City Guide: Denver, Colorado

Ahh Denver, home to the Rockies, abundant sunshine, and lots of beer. Urban, modern, and hip, this city has something for everyone. I recently spent a few days exploring this bustling city, and I brought back only the best of the best for you.

The Neighborhoods

LoDo– Downtown Denver. Easily the most touristy part of Denver, but with a lot of great food options and nice places to stay.

Highlands– A young, hip neighborhood just across the river from LoDo. Nicknamed Millennial central (by yours truly), this area is trendy and modern, featuring fun bars and cute boutiques.

RiNo– The artsy part of Denver, this is where you’re going to find the majority of the breweries and cideries Denver has to offer. Walk down Larimer Street and stop in as many breweries as you can for the perfect day.

Cherry Creek– The “Beverly Hills” of Denver, this area features beautiful houses, parks, and country clubs.

Where to Eat

Denver is a foodie’s DREAM. The food scene here has picked up in the past couple of years, and you can now find several food halls and rooftop restaurants offering an abundance of cuisines. There is an endless supply of excellent eateries, but here are my faves.

For BrunchBacon Social House. Hands down the best brunch in town (in my humble opinion). Bacon Social House is well known for it’s popular bacon flight as well as the yummy array of breakfast cocktails. Opt for the Prickly Pear mimosa and don’t miss the Boozy French Toast

For the picky eater… Try a food hall, such as Denver Central Market, Denver Milk Market, or Avanti. Denver is popular for it’s collective eateries, which feature several food stalls and restaurants in one place, so everyone can choose their own entrees, or you can opt to go for a bunch of different items and share!

For a Dinner DateBar Dough is a can’t-miss Italian spot in the heart of Lo-Hi, a fun neighborhood just across the bridge from downtown. They make all of their breads in-house, so don’t skip on a pizza or garlic bread! Save room for a pasta and the desserts as well.

For a New York Lover… Hit up Rosenbergs for bagels (or a pastrami sandwich). This authentic bagelry is so extra that they actually import water from New York so that their bagels will taste like real NYC bagels. Aaaand they do. They’re amazing.

For a Sweet Tooth… skip the notorious long lines of Voodoo Doughnut and try Habit Doughnut Dispensary. This doughnut shop offers fun flavors that change every day of the week, and for an extra $2, you can buy a syringe of alcohol to infuse into your doughnut. **Pro Tip** ‘check-in’ on Yelp for a free doughnut!

For the TouristLittle Man’s Ice Cream is a well-known spot in the Highlands, but the lines can be gruesome. Skip the line by going to the Express Window and ordering one of the 6 flavors they have there (if they have a salted flavor available, opt for that). You’ll still get the experience, but your wait time will be cut down a ton.

John enjoying the Salted Oreo (see line behind him)

For the Hungry Happy Hour GoerLinger is a fun rooftop restaurant and bar that has, in my opinion, some of the best food and cocktails in Denver. Don’t miss the Bao Buns from the happy hour menu (the fried chicken bun is bomb) and the New Saigon cocktail if you love slightly spicy, but refreshing cocktails (only $6 on HH!)

For Southern Food… Try Tupelo Honey for amazing (and pretty legit) southern food. Brunch is amazing, but you can’t go wrong here for lunch and dinner as well. They specialize in fried chicken (obviously), and make some mean goat cheese grits. Holy cow!

Where to Drink

Denver is home to some incredible breweries, and there are so many different types of beers and ciders, that even non-beer drinkers will most likely find something they love. Most of the breweries come with an outdoor beer garden or rooftop scene, complete with tons of dogs big and small. These spots are a ton of fun and super relaxing, so a must-do while in Denver!

Odell Brewery This is where I found my favorite beer in Denver! I am a huge sour beer lover, and this is the place. If you also like sour beers, check out the cucumber lime beer. This is so refreshing and delicious, perfect for a hot day. Can’t go wrong, all the beers here are fab.

Infinite Monkey Theoremalso in RiNo area is a winery called Infinite Monkey Theorem. They brew and can their own wines here, and they are delish. Grab one of their newly released spritzers and enjoy the sunshine in their garden area.

Recess A fun beer garden in the Highlands, this place is packed when the sun is shining. If you’re in the mood for a beer and some bar food (hellooooo make your own Mac n Cheese) then this is your spot.

Linger I already mentioned this, but Linger’s happy hour is spot on. The $6 cocktails are not to be missed (must repeat: get the New Saigon!)

AvantiAlso previously mentioned, Avanti is a fun collective eatery with several bars as well as restaurants. Avanti is great for a night out and has an awesome view of Denver’s downtown.

Fried Chicken Tacos from Avanti

Where to Shop

Denver is home to some fun shopping, and while I was drinking heavily more than I was whipping out my credit card, I did manage to sneak in a bit of boutique time.

HighlandsThis hip area is home to Denver’s cutest boutiques that you won’t find at home. Shop around Highland Square for the cutest finds.

RiNo Nomad Popups Hit up Nomad for a slough of popup shops in this converted warehouse. You’ll find everything from plants, to clothes, to full on furniture. You won’t leave empty-handed.

16th Street Mall is home to all the stores you know and (sometimes) love. They have a huge mall with everything from a Target to a Forever 21.

Whatever you end up doing, enjoy every second of this glorious city!

All my love,


While you’re here, follow me on the gram to see other City Guides @harpergreylifestyle.

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