“I love to walk a city, whether I’ve been there once or a hundred times before. It’s amazing what sort of inspiration you’ll find once you steal a second glance.” ~Erin Hiemstra
I have long known the treasures of Denver’s Broadway business district and there a time when I frequented the area on a more regular basis, primarily when I lived downtown. But, moving a bit more northwest shifted my hangout spots. Also, getting a bit older and not going out as much is also likely to blame.
The good news is the area, which happens to be our new neighborhood, still houses many of the gems I remember and also features a few newbies (or, new to me) to explore. From yummy eats and drinks to thrift stores and eclectic gifts and antiques — and everything in between — it’s hard to believe all of this awesomeness can be contained in five or so city blocks.
I’ve included all of our stops in the order in which we visited, as well as some others I’ve frequented in the past — and would like to try in the future. Fellow Denverites (and guests), what are some of your favorite SoBo and NoBo spots that we need to try?
- Under the Umbrella Cafe and Bakery, 300 Elati: We’ve been dying to try this adorable coffee shop — just a 1.5 blocks from our house — since it first caught our eye while we were house shopping. The vibe is as good as the coffee and we’ll definitely be back to try the breakfast menu.
- Fancy Tiger Crafts, 59 Broadway: If there’s any store that could finally get me to learn to sew (or, just be a bit more crafty), it’s Fancy Tiger. The walls are lined with vibrant and unique fabric and I found myself wanting to hang out to absorb some of the craft culture, hoping maybe it would rub off on me. Luckily, they offer a plethora of classes ranging from beginner (me!) to intermediate. The hardest part will be deciding which class to take!
- Fancy Tiger Clothing, 55 Broadway: This boutique was a feast for so many senses featuring Colorado-centric clothing to locally-made soaps and candles to modern jewelry. And, you’ll have to actually come into the store as there is no online presence here. The hubs and I enjoyed locating the dioramas throughout the space and appreciated the store’s focus on collections from smaller independent designers.
- Buffalo Exchange, 51 Broadway: I used to frequent this clothing and accessories reseller as a method of selling off some of my purses and clothes when I no longer needed them (or, in many cases, never needed them). We didn’t spend much time here as it was the weekend before Halloween and the place was slammed. We’ll definitely be back to explore on a less busy day.
- Goodwill, 21 S Broadway: This large thrift store features clothing, kitchen items, furniture and everything in between. I’ve always respected and appreciated the organization’s business model and when the hubs and I were in the midst of minimizing our stuff, Goodwill was the recipient of it all. This trip, we walked in and right back out because of the whole Halloween craziness, but I see time spent here in our future.
- Decade, 56 S Broadway: Part reclaimed furniture store and part gift-givers dream, this store features themed sections for campers, bride + groom, gardeners, kiddos and so much more. If you’re looking for a unique gift for, well, anyone, this is your place. Many of their items are $20 and under — bonus! We spent quite a bit of time perusing and enjoying many unique items that we’d never seen before.
- Sewn, 18 S Broadway: If I would have inherited any of my mother’s amazing sewing skills, this store could have been my life. The shop features the products of four designers who create original handmade items, each with their own unique style and product line. The cards featuring the prior store dog and the current one were the highlight for me.
- Rosehouse, 14 S Broadway: I hadn’t heard of this store before happening upon it during our walkabout but both the hubs and were enamored by the offering of plants and the beautiful methods in which they were displayed. After doing a bit of post-visit research, I learned that Rosehouse specializes in rare, unique and helpful plans and is community-owned. So cool! We resisted buying the entire inventory but I definitely see many return visits in our future.
- Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 S Broadway: Imagine if you crossed a record store with a bookstore with an arcade with treasures of your (80s kid) past. You would get Mutiny Information Cafe. We focused most of our attention on browsing the stacks of used books but I was told post-visit from coworkers that the eats and coffee are worth a try. Looking forward to heading back to try it out.
- La Lovely Vintage, 42 Broadway: When we first entered this store, we thought it just another vintage boutique (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but we were overjoyed when we learned the back portion of the store housed a variety of personal and household refill items. Hurray! Another place for us to shop that fits our zero-wasteish lifestyle. We purchased a new dispense for our dish soap as our prior one (battery-powered) was malfunctioning — or we have a ghost. We were both so appreciative that we can add La Lovely Vintage as another option to support our sustainable lifestyle (The Zero Market and Joyfill are our two other go-tos).
- Sweet Action, 52 Broadway: Run — don’t walk — to Sweet Action. The unique flavors make this ice cream shop a desirable stop, whether you’re pursuing the neighborhood like we were or you just have a specific craving for some of the best ice cream around. I treated myself to an ice cream sandwich with cinnamon ice cream and snickerdoodle cookies while the hubs enjoyed a peanut butter shake. And, while I enjoyed my treat that day, I’m still dreaming of the time we stopped by last summer and they had goat cheese beet ice cream. It. Was. Amazing. In case it’s not implied, we’ll be back.
- Hope Tank, 65 Broadway: It was a few years ago that I fell in love with Hope Tank during my annual autumn quest to find the perfect pumpkin candle. I actually still have the candle I purchased on that visit and the blog post I wrote to capture the experience is still just as relevant, so instead of rambling on about this trip, I’ll let that post do the work instead.
- Baere Brewing, 320 Broadway: Technically we walked into this brewery but we didn’t partake in any offerings. We’ll definitely be back as I’ve enjoyed their beer on an occasion or two and my husband is always up for trying new locals brews.
- Luke & Company Fine Pet Supply & Outfitter, 430 Broadway
- My husband discovered this pet shop while shopping for our pup’s birthday present a few weeks ago. We both appreciate the large offering of eco-friendly toys and bulk-treat offerings. Luckily for our pup, they were out of Halloween costumes in her size that day, or we would have definitely been customers that day. We’ll certainly be back in the future though, whether to give E a bath or for a few treats.
- Mayan Theater: historic 1930s Art Deco Mayan Revival movie theater (one of three remaining in the U.S.) featuring
- Metropolis Coffee
- Sputnik: hipster hangout (is this still a thing?) + upscale bar food (featuring extensive veggie + vegan options) + drinks
- Hi-Dive: features live music 4+ nights/week + drinks
- 3 Kings Tavern: rock bar + live music
- The Hornet: “global American” eats + kick-ass happy hour
- Punch Bowl Social: games + drinks + Southern American gastropub eats
- Irish Rover Pub: neighborhood Irish bar + yummy food + rugby
- Beatrice & Woodsley: one of my top 10 Denver restaurants + “rustic-American” style dinner, brunch + happy hour + upscale
- Denver Biscuit Company + Atomic Cowboy: biscuits by day + pizza by night + drinks
- Go Fish Sushi: sushi sans pretention
- Leña: Latin-America inspired eats + upscale
To try + visit
- Core Power Yoga
- Sugar Bakeshop
- The Lotus
- Ross-Broadway Branch Library
- The Bardo Coffeehouse
- NOOCH Vegan Market
Stay tuned for our next walkabout adventure featuring the Santa Fe Arts district, which happens to make up the other neighborhood boundary. We’re so lucky.