A DAY ON COLFAX
You could spend days exploring all that Colfax has to offer, but if you’ve only got a few hours, here are some of Barber’s recommendations for can’t-miss Colfax haunts (plus a few of our own).
Voodoo Doughnut: Begin your morning on Colfax with one of these spookily good doughnuts. Favorites include the Maple Bacon Bar, Portland Cream (in honor of the shop’s Oregon roots) or the namesake Voodoo Doll, which is filled with raspberry jelly and pierced through the heart with a pretzel “stake.”
Illegal Pete’s: Need something a little more substantial to start your day? This fast-casual burrito bar serves up some of the best breakfast tacos, quesadillas, bowls and burritos in town.
Colorado State Capitol: Even if you’re not a politico, the Colorado State Capitol is worth a visit for the architecture alone. From the yule marble floors (from Marble, Colo.), to the rose onyxwainscoting and column plinths (mined near Beulah, Colo., and not found anywhere else on the planet), to the gleaming gold dome, this building is one of the crowning jewels of Colfax.
Denver Firefighters Museum: One of Denver’s first fire stations is now a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Denver Fire Department. Little ones will love trying on equipment, sliding down the fire pole and riding on a fire truck designed just for them.
GLBT Community Center of Colorado: Denver is known for having one of the most family-friendly PrideFests in the country, but you don’t have to visit during Pride Week to take part! The GLBT Community Center of Colorado offers events nearly every day, from coffee groups to yoga classes. Check their calendar for events.
Chocolate Lab: In the mood for something a little more decadent? Head to Chocolate Lab, a restaurant, cocktail bar and chocolate shop where you can nosh on salads, sandwiches or artisan flatbreads, followed by handcrafted truffles, toffee and other desserts.
Fiction Beer Company: Bibliophiles can indulge their love of books and brews at Fiction Beer Company, where every beer is inspired by and named after works of literature.
Tattered Cover Book Store: If Fiction Beer Company whets your appetite for reading, browse Denver’s favorite local, independent bookstore, Tattered Cover.
Twist and Shout: Celebrate Colfax’s rock ‘n’ roll history at Twist and Shout, a cavernous independent music shop with a vast collection of CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, vinyl records and even 8-track tapes (remember those?), along with pop-culture memorabilia from seemingly every movie and TV show ever made.
Trattoria Stella: Lay down a solid base for a night out on Colfax at Trattoria Stella, the place for from-scratch Italian food. Risotto cakes, creamy burrata, shrimp pesto gnocchi and prosciutto pizza? Yes, please.
Pete’s Kitchen: Open 24/7, Pete’s Kitchen serves up American diner fare along with Greek specialties like gyros, souvlaki and baklava. It’s also home to one of Barber’s favorite nostalgic neon signs: a chef flipping pancakes.
MUSIC AND NIGHTLIFE
Bluebird Theater: Built in 1913, this intimate concert venue was named one of the best clubs in America by Rolling Stone magazine (and they should know!).
Ogden Theatre: The Ogden Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once hosted magician Harry Houdini. Today, it’s one of Denver's premier concert venues for contemporary rock shows.
Fillmore Auditorium: The historic Fillmore Auditorium debuted as a rollerskating rink, but now it packs nearly 4,000 music lovers a night as Colorado’s largest indoor venue for general admission seating.
Lost Lake Lounge: Looking for a dive bar with a little something extra? Located across the street from the Bluebird Theater, Lost Lake Lounge is a great spot to grab a post-show drink and enjoy more live music from local musicians.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST…
Casa Bonita: It’s worth the short drive to Lakewood to visit this Colfax institution. Part Mexican restaurant, part theme park, Casa Bonita features a 30-foot-tall indoor waterfall, cliff divers, an arcade, stage shows and more.