Valentines Day is a day to celebrate love, friendship and so much more. To many, Valentine’s Day can be a nerve-wracking event. In fact, it is projected the nation will spend $23.9 billion in the name of Cupid this year. People often misconstrue the idea that the amount of someone’s love is equivalent to the amount they are willing to spend. However, this is not the case. Instead of saving your pennies for one expensive Hallmark holiday dinner date, focus on spending quality time with the person you love this Valentine’s Day weekend. Here are five fun date ideas in Denver that won’t leave your wallet hurting.
For the Nostalgic Diner Date
Sam’s No. 3
Where: 1500 Curtis St., Denver
Hours: Open Sunday – Wednesday 7 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Lowdown: Sam’s No. 3, which was originally known as Sam Armatas, has been around since Greek immigrant Sam Armatas opened shop in 1927. In 1998, Armatas son Spero along with his grandsons Alex, Patrick and Sam rebranded Sam Armatas to be the Sam’s No. 3, that is today. When you walk into Sam’s No. 3, you are immediately taken back by the lust of nostalgia and a strong sense of community. If you’re looking to take your Valentine’s Day date to a fun-filled place full of nostalgia, spunk and history, any of the three Denver area locations are a fantastic option.
Sam’s No. 3 has stayed true to the typical diner menu — which is notoriously huge, by the way. For a breakfast date, consider trying The Hard Hat ($13.99), the Greek Omelet ($14.99) or the Country Benny ($13.99). To spice things up, don’t be afraid to pair your morning meal with one, or two, or, if you’re feeling super fun, three of Sam’s No. 3’s many Mimosa and Bloody Mary options. The lunch and dinner menus are just as robust as breakfast. Indulge in the classic Curtis Street Burger ($9.49), Fried Chicken Breast Sandwich ($13.99), or for the healthier bunch, Moms Greek Salad ($14.99). They really have anything you could ever imagine at Sam’s No. 3. The best part is, you can get all the good divey vibes and mouthwatering bites you could imagine, for a price you won’t want to go home crying about. To see their full, extensive menu, click here.
For The Artsy Couple
The Upstairs Circus
Where: 1500 Wynkoop St. #100, Denver
Hours: Closed Monday. Open Tuesday – Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The Lowdown: If you’re looking for a unique spot to take your date out for some drinks, The Upstairs Circus might be for you. With two Denver locations to choose from, The Upstairs Circus is a place for people to gather, sip on tasty libations and create memorable DIY projects. It’s simple — all you have to do is pick a project you want to create, which you can find on their online project menu, make a reservation and enjoy!
The best part is, there are projects for all skill levels — beginner to advanced. For beginners, some of the projects include creating mala bracelets, necklaces with two charms or a stone serving tray. If you want to try your hand at making a more advanced level project, you can dabble with creating a wooden six-pack carrier, leather pet collar for your furry friend or leather luggage tags, just to name a few.
The drinks don’t disappoint either. From Upstairs Circus Classics like the Circus Donkey ($9), Julius the Great ($9) and the one and only super spicy Fire Breather ($11), to various House Wines ($7) and more, you and your date can celebrate love and make lasting memories without breaking the bank! For more information about The Upstairs Circus and to make a reservation, visit their website.
For the OG Denverites
My Brother’s Bar
Where: 2376 15th St., Denver
Hours: Closed Sunday. Open Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
The Lowdown: For a more traditional experience, consider visiting the family-owned and oldest bar in Denver, My Brother’s Bar. Although the name has changed over the last 145 years, the spot known as My Brother’s Bar has been serving up classic American fare including a variety of Juicy Burgers (starting at $9.50), classic BLT’s ($10) and delicious sandwiches like the Hot Bum Steer ($12) since 1873. Today, they even have options for the non-meat eaters including, the Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burger ($10), the Nina ($9) and the JCC ($7.75). As the name might suggest, this Denver classic is also equipped with a full-service bar. From beer to liquor, wine and more, pretty much any drink you can imagine you can get at My Brother’s Bar.
What is most intriguing about this place is its rich Denver history. Back in the day, My Brother’s Bar was a common hangout spot for faces like American novelists and poets Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassidy and Allen Ginsberg. Although this is far from the fanciest place in town, My Brother’s Bar is sure to satisfy your classic American food cravings and is a great spot for a fun yet cheap date. Click here to see their full menu.
For the Italian Lovers
Odyssey Italian Restaurant
Where: 603 E 6th Ave., Denver
Hours: Closed Tuesday. Open Wednesday – Monday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: The Odyssey Italian Restaurant has been bringing authentic Italian cuisine to Denver since 2012. The passion Odyssey Owner and Chef Ignazio Mulei brings to his cuisine can be felt with every bite. Originally from Sicily, Italy, Mulei came to the United States at 18 years old, first arriving in New York. With dedication and hard work, Mulei fought to live out his American dream, and the culinary world was his answer. Today, Mulei is a sought-after consultant in the restaurant world and a leader in Denver’s culinary arts scene. Mulei’s son Michele is also an integral piece to the success of The Odyssey Italian Restaurant.
At The Odyssey, you can expect authentic Italian flavors at a relatively low cost. All plates of pasta, including options like Shrimp Palermo, Fettuccine Alfredo, Homemade Manicotti and much more are only $20.For those looking for options other than pasta, The Odyssey has you covered too. Antipasto options include Sicilian Petite Rack of Lambs ($22), Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms ($15) and Sausage, Peppers and Onions ($15) to name a few. When you stop by, make sure to also check out their Signature Seafood Options ($28) and Sicilian Specialties ($22 – $40). While some of the items are a little pricier than others, there are options for all that are sure to leave you, your date and your wallet feeling delectably satisfied. Click here for the Odyssey’s full menu.
For Those Looking to Spice Things Up
AWAKE Burlesque and More…
Where: Fifteen LTD — 4801 East Colfax Ave., Denver
Hours: Shows on Friday, February 11, 7 p.m., and Saturday, February 12, 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: To kick off your Valentine’s Day Weekend, this is a fun event that’s certain to keep you and your loved one(s) awake. Located on Denver’s bustling East Colfax is Fifteen LTD, a venue hosting live music, hookah and good vibes. On Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12, Fifteen LTD will be hosting an exciting and sure-to-be hot burlesque show. Buy tickets beforehand for only $15, day of show for $20. Drink, listen to music and kick your weekend of love off by watching the sexy debauchery unfold. Get tickets to the show here.