If Buffalo Bill Cody were to find himself on modern day Larimer Square in some sort of “Excellent Adventure” scenario, he would no doubt be confused by the animal apparel shops and hipster stores. Hell, we grew up in this crazy world and even we can’t understand who actually buys anything from these places. They seem more suited for Rodeo Drive…not a town that does actual rodeo drives.
The good news is there’s more to Larimer than fancy dress shops and upscale canine boutiques. It’s also a great place to get your eat and drink on. See below for how we get down.
A Denver standard, Osteria seemingly gets better every time we pay them a visit. We love places that have great pizza and wine lists that push us out of our comfort zones (see: Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom & Robiola pizzas). Thanks to its cozy subterranean location, Osteria is perfect for dates, and any day that Colorado’s weather isn’t doing that awesome sunshine thing.
If you are dining at a fancy steak/seafood establishment like Ocean Prime or Capital Grille, you are likely taking full advantage of a corporate card. And we salute you. To know which venue is right for you, follow this simple equation: take your age, add how many times you’ve seen Creedence Clearwater Revival live and divide by how many Kardashians you can name. If your answer is under Justin Bieber’s age, go to Ocean Prime.
This classed-up Mediterranean joint is a great place to take dates, out-of-towners, and anyone that appreciates good food with a focus on things from the sea. All will be impressed that the owner Jennifer Jasinski was a runner up on Bravo’s Top Chef. Some may also care that she won a James Beard Award in 2013 for best chef in the Southwest.
This cozy little hideout is tricky to find unless you’re looking, but that only helps with the ambiance when you finally get inside. The Smokehouse has carved out a niche for itself with its fancy BBQ, and their beef ribs leave other downtown BBQ joints in the dust.
This semi secret spot is one of the city’s few speakeasy style bars, and they’re serving some of the best cocktails in Denver. This is a great place for dates, mixology sh*t, and late-night parties. Have one of their signature drinks, or have an educated bartender cater to your weird, bacon-jalapeno-gin palate. Seriously, they won’t judge.
Tamayo does fancy Mexican well. They’re located on a solid corner for people watching, with a rooftop bar that hosts a solid happy hour in the summer.
Another Jasinski eatery - this one’s her take on a gastropub. Lots of sausage and an insane selection of beers make this a great place to happy hour both after work and late-night.
Face it, going to a wine bar is how you show everyone you’re fancy as f*ck. Cru was one of the first on the Denver scene and it’s still doing its thing well. Order a flight of wine to try small portions of pricey wines that would usually be reserved for very special occasions.