Denver may not have invented brunch, but the Mile High City has perfected the mid-day meal, drawing crowds to sunny patios for fluffy pancake stacks, crispy bacon, and free-flowing mimosas. From a French brasserie to an iconic brewery to an indulgent buffet in the southern suburbs, brunch is serious business in and around Denver. But the beauty of this revered meal is that it can go in a couple of different directions — will it be an indulgent leisurely meal worth blocking out a Saturday morning and afternoon for or is it a quick stop to fuel up before heading out on a hike (or crawling back in bed)? No matter if you’re looking to splurge or on a budget, there’s a Denver brunch that fits the bill.
Methodology: To assign a price per person for each of these meals, we totaled the average cost of an entrée, a coffee, and a cocktail or beer.
Garden Terrace at Hilton Denver Inverness: $ 75 (includes bottomless mimosas)
With live jazz setting the soundtrack, the Sunday Champagne Brunch is back at the Hilton Denver Inverness, a hotel near Park Meadows Mall. Make a beeline for the raw bar that’s generously stocked with crab legs, shrimp, and oysters. After that, you’ve got options (100, in fact) that include slabs of tender and juicy prime rib, petite waffles, made-to-order omelets, sushi and sashimi, plus pastries galore. 200 Inverness Drive W., Englewood
Chez Maggy: $ 55
Inside the new Thompson Hotel, Michelin-starred chef Ludo Lefebvre’s brasserie offers a Parisian part, a Denver menu. Say oui to the French Denver Omelet with bell peppers, onions, Parisian ham and Gruyère cheese. Other dishes at Chez Maggy include escargot, mussels and frites, and an avocado croque monsieur. The lobby-level restaurant in LoDo also has a French-leaning wine list and zero-proof cocktails. 1616 Market St.
Urban Farmer: $ 35
Bloody marys practically double as meals at Urban Farmer. The brunch bar is stocked with more than two dozen accoutrements like candied bacon with brown sugar and chile flakes, fresh horseradish, and pickled veggies. But do save room for this steakhouse’s succulent duck hash or, if you have a sweet tooth, the brioche French toast with chai cream cheese and strawberry jam. 1659 Wazee St.
Wynkoop Brewing Company: $ 28
What do you get when a brewery starts offering brunch? Beermosas, for one. But Wynkoop Brewing Company also puts a tasty stout glaze on its giant, fluffy cinnamon roll that’s topped with cream cheese frosting and crafts its sausage gravy with a chile beer for its stick-to-your-ribs biscuits and gravy dish. 1634 18th St.
Fox Run Cafe: $ 25
While the menu rotates, you’ll find breakfast delights like lemon ricotta pancakes, apple pie French toast, grilled banana bread, and sourdough BLTs at this small-but-buzzy Colfax spot. Cold brew whiskey and spiked lemonades are also on Fox Run Cafe‘s cocktail menu alongside the prototypical brunch-y drinks. 3550 E. Colfax Ave.
Leven Deli Co .: $ 18
Next door to the Denver Art Museum, Leven Deli Co. is a Jewish deli-meets-Mediterranean cafe with fresh-baked breads, 12-day pastrami, and curried potato salads. Order an egg sandwich on a soft roll with pastrami and take a seat in the plant-filled dining room or on the patio. Leven’s all-day market also sells sourdough loaves, whipped feta, charcuterie, and more — perfect provisions for any afternoon picnics you may have in the cards. 123 W. 12th Ave.
Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen: $ 15
If your kind of breakfast includes Southern biscuits washed down with local beers, head to Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen. Fluffy biscuit breakfast sandwiches — like the Asheville, served with havarti, turkey, and honey mustard — are under $ 6 and this homey cafe has eight local beers on tap and a concise coffee menu. 5126 W. 29th Ave., 76 S. Pennsylvania St.