You know what they say, Denver is for lovers. Okay, no one says that, but they should. The Mile High City is teeming with opportunities for romance and there are many great places to go when out on a date with that special someone.
To take advantage of Denver’s quixotic side, the first thing you need to do is get yourself a date. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with that except to say when you’re in the process of finding that special someone don’t mention the fact that you’re fluent in Klingon or reveal why Mr. Fluffy Paws and Baron Von Whiskers don’t get along.
Perhaps you don’t need to get yourself a date because you’re already married or in a long-term relationship. That’s great, just keep in mind that established couples and new couples could possibly go on very different kinds of dates.
For instance, Colorado natives that have been married for several years might find romance in a Denver Broncos game at Invesco Field followed by dinner at the Denver Diner. A young couple that has been dating for a while might wish to attend Lilith Fair at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre and then top the evening off with a meal at the Pizzeria Basta.
While those types of focused dates are great they are beyond of the scope of this article. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on a more traditional kind of evening–dinner, a show of some sort, and a lovely night cap. By using such a conventional format our suggestions can be enjoyed by couples on their first date as well as couples on their 100th or their 1,000th.
Since it’s a date you don’t want to visit the usual haunts and eat the usual fair. So why not try something different like Cuba Cuba (1173 Delaware Street, 303-605-2822) and its delicious Cuban cuisine and sinful mojitos.
Take a gastronomical adventure in South American cuisine at Cafe Brazil (4408 Lowell Boulevard, 303-480-1877). This vibrant restaurant offers patrons fresh seafood and scrumptious smoked meats doused in zesty Latin spices.
You and your date are guaranteed to find romance at the Vesta Dipping Grill (1822 Blake Street, 303-296-1970). Located in the lower downtown area of Denver (LoDo), Vesta is an updated take on the 1970’s fondue fad. Just think how romantic it will be feeding your date a chuck of meat covered in melted cheese.
If you want to pull out all the stops make reservations at Restaurant Kevin Taylor at the Hotel Teatro (1106 14th Street, 303-820-2600). You and your date will undergo a world class culinary feast at this cozy and elegant Art Deco-style restaurant.
If your pocketbook demands a more modestly priced meal then venture to Angelo’s (620 East 6th Avenue, 303-744-3366). This casual, but still very romantic restaurant, offers sublime pizzas and tasty traditional Italian dishes. If the weather is nice, you and your companion can dine on Angelo’s outdoor patio.
After dinner you’ll need something to do (unless of course you blew it by showing off your goiter). If your date is a film buff, visit the very hip Mayan Theatre (110 Broadway, 303-744-6799). This small independent theatre has a bar and shows films you won’t see at the local multiplex.
Does your date have a sense of humor? The Impulse Theatre (Wynkoop Street, 303-297-2111) features some of Denver’s best Improv artists. This theatre is adjacent to the trendy Wynkoop Brewery so after laughing the night way you and your date can wander over to their bar and enjoy a pint or two.
To catch a Broadway style show accompany your date to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (1245 Champa Street, 303-893-4000). The complex houses the Buell Theatre which brings the nation’s top touring productions to Denver. The Buell has hosted shows like Wicked, In The Heights, Shrek, Mamma Mia!, and Young Frankenstein.
Another venue at the Denver Center is the sublime Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Now attending an opera may sound like the epitome of boring but they are actually quite amazing. Even if you don’t listen to opera music you should attend at least one production during your lifetime. So why not kill two birds with one stone and see an opera while on a date?
If you’re looking for less art in your music and more intimacy, try the Blue Theatre (3317 East Colfax Ave, 303-377-1666). If you go on a night with the right band, this is a great place for you and your date to sip cocktails while swaying to the music.
Show your date that you know how to move your body by visiting the effervescent La Rumba (99 West 9th Avenue, 303-572-8006). This club is one Denver’s most popular Latin dance venues. When you need a break from salsa dancing order a martini or a microbrew from the club’s well stocked bar. Make sure you’re fashion forward, La Rumba has a very strict dress code.
If country is your thang, mosey on down to The Grizzly Rose (5450 North Valley Highway, 303-295-1330). This venue is one of the best honky tonks in the world and it hosts some of the biggest names in the business (Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Willie Nelson, and Taylor Swift). It’s not the most intimate venue in Denver, but they do have 2,500 square feet of dance floor, a pool room, and a mechanical bull.
You’re going to need someplace to go to finish off the evening, unless of course your date suddenly tells you they need to go home because they have jury duty in the morning–what did you do now? Fortunately, Denver has plenty of wonderful options to conclude your date.
Trios Enoteca (1730 Wynkoop, 303-293-2887) is an independent wine bar featuring tapas, appetizers, and live music. You and your date will be able to order a glass from a selection of 40-plus wines.
Another fabulous wine bar in Denver, located at Larimer Square, is Crú (1442 Larimer Street, 303-893-9463). Crú has over 300 wines, 40 of which can be sampled by the glass. This elegant wine bar also has a menu featuring flavorsome appetizers and flights of cheese.
Take a trip back in time and experience the Art Deco of the 1920’s at The Cruise Room, located in the Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver (1600 17th Street, 303-825-1107). The Cruise Room was city’s first bar and it was designed after one of the lounges from the Queen Mary. The establishment serves the best martini in the city and features music from a free jukebox–dibbs on “Don’t Stop Believing.”
To satisfy a sweet tooth look no further than D Bar Desserts (1475 East 17th Avenue, 303-861-4710). D Bar not only serves up scrumptious deserts like palmond, crème brulee, and apple tarte tatin but they also offer wine, beer, coffee, and tea.
The above suggestions were obviously for a “date night.” If you and your companion decide to schedule your date during the day, or you’re so creepy no one wants to be with you after the sun goes down, you still have plenty of romantic options.
First and foremost is the Denver Art Museum (100 West 14th Avenue, 750-865-5000). DAM (as the locals call it) is known for its collection of American Indian Art. After perusing the museum’s 68,000 pieces, you and your date can dine at one of the several nearby restaurants. Two worth mentioning are Dozens (236 West 13th Ave, 303-572-0066) and Pint’s Pub (221 West 13th Avenue, 303-534-7543).
Denver City’s Park is another great place for a romantic daytime outing. The 330-acre park, located in east-central Denver, contains the Denver Zoo, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and a couple of lakes. You can rent a row boat for a romantic spin on the water. Just don’t splash, you might mess up their hair.
As you can see, Denver has plenty to offer a couple looking to spend some quality time together. Whether it’s a hot date with a brand new paramour or “date night” with the old ball and chain, Denver is a very romantic city.
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