Ten best hipster restaurants in Denver
Mirror, mirror on the graffitied wall -- which is the hippest hangout of all? Denver is suddenly bursting with hipster neighborhoods, spiraling out from the longtime center in Capitol Hill to South Broadway, LoHi and the burgeoning RiNo area. And not only are these neighborhoods home to cool coffeehouses and watering holes, but increasingly they're attracting some of the most interesting restaurants in town. The lineup changes rapidly, but here's our list of the ten best hipster restaurants in Denver (presented in no particular order), right now!
Lori Midson The Source opened a new chapter in hipster hangouts with Comida.
See also: Denver's ten hippest bars
3 South Broadway
Sputnik continues to be a favorite hipster bar -- but it pulls its weight as a restaurant, too. Turning out eclectic interpretations of commonplace bar snacks (like fried pickle chips and hand-dipped corn dogs), Sputnik feeds the hungry hordes that come in for lazy weekend brunches, productive breakfasts (courtesy of the free WiFi), and pre-and-post show bites. The menu is seasonal, with offerings ranging from mac-and-cheese to falafel pitas and bibimbap; Sputnik prides itself on a menu that is vegetarian and vegan-conscious, too. And meals are usually graced by the sounds of a live DJ spinning vintage vinyl or something new that you've never heard of.
9) Illegal Pete's
270 South Broadway
Illegal Pete's has always been a go-to for pints of cheap beer and plates of tacos, either when you're on the move or lingering to watch the ever-changing stream of bands that come through some locations almost nightly. (After he founded the Boulder-based Pete's chain, founder Pete Turner started Greater Than Collective, a record label conceived with Virgil Dickerson in 2011.) But when Illegal Pete's opened its sprawling location on South Broadway this year, it also created a hipster headquarters in a neighborhood already brimming with hip. The place oozes a casual sort of cool, conducive to hours of relaxing inside at the bar, or outside with beers and a lawn game.
8) City, O' City
206 East 13th Avenue
To put City, O' City in a vegetarian box would be wrong. Yes, this Capitol Hill mainstay serves up an incredible line of vegetarian dishes that stun even the most devout of carnivores -- seitan wings, a fork & knife sandwich made with "meatless" loaf, steaming udon noodles served in a carrot, ginger broth -- but it serves up so much more in character and cool. City, O' City is a vibrant mix of coffeehouse, hippie haven, cozy lunch and dinner spot, and raucous bar. And whether they're sitting down for lunch or heading to that bar (which screens movies and usually has a live DJ), patrons rarely pass up the pastry case, which doles out all-vegan treats (like its take on a classic ho-ho) from the in-house bakery.
7) Colt & Gray
1553 Platte Street
Colt & Gray, the Platte Street gastropub, is bigger and better than ever, serving up bone marrow and burgers topped with fois gras like nobody's business. The bar, however, is why hipster beer and spirits geeks originally flocked here: The staffers, perhaps enjoyed best when given full creative license, mix expert cocktails with a profound knowledge of what's stocked at the bar and beyond, in an intimate setting that makes it too easy to stick around. The recent dining room expansion, plus the long-awaited opening of underground Ste. Ellie, are destined to make this even more of a hipster hangout, with a speakeasy feel and plates of charcuterie cured in-house.