From prosciutto Benedicts at Snooze to Bloody Marys at The Lobby, these are your best bets for brunch in Denver.By Erica Buehler, and Molly Martin
Published on 3/18/2022 at 1:35 PM
Patio weather or not, you can’t keep Denverites from a good brunch. We’ve got a sixth sense for bottomless mimosas, hot, fresh beignets dusted in powdered sugar, and Benedicts smothered in hollandaise sauce. And one of the many wonderful things about Denver is its variety of breakfast and brunch spots from Five Points down to South Broadway. Whether you’re putting in work on a green chile-smothered burrito or snipping away at a bacon flight, you’re in for a damn good time next Saturday or Sunday morning (or both) if you head to one of these Denver dining institutions. Just make sure you schedule ample afternoon post-brunch nap time.
Sassafras American EateryWest Highland & Golden$$$$
Indulgence is the name of the game at either Sassafrass location, serving up sweet and savory Southern American food like a chicken pimento biscuit with duck fat country gravy, fried green tomato benedict, and breakfast mac ‘n cheese with cornbread croutons. If you’re feeling courageous, check out the massive 24-ounce bloody mary or one of the many unique mimosa flavors, from the Rendezvous with orange, pineapple, and apple to the Menage a trois with grapefruit, orange, and cranberry. The one thing you don’t want to miss? The hot and doughy, sugar-dusted beignets with a side of jam.
Let’s talk wines, bubbles, bloodys, ‘mosas, and some seriously craveable eats. Tater tot and chicken nugget brunch dishes? Check. Feeling like donut holes in churro dust and a side of chocolate sauce? Check. Or maybe you’re more into a red potato-based hash topped with two over-easy eggs. Whatever your pleasure, this is the place to go for something different, exciting, and always satisfying. It’s got all the brunch staples, from omelets to Benedicts to biscuits, and obviously a killer drink menu to boot.Available for Reservations
Whiskey Tango FoxtrotBallpark$$$$
Tired of typical brunch menus? This spot’s for you. WTF keeps things simple with a modest menu of just a few items, but boy do they pack a punch. We’re talking melty breakfast burgers, cinnamon roll French toast, chicken and waffles, sausage sammies, and smothered burritos, with lunch-ier options like pork wings and Caesar salad for those who aren’t looking for gluten and syrup. Treat yourself to mimosa bottle service or our recommendation of the Cafe Con Chata—a perfect blend of coffee, RumChata, and whipped cream.
If you haven’t caught on, Colorado is a local brunch franchise Mecca. Syrup rivals Snooze and Urban Egg in its multiple locations and drool-worthy menu. Options are your friends here, so sample away the sand dollar pancake flight, pigs in a blanket (pancakes stuffed with sausage patties), or five pieces of “crack bacon.” Unique takes here include waffle sliders and the D’Lish: crostinis topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, capers, and arugula. And that’s just a quarter of the menu. The best part: Syrup’s specialty syrups and butters, with flavors like blackberry or Kahlua syrup and pecan or honey cinnamon butter.
Four Friends KitchenCentral Park$$$$
You might recognize this name but if you haven’t been for brunch yet, now’s the time. This is another spot filled with Southern charm and entire menu sections devoted to benedicts, omelets, and overnight grits. Conquer the Southwest breakfast burrito smothered in green chile sauce, fluffy buttermilk pancakes (go for the bourbon pecan praline topper), or for a hearty, classic breakfast, try the Kitchen Sink—named for having every essential type of breakfast food in the mix, including BBQ house potatoes. Bloodys, mimosas, and refreshingly tasty breakfast cocktails are all on deck, too.
Denver Biscuit CompanyMultiple locations$$$$
Leave your gluten-averse friends at home because everything here is served on a homemade, fluffy biscuit. There are towering, Instagram-worthy gourmet sandwiches with fat-boy fillings like fried chicken and pork belly, as well as larger plates like the biscuit French toast, biscuits and gravy, biscuit pot pie, and shrimp and grits served in a biscuit bowl. You get the idea. There's also a full bar, complete with Bloodys and mimosas for washing down all those carbs.
This Boulder-based family business has built a mini-empire out of the impeccable Creole food it's been dishing out for over three decades (they’ve got locations in Boulder, Longmont, Ft. Collins, and Littleton along with the Denver-area University and Speer neighborhoods). For Southern transplants—or anyone who can appreciate brunch with a side of hot pepper vinegar-doused collards—Lucile's should be your No. 1 pick. From the giant, flaky buttermilk biscuits that accompany most plates to favorites like po-boys, crawfish etouffee, eggs Rockefeller (like the oysters, but with eggs), and shrimp & grits, Lucile's is the move when your stomach is running on empty.
Since opening in 2006, this Colorado-born chain has developed a cult following of brunch fans. The menu features a plethora of breakfast goodies—some traditional, some crazy. Breakfast pot pie, breakfast tacos, and prosciutto benedicts are just a small sampling of the indulgences that await you. They’re probably as well known for their long wait times as they are for their popular pancake flights, but good news: You can now join the waitlist virtually via Yelp. Just find thelocation nearest you and skip right to mimosa-time.
Star KitchenAthmar Park$$$$
If you think brunch should be about eggs, pancakes, and waffles, you're missing out on some very important options. Namely, dim sum. Star Kitchen typically draws crowds for its weekend brunch, where steamed buns and dumplings and noodles complement dishes like chicken feet and leek with pork blood. While the traditional dim sum carts are not roving around the restaurant right now, you can still order off the full dim sum menu in person.
JellyCapitol Hill & University$$$$
With walls adorned with retro cereal boxes and a brightly colored interior that’s basically made for Instagram posts, this spot (and it’s second location near DU) have quirky style covered. But the steady crowd is thanks to more than good looks. First, there’s the donuts. Or really donut holes to be accurate, with a variety of fillings like maple bacon, Thai peanut, and salted caramel. Once you’ve got a sweet start to the meal, move to to filling entrees like a not-to-be-missed Molly Hot Brown (aka turkey served on savory french toast with a slathering of poblano cheese sauce, bacon, and griddled tomatoes) or their southwest spin on a classic, the Haco Chili Benedict (a fluffy biscuit topped with poached eggs, hollandaise, and a smoky stew of chorizo, tomato, and poblano).
Urban EggMultiple locations$$$$
With eight locations from the Springs to Ft. Collins, this locally born brunch favorite is quickly becoming a statewide go-to. Their menu is loaded with brunch faves, from Benedicts, housemade biscuits and gravy, and three different types of avocado toast to the award-winning cinnamon swirl pancakes and indulgent stuffed french toast. And they’ve stepped up the brunch beverage game too with mimosas and bloodys, plus fresh juices and coffee-shop-worthy caffeinated drinks.
This Five Points destination serves up total brunch goodness thanks to chef Brain Smith, who’s bringing a bit of his New Orleans roots to the eatery with the addition of items like beignets served with lemon curd and panko-crusted fried green tomatoes with black peppercorn ranch. Along with other Southern-inspired favorites like shrimp and grits, this spot’s also got a lock on its namesake cocktail, mimosas, with two flight options: the Savage which features the classy, bougie, and ratchet mimosas, and the Kokomo flight with the sunshine, pina colada, and bellini versions.Available for Reservations
Bacon Social HouseMultiple locations$$$$
With “bacon” in the name, it’s clear what you’re coming here for. Many of the menu items feature bacon, from the bacon Cheddar biscuits loaded with peppery sausage gravy to the hash loaded with thick-cut bacon, sweet potatoes, hatch chiles, and caramelized onion—you can even get bacon-infused vodka in your Bloody Mary. But whatever you do, don’t skip the signature bacon flight which comes with six flavors of bacon and a pair of shears so you can share with the table… if they ask nicely. And now, with its location on South Broadway, there are three options for getting your bacon fix in town.Available for Reservations
Sam's No. 3Multiple locations$$$$
This down-to-earth joint with three locations (Glendale, Aurora, and downtown) has what you need to cure your hangover. The extensive food menu (16 pages!) has seemingly everything from American diner classics to plates overflowing with Greek and Mexican cuisine. There's even an entire page dedicated to breakfast burritos, which are as big as your head and covered in Sam’s famous green chile and a ton of cheese, as is Denver tradition. Pro tip: Do not make big plans after Sam's.
Devil’s Food: The Cookery at Myrtle HillWash Park$$$$
This place has its take on the ubiquitous breakfast burrito but with the indulgent addition of duck-fat fried potatoes. There are breakfast tacos (adorned with griddled mozzarella). There are crepes if you’re craving something on the sweeter side. But what you’re really here for are two dishes that are unexpected and oh-so-welcome for brunch: bacon fried rice and congee. Bacon fried rice is pretty self-explanatory, although Onefold’s is topped with eggs fried in duck fat, giving the whole dish an added layer of savory depth. Congee, if you need an introduction, is a rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. Here, they add duck confit, a poached egg, green onions, tamari soy sauce, salted ginger, and a generous swirl of chili. And with its newest Union Station location, you’ve got double the chance of trying out congee or sampling any of the other delicious offerings.
OneFoldUptown & Union Station$$$$
This place has its take on the ubiquitous breakfast burrito but with the indulgent addition of duck-fat fried potatoes. There are breakfast tacos (adorned with griddled mozzarella). There are crepes if you’re craving something on the sweeter side. But what you’re really here for are two dishes that are unexpected and oh-so-welcome for brunch: bacon fried rice and congee. Bacon fried rice is pretty self-explanatory, although Onefold’s is topped with eggs fried in duck fat, giving the whole dish an added layer of savory depth. Congee, if you need an introduction, is a rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. Here, they add duck confit, a poached egg, green onions, tamari soy sauce, salted ginger, and a generous swirl of chili. And with its newest Union Station location, you’ve got double the chance of trying out congee or sampling any of the other delicious offerings.Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.Molly Martin is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado who is always on the lookout for fun things to do. Follow her Mile High adventures @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram.