One day it’s below zero and snowing like crazy; the next it’s practically balmy. Welcome to late winter in Colorado. Here are our favorite restaurants to keep you covered from cold snap to heat wave and back again.
Cold Beer and Hot Coffee: Denver Bicycle Cafe
This Uptown hangout is home to the perfect storm of Colorado obsessions: cycling and craft brew. By “brew,” we mean both beer and coffee, of course, and the crew that runs this joint is passionately knowledgeable about every last drop.
In snow: As you get your morning cup, they’ll tell you anything you want to know about the beans they source from local roasters or the differences among their multiple specialty-brewing methods.
In sunshine: When you’re ready for a cold one, you’ll have dozens of cans and a handful of ever-rotating taps to choose from - all Colorado-brewed, of course.
1308 E. 17th Ave.; 720-446-8029
Comfort Food and Light, Healthy Fare: Olive & Finch Eatery
The crew at Mary Nguyen’s all-day Uptown cafe not only does it all, they do it all with panache.
In sunshine: In tee-shirt weather, you’ve got salads chock-full of superfoods and fresh-pressed juice blends categorized by their health benefits: think “aids digestion” and “boosts immunity.”
In snow: Hearty breakfast concoctions, vibrant sandwiches and house-baked pastries await when your belly needs insulating. Our picks include the City French - two eggs with ham, Brie and red-pepper aioli over an open croissant - and the blackened fish on ciabatta with Swiss, coleslaw, tartar sauce and capers, as well as the famous beef-tongue sandwich (pictured top).
1552 E. 17th Ave.; 303-832-8663
A Fireplace and a Patio: The Kitchen Boulder
This farm-to-fork pioneer on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall is really three places in one - and all have their own menus, so you can really choose your own adventure here.
In sunshine: Both the cozy bistro that started it all and its adjacent, beer-centric community pub (called, yes, Next Door) boast patios.
In snow: Upstairs, the small-plates lounge directly above the flagship (fittingly named Upstairs), invites you to cuddle up before its fireplace.
1039 Pearl St., Boulder; 303-544-5973
Warm and Chilled Cocktails: Beatrice & Woodsley
This Baker ode to the backroads and foodways of the Rocky Mountains has long been known as one of Denver’s most mesmerizingly atmospheric destinations, right down to the chainsaws holding up the bar. The cocktails deserve as much buzz as they yield.
Sunshine: During weekend brunch, even those libations that are served on the rocks exude a certain warmth via ingredients like Earl Grey-infused gin, apple whiskey and sage simple syrup - so they're at once refreshing and seasonally appropriate.
Snow: Meanwhile, steaming-hot options like the Speedy Gonzales (cinnamon-tinged tequila, coffee liqueur and espresso) and the Hot Buttered Yum, pictured center, go down easy alongside chef Pete List’s pork-cheek hash or wild-boar burger.
38 S. Broadway; 303-777-3505