Opening Day in Denver is basically just our sequel to St. Patrick’s Day. And like every good sequel, we add more gore, more debauchery, and somehow, more drunk people.
We could say traditionally it’s how we celebrate spring, or how we pay respect to Galarraga, Bichette, and Castilla - but if we’re being honest, we know the tradition has more to do with needing an excuse to skip work early, get sauced, and hang at the best patio in town - Coors Field.
Regardless of what tradition you use as your excuse, we figured it’d be helpful to roll out something to help you celebrate another great baseball tradition - a guide to the best hot dogs in town. In hopes of keeping you alive for the duration of the day, let these recommendations be the life raft that keeps you afloat during both pre- and post-game shenanigans. Be safe, and don’t forget the mustard.
Steve’s Snappin’ is no joke dogs-wise, and regardless of cuisine, offers some of the best off-the-beaten-path food, atmosphere, and service in the city. Oddly enough, this is the best hot dog spot to take your kids to after exposing them to the debauchery that is opening day. The menu takes a nice tour of the country, and offers a nice variety of stuff you’re used to, and stuff you’re probably not. Try the Atlanta and Memphis dogs.
Lower downtown’s favorite German beer hall, and mostly known for indoor bocce and giant beers. The sausages here though, in our opinion, are the real attraction. Rhein House has the absolute best pretzel bread bun in town. It’ll be hard to get a table, but the full menu is available via a seat at the bar.
What’s not to love about the rags-to-riches story of a 16th Street Mall cart that was so popular they opened not one, but two brick-and-mortar restaurants? Biker Jim’s is the American dream come true, and Denver’s all the better for it. It’s also within stumbling distance to the ball field - a perfect spot to commiserate with friends and other fans, after the Rockies blow a seven run lead.
Billy’s is all about variety, and is also within stumbling distance to the ball field, offering what you might call a “classier,” more elaborate hot dog stop with traditional and specialty sausages. You definitely won’t be disappointed by giving ol’ Bill a try. They also offer a nice variety of “not dogs,” also known as meatless options for people who you should not be hanging out with as t relates to baseball.
In our opinion, the more off the beaten path, the better the hot dog. Chicago is definitely standing alone on the Western side of Colfax, and they’re doing pretty damn well. Nothing fancy, but worth the trip. Plus they’re right across the street from Casa Bonita, so consider this your best stop post-afternoon Rockies game for a night cap full of cliff diving, sopapillas, and Black Bart’s Cave. Your stomachache the next day will be worth it.
A cheaper dog stand/spot that offers a six pack of Chicago Style dogs with fries for cheap. Their hot Italian beef options are also worth your time. We like the location on Santa Fe best, but the ballpark stand does just fine when you can’t spell your name, or drive, or remember the Rockies blowing a 9th inning lead.
Originating in Boulder, this is another classic stand that keeps things super simple on the dog front. But their simplicity is what makes them great. They’ve been bringing Chicago roots to Colorado since 1978, and also have a strong variety of other non-dog options for the group. This is where you go when you’re still up to being a respectful human.
Located in LoHi, right across from the pedestrian bridge into the city, Über Eats is definitely casual, definitely delicious, and features a menu that takes some chances - think things like pork belly benedict and chilaquiles eggs. And also, they make the kind of sausages that might leave you unable to walk to the game afterwards. So for a safe bet, maybe share a sausage and splurge on the tots.
Go ahead... judge all you want. But when push comes to shove, and you’re walking home hungry, inebriated and desperate, you’ll need this. You know, and we know that you’re going to walk by, or your Uber driver is going to drive by, a 7-11. Stop, and get your ass inside for a hot dog. Don’t be afraid.