Live Like a Local: Denver


Over the years, we've loved sharing Napa Valley hot spots with our loyal followers.  These popular "live like a local" posts have featured everything from hiking trails, to best breakfasts, to blow out dinners, and many in between. We're thrilled to bring you our favorite haunts in our favorite cities around the country.  Each city has its own trove of extraordinary restaurants, bars, tours, and hot spots, and we've asked our Round Pond friends and family to share their insider tips and local trending venues.  Our first feature of this kind - Live Like a Local: San Francisco - was wildly popular, and so was our next edition, Live Like a Local: Chicago.  We hope that you can put our newest list to good use and enjoy living like a local....in Denver.  Don't forget to tell them Round Pond sent you!


Denver Restaurants:

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Guard and Grace's spectacular street-level space is located in the heart of Downtown Denver. It's a modern take on a steakhouse, with expanses of fiery grills and bar tops, private rooms, and a posh, walk-in, floor-to-high-ceiling glassed wine cellar! Its playful menu of Prime Angus and local grass-fed beef, fresh seafood, charcuterie, artisanal cheeses and vegetarian selections is inspired. The oyster bar is gorgeous and delicious - and absolutely not to be missed. Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar offers two locations, in Highlands Ranch and another in Golden. They offer a seasonal menu and wine list, full bar including several wines by the glass, specialty cocktails, spirits, and beers from around the world. The wine bar is a great place to relax and catch up with friends, and the outdoor patio with its inviting fire pits and great views make for a relaxing lounge-like experience. Be sure to order the crab cakes when you go!
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Having a burger at the Cherry Cricket will put you good company. There's a lot of Denver history within this modest brick and mortar building on East 2nd Avenue that's been serving customers since 1945.  Plenty has changed around the neighborhood, but very little has changed inside this place. The Cricket is a place where a delicious burger, a cold beer, and good friends will be able to meet up and enjoy each other. Linger is aptly named - it was a originally a mortuary, and is now a bustling, extremely popular restaurant/bar with a menu that has a dish inspired by cuisine from just about every continent, like their amazing fried chicken or pork-belly sweet buns, and honey-sriracha duck wings.  With its amazing views of the city from its rooftop patio and quirky interior (they have a Lite-Brite bar!), this place is truly, coolly impressive.
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Barolo Grill's entire staff travels annually to Northern Italy to discover authentically inspired dishes and wineries.  Back in Denver, seasonally changing menus highlight locally-sourced ingredients from regional farms and artisans.  Owner and wine director Ryan Fletter builds the extensive collection of Northern Italian wines by featuring small family wineries that are dedicated to earth-friendly farming and old-world winemaking philosophies. Vesta Dipping Grill is unique in its concept: sauces from around the globe - chutneys, salsas, marmalades, and aiolis, served alongside equally global cuisine. There are more than 20 unique sauces to choose from, and Chef Brandon Foster’s love of seasonal, fresh ingredients with a focus on technique comes through with the impressive presentation and suggested pairings. Not to be out-done by their dishes,  their bar is packed with local micro-brewed beers and inventive cocktails.
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The don't-miss spot of the moment has to be Denver's gorgeously refurbished Union Station. This train station has it all, whether you’re looking for high-end, fast or comfort food, Union Station’s restaurant choices will meet your needs. Some of the city’s most critically-acclaimed, eateries, bars, and cafes can be found in one place - all while being a train station. ChoLon Asian Bistro on the 16th street mall, a top local spot for the last 3 or 4 years. ChoLon, which translates to "big market”, is named after the largest Chinese-influenced market in Saigon, Vietnam. ChoLon's menu hallmarks inspired interpretations of traditional dishes found across the exotic Far East. Lobster Saigon crepes with lettuce cups are a must-try.


Denver activities, venues, & More:

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Denver Botanic Gardens is a great walk-about. This dynamic 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city offers unforgettable garden experiences, as well as world-class art, education, and plant research. Bring a picnic basket, enjoy the restaurant in the middle of the gardens, or just stroll and enjoy. They have an amazing summer concert series, too. Red Rocks Amphitheater is a rock structure 10 miles west of Denver, where concerts are given in the open-air amphitheater. A trip up to this famous concert venue should be on the bucket list of all live-music lovers. Even if you can’t make it to a show, there is now a museum on site with the history of bands and construction of this awesome space.
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The story behind how Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey came to be is just about as good as the whiskey itself. Hear all about it on this fun one hour tour of the production brew house, still, rack house, bottling room floor includes a taste of the yummy liquid gold.  When the tour is over, chill in their on-site Whiskey Lounge and get a taste of Stranahan’s in signature cocktails crafted with local products. Coffee at Colorado-based chain ink! in the 'Little Raven' District of Denver is something you’ll want to do. They have a selection of fresh sandwiches and salad, as well as great coffee, and now ice cream!  Stay and sip, or grab that fuel to-go and hit Confluence Park across the way where you can take a river-side walk, picnic,  or rent a kayak and hit the South Platte River.


What other Denver activities and places are on your list?  Let us know in the comment section!


Feed by Round Pond

Written by Feed by Round Pond

The Feed by Round Pond is a collective voice of the staff that embodies the ethos of all we do--from making wine to making artisanal food products to just plain having fun--here at Round Pond.

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