Last March, when I was alone and jobless, I began to journal what life during the ‘rona was like. Despite the restrictions, I was still able to dine out, travel, and adapt to my circumstances (as safe as possible, of course.) When the pandemic is over, I will be submitting this blog in print form to History Colorado to add to their archives.
I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to start a food blog, but here it is! I actually kicked off the @mtngirleats Instagram in 2020 and then created a real website a year later. This is where I’m eating in Colorado with a focus on Denver.
My latest project has been blogging for my first business ever: Mountain Girl Company! It has all the items you need for your first trip into the mountains. My online boutique encompasses everything I love such as community and sustainability, as well as helpful tips on what to do in Colorado.
Denver, CO — Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Here’s a list of my favorite restaurants to hit up in the Mile-High.
The French Press Cafe and Bakery — Five years ago, I stumbled upon the French Press when it was still part of a strip mall in Lakewood. I fell in love with their zucchini pistachio pancakes then and still order them often to this day. Everything else is delicious at this New Orleans inspired cafe such as the breakfast burrito with pork green chile or their own version of a Monte Cristo (please please please bring it back). Special shoutout to the candied bacon which is hands down the best bacon I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
Sassafras American Eatery — I’m not a huge “bennie” person but Sassafras’ “Deep South” Benedict takes me straight back to Nawlins. Pulled pork, pepper jam, and jalapeño cornbread makes this the perfect protein packed breakfast. Sassafras also has a killer bar game with its mimosa flights, spiked milkshakes, and lavender-infused cocktails. *Sigh* Can I just be there already?
Prosper Oats — Sometimes I just want to start my day off with an açaí bowl, is that okay? I like stopping by the Prosper Oats in LoHi and building my own, topped with dates, granola, cacao nibs, and crystallized ginger. (If you don’t know what you want, Prosper Oats has plenty of other combos for you to choose from.) Other times, if I’m craving a smoothie, I’ll get the “Pearls for Eyes,” a blendy blend of kiwifruit, grapefruit, banana, and coconut milk.
Green Seed Market — And sometimes, all I want for breakfast is fresh-pressed juice, and one of my favorite spots just happens to be located in none other than the Denver Central Market. I’ve eaten probably everything here (don’t quote me on that), and I could still never get bored of this place. Juices range from charcoal lemonade to blends like “Detox” or “Immunity 2.0.” I don’t really drink it because of the fancy names, I mainly drink it because it’s actually really good.
Butcher Block Cafe — When I want a home cooked breakfast, I will drive into the mess that is RiNo and face the potholes to dine at the good old Butcher Block. I always order the #1 Breakfast Special, which comes with eggs, bacon, and French toast soaked in pancake batter (!!!) It’s serious comfort food, and I regret even letting you in on this. I take it back, it’s awful, don’t go. 😉
Araujos — Para desayuna, toma los $2 breakfast burritos y una horchata, para llevar.
Black Eye Coffee — You might get a haughty barista and glares from the work-from-homers when you come in to Black Eye, but I don’t care. You can trace their arrays of roasts back to the bean and they know how to make a mean cup of java. Don’t forget about its food menu though! I occasionally crave the homemade brioche topped with apples, bruleed goat cheese and honey. ‘Tis divine.
June 12, 2019
Syrup — I’ll admit, I’ve never been to City Park West before but I’ll go for Syrup. An expanding Denver breakfast chain, Syrup is a delicious spot perfect for brunching. I fell in love with their coconut French toast, covered in crunchy coconut flakes and coconut syrup, which tastes every bit as good as it sounds. I paired it with a tall pint of house nitro cold brew, because who doesn’t like the caffeine and sugar jitters?
Crema — How on earth did I forget to add Crema to this list. Located in the heart of RiNo, Crema is another one of those breakfast spots I’d risk my life going into the neighborhood for. They serve the freshest juice, coffee, and delicious quiche that everyone should start their day off with, at least just once. P.S. If there isn’t any room to sit up front, sneak off to the back patio to get away from the hectic morning crowds OR alternatively, head to its Denver Central Market bodega.
MAM (MakeAMill) Couture Boutique has been around Denver since 2000, so it’s no surprise that they have a cult following from professional athletes to entertainers as well as local and visiting clientele. Owner Rashad Randolph, backed by his business partner, Delgie Jones, and brothers, Brandon and Kyl, started MakeAMill in his mom’s garage by printing and selling Supreme and Tall t-shirts (circa the time rappers wore long t-shirts to layer under jerseys, velour jumpsuits, and, ahem, the infamous sagging jeans trend). In 2017, Rashad opened up his first brick-and-mortar, MAM Couture Boutique, by the University of Denver where college students frequently visited the shop. However, when school wasn’t in session, business fell short and he knew that MAM Couture had to move. This past March, Rashad was in luck and landed a lease at the former RiNo Art District headquarters on Blake Street and now neighbors a marketing mogul and furniture company.
Don’t let the constant construction and pretentiousness of RiNo stall you from coming. You aren’t going to find threadbare bohemian dresses or Patagonia outerwear here. Instead, Rashad provides affordable options for male and female shoppers who are looking for an urban-meets-Colorado streetwear boutique. Rashad says he’s inspired by designers such as Ronnie Fieg (owner of Kith in New York City) and knows his customers appreciates trends, fabrics, and details you wouldn’t find anywhere else. If you find something you like, you better grab it fast — to keep items exclusive, Rashad only sells a limited selection of each item (one in each size). A few new lines in the works for MAM Couture are “Yes MAM,” curated by Rashad’s partner, Angel, and “Chief Couture,” which will focus on high-end couture clothing. If you’re searching for a boutique that genuinely captures Denver’s urban spirit, look no further than MAM Couture.
If you’ve ever been to the Venice Beach Boardwalk in L.A., perhaps you lined up by the towering “fish tacos $2” sign to find out if it’s worth the wait. One bite into the crisp and lightly battered fish, and you wonder where this taco’s been all your life.
Sadly, it’s been a minute since I’ve been to sunny California, but I still think about that taco all the time (does anyone else do that or is it just me?) Fortunately, I’ve found its twin, right here in Jefferson Park. Araujos Mexican Restaurant is frequented for its breakfast burritos (a flour tortilla stuffed with meat, potatoes, and scrambled eggs in a mild or hot chile sauce), but in the evening, has a killer happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Margaritas are two for the price of one, and those fish tacos I was talking about earlier? Get them on Wednesdays for $2 as well. Venice Beach, Jefferson Park. I couldn’t tell the difference.