At the start of every holiday season, I find myself yearning for familiarity. Come December, I’ll begin to frequent the same haunts—making my rounds from the little Uptown bar perpetually aglow with the sticky red haze of its Christmas lights to the warm Italian trattoria with windows that crust with fog. It’s habitual, and sometimes necessary, for me to find places of comfort—especially on those exceptionally frigid nights.

But after the first major snow has fallen and winter has crept in really close, I’ll start to become restless and the season will feel unbearably long. I’ll ache for summer and feel a desperate need for exploration—telling myself, if only it were warmer things would be better. Typically, I’ll assuage my restlessness like most Coloradans and I’ll head for the slopes. But this season, as I look around the city, I feel less of a need to escape or withdraw. With new places popping up on what seems to be the daily, there’s little excuse not to explore this season. So in an effort to banish the languidness that typically envelops my winters, I’ve concocted a short list of places to visit this weekend and decided to share with you. I hope you enjoy.

Allegro Coffee

Allegro Coffee. Photo by Nora Philbin.

Allegro Coffee. Photo by Nora Philbin.

Where: 4040 Tennyson St., Denver

When: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday

Why you must go: Exotic coffees abound at Allegro Coffee Roaster’s very first coffee shop, located on Tennyson. Educational cupping classes and its very own pour-over bar makes for an immersive experience. Make sure to order the Northern Thailand blend, the first ever of its kind for the three-decade-old roaster. Read more here.

Bacon Social House

Bacon Social House. Photo by Danielle Webster.

Bacon Social House. Photo by Danielle Webster.

Where: 2434 W. 44th Ave., Denver

Neighborhood: Sunnyside

When: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m Saturday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. & Sunday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. 

Why you must go: The new Sunnyside eatery is dedicated to our all-time favorite breakfast meat. On the menu, you’ll find bacon in everything from classic dishes like shrimp & grits to even the cocktails, including an old fashioned with a bacon infused bourbon. Read more here. 

Cerebral Brewing


Where: 1477 Monroe St, Denver

Neighborhood: Bluebird District 

When: Monday-Tuesday, closed; Wednesday-Thursday, 4 – 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.- 11 p.m.; Sunday 12-10 p.m. 

Why you must go: The brand new East Colfax science-themed brewery comes from a pair of inspirational homebrewers that have a background in the scientific field (one is a microbiologist, the other a physical therapist). Their tasty “sessionable” (low ABV) beers make it so you can stick around and sample more than a few pours without over doing it.

The Inventing Room

Inventing Room. Photo by Kyle Cooper.

Inventing Room. Photo by Kyle Cooper.

Where: 2020 Lawrence St., Denver 

Neighborhood: LoDo / Ballpark

When: Daily, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Why you must go: Ian Kleinman’s fantastical desserts will invoke a strong sense of childish glee in any adult (no matter the Scrooge). Think exploding whip cream, chocolate pop-rocks and other delights that would seem perfectly at home at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Read more here. 

 Rhein Haus

Top floor of the new Rhein Haus. Photography by Gabe Rovick of F4D Studio.

The top floor of the new Rhein Haus. Photography by Gabe Rovick of F4D Studio.

Where: 1415 Market St., Denver

Neighborhood: LoDo

When: Regular hours: Monday – Friday, 4 p.m.- 2 a.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.- 2 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. NOTE: Hours updated from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday-Friday. 

Why you must go: The new LoDo beerhall has four indoor bocce ball courts, making it perfect for those feeling restless and are in need of a bit of physical activity to go with their beer consumption (aside from beer pong). Read more here.