By Mariel Ross, Focus Real Estate
It’s that time of year again – Valentine’s Day!
Here in Stapleton Denver, we have a wealth of dining and entertainment options. From fast casual hot spots to amazing delivery options and award-winning, bucket list restaurants. Stapleton’s food scene is as robust and exciting as ever. This is great news if you’re starting to think about your Valentine’s Day plans.
As a local Stapleton realtor and resident, I’m always tracking the latest and greatest culinary and date spot options for our wonderful neighborhood. This year, I decided to make a project out of it.
I sat down with my husband (a burgers and brats sort of guy, while I’m more of a locavore who loves interesting takes on seasonal veggies) and brainstormed some of our favorite Valentine’s Day options here in the neighborhood. Our mission? To come up with a list of restaurants where we’d both love to dine on this day of love.
Now, of course, this list isn’t comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination. There are dozens of amazing restaurants in Eastbridge, The Shops at Northfield, the 29th Avenue Town Center, and everywhere in between. Regardless, here’s what my husband and I ultimately agreed upon for Valentine’s Day this year.
One last quick caveat. We’re publishing this article a week prior to Valentine’s Day, and a lot of our local restaurants are still finalizing their special V-Day menus. So, be sure to check in with each restaurant to find out what special menus they might be offering for the big day!
Happy Valentine’s Day Stapleton!
Annette (2501 Dallas Street, #108 in the Stanley Marketplace), (720) 710-9975
I don’t need to sing Annette’s praises. From owner Caroline Glover being named a 2019 Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, to a 2018 nomination for Best New Restaurant in the country, to a Bon Appetit nomination as one of the 50 best new restaurants, Annette is a destination Valentine’s Day experience. I especially love their gnocchi entree with deviled eggs to share, and a hand crafted soda or cocktail.
Make your reservations early!
After dining at the amazing Annette, you have drinking and entertainment options galore in The Stanley Marketplace. For example, stop by the new Stanley Arcade, which recently opened in the space formerly occupied by Infinite Monkey Theorem. The vintage-inspired arcade with skee ball, pinball, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and a bunch of other classic games, along with some newer games including Killer Queen, which ten people can play at one time.
Punch Bowl Social, 3210 N. Uinta Street, Denver, 80238, 720-500-3788
Looking for a casual, fun date night on Valentine’s Day?
How does bowling, life-size Jenga, and karaoke sound? How about gourmet tacos, burgers, and salads?
If you’ve never been, Punch Bowl Social – located conveniently in the middle of the southside of Stapleton on Central Park Boulevard and Martin Luther King – has something for everyone.
My favorite dish? The Superfood Grain Bowl, which comes with crispy faro, quinoa, kale, radishes, sprouts, pickled chilies, shiitake mushrooms, poached egg, and miso ginger vinaigrette. My husband likes to go with the A La Bama Chicken Sandwich, which has crispy chicken, white BBQ sauce, shredded lettuce, tomato, house-made dill pickles, sesame seed bun, and rosemary fries.
On Valentine’s Day, grab a drink, sit back and reminisce about all the travelers who once flew in and out of the old Stapleton International Airport. Punch Bowl is located in one of the old airport’s control towers, so you’re literally sitting on the spot where so many wonderful adventures, stories, and romances began!
Next Door American Eatery, 10155 East 29th Drive, Suite 160, Denver, 80238 (720) 930-4366
Located in Stapleton’s buzzing Eastbridge Town Center, the chic, urban yet comfortable Next Door American Eatery is one of my favorite happy hour and dinner spots. It’s only natural then that Next Door would be a perfect date night and Valentine’s Day dinner spot as well.
I love the roasted veggie salad – organic arugula, roasted beets, charred cauliflower, organic tri-color quinoa, carmelized onion, roasted mushrooms, toasted almonds & house lemon vinaigrette.
As for my husband? He raves about the Pineapple Express burger, which has bacon, pineapple, swiss, arugula, and honey sriracha.
If you feel so inclined, after dinner stroll outside to Constellation, one of Stapleton’s go-to ice cream spots. What a perfect way to end Valentine’s Day!
Pizzeria Locale, 7505 E 29th PL Denver, 80238, 303-835-7465
Pizzeria Locale, a Boulder-founded fast casual pizza restaurant, recently opened in Stapleton’s 29th Avenue Town Center.
Featuring quick, gourmet pizzas (both red and white), salads, and of course my favorite, tasty and affordable red and white wines – Pizzeria Locale is the perfect spot for a Valentine’s Day first date. Or if you’re parents and have a limited window of time to before you need to relieve the babysitter but would love to pause and have a glass of wine, Pizzeria Locale is a great option!
Mici’s Pizza, 2373 Central Park Boulevard, Denver, 80238, 303-355-6424
A Stapleton mainstay, Mici’s is located on Central Park Boulevard close to the Bladium. You can dine in but, for Valentine’s Day, I know sometimes it’s easier to turn on the fireplace, pick out a movie, and order delivery – and Mici’s is a great local option with some of my favorite pizza in Stapleton.
I’m partial to the Margerhita pizza, which has red sauce, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and roma tomatoes. My husband adores the Molto Carne calzone – family recipe sausage, hand rolled meatballs, nitrate free pepperoni, mozzarella, ricotta, and marinara.
With an easy and fast online system, Mici’s is a great option if going out on Valentine’s Day isn’t in the cards this year.
Dog Haus Biergarten, 8316 Northfield Blvd, Denver, 80238, 303-353-4385
Located in The Shops at Northfield, I don’t need to tell you why my husband is a Dog Haus fan. Dog Haus has some of the better – and more interesting – burgers and brats in Stapleton. After all, if you’re a burger fan, who can argue with burgers like The Hangover, which has white American cheese, smoked bacon, caramelized onions, garlic aioli, haus chili, fried egg, and mayo?
As for me, I like the Impossible Burger, Impossible Slider, the Beyond Brat, and the Sooo Veggie.
Why is this a great spot for Valentine’s Day? Well, just a short stroll away is the Northfield Harkins Theater, one of the largest movie theaters close to Stapleton. So, the plan? Swing by Dog Haus, grab a beer and burger, and then off to romantic movie. Sign me up!
One of the newest entrants on the Stapleton dinner scene, ChoLon opened its second outpost in Eastbridge (the other location is in downtown Denver). No better time to try Stapleton’s latest culinary award-winner than Valentine’s Day!
The new concept is guided by Executive Chef Becca Henry, who started as a line cook at ChoLon’s first location. Before opening in Stapleton, Chef Becca and other ChoLon representatives visited Southeast Asia, and many of the dishes they encountered inspired what you’ll find at ChoLon’s Stapleton location.
What to eat for Valentine’s Day? How do dumplings sound? You’ll find Cantonese Shrimp Dumplings, Soup Dumplings, and more at ChoLon!
So, there you have it, Stapleton!
Have a wonderful – and delicious – Valentine’s Day!
Mariel Ross is a Stapleton resident and realtor. You can reach her at Mariel@Focus-Realtors.com