Colfax & Downing

Everything you need to know about the Mile High City

Category: Bars


For all its population growth and influx of restaurants and eateries popping up on every imaginable corner, Denver just doesn’t keep pace with vegan dining options compared to other major cities. That’s not to say there aren’t a handful of great places to tuck into a vegan meal but it’s not yet the plant-based mecca that I long for it to become.

Enter Sputnik!

This little dive bar with its unassuming facade on Broadway and Ellsworth serves up cheap beer and comfort food for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans. Adding to its hipster points, right next door is the very popular Hi-Dive, an indie music venue. The service is friendly with no nonsense. Every server or bartender we have ever encountered here has thoroughly mussed hair, tattoos in places that were probably painful, a T-shirt you’re not certain is ironic or not, and a quick hand with the coffee refills.

You can’t really ask for anything more.


One of the last times we had brunch here, Drew enjoyed pork ramen off the lunch menu and I ordered a tofu scramble. Also delicious and available all day: the zucchini dog, the restaurant’s surprisingly satisfying take on a corn dog. Drew is a card-carrying steak and potatoes kind of dude and even he can’t recommend the zucchini dogs vigorously enough.

Coffee in an authentic Taz mug from the 90s? Don’t mind if I do.

Despite its humble appearance, Sputnik delivers. I don’t recommend bringing your parents here but if your much cooler, slightly older cousins from Brooklyn come to the Mile High City to visit, they will be impressed. I speak from experience.

From 3 to 7 p.m., the happy hour menu features a variety of beers and small bites ranging from $2 to $6.

To summarize: affordable, tasty food! Cold, cheap beer! Vegan friendly! Warm service! Vinyl booths! Christmas lights!

Sputnik is everywhere you might expect to find a Denver establishment on social media (except Twitter, apparently).

In other news, we’re sorry for neglecting the blog. Sometimes life happens more quickly than we can jot it down. Because you continue to read and stick by us, know that we love you more than is comfortable for you.

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Crooked Stave Artisan Beer

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is a gift to the world.

Our good friends, Nate and Christine, were in town over a long weekend and as any good Denver local will do, we had to show them The Source. We walked in, looked around at a few shops, gawked at the pastries, smelled the flowers, and sampled some cheese. We were nearly finished with our little tour when Christine wanted to find out what was going on in the back room. So, we ventured a little further and found Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Before walking in, I knew all about Crooked Stave. As a massive Saison fan, it’s one of my favorite breweries in Denver. Every single beer they make is worth the (sometimes) hefty (yet albeit worth it) price tag. Christine, a fellow sour fan, had to walk in and give the place a try.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Let’s just say Christine enjoyed herself. Crooked Stave was a big hit and if you haven’t been, go immediately.

Beer List:

  • Vielle
  • Colorado Wild Sage
  • Surette
  • Autumn Surette
  • St. Bretta Pomelo
  • Pure Guava Petite Sour


  • It’s hard to keep up with their Limited Release schedule so be sure to stop in often but, if they have it, order the Nightmare on Brett.
    • This beer is aged in Leopold Brothers Apple Whiskey Barrels and is nothing short of incredible.


  • Vielle – If you can’t get your hands on a Limited Release, like the Nightmare on Brett, the Vielle is a great Crooked Stave staple. This is a barrel-aged Saison that’s lightly dry hopped and has lemon skin, pear, and dusty apple notes. Give it a try!


  • Luckily, Crooked Stave is surrounded by great options. Walk over to Comida for some Stella’s pork carnitas tacos.

Insider Tip:

  • For your D.D. friends, they have Happy Leaf on tap!



Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Winter Warmer 2016

The 2016 Winter Warmer

Winter is tough.

Shoveling snow. Bundling up. Waiting out in the cold for the BX that’s always late…

Luckily for all of us, the Winter Warmer is here to help by offering 2-for-1 drink specials at 20 or so of the hottest restaurants in Denver. This was the gift I was most delighted to receive this Christmas. (Thanks, Ariana.)

Winter Warmer Denver 2016

This year, the Winter Warmer hits Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins in full force. Similar to the Passport Program, the Winter Warmer is designed for exploration and giving customers a reason to visit new and upcoming restaurants they might not have thought about before. Think of the Winter Warmer as your fun enabler friend who doesn’t know quite when to quit… it’s kind of like that…but you’ll save money and give back to a worthy cause throughout the process.

For every Winter Warmer sold, The Passport Program will donate $1 to Food Bank of the Rockies.  With each dollar providing four meals to hungry Coloradans, Winter Warmer donations could provide up to 22,000 meals across the state.

The 2016 Winter Warmer is on sale now for $20. Last year, it sold out in 48 hours so you should probably get on this.

Restaurants participating

Winter Warmer Bar List 2016

I’m really looking forward to a trip to Bar Fausto and Rebel Restaurant. What about you?

In the new year, Clare and I are sticking with our 2015 habit of cooking at home more often than we dine out at restaurants. The Winter Warmer scratches my restaurant itch for the price of an award-winning cocktail. The other night I made some of the softest sandwiches ever: fresh French bread with cannellini beans, cucumber and a perfectly ripe avocado. I ate mine condiment-less and Clare doused hers in Follow Your Heart vegan Ranch dressing.

Vegan White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

Cook at home and drink on the town! Be sure to tag your photos, tweets and everything else with #WinterWarmer along your travels and who knows, maybe I’ll see you out there.

Stay warm, my friends.

This post was shared in collaboration with our homies at Tony’s, source of all the delicious ingredients in this post. We’re lucky to be included in their blogger ambassador program.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Quixote's True Blue Cafe

Quixote’s True Blue

First things first, some real talk. A bar that is dedicated to paying homage to the Grateful Dead is not our typical stomping ground. I prefer 140-180 beats per minute and Clare loves harmony-heavy music. But when our friend Brian invited us to see his son’s newly formed band, Racket in the Roost, play a show at Quixote’s True Blue on a weeknight recently, we decided to delay our usual pajama time and go out for a drink. Racket in the Roost includes Dylan McCarthy on guitar, Aidan Allen on bass and Mike Tanner on banjo. Style: bluegrass Americana.

Racket in the roost quixote's true blue

Jay Bianchi owns both Quixote’s True Blue downtown and Sancho’s Broken Arrow out on Colfax. Both establishments are prolifically adorned with Grateful Dead paraphernalia and concert posters. If the decorating team behind Cracker Barrel were to outfit a room in tribute to Jerry Garcia, this is surely what it would look like.

Crowd at Quixote's True Blue

Find yourself here if you love $3 PBR, live jam bands and a relaxed, diverse group of people or creep them on Facebook and Twitter if you want to know more.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

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