Unless you live under a rock, you realize Christmas is next Monday and with it comes twinkling lights, the possibility of an ugly sweater or two, and of course, time with family. And what better way to bring in all of that holiday cheer than with some good old fashioned whiskey? So whether it’ll be a gift to yourself to make it through day, to a ‘worldly’ boyfriend or girlfriend, maybe a whiskey-loving dad, or that soon to be mother and father-in-law you’re trying to impress, here’s a quick list of some of the best on the market today.
Nose: Hints of peppermint, malt, sweet barley, sugary porridge, creamy vanilla, papaya and citrus.
Palate: Spicy and soft, gentle bourbon oak, green woods, menthol, potpourri.
Finish: Creamy, long finish, vanilla.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof – This stuff is uncut, straight from the barrel without chill filtering and just won Whiskey Advocates Spirit of the Year award.
Nose: Fiery cinnamon and clove, joined by red apples covered in a thick layer of caramel.
Palate: Nutty at first, though soon enough you’ll find oodles of toasted sugar and vanilla bean notes.
Finish: Lasting orange oil and poached pear. Hot spices stick around minutes afterwards.
E.H. Taylor – This is a true sipping bourbon that is made by hand, aged inside century old warehouses, evaluated and selected to create the perfect blend of its distinct characteristics. If you’re wondering which option to choose from, honestly, just take your pick. They’re all exceptional tasting with unique layers of flavor.
GlenDronach 18 Year Old Allardice – This is a non chilled filtered, sherried single malt, matured in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, bottled at 46% and rated with a near perfect score from the Whiskey Bible.
Nose: Sherry notes so thick you need a knife to cut them! There’s a hint of old rum in there too, with pineapple and brown sugar in tow.
Palate: Christmas cake, rum again, chocolate-coated hazelnut, runny honey and a hint of Sauternes.
Finish: Fresh blackcurrant, blueberry pancakes with a generous helping of maple syrup.
Glenfiddich Project XX – This is the second release in the Experimental Series and made not by one Malt Master but 20 of them. Each was invited to pick any expression from the thousands of casks maturing in the warehouse. The 20 chosen whiskies were then married by Malt Master Brian Kinsman to create this single malt.
Nose: Classic fruitiness with hints of apple blossom and plump pear. A perfect balance of rich vanilla oak with golden sugar and a touch of liquorice.
Palate: Deep and mellow, the candyfloss sweetness is complemented by unusual notes of toasted almonds and cinnamon and a hint of crisp tannin.
Finish: Long lasting with a savoured sweet oakiness.
Looking for more cost effective options? Try these.
Larceny – This smooth, small batch, sipping bourbon uses wheat as the secondary grain rather than the more conventional choice of rye and just won Top 20 Spirit in the World.
Elijah Craig Small Batch – Producers discontinued the 12 year old expression and created this to take its place. But if you’re a fan of Elijah Craig, this one definitely maintains their standard for high quality and its delicious backed apple and honey flavor.
Korean BBQ has hit the world by storm and Denver is no different. There is just something about cooking your own meat on a tabletop grill and customizing your own food with various colorful side dishes.
To help you choose, here are the top Korean BBQ joints in and around Denver.
It has three locations around Colorado and is one of the most popular BBQ joints in this list. They serve traditional Korean meats like Galbee and Beef Bulgogi that are marinated in Dae Gee’s secret marinate. Like most Korean BBQ joints, you get to cook your meat on table-side grills.
827 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80206
This Aurora joint is not as traditional as it mixes Korean BBQ and Japanese favorite, sushi. Aside from the great meats and sushi, there are other favorite Korean fares. Try their complimentary bancha, which are several small dishes that give you a glimpse of traditional Korean food.
2080 S Havana St
Aurora, CO 80014
If you are missing local favorite, Sae Jong Kwan, then let us ease the pain a bit. Shin Myung Gwan, the Korean BBQ joint that replaced it does not disappoint. They have the traditional banchan to start you over before you dig in for their powerfully marinated meats. Aside from a table grill, you also get bubbling hot pots for a different take on Korean meats and dishes.
2680 S. Havana St.
Aurora, Colorado 8001
This one is an experience. Tucked beside an auto repair shop, this Korean serves authentic Korean BBQ fare. Serving lunch and dinner, their meat is well marinated. They also serve other favorites like chik engmyum and zippy stew with kimchi.
3005 S Peoria St
Aurora, CO 80014
Gluten-free foods are no longer as difficult to find as it used to, especially in a progressive city like Denver. Now the search has changed. Instead of just looking for restaurants with gluten-free menu, the search has evolved into which restaurants serve the best gluten-free items from their menu.
So, whether you have Celiac disease or is just looking for a healthier way to eat, here’s a list of some of the best restaurants for gluten-free delicacies.
Beast + Bottle
This uptown eatery is a seasonal restaurant from Chef Paul Reilly. So, for you guys looking for a variety of gluten-free choices, this is for you. Not only are you getting a number of gluten-free items on the menu, you may find that the next time you visit, they will have an entirely different set of choices. To know which items are gluten-free, just look for the GF next to the dish. Some of the favorites previously served includes smoked lamb ribs with chimichurri and pan-seared black bass.
719 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Highland Tap & Burger
We all love burgers and this joint lets you enjoy this all-American favorite and other options, gluten-free. Best part is that there is no separate items that are gluten free. You can check the regular menu and it is indicated whether the dish can be served gluten-free, which means you get to enjoy the same stuff (almost) as everybody else. Try their gluten-free, barrel-smoked chicken wings with their duck-fat fries. It’s amazing.
2219 W. 32nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
Owner Justin Cucci is known for joints that feature menu items, whose ingredients are sustainable and locally sourced. Ophelia’s is no different. Their menu details the items so that there are no surprises. You know that what you are eating is gluten-free because you know what’s in it. Some of the favorites include dry-rub ribs, lamb gyro, the pineapple pico arepas, and Wagyu beef siders. For an extra dollar, you also get gluten-free buns on some items. Aside from the good food, you also get to catch some great live acts.
215 20th St.
Denver, Colorado 80202
If you love Ophelia’s because of their gluten-free options, you will love Chef Cucci’s Root Down even more. Once an old gas station, this was converted to a retro chic bar and restaurant with great views of the Denver skyline. Like his other joints, this restaurant is all about locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Best part, almost all items on their menu have gluten-free or vegan options. Some favorites include Colorado rack of lamb and risotto with carrot-chorizo emulsion.
1600 W. 33rd Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
Oh the controversial taco, the Mexican fare that has divided the masses for generations. There is always a line that separates fans of this great food in two sides. There’s the tortilla vs. flour debate. Another is the soft or hard shell dilemma. And there are even arguments about having it with sauce or without. It’s like listening to iPhone loyalists and Android fanboys argue.
Here in Denver, people do not care about all that. They know what side they are on and they are on the side of delicious. The people of the 303 know their Mexican food and they sure know where to get their taco fix.
Each person has their go-to taco joint. Here’s ours:
Not the most inviting façade, but do not judge this taco joint by its cover. If you are looking for legit tacos that will really fill you up, then take your sweet behind over this grungy place. Our favorite taco is the Al Pastor or the spicy chorizo but at just above a dollar each, you might as well try as many variants as you can. Savory tacos at dirt cheap prices. Can’t get any better than that.
3757 Pecos St., Denver, CO 303.458.0880
Wish they had a bigger place because the place is almost always full. And with so many people, it is understandable that the service may be iffy at times. But there is good reason why the place is always packed—good food, specifically, great tacos. What to order? You should try their beef steak tacos. Whether in soft or hard shell, the tender meat goes so well with green onions, cilantro, and salsa. Get the $8.40 plate for 3 tacos with rice and beans.
714 Santa Fe Dr Denver, CO, 303.623.3926
After a night of binge-drinking and you suddenly feel the munchies, just drive thru Tacos Rapidos. This Mexican joint is open 24-hours a day but the convenience is not why you will come back. Get the carne asada tacos and pair it with their carne asada fries. The beef is so good that you may come back in the morning just to get a breakfast burrito.
2800 W Evans Ave. Denver, CO 303.035.0453
A bit pricier than other Mexican joints but the tacos are worth the price. If you like your tacos with a bit of spice, then the Tacos al Carbon will do the trick. The moist sirloin strips are sautéed with salsa and some jalapaño. The final touch of melted cheese, refried beans, and a smothering of green chilis leads this taco to perfection. Tip, Tacos al Carbon is served in flour tortillas. If you prefer corn, you can always ask the waiter to change it.
2527 W. 26th Ave. Denver, CO 303.433.8300
If you are not familiar with the place then you might have some difficulty finding it. After all, you will not see the name “Pinche” anywhere on their façade. That is because of the many protests on the name, which apparently may mean something dirty in Spanish. But if you do find the place, then treasure that moment by savoring their wide selection of “street” tacos (they started out as a food truck). All their tacos are to die for but their Lengua (cow tongue) might just send you to heaven. The Lengua is topped with cilantro, avo, onion, and salsa. Then it is drizzled with their guajillo honey salsa, which you just want to put in everything you eat from now on. No wonder it is consistently recognized as one of the best taco joints in the nation.
1514 York Street, Denver, CO 720.475.1337
Sound off in the comments and tell us what you think.
PintPass, the clever app that helps people discover local craft breweries and shows users what is currently on tap at breweries in their area or places they’re traveling, recently choose their five favorite beer cities with Denver being named one of them.
Here’s what they had to say.
Denver has much more than just mountains – but be careful drinking here if you don’t have experience with high altitude. One strong beer might feel like four because of the light air. In addition to the massive breweries already nestled in Colorado – the ‘Denver Beer Triangle’ between Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver boasts over 70 breweries between the three. Ratio Beerworks’ 20 barrel system ensures that there is no shortage of their delicious craft beers.
And since they named Ratio Beerworks by name, here’s three more places where you can sit down and enjoy that great Colorado craft taste with some friends.
2540 19th Street
2801 Walnut Street
2201 Arapahoe Street
Denver is a drinking city. With a rich craft beer industry, and loads of bars in every corner, there are so many reasons to hit the bar for a few drink and some good food. And like every good drinker, you have to look for the best happy hour for that optimal buzz in a very optimal budget.
To help you out, here are some of the joints with the best happy hour in Denver:
Popular as the best Salsa Lounge in Denver, they also have one of the best happy hour offers in Denver. With their daily happy hour from 5pm to 9pm, you can take advantage of their 2-for-1 You call it drinks. And these are not watered down drinks. The selection includes some strong concoctions and premium beers. On Mondays, they also have all day (night) $3 Martinis and $3 draft beers as well. Mention Daily Happy Hour in your next visit and you get a $10 bar tab as well.
Happy Hour: Monday to Thursday, 5pm-9pm
22 Broadway, Denver, CO, 303.777.3433
Two-for-one drinks and cheap but delicious food is the name of the game at Charlie’s. But the fun does not end there, chill at their smoking patio and get some free wings every Friday. In Summers, that free pig is replces by en even more decadent roast pig, also for free. Once you get your buzz and remove your inhibitions, you can see if you have a hidden singer within you by singing along the piano lounge.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4pm-6:30pm and 10:30pm-12:30am
980 Grant St., Denver, CO, 303.860.1655
Nowhere else can you find a glorious combination of discounted (but sinfully delicious) sushi and two-for-one drink offers in Denver. So if you feel like getting some sushi and some beer to wash it dow, Hasu is the only place to go.
Happy Hour: Daily, 2:30-6pm
250 Steele St, Denver, CO, 303.722.9968
If Tacos and Martinis are your thing, then Machete is the choice. Their superb tacos become even more delicious when you can order them at about $2 cheaper. Pair it with their Margarita and/or beer specials and you are good to go.
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday, 2pm-7pm
2817 E 3rd Ave, Denver, CO, 303.333.1567
If you are in the mood for something Polynesian there is only one place to go in Denver, literally. Adrift is actually the only Tiki Bar in Denver but it serves some of the best (half-off) Mai Tais and other classic mixes as well. The food is ok but not exceptional but they make it up for longer happy hours.
Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-7pm; Friday-Saturday, 4pm-7pm
218 S Broadway, Denver, CO, 303.778.8454
If you want to grab a quick and hearty brunch in Denver, there are a number of exciting places to explore. For many people, especially those who live downtown or are on the move, brunch is the most fun meal of the week. In Denver, there are many great places where you can have a healthy, nutritious and tasty brunch that would be a great place to meet friends and family.
- – One of the best places to grab a brunch is the Corner Office Restaurant and Martini Bar. The delightful venue serves up delicacies like sandwiches, nutella, brioche and strawberries. Also of note is their funky Panini made with olive bread, arugula, mozzarella cheese, pancetta and eggs.
1401 Curtis Street • Denver, CO 80202 • Phone: 303.825.6500
– At the Second Home Kitchen and Bar, you can enjoy a delicious selection of brunch classics like pancakes, bread pudding French toast and chicken-fried rib-eye steak.
150 Clayton Lane, Denver, CO 80206
- – Another great bunch joint is Snooze, where you can indulge in a variety of great brunch dishes. Choices include a tasty pineapple upside down pancake and a great sandwich with free range pork, ham, egg and pickles.
Mothership Snooze at – 2040 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205 • Phone: 303.296.6EGG
- – This is a joint that serves no-nonsense, scrumptious brunch dishes. Their omelet of the day is one of the clear favorites of the regulars, and their blood orange mimosas and classic eggs benedict are both crowd pleasers.
1600 W 33rd Ave, Denver, CO 80211 303-993-4200 • Phone: 303-993-4200
- – For egg lovers, Delectable Egg whips up a large selection of egg dishes which work perfectly for a filling, healthy brunch. Their wide range of omelets is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.
1625 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202 • Phone: 303-892-5720
- – If you prefer to go the sweet route for your brunch, walk into Common Grounds for the best freshly baked scones and muffins which serve as a perfect brunch.
1550 17th St., Denver, CO 80202 • Phone: 303-296-9248
Did we miss your favorite brunch spot? let us know below in the comment area.
Who would think that a high-altitude city like Denver would have some of the greatest ice cream spots in the nation? Hard to fathom but it is true nonetheless. This is just another proof that the people of the 303 will embrace food from any culture (and any weather for that matter) as long as it tastes good.
For your ice cream fix, we recommend you check out:
One of the oldest ice cream spots here in Denver, Liks have been dishing out fresh ice cream since it served their first tub in 1976. Formerly Lickety Split, they officially changed the name to Liks as it was also the name coined by loyal customers about their place. They have over 20 pages of flavors in their menu so you could try out a new one every day.
2039 East 13th Avenue, Denver
You can’t have a list about ice creams in Denver without mentioning Bonni Brae. Aside from being one of the ice cream institutions in Denver, they have consistently churned out amazing flavors throughout their more than 20 year run. Enjoy favorites like Gran Marnier Chocolate, Heavenly Capuccino Crunch, and other exciting flavors. Traditional flavors are available as well.
799 S University Boulevard, Denver
Food & Wine not only named it as one of the best ice cream shops in Denver, but the whole nation. So you can definitely expect some great ice cream here. They create hand-made ice creams that are so fresh, you can really tell the difference compared to regular ice cream. The shop itself gives off the cool vibe that makes it so inviting. Plus points also for having vegan flavors.
52 Broadway, Denver
Relatively new in the area, Nuggs have quickly attracted loyal customers because of their in-house made ice cream, shakes, malts, and sundaes. One of their most ordered is their waffle cone. Eat it in their patios to ease the heat on summer nights.
5135 E Colfax Avenue, Denver
The ice cream shop that makes the world a better place. For every scoop of ice cream sold, Little man donates one scoop of rice or beans to community in need not only in Denver but the whole world. But don’t think that you are being guilt-ridden to patronizing the shop because the shop has diverse and flavorful ice cream that you will enjoy. Just look for the giant milk jug in the Denver highlands and start saving the world one delicious ice cream scoop at a time.
2620 16th Street, Denver
The place is relatively young but it has already been named Denver’s favorite ice cream shop by Eater Denver in 2013. They have 22 different premium flavors that include dairy and gluten free choices. The fun interior design also adds to the ice cream eating experience.
3475 West 32nd Avenue, Denver