Best Denver Food and Drink Things to Do This Weekend

See that mother of a drink above? To find out where to get it this weekend, you’ll just have to keep reading. Then keep going for more tasty happenings this weekend and beyond.

Friday, October 2
Ah, those innocent April days, when you canceled your vacation to Tokyo and were offered a voucher to rebook before December 31, 2020 — and believed that eight months would be plenty of time for the U.S. to get its act together and contain COVID. But face it: You’re not leaving the country anytime soon. The next best thing you can do is fork over $40 to attend the opening of Made in Japan, an installation of Japanese retail brands that coincides with the opening of Temaki Den on Friday, October 2. Temaki Den, a casual hand roll and seared sushi bar from the folks behind Sushi Den, Izakaya Den and Ototo, is opening inside the Source, 3550 Brighton Boulevard, and you can get the first bite at 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. Tickets include two hand rolls, four pieces of nigiri, sashimi, seaweed salad and miso soup from the bar, as well as a Japanese pottery demo and a “tour” of retail brands. Openings are also available at 11 a.m., and 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 3; secure your spot for the reservation-only opening on Eventbrite.

If you haven’t made it to any restaurants for Harvest Week, you still have a few days. Sunday, October 4, is the last day you can eat in, take out or get delivery of food and drink specials built around Colorado produce and producers. Dishes we recommend? Blue cheese souffle with peach and heirloom tomato salad at Urban Farmer (paired with its Goldrush cocktail: Law’s bourbon, local honey, lemon and bee pollen bitters); Coperta’s rabbit agnolotti with hazelnuts and crispy sage and its Cardi Beet cocktail (which includes beet-infused vodka, of course); and Osaka Ramen’s green chile and chorizo ramen. In the (unlikely) event none of those whet your appetite, over thirty other restaurants, including Cart-Driver, Ace Eat Serve, Ultreia, Santo, Jax, Blackbelly and Tap & Burger, are also part of the fun. Find all the participating restaurants and their specials on Harvest Week’s website.

No word whether La Loma's beloved margs will be at Valkyrie Racing's end-of-summer music fest yet.EXPAND

No word whether La Loma’s beloved margs will be at Valkyrie Racing’s end-of-summer music fest yet.

Danielle Lirette

Saturday, October 3
What better way to usher in October than with classic Colorado-Mex fare at a day-long music fest? We can’t think of many. On Saturday, October 3, Valkyrie Racing (led by Renee Brinkerhoff in her admittedly niche quest to make history racing a 1956 Porsche 356 on seven continents) is hosting an end-of-summer music fest to raise funds for organizations combating child trafficking worldwide. From noon to 7 p.m., Bauer Ranch, 28625 Kennedy Gulch Road in Conifer, will host a lineup of bands, with Denver institution La Loma providing food and drinks from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets, $50, are on sale at Valkyrie Racing’s website.

While Baba & Pop's new brunch burger isn't the star of the show (did we mention that Bloody Mary is 50 ounces?), it still looks pretty damn good.EXPAND

While Baba & Pop’s new brunch burger isn’t the star of the show (did we mention that Bloody Mary is 50 ounces?), it still looks pretty damn good.

Lucy Beaugard

Sunday, October 4
Start out Sunday Funday at LeRoux, 1510 16th Street, which is unveiling a new brunch menu along with some goodies for giveaway on Sunday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reserve your seat on LeRoux’s website or by calling 720-845-1673, and you’ll get to listen to tunes from DJ Manos while scarfing brand-new dishes like lemon ricotta pancakes or short rib eggs Benedict. In addition, every table will get a complimentary cinnamon roll, and if you can convince five friends to join you, you’ll score a free bottle of champagne.

For an altogether different brunch vibe, head east to Baba & Pop’s, 9945 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, where the pierogi shop is debuting its Sunday Funday menu on Sunday, October 4. The showstopper? An enormous 50-ounce Bloody Mary (dubbed the Buddy Mary, after the owners’ son, who’s hopefully old enough to indulge in his namesake cocktail) that comes garnished with fried chicken, an entire kielbasa, pierogi, chiles, cheese curds and (amazingly) more. We repeat: 50 ounces (that’s almost a half-gallon of cocktail)! You can get the monstrous morning drink for $48, or if you’re a coward, quitter or loser, you can opt for the merely bottomless version (without the meat stick) for $16. (Oh, yeah, there’s also a delicious double cheeseburger on the menu). You can snag the drink from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every — okay, maybe not every — Sunday. 

Keep reading for future food and drink fun.

An impressive of array of Del Maguey mezcal bottles, several of which will be poured at Santo's upcoming mezcal class.

An impressive of array of Del Maguey mezcal bottles, several of which will be poured at Santo’s upcoming mezcal class.


Friday, October 9
If you still think most mezcals have a worm lurking at the bottom of the bottle, or that the spirit is good for shooting instead of sipping, you need to sign up for Santo’s virtual Mezcal 101 tasting ahora mismo. On Friday, October 9, the New Mexican eatery is teaming up with reps from Del Maguey (one of the most recognizable mezcal producers, thanks to its colorful labels) for a webinar from 7 to 8:30 p.m. You’ll get 2-ounce tastings of three different selections, each distilled in a single Oaxacan village (Chichicapa, Minero and Santo Domingo Albarradas), three copitas (adorable handmade cups commonly used to sip the spirit in Oaxaca) and a bag of Santo’s green chile popcorn to munch on while you learn about the mezcaleros and terroir that influence each bottle. The kit runs $55 and can be picked up at Santo, 1265 Alpine Avenue in Boulder, on October 9 prior to the start of the online event. Visit Tock to secure your spot (where you can also order from the regular dinner menu if you don’t consider popcorn a complete meal) or the restaurant’s website for more info.

Wednesday, October 14
On Wednesday, October 14, chef/restaurateur Jen Jasinski is teaming up with nonprofit organization National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) to raise funds for its mission of offering adaptive lessons in action, adventure and competitive sports for folks with disabilities. There are two ways you can join in: with an in-home experience as well as dining out. To enjoy a meal at home, order a four-pack of dinners ($125 per person, $500 total) and have your best friends over for a swanky dinner that includes cocktails; cauliflower-curry soup with poached pears and pickled carrots; roasted salmon (or beef filet) with corn and ricotta ravioli; squash stuffed with eggplant and pine nuts; and Japanese cloud cake. The meal kit will be delivered straight to your doorstep, and you’ll also get access to a 6 p.m. live stream where you can prepare your feast along with Jasinski. If you’d rather eat out, make reservations at any of Jasinski’s restaurants — Rioja (1431 Larimer Street), Bistro Vendôme (1420 Larimer Street), Ultreia or Stoic & Genuine (inside Union Station at 1701 Wynkoop Street) — and make sure you mention the fundraiser both in your reservation notes and to your server to ensure that 10 percent of your bill is donated to the NSCD.

Saturday, October 17
If you’re feeling flush Saturday, October 17, consider splurging big on Somms for Sophie, an extravagant virtual wine dinner with a star-studded roster of chefs and sommeliers. At 6 p.m., emcee Jensen Cummings will kick off the proceedings, which consist of wines presented by Master Sommeliers Doug Krenik (Maverick Wine), Brett Zimmerman (Boulder Wine Merchant), Pascaline Lepeltier (Racines NY), Damon Oronowski and Sean Razee (both of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits). Food will be courtesy of Jen Jasinski (Rioja), Alex Seidel (Mercantile & Provision), Dave Query (Big Red F Restaurant Group), Hosea Rosenberg (Blackbelly) and Ty Leon (Olivia). The price tag (hefty at $1,000 per couple) benefits Sophie’s Neighborhood, a nonprofit founded by Rosenberg and his wife to raise funds for the research of MCTO, an ultra-rare skeletal disorder that affects only thirty kids worldwide—among them Rosenberg’s young daughter, Sophie. To purchase tickets, email [email protected]; everyone else who wants to help can make a donation on the Sophie’s Neighborhood’s website. You can find dinner details are up on the organization’s Facebook page.

West End's Really Old Whiskey dinner doesn't need a clever name.

West End’s Really Old Whiskey dinner doesn’t need a clever name.

West End Tavern

Wednesday, October 21
On Wednesday, October 21, Boulder’s West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street, will be pouring whiskey that’s probably older than a good portion of you reading this here calendar. At 6:30 p.m., the kitchen will turn out a five-course dinner paired with a flight of 21-, 22-, 23-, 24- and 25-year-old Rhetoric bourbon. Also on the menu: a welcome cocktail, pumpkin and blue crab risotto, short ribs, a cheese course and sticky date pudding with chocolate truffles. Tickets are $100 (includes tax and tip) on Tock. For details, including a full menu, visit the Tavern’s website.

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