Brunch is one of the best times to catch up with friends, impress mom on Mother’s Day, or recover from the night before with a big stack of pancakes and some mimosas. It’s even better in the spring when restaurants incorporate seasonal ingredients and open their patios.
But no one wants to wait in a two-hour line on an empty stomach, which is why it’s nice to have options — lots of options. So we’ve put together a list of 10 terrific brunch spots where you can order everything from the classics to some singular dishes worth trying.
Feeling fancy? Transport yourself to France on Saturday or Sunday at Noisette. The LoHi restaurant launched its bourgeois-style brunch in January with French classics like Oeufs en Meurette (poached eggs with bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms and wine sauce), or an omelet with cheese, chives and caviar, which pairs well with champagne or a Pomme Royale calvados cocktail. And if you’re in a rush, head to the bakery, where co-owner Lillian Cho will tempt you with beautiful, flaky pastries.
3254 Navajo St., Denver; noisettedenver.com
Wendell’s does the classic breakfast just right, and since it’s open Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., it counts as brunch as well. The new-school diner’s menu features buttermilk pancakes — which are bigger than your head — made with brandy, lemon zest and vanilla, as well as classic eggs Benedict, which stand tall with a thick slab of ham. There’s also country-fried steak and eggs slathered in gravy, seasonal specialties, and a boozy breakfast cocktail list that is just about as long as the food menu.
3838 Tennyson St., Denver; wendellsbreakfast.com
No one wants to have to make tough choices in the morning, which is why Safta’s weekend brunch buffet is the perfect place to allow your eyes to be bigger than your stomach. Stack your plate with all-you-can-eat hummus, latkes, cheeses, Rosenberg’s bagels and smoked salmon, challah and roasted lamb shoulder for $50 a person. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3330 Brighton Blvd., #201; Denver; eatwithsafta.com
Toast Fine Food & Coffee
Toast Fine Food & Coffee has stuck around Littleton for the past 15 years for good reason. The family spot has something for everyone on its modern American menu, which takes classic brunches to the next level. In the mood for something spicy? Try the Sante Fe French toast stuffed with eggs, chorizo, green chilies and melted cheese. Feeling sweet? Order the Nutty pancakes topped with Nutella, banana creme and Nutter Butters.
2630 W. Belleview Ave., #100, Littleton; toastfinefoodandcoffee.com
Sullivan Scrap Kitchen
Whoever thought leftovers sounded so good? Sullivan Scrap Kitchen — which utilizes unused ingredients from chef-owner Terence Rogers’ fine-dining catering service, TBD Foods — lets nothing go to waste. And almost all of its meat and produce are locally sourced and organic. The restaurant transforms another man’s castoffs into treasured seasonal dishes, like Green Chile Migas, a take on a New Mexican deconstructed huevos rancheros, a seasonal vegetable hash with crispy home fries and chimichurri or a smoked trout benedict with fennel pollen hollandaise.
1740 E. 17th Ave., Denver; sullivanscrapkitchen.com
This is one lobby worth waiting in. Ensconced in a century-old hotel near Coors Field, The Lobby has one of the best patios in town. It’s perfectly positioned in the sun, but also enveloped by sprawling trees, large enough for groups and is a perfect spot for people-watching downtown. But it’s the bottomless mimosas, bloody Marys and huge double-sided menu of classic brunch selections that keep you coming back.
2191 Arapahoe St., Denver; thelobbydenver.com
Fox Run Café
Fox Run Café is a quaint neighborhood breakfast joint, which makes it a little harder to squeeze into on the weekends, but start your workday later and catch it Monday through Friday. The menu is short but sweet (and savory). The homemade biscuit sandwiches (sausage or fried chicken) are the perfect pick-me-up early in the morning. I recommend the griddled banana bread.
3550 E. Colfax Ave., Denver; foxruncafe.com
Our brunch list wouldn’t be complete without Lucile’s, a local institution serving Cajun food around Colorado since 1980. The charming Creole cafe has six locations around the state, and is known for its shrimp and grits, beignets, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, chicory coffee and Southern hospitality.
275 S. Logan St., Denver, and five more locations; luciles.com
Bodega opened last June in the Highland neighborhood and is already popular for its breakfast sandwiches like The Basic, with bacon, egg, cheese and “a tater puck” on a poppy seed kaiser roll. But the hot spot fills up quickly, so get there early. And if you wait in line so long that you’re hungry for lunch, try its classic burger, the chili crisp fried chicken sandwich or the lamb birria French dip.
2651 W. 38th Ave., Denver; bodega-denver.com
Tokyo Premium Bakery
For a good, quick breakfast that doesn’t require reservations or a two-hour wait, head to Tokyo Premium Bakery on Pearl Street, which churns out some of the best Japanese pastries and croissants in town. Peek through the front wall of windows to get a glimpse of the baskets full of red bean-paste donuts, custard-filled cornets, powdered almond croissants as big as your face and deep-fried beef curry.
1540 S. Pearl St., Denver; tokyopremiumbakery.com
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