my way back to the hostel where I had booked my stay, fate led me to an irresistible Thai restaurant called 'Hey Bangkok!'

Although I had initially intended to explore some of the city's older, more established eateries, my love for Thai cuisine overpowered my curiosity. I couldn't resist stepping into 'Hey Bangkok!' The cozy restaurant boasted a modest setting with just a handful of tables, and it was evident that the staff hailed from Thailand, or at least the talented chef behind the scenes did.

With anticipation and hunger in tow, I promptly ordered a classic dish, chicken pad Thai, and paired it with a refreshing Thai tea infused with the richness of coconut milk.

The flavors that danced across my palate were nothing short of exceptional. The pad Thai, featuring tender chicken infused with the umami-rich sauce, had a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and savory notes. Every strand of noodles was enrobed in the unmistakable fragrance of Thai spices, while the crunchy peanuts added a delightful nuttiness to each bite. The Thai tea with coconut milk was a refreshing delight. Served in a tall glass, the vibrant orange-hued tea exuded a captivating aroma. As I took my first sip, the creamy coconut milk infused the tea with a luscious richness, balancing out the subtle sweetness. It was a harmonious blend of flavors, offering a cooling and satisfying respite from the bustling city streets. However, I soon realized that the portion size was incredibly generous. It was a challenge to finish the entire plate, but I persevered, determined to savor every last bite.

As I finally polished off the delectable meal, a wave of contentment washed over me, accompanied by a distinct feeling of fullness. Walking became a daunting prospect as my stomach protested against any further movement. It felt as though I couldn't take another step and would have to roll back to the hostel, thoroughly satiated from the delightful feast.

Planned to end my day at downtown Denver, I strolled along the bustling streets, marveling at the towering skyscrapers that seemed to touch the sky. Although my initial plan included a walk along Cherry Creek and attending a stand-up comedy show, I was unable to secure tickets for the evening show but for the night show. However, fate intervened as I discovered the Wynkoop Brewery while wandering along Union Station street.

The brewery exuded a vibrant ambiance, accompanied by lively music and bartenders who exuded warmth and friendliness. Eager to immerse myself in the local flavors, I indulged in a couple of tap beers, specifically opting for their exceptional flavored wheat beer. The brew tantalized my taste buds, offering a refreshing and unique experience. As I savored each sip, I engaged in delightful conversations with the bartender, further enhancing the memorable evening.

With ample time before the 11 pm comedy show, I relished the captivating views of the evening sky from Cherry Creek, cherishing the tranquil moments. The unexpected encounter at Wynkoop Brewery added a touch of spontaneity to my adventure, creating lasting memories of good times spent in the heart of Denver. And that ends my day one at Denver.

Day 2

The day kicked off bright and early at 8 am, with the anticipation of a bike tour scheduled for noon. To make the most of my morning, I decided to explore the expansive Denver Art Museum. Despite dedicating three hours to the visit, I could only cover two sections of the museum, each filled with captivating artwork. I was particularly thrilled to discover the Japanese art section, showcasing exceptional works by talented women artists.

At 11 am, as I left the museum, I realized I had an hour before the bike tour commenced near Union Station. I had done my research and discovered a highly-rated ramen bar called Jinya Ramen, conveniently located opposite the Denver Station. Excitement fueled my footsteps as I made a quick stop at Jinya Ramen to experience its renowned culinary delights.

Stepping through the door, I was immediately enveloped in a warm and inviting ambiance. The interior was bathed in a vibrant red glow, with Japanese lanterns adorning the space. The staff warmly greeted me in Japanese, adding to the authentic atmosphere. However, time was of the essence, so I swiftly requested a serving of spicy chicken ramen with a seasoned egg.

The ramen arrived, artfully presented and visually appetizing. The first spoonful confirmed that it lived up to its reputation. The spicy broth melded harmoniously with the bean sprouts and tender slices of chicken breast. The seasoned egg was the perfect finishing touch, elevating the flavors to new heights. It was undoubtedly one of the best ramen experiences I had ever encountered.

Regrettably, with the bike tour imminent, I had to devour the scrumptious meal with haste, leaving me yearning for another leisurely visit to savor their offerings in the future.

The Denver bike tour proved to be an exciting and immersive experience, taking me on a captivating journey through the downtown area. As we pedaled through the city streets, our knowledgeable guide shared fascinating stories and insights about the landmarks we encountered along the way. However, the true highlight of the tour awaited us in the RiNo (River North) neighborhood. Once an industrial area, RiNo has transformed into a vibrant and creative hub. The streets were adorned with mesmerizing street art and colorful graffiti, showcasing the immense talent of local and international artists. Every turn revealed captivating murals, making the neighborhood an open-air gallery.

In addition to the captivating artwork, RiNo boasts a thriving culinary scene. Countless breweries and restaurants dotted the streets, offering a plethora of options to indulge in local flavors and craft brews. From hip eateries to cozy cafes, the area was a haven for food and beverage enthusiasts. It was a delight to witness the convergence of art, culture, and gastronomy in this dynamic neighborhood.

The bike tour allowed me to explore and appreciate the transformation of RiNo, immersing myself in its vibrant atmosphere and the creativity that permeated every corner. It was an unforgettable experience that showcased the artistic spirit and culinary delights that make Denver truly unique.

My journey led me to Avanti, a remarkable food and beverage collective that encapsulated the essence of Denver's culinary scene. As I stepped into this vibrant establishment, I was greeted by a lively atmosphere and a variety of enticing food options.

Eager to satisfy my taste buds, I decided to indulge in a fried chicken taco with serrano salsa. The taco arrived, its aroma tantalizing, and I eagerly took my first bite. The crispy fried chicken paired perfectly with the vibrant serrano salsa, creating a delightful explosion of flavors. Each bite offered a satisfying combination of textures and a hint of spice, leaving me craving more.

Avanti's innovative concept of housing multiple culinary concepts under one roof allowed me to explore a diverse range of cuisines. The collective nature of the space created an inviting and communal atmosphere, perfect for mingling with fellow food enthusiasts and discovering new flavors.

As I relished my fried chicken taco, surrounded by the energetic buzz of Avanti, I couldn't help but appreciate the creativity and culinary talent that thrived within this unique establishment. It was a testament to Denver's vibrant food scene and a memorable stop on my journey.

Just when I thought my food journey had come to a close, fate intervened once again as I found myself irresistibly drawn back to Jinya Ramen just before leaving for the airport. Unable to resist the allure of their exceptional culinary offerings, I stepped inside, ready to indulge in one final memorable meal.

As I entered the restaurant, the familiar warm ambience greeted me, with the soft glow of Japanese lanterns casting a soothing light. The friendly staff welcomed me back, and I couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity and comfort in this culinary haven.

With limited time, I swiftly placed my order, opting for their renowned spicy tonkotsu ramen. The steaming bowl arrived, filled with a luscious broth boasting the perfect balance of heat and flavor. The rich and creamy tonkotsu base enveloped the tender noodles, while the various toppings added depth and texture to the dish.

Each spoonful of the spicy tonkotsu ramen was an explosion of flavors, as the robust broth mingled with the perfectly cooked noodles, succulent slices of pork, and an assortment of aromatic toppings. The spice added a tantalizing kick, elevating the dish to new heights of culinary delight.

As I savored the last bites of the exquisite ramen, I couldn't help but reflect on the incredible culinary journey I had embarked upon in Denver. Jinya Ramen had provided a satisfying conclusion, leaving me with a lingering taste and fond memories of their exceptional cuisine.

Leaving the restaurant with a contented smile, I bid farewell to Denver, knowing that I had experienced the true essence of the city through its diverse and remarkable food scene.
Take care, until next time.....!