The Westword 2014 Food and Drink Bucket List: #15-6
Larimer Square has gone from tourist trap to a hot dining destination -- for locals.
What are the hundred things everyone should do in Colorado before they die? We posed that question to our writers and editors, and this week we'll be rolling out their answers across our blogs, with can't miss events/activities in music, the great outdoors, the arts and, of course, food.
Check back on January 16 for the full Denver Bucket list -- and in the meantime, post your own suggestions for our last five food and drink bucket-list items in the comments section below.
See also: The Westword 2014 Food and Drink Bucket List: #25-a6
15. Join the crowds at Pete's Kitchen at 3 a.m.Of all Pete Contos's places, Pete's Kitchen -- an iconic East Colfax institution -- has the most character, the best insomniac street-theater vibe. While the venerable joint is open 24/7, the crowds really start coming when the bars close up; by 2 a.m., there's often a line stretching out the door and down the block. But no matter what time you go, dining at Pete's is never dull; you'll be sitting by bankers, beatniks, bikers and buggy-eyed drunks, all tucking into gigantic plates of comfort food.
14. Get called "hon" at Breakfast King at 4 a.m.For those who are feeling less social at the end of a night on the town, Breakfast King reigns supreme. For more than four decades, this has been the spot for Denver's night owls to land when they're in need of a feed. The crowd is a weird conglomeration of club kids and criminals, night-shift blue collars and just plain folks who've found themselves a little bit lost on the wrong side of midnight -- and they're all treated like regulars by the folksy waitresses.
13. Hit a Santiago's drive-thru for a breakfast burrito at 7 a.m.
Colorado is lucky to have many homegrown Mexican chains -- but none have been as successful as Santiago's. And with good reason: This chain, which has twenty locations (and counting), many with drive-thrus, serves up an absolutely addictive green chile. In mild, medium and hot, it's tasty enough at any heat level to slurp up on its own -- but it's even better smothering a Santiago's breakfast burrito.
12. Try to chat with a knife-wielding kitchen worker at El Taco de Mexico"For truly amazing flavors, El Taco de Mexico is a must," wrote Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern, shortly after he and his film crew touched down in the Mile High City last year to chow their way through some of the town's most iconic restaurants. El Taco de Mexico, he declared, was "Denver's quintessential taqueria," serving the "best menudo and tacos in the city." And some of our favorite enchiladas, all prepared by the busiest, knife-wielding lunch ladies you'll see in this city. Lori Midson