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One Flight Away: Denver’s South Broadway and Beyond

One Flight Away: Denver’s South Broadway and Beyond

Denvery skyline during twilight hours
Photo courtesy of

The mile high city as it’s known has always been high on my list of favorite American cities. If I didn’t call St. Pete home, Denver would be a close second choice. As a destination, Denver has a lot of different areas and neighborhoods to experience. 

South Broadway, or SoBo as it’s come to be known more recently, is a hot up and coming area of south Denver. Similar to St. Pete’s Warehouse District, what used to be industrial, is slowly transforming into new development with a focus on high density in the form of condominiums, townhomes and apartment buildings. 


Where to Eat & Drink in SoBo

A beef roll from Sushi Den

SushiDen is a treat, but book early or expect to wait. As a solo traveler, I took my chances and walked over to grab a spot at the sushi bar and still had to wait about 20 minutes. It was 100% worth it. Sitting at the sushi bar is a front row experience with your chef. The three roles I had were all amazing, but the bulgogi beef was tops. Equally tops was the lychee margarita, which was deliciously refreshing without being too sweet. Definitely put Sushi Den on your list wherever you stay in Denver. 


Hash browns, sausage, two eggs over easy and french toast from the Breakfast Palace

Right on Broadway in the heart of it all, you’ll find a greasy spoon that probably hasn’t changed much since the 1970s. Breakfast Palace has an extensive menu that includes old school and often decadent breakfast and lunch items. It’s a great place to carb up if you’re heading out for an active day of hiking or mountain biking. I’m in love with the chicken fried steak and shredded hash browns but the chocolate chip pancakes are pretty awesome too. The price is right so be sure to grab a burger to go and you won’t need to worry about lunch. 

For something a bit more contemporary, SoBo’s Joy Hill is home to wood fired pizzas that insure locally sourced ingredients with house made mozzarella. We stopped in for a couple of drinks and a late afternoon snack. We’d recommend The Hunter, a woodfired pizza made with local bison chorizo,  shredded mozzarella, cheddar, caramelized onion, pickled jalapeño, cilantro, and house-made green chile ranch dressing. They should really try to bottle that stuff. 

An Old Fashioned cocktail from Bear Creek Distillery.

One of my favorite recent Denver discoveries in Bear Creek Distillery. Located in an old warehouse, this craft distillery serves up some top of the line cocktails at reasonable prices. The venue offers a cozy atmosphere with board games and even offers cocktails to go. With vodka, rum, whiskey and bourbon on the menu, they’ve infused old favorites with their own take such as the South Acoma Mule and Spiced Rum Milk Punch. Not to worry if the munchies hit. The Hotbox Hoagie food truck is apparently a regular at Bear Creek. I grabbed a hoagie on my way out that was very traditional and quite delicious. 

A plus about the South Broadway area of Denver is easy access to the city’s increasingly popular light rail system. Trains and stations are typically clean and not a bad way to get around. While they can get you to a lot of popular areas, you may need to travel further to others. If that’s the case, It’s much cheaper to take the rail as far as you can and then an Uber to your final destination.

Beyond SoBo

God save the Queen, and the local dive bar. Well, that’s what two women did back in 2018. Outside of a new name and perhaps some top shelf vodka, we would assume that the Embassy Tavern hasn’t changed much– And that’s the way the locals prefer it. For us tourists, it definitely makes for a true vintage dive bar experience, right down to the brown slate exterior. 

Fish n Beer's Fish and Chips

Once you’ve had your fill of cocktails, Fish N Beer just down the street from Embassy Tavern serves up traditional pub food and what many locals claim is some of the best fish and chips in town. Battered with Ratio Mexican Lager, sustainable cod, fries, tartar sauce, it’s a savory and surprisingly affordable option at just $17. 

A flight of Waldschenke Ciders

For an interesting combo, Waldschenke Ciders (that’s a mouthful) is both coffee and cider, with a side of German food. I enjoy a good pretzel as much as the next person, but can’t say I’ve ever been a big fan of ciders– But you have to try their Onyx Berry. 

Let’s make a trip to Aurora, Colorado to try out a recent addition, Manila Bay. This authentic Filipino style restaurant is worth the trip. Having just opened in April, this restaurant serves plates in traditional family style to be shared by the table. Lumpia, Pork Belly, Oxtail Kare Kare… We’ll take it all! Be prepared to eat way too much because it’s just that sort of place. Yet all delicious, very reasonably priced and one visit makes for great leftovers. 

Meow Wolfe inside looking at illuminated castle.

Similar to St. Pete’s own Fairgrounds, Meow Wolf is described as a “distinctive style of immersive maximalist environments that encourage audience driven experiences.” Founded in 2008 by a collective of Santa Fe, NM based artists it’s not quite a theme park, not quite a fun house. Meow Wolf is a 90,000 square foot facility that at times feels like visiting another planet straight out of the movie Total Recall.

Getting To and Getting Around Denver

United, Southwest and Frontier offer a number of direct daily flights between TPA and DEN. Denver’s airport is quite far from Denver proper itself. No matter how you travel, it’s a schlep and Uber rides can be expensive. 

Light Rail is the cheapest option if you’re not in a hurry. The airport train will take you to Union Station where you can connect to a number of lines. Again, many folks will take the train as close as they can and then grab an Uber to their final destination, if necessary. For me, the station was in walking distance from my AirBnB. 

A number of rental car companies have shuttles directly from the airport and can have competitive rates and, depending on the time of the year, you may luck out with a complimentary upgrade. We rented a sedan from Sixt and got upgraded to an SUV. Parking can be scarce so if you’re planning to rent a car, make sure your AirBnB or hotel has parking available. 

Denver’s airport can be total chaos. If you’re on your way out, a pro tip is to find your way to the upper level by following the lounge signs. There’s much more room to relax while you’re waiting on a flight and the lone Mesa Verde restaurant makes a decent cocktail and chicken wrap. Just give yourself plenty of time to get to your gate when time comes. 

Where to Stay

What’s also unique about Denver is its lack of a central neighborhood. Yes, there’s a downtown but the city is full of pocket neighborhoods, many of them still up and coming. To fully experience Denver, the best option is to stay in an AirBnB. This allows you the flexibility to experience many of the neighborhoods and what makes the city so unique. 


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