We’re already two weeks into the summer of 2015; if spending as much time outside as you can isn’t a priority, it should be. It’s true, Denverites enjoy many days of sunshine no matter what season it is, but you can’t deny that summertime rays seem to shine a little brighter. And yet, too often we find ourselves wasting precious hours of beautiful weather, idling away the hours inside busy restaurants. To help avoid this common mistake we have put together a neighborhood guide to our favorite brunch restaurants with patio seating. Enjoy!
Where: 1472 S. Pearl St., Denver
When: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Neighborhood: Platt Park
The Lowdown: When Dave Chmura and Rob Young set out to revitalize the residence that is now home to low-country Southern cookery Fourteen Seventy-Two, they sought to preserve its homey charm by not disrupting its existing layout too severely. Wanting to encourage their customers to feel as if they were eating as guests at someone’s house, they left the foundation untouched, opting instead to build an expansive second story with a rooftop bar and patio. Southern specialties like she crab soup ($9) or the grit cake Benedict ($11) are worth a try.
Where: 2844 Welton St., Denver
When: Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Neighborhood: Five Points
The Lowdown: The newest location on the list, Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House, is another prime example of how calculated renovations can usher in a new era for a building without foregoing a sense of history. Although it may not look like much from the outside, Dunbar owners Charles Wessels and Mike Ayre converted what was a family-owned barbershop for multiple generations into a surprisingly large restaurant and bar. Hearty menu options like the chicken n’ biscuit ($11) and steak and eggs ($12) pair well with any of the restaurant’s delicious cocktails and, with one of the best happy hours in the city, if you find yourself a spot on the sunny patio out back early on in the day, chances are you won’t want to leave for a while.
Where: 1700 Humboldt St., Denver
When: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Lowdown: The recent placement of new Executive Chef Will Tuggle to shake things up at Humboldt Farm-Fish-Wine is an appropriate pair to the arrival of summer. Surely the dining area inside the restaurant is well lit and spacious, but in good weather the patio tables are the perfect setting to dive headfirst into the jewels of Humboldt’s raw bar. On Sundays, you can get premium oysters like Naked Cowboys, Shigokus, Kumamotos and the restaurant’s signature Washburns for just a dollar apiece. Recommended follow-up dishes are the chicken katsu and pain perdu ($14 each). Due to its great location right between Cheesman Park and City Park, this is one of the best places to get the most of the day outside, all on foot.
Where: 4450 W. 38th Ave. #130, Denver
When: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Lowdown: To many, Christopher Sargent’s restaurant Brazen, which sits in an otherwise nondescript strip mall, may seem out-of-the-way. However, one of the reasons Sargent chose the space was so that the concept could gain traction as a neighborhood fixture first and foremost, while another was for its expansive patio area that almost doubles the restaurant’s overall capacity. Here, new American recipes — like the spicy miso and duck confit Brazen ramen ($8) and kale and strawberry salad ($8) — currently under the direction of Chef Brian Wilson, make for a tastefully unconventional brunch experience. And, because Sargent demands good customer service from anyone that works for him, you won’t have to worry about your table being forgotten just because it’s outside.
Where: 1600 W. 33rd Ave., Denver
When: Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The Lowdown: Justin Cucci’s Edible Beats restaurant group — Root Down, Linger, and now Ophelia’s — comprises of some of the most acclaimed and beloved eateries in the city. Known for its fresh locally-sourced ingredients, the old filling station that was transformed into Root Down offers views of the Denver skyline poking out from behind trees in the distance. And, if you’ve never been able to make it there before, here’s more good news: as of this month, the well-rounded brunch menu (and great drink deals) that has made the restaurant a popular weekend destination over the years is now being offered on Fridays as well. The Root Down Benedict ($11) , made with a quinoa “English muffin” and Iberico cheese & sun-dried tomato hollandaise and Colorado lamb burger ($14) both come highly recommended.