The Happiest Hour: Buns at Bones

Photo courtesy of Bones

What: Bones

Where: 701 Grant St. Denver, CO 80203

When: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday, 5:00-6:30 pm

Don’t Miss: Delicious drinks include the Lychee Sidecar ($5), the Tsunami ($5), and the happy hour white wine, by Tariquet ($5). The steamed buns steal the show at $3.00 each. Other don’t miss food options include the Edamame ($4) and the Seaweed Salad ($4).

The Tariquet, Ugni Blanc/Colombard blend from Gascogne, France
The Tariquet, Ugni Blanc/Colombard blend from Gascogne, France

Denver has some amazing happy hour options. But let’s face it, I’ve reviewed a lot of delicious sliders recently. I’ve been itching for something a bit different. Luckily, Bones has the answer. An Asian noodle fusion house on the corner of Grant and 7th, Bones has a loyal following for its udon bowls and soft-serve ice cream. But what most of Denver doesn’t know is that it has a killer happy hour.

Let’s start with the drinks. All of the happy hour drinks are $5.00. This includes a 20 ounce bomber of Sapporo, a glass of chilled Tozai Typhoon Sake, cocktails, and wine. On my visit we sat on the patio and enjoyed a few cocktails. My favorite was the Lychee Sidecar, a smooth drink with Espolon Tequila Blanco and Lychee sour, served straight up with lemon. Tequilia is the perfect summer liquor, but by August I am tired of margaritas. The Lychee Sidecar is a great alternative, strong without being overpowering, smooth, and with just the right amount of tang. Another good cocktail was the Tsunami, made with Tozai Typhoon Sake, Ginger Beer, and Leopold Blackberry Liqueur. If most cocktails are too sweet for your taste, the Tsunami is your drink. The Leopold Blackberry Liqueur really adds depth of flavor, making it a simple and refreshing option. I also enjoyed the happy hour white wine, an approachable and dry French blend from Tariquet.

The Suckling Pig and Pork Belly Steamed Buns
The Suckling Pig and Pork Belly Steamed Buns

You will love the drinks at Bones, but you will stay for the food. For only $3.00 each, you have a choice of suckling pig or pork belly buns, and both are served with hoisin sauce on the side. I thought the pork belly was slightly better, but both are great. The steamed buns are soft and decadent, while the meat melts in your mouth. Scallions add a pop of flavor and the hoisin sauce is tasty. Two buns each will fill you up, but you will want to eat more. Rich and comforting, these steamed buns are exactly what happy hour food is all about. To balance out the denseness of the buns, I recommend ordering the seaweed salad ($4) and the edamame ($4). Both are large portions that can be shared between two or three people. The seaweed salad was a pleasant surprise, served with tofu, radishes, and cucumber in a refreshing rice wine vinaigrette. The edamame, likewise, had great flavors. Tossed in a citrus, black bean, and chili sauce, my table couldn’t stop popping these delicious, healthy morsels.

Seaweed Salad
Seaweed Salad

The happy hour at Bones is not as long as some happy hours, but the timing is right. Bones doesn’t open until 5:00 pm, so there’s plenty of time to head over after work. It goes until 6:30 pm, so even if work runs late you can still catch a cocktail and a steamed bun before it’s over. The restaurant allows happy hour inside or on its shaded patio out front. Even on Denver’s hottest days, the patio is pleasant.

But whether it’s 90 degrees in August or 20 degrees in January, Bones is a new happy hour staple for me. This Governor’s Park spot offers authentic Asian fusion flavors at rock bottom prices. And though well-priced Asian food is common in Denver, the combination of great cocktails, inviting ambience, and stellar food is not. So keep going to Bones for their amazing noodle bowls. But don’t miss happy hour for excellent prices on the best steamed buns in town.

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