Denver Week: Emily from A Denver Home Companion

Happy Hump Day!  If you've been with us since Monday, I'm so glad you're back!  And if you're just now joining us, here's what we've been up to:  it's Denver Week!  I'll have a new post every day from some of Denver's most wonderful bloggers, sharing some of their favorite things to do in the Mile High City.  We started off the week with Will from The Momentum, who told us about all the great places to get your midday buzz on.  Then yesterday we heard from Tiffany from Camp 1899, who introduced us to a local winery with a $5 tasting.  If this keeps up, we may have a real drinking problem by the end of the week. 

Anyway, today we have a guest-post (my very first one!) from the delightful Emily Power from A Denver Home Companion.  Emily and her painstakingly adorable family--her chef & coffee shop celebrity husband, her doe-eyed doll of a daughter, Ramona, her precious dog, Otto, and her goats (!!!)--have homesteading in the city down to a tee.  I love reading about all of her adventures as a creative, a mom, a wife, and just all around rockstar.

So without further ado, take it away Emily, after the jump:

Emily & Ramona in Ironwood, one of Emily's favorite places (read below)

Megan, being new to Denver, asked me to write up a list of my five favorite places in this town for her to check out. Five places? Just five?! It was hard to narrow it down. I didn't, after all, want to leave anyone out. There are so many places to explore and shop and eat at in this city that I love love love love. To narrow it down i chose the top five spots that i keep returning to over and over lately. 

1. crema coffee house. Is anyone that knows me surprised I listed this? I am an unabashed fan and supporter of this place (full disclosure: my hubby is one of the owners and the chef here). It is great. The coffee is serious and excellent and the food is unique but accessible. Don't let the naysayers scare you: yes, it does seem to attract a large amount of the hipster-persuasion but they don't bite and the baristas love meeting new customers and making regulars out of you. My favorite is the toddy (iced french press, perfect for this heat wave), the breakfast burrito, the gyro, and the juice. It gets busy, especially on the weekends, and everything is made with lots of handcrafted love, so expect a little bit of a wait but trust that it'll be worth it.  


2. ironwood. This is a magical shop of curiosities, vintage goods, local art and jewelry, succulents, and beautiful stones and rocks. Aly has lovingly and painstakingly created a space that speaks to the whimsy in all of us. It is certainly not your average gift shop or vintage store. Even if you are not a lover of knick knacks and small tokens of nature, make sure you pick up a break-it-yourself geode as a memento. Also, if you are a thrift-store-shopper or estate-sale-goer and have some goods you want to unload, Aly does buy from pickers. 

Optimysticism installation, Ironwood

3. commons/confluence park and surrounding paths along the river and pedestrian bridges leading to downtown. Here's how you would utilize this space: start with a drink in the bar at linger during happy hour (sure, the patio is popular but I think the bar is a lot sexier and more comfortable and less crowded). Then head down the hill to little man ice cream for dessert (just order a kids size: it's cheap and more than enough ice cream. I recommend anything with the word "salted" in front of it). Keep walking down 16th, across the I-25 pedestrian bridge. If you're on bike you must stop into salvagetti (first building north of the bridge) to say hi to the great employees and best bike shop in Denver. Otherwise, keep walking straight and you'll run into commons park. South one block is confluence park. These places are great for relaxing, having a picnic, people-watching, or access to trails for biking or running. Beyond commons park is yet another beautiful pedestrian bridge that spits you out essentially right on the 16th street mall. Skip this place, but pop into the kitchen for dinner or take a peek inside union station. Heading back to where you started, stop into williams & graham for a nightcap.

Mix It: Williams & Graham's Vieux Carré from 5280 on Vimeo.

*MEL here--How cool is the above video about one of Williams & Graham's specialty cocktails?  Plus, I have friends who live near this bar and said it was a super rad speakeasy-style bar, masked behind a storefront of bookshelves.  Looks like our drinking problem will continue after all.*  

4. denver art museum: This museum rivals some of the great ones I've seen in my travels. It's big without being overwhelming and they have a good balance of an incredible permanent collection as well as great temporary exhibits. My favorite section is the western american collection. I thought that it was going to be cheesy oil paints of Kinkade-ish landscapes but boy was I wrong. I visit on the first Saturday of the month when the museum is free. It can be a bit crowded but I've never been a lingerer in a museum so I'm fine sweeping through, saying hi to my favorite pieces, and ducking out. If you want a quieter experience here, I suggest avoiding the museum at this time. Oh, and if you have children, this museum is so kid-friendly. I can't wait until Ramona gets better at walking and her and I are going to have a date here.

Western American Art, Denver Art Museum

5. boulder farmers market: No this is not in Denver but if you're in the Denver area on Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings, it's certainly worth a drive to Boulder to check it out. The produce is fresh and local and the vendors are kind and excited about what they're doing. There are some prepared food kiosks but mostly it's fresh produce and happy-animal products (Denver is notorious for having "markets" that offer mainly local companies selling their prepared foods. This does not a farmers market make). To make your drive to Boulder worth it (though I have driven there just for this) I'd suggest poking your head into boxcar coffee and cured for some caffeine and picnic provisions (or grab lunch at pizzeria locale). If you want to get some hiking in, chautauqua has lots of trails to choose from.  (It's MEL again--in my very short time here, the Mr. and I have searched hi and low for a great food co-op or farmers market and surprisingly, we haven't come across much.  So this is wonderful to know about!) 

Boulder Farmers Market, Bon Appetit

Boxcar Coffee, Eric McNeish

Cured, Denver Post

Pizzeria Locale, Archinect

Chautauqua, Planet Ware

OK. I knew I couldn't do it! I have to throw a 6th one in here for good luck:

6. patzcuaro'sI order the margarita (as big as your head) and the chicken burrito deluxe. Nothing fancy. Good-sized portions. Cozy and shaded patio. Salsa with a kick.

Taqueria Patzcuaro, Lovely Denver

Welcome to Denver, Megan! I can't wait to hear what you think of these places and also recommendations on places you discover on your own.

Thank you so much Emily!  It's Wednesday which means I might hop in the car and head to the Boulder Farmers Market today!

Tell me, my dear internet cosmos, have any of you been to any of Emily's favorites?  Tell me in the comments below.

I'll be back tomorrow with a new list of things to try out from this super cool new mom.



  1. thanks for letting me guest post. it was fun!

    i'm looking forward to what melanie has to recommend tomorrow.

  2. Scratch Castlewood Canyon, let's go to Boulder and hike!


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