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Jelly U Cafe

The University neighborhood almost never comes to mind when you think of good places to eat in Denver. The area around the DU campus is pretty much what you’d expect: Starbucks, tanning salons, tons of rich kids, and interchangeable pizza/sandwich/burrito joints. Thankfully, a former Tokyo Joe’s became Jelly’s second Denver location a while back, and along with some other new spots around here, things are finally looking up.

We generally try to avoid the mess that is weekend brunch in Denver, but the wait at Jelly is rarely a long one, especially before 10am. We like that. It also looks like the 80's threw up in here, but there’s a lot less hipster irony than you might expect. We like that too. You will find mint condition boxes of Urkel-Os, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Cereal, and C-3PO’s on the wall, but no, they will not let you eat them. We'll call that a draw.

What we like the most about Jelly is the simple stuff, like the fact that the service is good, the prices are decent, and basic breakfast of egg + meat + toast (with jelly) is always solid. You can get even bougey with benedicts and such, and the $3 bloody mary weekday specials are worth checking out, especially if you find yourself around DU. Is the food going to blow your mind? Probably not. But then again, Tokyo Joe certainly wasn't either.

Food Rundown

Harvest Hash

If you’ve ever wanted the flavors of Thanksgiving without the shame of 3,000 calories, this is your jam. An earthy, vegetarian hash full of root vegetables hits the spot on a cold morning. You can pick two eggs any style, but go poached. It will fill you up and knock you out, but isn’t that what brunch is about? Some cheese or sauce would have made this better, but that’s nothing Sriracha or Cholula can’t solve.

Roasted Turkey Hash

If you’re feeling anemic, or drunk, this protein bomb will hit the spot. The turkey could have been smokier, but this is a good choice. Do yourself a favor and get the big *ss biscuit instead of toast and slather on that jelly like it’s going out of style.

Pork Belly Hash

Another great hash play, this one comes with cider braised pork belly. No complaints.

Roast Turkey Benedict

The menu said that the eggs for this were “affectionately poached,” which we didn’t know was possible. This is a solid benedict.

Donut Bites

Made to order in small (4) and large (8) varieties; also available gluten free. Check out the jelly filled, lemon custard, peanut butter/Sriracha or the Bhakti Chai (from Boulder), which are all damn good. Crispy on the inside and soft at the core, just how it should be. The jelly-filled was everything you’d expect, but the standout here is the Bhakti Chai flavor with its creamy texture and spicy kick.

Veggie Biscuits and Gravy

Thanksgiving leftovers on top of drop biscuits. We'll always be down for that.

Bhakti Chai French Toast

This is the kind of French toast we all think we could make if only we weren’t so lazy. Spicy and rich. Throw some eggs and sausage on the side and you’re golden.


Why the hell is milk on this Food Rundown? If you hail from the Midwest like me, you already know - this is lifeblood. It’s the little touches that make the difference and drinking frosty milk from a huge pilsner glass is how I imagined fancy adults would have breakfast when I was a kid. Perfect.

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