8 Surefire Fall Brunch Spots in Denver

By Ruth Tobias  |  November 15, 2013

Coloradans get the party started early. Hitting the trails and the slopes at the crack of dawn, they’re ready to refuel before the average urban nester gets both eyes open. And every weekend, area chefs rise to the occasion with a bevy of brunch plates and sips; with the gradual turn of the weather, of course, the offerings are getting all the heartier.

  • Credit: Chelsea Smith

    Bingo Brunch at The Squeaky Bean

    Since day one, Johnny Ballen’s playground for chowhounds and cocktail loungers has boasted a wall-mounted bingo board - and now the crew is making good on that implicit promise. Though Sunday brunch service runs from 10 AM to 3 PM, the rush tapers off around 1 PM, and the respite sets the stage for bingo games hosted by local comedians. Order any plate, get a card - and, just maybe, win a prize: think concert tickets or a bottle of wine.

    1500 Wynkoop St. #101; 303-623-2665

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Sassafras American Eatery

    Housed in a restored 19th-century Victorian, the year-old sleeper hit of Jefferson Park emanates enough warmth to stave off every approaching chill - and the seasonal, Southern-rooted breakfast-and-lunch fare couldn’t be sunnier either. Though it’s tough to pass up the eggs Sardou featuring cornmeal-fried oysters over a roasted-garlic grit cake (pictured), the current menu also boasts killer gut-busters like buffalo short-rib poutine with housemade Andouille sausage and banana-custard brioche French toast with pecans and cinnamon syrup - just the stuff, in short, to keep you cozy long after the last bite.

    2637 W. 26th Ave.; 303-433-0080

  • Credit: Taryn Kapronica

    beast + bottle

    Given the earnestness of his farm-to-fork concept and the seriousness of his technical chops, you’d think chef Paul C. Reilly would be above guilty pleasures. His brunch menu tells a funnier story. Like the signature Chinese mustard-drizzled french fries he salvaged from Encore on Colfax, recent additions blend upmarket verve with state-fair novelty: think pig trotters in a blanket with gingered red-wine demi and walnuts or a carrot-cake waffle with maple mascarpone and pecan praline.

    719 E. 17th St.; 303-623-3223

  • Credit: Adam Larkey

    Izakaya Den

    Among the most drop-dead gorgeous spaces in town, the Kizaki brothers’ two-story temple to modern Japanese design admittedly feels like a special-occasion destination. But who says you can’t treat yourself before the sun goes down? Overseen by chef de cuisine Daniel Bradley - whose arrival coincided with the restaurant’s move across the street this summer - the weekends-only lunch menu ranges from traditional sashimi and ramen to truffled arancini and the much-loved grilled panzanella with crab and pistachios.

    1487-A S. Pearl St.; 303-777-0691

  • Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

    The Glendale outpost of the Big Red F restaurant group’s beloved seafood concept has been rocking and rolling since its summertime launch - but it takes a jazzier turn on Sundays, with a live combo setting the tone for such civilized stuff as lobster scrambled eggs in shellfish velouté and blue-crab-cake Benedict (pictured).

    650 S. Colorado Blvd., Glendale; 303-756-6449

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Corner House

    Bathed in sunlight, the rustic farmhouse-in-the-city charms of this Jefferson Park magnet really sparkle during weekend brunch hours (9 AM-3 PM). And so, of course, does hometown hero Matt Selby’s repertoire, be it staples like the robust short-rib chilaquiles with lime crema (pictured) or autumn arrivals such as a salad of frisée, beets and smoked blue cheese in hibiscus vinaigrette. If a little hair of the dog’s in order, the new When Doves Cry cocktail - blending tequila blanco with grapefruit, lime and Fresno chiles - definitely bristles.

    2240 Clay St.; 720-287-1895

  • Adelitas Cocina y Cantina

    After a few months in business, this vibrant Mexican joint at the edge of Platt Park is becoming something of a juicy open secret. Because the Michoacán-focused lunch-and-dinner menu has so many moving parts, managing partner Brian Rossi and chef Sylvia Iyala “wanted to keep brunch simple for starters,” Rossi says. As a result, the dishes on offer from 10 AM-3 PM on Saturdays and Sundays aren’t numerous, but their comforts run deep, including traditional pozole and huevos divorciados served Christmas-style (that is, with green and red chiles). If you require a harder hitter than the prickly-pear mimosa to wash it all down, try the punch-packing yet perfectly balanced mezcalrita.

    1294 S. Broadway; 303-778-1294

  • Credit: June Cochran Photography


    The open kitchen at this ex mortuary turned hipster wonderland has been taking its guests on a whimsical whirlwind tour of the world’s street food from the get-go. But Justin Cucci’s crew may have outdone themselves this season with funky brunch fare like “Tokyo-White Castle” sliders with Tender Belly bacon on squid-ink buns and a roasted-beet salad that hits the jackpot of crunch with puffed rice, chickpeas, toasted lentil noodles, black quinoa, cashews and peanuts (whew). They’ve also got a way with raw food around here - case in point being horchata gone green with kale and avocado.

    2030 W. 30th Ave.; 303-993-3120

  • Credit: Jathan Campbell

    Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar

    Walking into Robert Thompson’s throwback to golden-era Paris is akin to getting a snap makeover: no matter the degree of dishevelment from the night before, you’ll feel instantly more civilized amid the burnished woods, glowing pendant lamps and dishes off the fall brunch menu. After all, John Broening, who joined the team as head chef this summer, imparts a touch of class to everything from beignets to the duck-confit hash cakes Thompson says he eats “pretty much every Saturday.”

    1512 Curtis St.; 303-534-1155