Portland. Seattle and Los Angeles also love their brunch. And Denver? They’re all about it.
A coworker and I recently visited Denver to hunt down the best high brunches citywide (okay, we went for other stuff too, but what we really cared about was brunch), and the results are in. Want to know the best bacon after a blunt? The best benedict after a wake-and-bake? The best eats after an edible? We’ve got you covered. Check out our top five brunch recommendations in the Mile High City below, and make your case for any we didn’t include in the comments!
Best Brunch After a Blunt: Bacon Social House
Where: Sunnyside (2424 West 44th Avenue)
Brunch served: Daily 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Few things are better while high (…or sober) than rich, smoky bacon, which is in no short supply at the bright, boldly artsy Bacon Social House. Kick that flavor up a notch by smoking a blunt before you arrive—after you smoke, hitting your palate with a barrage of mouthwatering, equally smoky meats makes for the best flavor combination ever.
At BSH, the entire menu is outstanding, but let’s be honest: you’re here for one thing and one thing only. Live like a baller and order the Bacon Flight, featuring six slices from three different suppliers in three states, with each slice prepared in a different way: applewood-smoked, barbecued, candied, habañero’ed, maple-smoked, and peppered. (My favorite? Applewood … but also, all of them.)
Best Brunch After Vaping: Root Down
Where: Highland (1600 West 33rd Avenue) & Airport (Denver International Airport, Concourse C)
Brunch served: Highland: Friday 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Airport: Daily 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
You’re going to want to taste the full rainbow of flavors here, so a vape is the best way to elevate yourself to a brunch-munchie-craving level before grabbing a booth and settling in for a globally-influenced adventure in seasonal cuisine. Root Down has established itself as an essential cornerstone of the local brunch scene in recent years, and given the number of Denverites who suggested it to us as we searched for recommendations, we couldn’t wait to pay a visit.
Root Down’s brunch menu skews classic, from pancakes to benedicts, but look closer and you’ll find unexpectedly delectable twists: the avocado crab cake benedict, for instance, comes with creole hollandaise and tasso ham chips, while the breakfast burrito features dark mole, rich chorizo, and mozzarella. Your mouth’s watering right now, isn’t it?
Best Brunch After Edibles: Snooze
Where: Ballpark (2262 Larimer Street), Congress Park (700 North Colorado Boulevard, Suite A), & LoDo (Union Station—1701 Wynkoop Street, Suite 150)
Brunch served: Daily 6:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Snooze is a Denver classic, and has practically launched a brunch revolution over the years with its wildly experimental takes on favorites like French toast (“let’s add some root beer!”), pancakes (“let’s meld them with a pineapple upside-down cake!”), and benedicts (“chile verde? Why not!”). Today multiple locations of the eatery are found all across the Southwestern United States, including in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and California.
That doesn’t mean the lines at the original Denver locations are getting any shorter, which is why this is a great place to pop an edible and wait for it to kick in while you wait for a table. By the time you take a seat, you’ll be good and high and ready to satiate your munchies with everything and anything you set your eyes on. Don’t miss the Breakfast Pot Pie and pretty much the entire Sweet Utopia section, featuring an array of those famous French toasts and pancakes (Blueberry Danish? Sweet Potato? Lemon Poppyseed? They’re all here).
Pro tip: If you can’t make up your mind, you can ask for a half-order of almost anything on the menu. And if you’re feeling super-creative (or just super-high), Snooze encourages your custom creations—this, after all, is your brunch experience.
Best Brunch for a Microdose: Sassafras American Eatery
Where: Capitol Hill (320 East Colfax Avenue) & Jefferson Park (2637 West 26th Avenue)
Brunch served: Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Housed in a super-sweet Craftsman home (complete with a wraparound porch), decked with lacy curtains, and brimming with Southern charm, Sassafrass is one of those places where you kind of feel like you’re eating real homestyle cooking at a relative’s actual house. As such, it’s not really the place we’d recommend being dabbed out of your mind at (though the servers are so nice that you’d be fine if you were, too).
Instead, take a hit or two off a joint or vape (or pop a 5mg edible) before grabbing a table and digging in to scrumptiously rich Southern dishes. We recommend unabashedly ordering several small plates to make a sampler: deviled eggs, Natchitoches meat pies with charred scallion aioli, a buttermilk biscuit plate doused in three different gravies—and don’t you dare miss the pillowy, powdered-sugar-swathed beignets.
Best Brunch When You’re Way Too High: El Jefe
Where: Sunnyside (2450 West 44th Avenue)
Brunch served: Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Something about El Jefe just chilled us out. Maybe it was the airy restaurant with plenty of space between tables. Maybe it was the ultra-friendly waitstaff or the smooth pace of service. Maybe it was the mimosas. But we just felt relaxed here—which can be a little hard to achieve amid the bustling din of the Denver brunch scene, and which is what makes this place perfect after a dab too many.
El Jefe focuses on super-fresh regional Mexican dishes from Yucatán, Veracruz, and Oaxaca. Start off with smooth, creamy queso for the table (it pairs beautifully with the crisp acidity of those generous $5 mimosas) to take the edge off your dab-induced hunger and settle your stomach as you debate between Desayuno Relleno (scrambled eggs, corn, chorizo, Oaxacan cheese, winter squash, Xni pec) and the Tres Leches French Toast (grilled pineapple, cinnamon whipped cream, cajeta…like, are you kidding me right now? I love this place).