What: Deals on playful comfort food.
Where: 1001 Santa Fe Dr., Denver
Neighborhood: Santa Fe Arts District
When: Everyday, 4-6 p.m. & midnight-1:30 a.m.
Pros: Everything on the happy hour menu costs $4 and under, but there’s nothing cheap about the flavor-packed options.
Cons: The beverage side of the happy hour menu is limited to mainly lowbrow options – but for fans of plentiful and cheap PBR, Olympia, and whiskey shooters, this can be a good thing.
When you’re on a road trip to wherever the pavement takes you, there always comes a point when nothing else will do but a hot, satisfying meal and a cold drink (preferably containing alcohol). When you reach that point, Interstate Kitchen & Bar is the place you hope you stumble upon. Thankfully, it’s right here in the Mile High, so you can fulfill your cravings without racking up much mileage.
There’s a thin line between tacky and trendy when it comes to themed décor. But Interstate Kitchen & Bar manages to turn road-trip inspiration into a fun and refreshing style with details like the hubcaps piled by the dining area and funky light fixtures made from a variety of Bundt pans contrasted with modern inspiration like the aqua paint that brightens up the bar area. Plus you can color on the paper-covered tables while you wait, a bonus that will bring you straight back to childhood.
With hints of a diner-like setting, Interstate is laid-back, but it’s fresh, clean style makes the experience special. Whether you’re grabbing a bite in the open dining area or enjoying with a cold one on one of the bar area couches, expect an ambiance that’s all about relaxation and comfort.
The Food & Drinks
There’s something both nostalgic and adventurous about taking a road trip. At Interstate Kitchen & Bar, the food evokes those same feelings, and you can sample a selection of its eats at happy hour for just a few bucks.
But first, you’ll need a drink. Interstate’s happy hour beverage selections are basic, but these choices are just right if you’re looking for simple, no-nonsense refreshment. The best deal is the cooler of cold ones ($9), five cans of beer (barkeep’s choice) served on ice in a mini-cooler. Add a $3 whiskey shooter and you’ll be ready to let the stress of the day slip away.
All of Interstate’s happy hour eats are both cheap and tasty. Start with a few $1 deviled eggs, or order a snack or the table and go for the heaping bowl of salty bacon popcorn tossed with spicy peanuts ($3). One don’t miss item is definitely the “lap dog”($2). This mini-bratwurst is served with tangy house-made giardiniera and deli mustard, but what really makes this dog stand out is the fact that it’s served on a toasted, buttery, crust-less slice of bread – a truly genius switch from the typical bun.
The food here is familiar, yes, but it’s made with care and thoughtful tweaks to the classic recipes like the fried pickles ($4) that are made with big, thick slices of pickle instead of the typical thin, overly greasy version you find most other places. One not-so-familiar choice for Colorado, though, is the spoon bread ($4). A super rich, cornmeal based dish that’s popular in the South, Interstate’s version is served with chili honey and herb butter for a unique happy hour snack.
With food that’s made from scratch, cheap drinks, and a quirky, fun ambiance, Interstate has your next happy hour outing covered.
All photos by Camille Breslin.