Monday, January 27, 2020

101 in 1001 DONE

Today is the very last day of my 101 in 1001 and you know what? I'm really proud! I accomplished 60 of my goals this time, leaving only 41 not accomplished. And I feel like that's about all I could have done. When you create goals for three years out, it's so hard to know where you'll be. Which is why I'm taking a bit of a break (less than a month) to create my new list...and it might look a little different this time around. 

In regards to the current list, I wish I could have done the 55 books...and I might have but I usually forget to write the titles down so at the moment it's unchecked. I wish I had finished watching the Oscar nominated movies, but I just couldn't get excited about the last three. I am going to participate in a clothing donation drive in 2020, I just didn't get around to it by this date. The rest of the stuff I didn't finish just didn't feel right as the years went by. I have no interest in learning how to code anymore, or in wearing lipstick for a whole week. I think it's healthy for goals to change, so I'm totally fine with not accomplishing the last 41. 

See how I did below and let me know if you're doing a 101 in 1001 how it's going — xoxo darling, Hayden.
Began: May 1, 2017
Ends: January 27, 2020
60 Completed, 41 to go! 
In progress
  1. Learn the basics of coding.
  2. Take a cooking class.
  3. Travel somewhere new.
  4. Read 55 books {1. The Woman in Cabin 10, 2. Miernik Dossier, 3. Front Runner, 4. Pirate, 5. The Countess of Prague, 6. Hotel Pastis, 7. Bluebird, Bluebird, 8. Sins of the Father, 9. Mephisto Waltz, 10. The House of Silk, 11. The Yard, 12. The Quiche of Death, 13. She Caused a Riot, 14. The Vicious Vet, 15. Nice Work (If You Can Get It), 16. Cupcakes & Cashmere, 17. Some Like it Hawk, 18. Bad Girls Throughout History, 19. We'll Always Have Parrots, 20. A Murder is Announced, 21. The Year of Cozy, 22. Cocaine Blues, 23. The Cherry Cola Book Club, 24. The Romanov Ransom, 25. The Preppy Cookbook, 26. The Little Book of Feminist Saints, 27. Voracious, 28. Cordially Invited, 29. The Oracle, 30. Free, 31. Wild Like the Wind, 32. Rough Ride, 33. Quiet Man, 34. The Hookup, 35. Slow Burn, 35. Titanic Secret, 36. In Praise of Difficult Women, 37. A Woman's Place, 38. The Reading Circle, 39. For You, 40. At Peace, 41. The Promise, 42. Golden Trail, 43. Games of the Heart, 44. Rock Chick Reawakening, 45. Rock Chick Reborn, 46. The Greatest Risk, 47. Deacon, 48. Under Occupation, 49. Hold On, 50. Wildest Dreams, 51. The Golden Dynasty, 52. Fantastical, 53. Broken Dove}.
  5. Get a big girl job (Miles, 2018).
  6. Come up with a feasible budget. 
  7. Volunteer somewhere new {SafeHome}.
  8. See three more live music shows. {1. Chance the Rapper (May 7th, 2017), 2. ZZ Ward (October 2017), 3. The Continental Club (November 2017)}
  9. Redesign my blog.
  10. Take a photography class.
  11. Try 20 new restaurants. {1. Second Bar + Kitchen in Austin, 2. Patika in Austin, 3. Hungry's in Houston, 4. Tiny's Milk & Cookies in Houston, 5. Ichibon in Kemah, 6. The Breakfast Klub in Houston, 7. Star Pizza in Houston, 8. Arturo's Underground Cafe in Austin, 9. Flower Child in Austin, 10. Metro Diner in Naples, 11. Divieto Ristorante in Estero, 12. The Station in Sarasota, 13. Mojo's in Sarasota, 14. Shakespeare's in Sarasota, 15. The Mason Jar in Colorado Springs, 16. Josephine House in Austin, 17. Bouldin Creek Cafe in Austin, 18. Dirty Martin's in Austin, 19. Baby A's in Austin, 20. Pizza Press in Austin} 
  12. Do three more Haute Table travel guides {#1: Houston#2: Paris#3: London}. 
  13. Watch three documentaries {#1: Super Tunnel, #2: Secrets of Underground London, #3: Gaga: Five Foot Two}.
  14. Go to all of the home Texas football games as a senior {1. vs. Maryland, 2. vs. San Jose State, 3. vs. Kansas State, 4. vs. Oklahoma State, 5. vs. Kansas, 6. vs. Texas Tech}.
  15. Try 5 new cocktails {#1: Bulldog Fiz at Half Pint, #2: Sophia at Gozo, #3: Bloody Mary at Etter Harbin, #4: Watermelon Jalapeño Margarita at Comida, #5: Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's}.
  16. Find my signature drink. {Depending on my mood, it's a margarita or a dirty gin martini.}
  17. Take a trip with my girlfriend(s) (Denver, 2018).
  18. See five plays {#1: Relatively Speaking at the Asolo Rep Theater, #2: Madrigal Dinner. #3: A Doll's House, 4. Twelfth Night, 5. Disenchanted}.
  19. Graduate from college.
  20. Clean out my computer.
  21. Do a giveaway on the blog.
  22. Get business cards.
  23. Watch all of the movies nominated for Best Motion Picture at the Academy Awards {Bohemian Rhapsody, Blackkklansman, The Favourite, Vice, A Star is Born Still need: Green Book, Roma & Black Panther} .
  24. Create a colorful photo wall of memories.
  25. Try something adventuresome. 
  26. Respond to things in a more timely manner.
  27. Update my portfolio website. 
  28. Get a library card.
  29. Try five classic candies.
  30. Host a party {Founder's Day, 10/23/17}.
  31. Send more postcards when I travel.
  32. Buy something big for myself.
  33. Visit the Cathedral of Junk.
  34. Clean out my closet {again}. 
  35. Go apple picking.
  36. Send Christmas cards.
  37. Take in a show at Esther's Follies.
  38. Bake a new cupcake flavor {Chai Cupcakes}.
  39. Go skinny dipping.
  40. Walk the entire Lady Bird Lake trail.
  41. See three more "classic" films {1. The Shining, 2. Strangers on a Train, 3. Psycho}.
  42. Stay in bed all day.
  43. Find some new podcasts {Views, My Dad Wrote a Porno, Table Manners}.
  44. Have a t-shirt quilt made.
  45. Take a spontaneous trip {Georgetown, CO, Aug. 2019}. 
  46. Create a channel opener for HT's YouTube channel.
  47. Surprise my parents.
  48. Try lipstick for at least a week.
  49. Swim in Hamilton Pool.
  50. Get more political.
  51. Try five new breweries {Palm City Brewing, Scotty's Beer Works, Cape Coral Brewing Company, Naples Beach Brewery, Bury Me Brewing}.
  52. Brush up on geography {North America & South America are done, currently working on Africa}.
  53. Have a picnic.
  54. Listen to a new genre of music.
  55. Buy another succulent. 
  56. Travel by myself {accidentally, Munich, 2019}.
  57. Find a new magazine. 
  58. Throw a surprise party {Founder's Day, 10/23/17}.
  59. Go to the Elizabeth Ney & The Contemporary-Austin. 
  60. Get a new pair of nude heels. 
  61. Say yes to five invitations I would normally say no to {1: Jan. 2018, 2: Sept. 2018, 3. Sept. 2019, 4. Dec. 2019, 5. Jan. 2020}.
  62. Try a new fried food {Fried Texas Sheet Cake}. 
  63. Visit every building at The University of Texas before graduation.
  64. Have a manmosa at Banger's.
  65. Attend a symphony. 
  66. Indulge in something nostalgic. 
  67. Try five new brunches {#1. Josephine House, #2: Native Hostel, #3: Banger's, #4. Blue Dahlia, #5. Devil's Food}.
  68. Go to bed at 10 p.m. three nights in a row. 
  69. Go one month without ordering delivery.
  70. Visit a friend who moved out of Austin. 
  71. Make a chocolate soufflé. 
  72. Go to Mt. Bonnell at sunset with my girlfriends.
  73. Resign to feel stupid together with a friend.
  74. Switch to G-Mail.
  75. Visit a new island {Cabbage Key, 2018 Summer}.
  76. Go to a trivia night.
  77. Send flowers to someone out of the blue.
  78. Try a new cuisine {Bosnian}. 
  79. Go to a wedding.
  80. See Hamilton.
  81. Pick out a new planner. 
  82. Donate to The University of Texas.
  83. Go on three new hikes {#1. Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, #2. Lost Maples State Natural Area, #3. The Greenbelt}.
  84. Get straight A’s one last time.
  85. Join a group after I graduate. 
  86. Unplug completely, once, for 24 hours.
  87. Visit a new national park {White Sands}.
  88. Participate in a donation drive, at least, once a year {2017, 2018}.
  89. Get a credit card -- I'm terrified. 
  90. Treat myself to a spa day (23rd birthday).
  91. Attend fashion week.
  92. Meet up with other bloggers.
  93. Watch three foreign films {Görümce, Romantik Komedi, Romantik Komedi 2}. 
  94. Be more open with my emotions. 
  95. Join a professional organization {I'm counting AAUW, LWV and JL}. 
  96. Find my signature font. 
  97. Try five new foods {1: Crawfish, 2: Green Chili, 3. Ćevapi, 4. Burek, 5. B'Stilla Bites}.
  98. Read five non-fiction books {1. She Caused a Riot, 2. Cupcakes & Cashmere, 3. Bad Girls Throughout History, 4. The Year of Cozy, 5. The Little Book of Feminist Saints}
  99. Send a pitch to a major publication. 
  100. Put $10 into savings for every goal accomplished {6051, 742411, 27, 62, 30, 8, 14, 64, 12, 19, 37, 84, 59, 58, 51, 42, 13, 71, 12, 5, 34, 16, 68, 69, 85, 28, 20, 35, 3, 36, 67, 75, 93, 7, 15, 43, 73, 38, 50, 82, 41, 78, 56, 90, 53, 76, 45, 94, 98, 95, 70, 65, 87}
  101. Inspire someone to make their own list.
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Friday, January 24, 2020

Pink & Red Outfits

Red and pink is a combo I see most people shy away from...but I kind of love it. And I say make the most of the color combo in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, because if not now, when? I've rounded up some of my favorites and put them into outfits — they're a mix, some from J. Crew, some from Nordstrom because I think that's a great way of mixing high-end and low-end. What do y'all think? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Thursday, January 23, 2020

What I've Read & Watched Recently

It has been such a long time since I did one of these posts...I think it might have been January of 2018, which is insane. But I want to get back into them! I've been pretty bad about reading lately, I'm guilty of just wanting to put Netflix on and forget about life BUT I have been reading some things. And I'm currently reading The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, which I'm liking thus far. So, without further ado, here's what I've been reading and watching lately — xoxo darling, Hayden.

W A T C H I N G

Unbelievable — I'm not a huge true crime fan, but I was scrolling through Netflix one night and happened upon this limited series. What caught my attention is that it's set/happened where I live. I work in Lakewood and live in Littleton, Colorado. Some of my friends live in Westminster and Aurora and I eat in Golden a lot. And I'm so glad I chose to watch it. What unfolds on your screen is a heartbreaking tale of disbelief, serial rape and women looking out for women. I highly recommend this one. 

The Kettering Incident — My dad turned me onto this one on Amazon Prime. It's set in Tasmania, in fact it's the first adult drama ever filmed in Tasmania. And dang was it weird. It totally pulled me in but it's really strange. The plot centers around a young woman who is having blackouts, she's a doctor but ends up in her hometown of Kettering where something happened to her younger step sister when they were children. Another girl goes missing and people start to blame the main character, but what happens is much darker and stranger than anyone could imagine. Sound interesting? 
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 3) — One of my all-time favorites is back for a third season and let me just say the clothes and sets are better than ever. While I didn't love this season as much, in fact I hardly binged it at all, I adored the parts with the two families living in the same house. I was cackling. 
The Man in the High Castle (Season 4) — The last season of this show premiered and I finished it in about three days (ha!). The plot to this bad boy has always been a good one, with some seasons better than others. This last season is full of action, suspense and an ending I think we all expected. I would give it a watch. And if you haven't watched this show, it's basically if the Nazis and Japanese won WWII instead of us — super interesting dynamics. 
Ken Burns: Country Music — My parents watched this first and told me how good it was but I was a little reluctant to do it just because each episode is an hour and 45 minutes, which is a lot. But, I finally broke down and did it and I do not regret it at all. The storylines are fabulous, the music makes you want to download every country song ever and you just feel good while watching it. You might cry at some of the sadder stories but you'll laugh at the musicians quips. 
Bombshell — Wow, what a subject matter. This one really got me in my feels because while I knew a little about the Fox scandal, it wasn't something I did a ton of research on. But this movie tells it like it is in that classic Big Short way. All of the actresses do a phenomenal job, you might even think Charlize is Megyn Kelly. 
Knives Out — I had to wait super long to see this because every time I tried to buy tickets the theater near my house was sold out, talk about insane! But I was not disappointed when I finally did see it. The clothing and the set are what got me the most (Chris Evans sweater game is on point). But also, there are many a twist-and-turn that I did not see coming. It's kind of like if Clue met a Hercule Poirot book that met a Sherlock Holmes novel.
Vienna Blood — A new show on PBS that's based on one of my all-time favorite book series', Vienna Blood is set in 1906 Vienna and revolves around a psychologist and a detective. They team up to solve some fairly violent crimes and it makes for amazing books and now television. I'm really excited to continue the series and would recommend if you like history, mystery and pastries.
Cheer — Okay, I know I'm not the only one who loved this Netflix documentary because everyone in my office loved it too. I wasn't sure if I would watch it because I've never been a big lover of cheerleading (unless it's Bring it On) but holy moly, 10/10 recommend. I watched it in less than 24 hours, that's how obsessed I was. If you aren't familiar, it follows a community college cheer team as they train for the national championships. It's full of ups-and-downs and it's ending is a bit bittersweet.
Virgin River — Alright, I watched this at the very beginning of 2020 and I still don't know how I feel about it! It's set in the small town of Virgin River, based on a book series, and is kind of like a modern soap opera. Some of the characters really annoy me, but then I love others. I would call it a cozy program but let me know how you feel about it if you watch it because I just don't know. 

R E A D I N G

Under Occupation — Alan Furst is one of my favorite authors and I enjoyed the latest installment in his war repertoire. It's set in Paris, like every great Furst novel, and centers around a mystery novelist (ha!) who gets caught up in the French Resistance. It culminates in intrigue, lots of train rides and Nazis.
The Reading Circle — Having been a big fan of the Piggly Wiggly series, I decided to read this series by the same author. They have that same down-home, southern feel to them that I love. This is the second book, centered around the small town library, trying to save it from being cut out of the budget and young-and-old-love. The whole thing is a feel-good book and it's great for a cold day with a cup of coffee.
In Praise of Difficult Women — It took me a while to get into this feminist book, but once I did, I sped through it. I liked it because instead of being a little blurb or one page on each woman, it was a whole chapter. I learned so much about so many difficult women and I really liked that aspect. It has all different ladies, from actresses to philanthropists, but all of them were a challenge — as we should all be.
Romance Novels — I rarely talk about my love of romance novels on Haute Table, because I rarely talk about them in real life. I was recently re-watching To All The Boys I've Loved Before and the main character is obsessed with romance novels. It made me realize that I had been weirdly ashamed of discussing them in public? Which is really odd for me, because I'll talk about almost anything. Much like Lara Jean, I'm always reading one, but on my phone because that's easier than getting them from the library. And I have favorite authors, for example, Kristen Ashley is probably my favorite. I've read almost everything she has written and loved all of them. Recently, I've been into the Fantasyland series by her, it's about two parallel worlds (ours and a medieval one) and lovers destined for each other on different sides. So good! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Week Re-Cap

Made my first Womxn's March Sign.
So much food in this week's re-cap! But I went out for dinner almost every day last week with friends and such so sorry about that. Tonight I'm having cookies delivered (eek!) but the rest of the week/weekend is not super planner out, which is kind of nice! What are y'all up to? — xoxo darling, Hayden
 Breakfast at The Bagel Deli
 Crazy nachos at Tstreet Roadhouse in Lakewood.
 Hot chocolate at Paciugo
 Shouldn't all meals start with a Paloma and popcorn?
 Chicken B'stilla Bites at Linger
 Pad Thai at Linger
 My favorite flavor at Little Man, Salted Oreo.
 Saturday breakfast at Breakfast Queen.
 The Denver Womxn's March
 Saturday brunch at Esters
 Crumbl's warm circus animal cookie
Homemade carrot cake

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Current Denver Dining Guide

Welcome back to another edition of my Current Denver Dining Guide. You can find the last one here and then the master list here (basically every single place in Denver that I've tried and liked). Are any of these your favorites? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Denver

AJ's Pit Bar-B-Que

This place is totally unsuspecting. A friend and I went before an event and you walk through this door into a beautiful dining room. You could host a wedding reception here if you like the barn aesthetic but live in Denver. The bbq was super good, but if you are a banana pudding traditionalist, skip that because they use lady fingers not wafers...although I thought it was an interesting texture. 

Aviano Coffee

In Cherry Creek, Aviano is a good option to stop in while your shopping or if you need to kill time (like me) before an event. They have solid wifi and the place is industrial chic. The cappucino wasn't bitter, so that's a plus too! 

The Bagel Deli

I need to go back here because I just stopped in to grab some bagels (which were pretty good) but they have everything you could ever want in their deli. Chocolate babka, latkes, etc. Plus, the restaurant looks good too. 

Barcelona Wine Bar

Perfect for a date night, Barcelona is a cool spot in RiNo serving up paella and tons of wine. Definitely get the ham & manchego croquetas, kuri squash hummus and spiced beef empanadas. It was one of those meals that I walked away from feeling super content.

Beet Box

A vegan coffee shop and bakery in north Cap Hill, Beet Box is a cute spot. The latte I had was really good — I couldn't even tell that it didn't have traditional cow's milk in it. The s'mores bar I had was not my favorite thing ever, but I think I'm just not meant to vegan (I'm super impressed with people who can be). I did love the marshmallow toasted on top. 

Black Eye Coffee Shop

A very aesthetic coffee shop in the Highlands, Black Eye is usually pretty packed but the coffee is good. 

Blue Pan Pizza

If you're a fan of Detroit-style pizza, this should be your go-to. They do awesome garlic bread covered in melted cheese on their homemade pizza dough and then the classic pepperoni pizza is perfectly crispy. We went to the Highlands location, which is absolutely tiny so expect to wait. On Tuesdays they have a good beer special too.

Breakfast on Broadway

A classic diner spot with an awesome sign (think a giant frying pan with eggs and bacon) on Broadway more toward Littleton, Breakfast on Broadway is a good spot for early Sunday mornings. It does get pretty packed around the brunch hours, but you can join the waitlist on Yelp before you get there.

Breakfast Queen

I was really surprised by this place! It's in downtown Englewood and you can park in the free parking lot behind, and walk through the back door. With the more basic meals you can either get toast or tortillas and that makes me real happy. I got scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes with tortillas so I could make my own breakfast tacos. The coffee is strong and everyone seems to know everyone early in the morning, which is fun.

Chocolate Lab

On the forefront of interesting dining, Chocolate Lab is an experience. Each dish is handcrafted to not just be about the taste but the presentation. Plus, they make their own chocolates in interesting flavors and they make some of the best hot chocolate in Denver. I would suggest food items but their menu changes fairly frequently so I'm not sure they'll have what I had when you visit.

Dang

This softserve place comes from the people behind Little Man Ice Cream and it's delightful. It's in Park Hill (my second favorite neighborhood in Denver) and it serves up different flavors of softserve with tons of toppings. I had the vegan peppermint in a cone with oreos and pretzel sticks and was incredibly happy. 

D Bar

My go-to for people who want amazing desserts in Denver. The whole restaurant is based around them, I've never had their actual food so I can't speak to that but their dessert menu is iconic. They do a "cake and shake" where you get a slice of chocolate cake and a small milkshake, a funfetti slice of cake with a mini sundae, a butterscotch pudding that I've had dreams about and some good hot chocolate.

Dos Santos

A cute taco place near downtown Dos Santos strength is honestly in their homemade choco taco...I kid you not. The taco is pretty good, but their salsa lacked a little flavor, so maybe skip the chips & salsa.

Esters Denver

Go for Sunday brunch! Their biscuits and sausage gravy is so good, it warms your insides and makes you feel incredibly content. They do an insane mimosa bar that I didn't get the chance to partake in but I'm definitely going back.

Gallo Supper Club

I haven't had a meal here, but I can speak to their baked goods. They do great cannolis, the pistachio is my favorite. 

HOJA

I love this little cafe off Pearl. It's really cute, kind of feels like it belongs in LA, with tons of natural light. The breakfast burrito is massive and has so many fun ingredients. Also, they do an iced coffee with orange that is so strange but so good. 

Honey Hill

A cute coffee shop in Park Hill with gelato, I like this place for reading a book or just getting some work done. 

Linger

Located in an old mortuary, Linger is a big Denver restaurant. A friend and I somehow got in for an hour inbetween seatings on a Friday night. The menu is an ecelctic mix of African, Asian, European and more. We had a fried chicken bao bun, where the bun was perfectly fluffy. And some pad thai that, wasn't spicy enough for me, but was flavorful. My favorite dish was the Chicken B’Stilla Bites which have almonds, labneh, harissa and a pomegranate-celery salad. They make a mean Paloma and give you a popcorn doused in an interesting mix of spices instead of bread. 

Maggie & Molly's Sweet Life

A classic bakery with modern flare, Maggie & Molly's sour cream sprinkle cookie is one of my favorites — just a perfect chewy, crispy confection. Also, their mint chocolate brownie could solve some of the world's problems I think. 

Melted

A new pop-up in the Source foodhall, Melted does some strange flavors of softserve in pretty cones. We had the thai bun, which is kind of a sweet hot dog bun with ice cream and condensed milk. We've discovered we don't love bread and ice cream but the flavors of the ice cream were delightful and refreshing. 

Mercantile

Maybe my new favorite restaurant in Union Station, I love this place for lunch. Now, if I have extra time I will stop in here before boarding the train to the airport so I don't have to buy an expensive meal at DIA. Their fried chicken bahn mi is good in every way possible. Crisp bread, crunchy chicken, flavorful sauce, snappy veggies...so good. Plus, the place is just super cute inside. 

Milk Market: Bao Chica Bao, Mano Pastaria, Salt & Grinder Salumeria

I call Milk Market the fanciest foodhall in Denver because it just feels dressed up. I had been before to try the hot chicken, gelato, coffee and breakfast spot but I recently went to the three above for dinner. The pork bao buns are where it's at at Bao Chica Bao. Get a mixed plate at Mano Pastaria, the roasted bell peppers are goooood. At Salt & Grinder have the cheese plate, there was this soft, spreadable cheese that I was obsessed with and the bread is good! 

Nixon's Coffee

A place with multiple outposts, Nixon's is your classic coffee shop. Skip a chai and get a hot chocolate, because that stuff is great. 

Novo Coffee

I went to the one on Sixth and it's just a cute lil coffee shop. There's only street parking, so plan ahead, but I got a table on a Saturday morning, so I think that bodes well. They have good wifi and the latte wasn't bitter! 

Olive & Finch

O&F has two locations, I went to the one in Cherry Creek for an early breakfast and was super happy. You order at the counter and they have a French flare. Mainly this is important because you can get a Cafe au Lait and a beinget as one of your sides.

Parsley

Oh my laawwwwd. I have thought about this sandwich from Parsley for months...also the smoothie was good too. The spicy turkey has halfroasted turkey, roasted green chiles, sun-dried tomato, roma tomato, organic red onion and an olive oil vinaigrette. It's so good, it's spicy but flavorful and I loved it so much. The place is cute, it closes pretty early so it's really open for lunch and takeaway in the evening. 

Pinwheel Coffee

While I haven't had coffee at this Highlands establishment, they do great seasonal drinks. We had a ginger hot apple cider that was so good. 

Quiero Arepas

I'd never had an arepa before I visited this spot in Platt Park but I loved it. The one I had, had shredded chicken, black beans and a bit of cheese but was so warm on a cold day that I will be going back ASAP. 

Reunion Bread Co.

A Bon Appetit 10 Best New Restaurants winner, Reunion makes solid baked goods. We got a loaf of sourdough and it was gone real quick.

Señor Bear

One of my favorite restaurants in the Highlands, their do this spicy potato dish with melted cheese and I think about it frequently. The empanadas are a nice buttery, flaky pastry too. In December they'll do a Christmas pop-up where they do special drinks for the holiday season. 

The Market

An excellent place for iced coffee in downtown, they also serve up a classic, cheap breakfast. And there are just so many goodies along the walls and in nooks-and-crannies of the shop. 

Tokyo Premium Bakery

Such a great early Saturday morning spot! It's more like a European bakery where you get a tray (or a box) and pick your pastries out yourself. All of the dough was flaky perfection and I highly recommend the chocolate banana tart. 

Twin Dragon

My favorite Chinese spot, thus far, is in the Englewood area, right on Broadway. It's super unsuspecting, so don't accidentally drive by it. But they have the best Kung Pao Chicken I've had, it was spicy like I asked for it and the people working were really nice. 

Unravel Coffee

Off Holly, not far from Cherry Creek Unravel is a good aesthetic coffee shop. They have plenty of seats and on a Saturday afternoon it wasn't busy. Their wifi is solid (I could watch football live on it) and the baristas are aggressively nice. 

Wendell's

A tiny breakfast restaurant on Tennyson, Wendell's is cramped on a Sunday morning but the waffle is worth the visit. Plus, their font is amazing...I love it. 

White Pie

A pizza spot I recommend to most people White Pie is near downtown. It's a nice thin crust and they make this thing called a rosemary puff, basically pizza dough cookies with a buttery sauce and it's one of the best things I've ever eaten.

Lakewood

Abrusci's Fire & Vine

Right near my office, Abrusci's a nice place for a date night or friendship dinner. We tried the pasta, which was fresh and flavorful. I love the outdoor patio, with its modern fireplaces. 

Blue Sky Cafe

My favorite "work lunch" place, is Blue Sky in Denver West. In a sea of chains, this one shines through. Everything is fresh, they lean healthy and you can get breakfast the whole time they're open. Weirdly my favorite entree is a salad (very rare for me). It's the Crispy Southwest Bowl — tortilla chips, greens, black beans, pepper, corn, honey chipotle, cilantro, pepitas and ranch. The pancakes also look good, so I need to go try those. To me this place is like a local Le Peep/First Watch. 

Brew Culture Coffee

Right off West Colfax, Brew Culture is one of the only "Instagram-friendly" shops in the Lakewood area. It's cute inside, they have good wifi and their wifi is strong. There's also a brewery I've yet to try next door, so if you want to start with coffee and end with a beer, you can! 

Cafe Jordano

One of my favorite Italian places in Colorado, Cafe Jordano is that local Italian place you see in movies. The whole staff seems like family and their pasta is fresh. I love their ravioli because it comes with a meatball and that thing is the most flavorful meatball I've ever consumed. 

Colorado Cookie Company

Like Great American Cookie Company but not in a sketchy mall, CCC serves up the regular flavors plus unique seasonal flavors. I went in the fall to try their pumpkin spice and it didn't disappoint. 

CREAM

If you're looking for Instagramable desserts, CREAM in Belmar is a good go-to. They do ice cream sandwiches with warm cookies and fun flavors. Plus, they'll do ice cream tacos and donut sandwiches.

Edgewater Public Market (Gyros King)

Denver's newest food hall, and probably the most casual is Edgewater. It's in a warehouse, so not a ton of atmosphere (which I like), but there are a bunch of communal tables, a good bar and lots of options for everyone in your life. We tried Gyros King and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a good gyro and I would for sure go again.

Farmhouse Thai

So, Aung's is my favorite Thai restaurant in Denver BUT Farmhouse Thai is a close second. The benefit of Farmhouse is their Crab Rangoons may just be the best I've had in Colorado. Their Panang Curry lit me up in the best way possible, and it wasn't even Thai hot. 

Pierogies Factory

If you like pierogies, which how could you not? This is kind of the go-to place in Denver. I like their schnitzel, which you can get with a few pierogies on the side. They also have a gelato shop inside the store and you can purchase frozen pierogies to-go.

Tstreet Roadhouse

In Belmar, Tstreet had been on my list for a super long time and when we walked in I remembered why. The interior is super well designed, and feels quite fancy for Lakewood. I had their nachos, which are massive and the mixture of cheeses is delightful. The drinks looked good too. 

Littleton

Acres

Acres confuses me, but in a good way. It's off Broadway and it's fancy but casual at the same time. The Beef Cheek Empanadas are A+ and I highly recommend the Bruce's Biscuits, which come with a honey butter second to none. 

City Donuts

If you want to support a local donut shop in Littleton, City Donuts is a great option! They have tons of different flavors but their chocolate iced with sprinkles is my favorite. It's like a fluffy sugary pillow. 

Grande Station

Right near the RTD line in downtown Littleton, Grande Station is a good local spot. A friend and I went for dinner and it's the kind of place that can be nice if you want it to be or casual. They do great drink specials and breakfast most days. I had the Southwest Chicken Salad, basically it's covered in cheese and that makes me happy. Julia had the Station Prime sandwich, which is basically a whole ribeye for fairly cheap, so a super good deal. 

Ground Up Coffee

Whenever I need an iced latte and don't want to go far from my apartment or need a pick-me-up on the way home from work, I'll go to Ground Up. I've never sat down to test out their wifi, but they are super friendly and their coffee isn't bitter. 

Hogback BBQ

This one is really off-the-beaten-path in Littleton, I had never been in this part of town until I sought Hogback out. But, ooo, is it good! Highly recommend the egg rolls (asian cabbage, smoked pork, cheddar cheese and a spicy Thai sauce). The Original Porker, a pulled pork sandwich on toast with roasted hatch green chilis and melted pepper jack cheese, has the perfect kick. 

in-TEA

This is one of my favorite places in downtown Littleton, it feels like it could be in Gilmore Girls...except tea instead of coffee. The vibe is cozy, with window seats deep enough to fully sit criss-crossed. They have tons of different chais (my favorite tea) but they have pretty much every tea you could imagine. Plus, wifi!

Latke Love

This might be the place I suggest the most in Littleton. It's in a cute house, off of Littleton Blvd. Latke Love serves up traditional Jewish delicacies but I think their latkes with homemade apple sauce are the best dish. They taste like home, super warm, crunchy, salty, now I want them. 

Nella's Frozen Yogurt

Like all of the chains but with a local feel, Nella's is a classic froyo shop. They have tons of flavor options and of course, all the toppings. 

Saucy Buns BBQ

Maybe the best mac & cheese I've had in Colorado and some really good baked beans, weirdly the meat came in last. But that doesn't mean in isn't good too. Saucy Buns is in the same building as the Elvis Theater and it's tiny but so worth a visit. The employees are also super nice! 

Solid Grounds Coffee

This place is huge! And has wi-fi and would be great if you need to sit down and get some stuff down. It has that camp out vibe because it's so big. It kind of reminds me of Mozarts in Austin. I had a latte and it was smooth as can be, not bitter at all! I recommend going for breakfast at Duffeyroll down the street and then coming here for coffee.

Toast

Located at the entrance to Downtown Littleton, Toast is always packed. I was so pleasantly surprised and happy with my trip there. I thought it would be your classic diner, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's so much more. They are incredibly creative with their food, I had the honey chicken biscuits smothered in black pepper gravy and wanted to try one of the epic pancakes. 

Tommy's Subs

Okay, for anyone who has ever lived/been in Florida and tried a Publix Sub, this shop is the closest thing in Denver I've found to them. They put this pepper jelly on all their sandwiches that is absolute heaven. I think about this sandwich a lot...and my co-worker is also obsessed.

Aurora

Black Pearls

When I first moved to Denver I saw this place all over Instagram, and their desserts do not disappoint. If you're a bubble tea lover, head over here or if you like kooky milkshakes it's your spot. 

Mojo Coffee

This is in the back of an Ethiopian grocery store, which is super fun to explore as well, and their Napoelon cake is one of the better versions I've had in Denver. Plus, the coffee is good, not too bitter. 

Sertinos Coffee

This place kind of, not totally, reminds me of the coffee shop in Friends (I am not a Friends fan, but I know about Central Perk, okay?). It just feels incredibly cozy and everyone is nice. If you are over in the greater Aurora area, it's a good stop.

Arvada

Das Meyer Fine Pastry Chalet

I found this place when I was making my masterlist of restaurants I wanted to try when I first moved here, then I read an article about it and then, finally, I visited. And it doesn't disappoint. First of all, it's in a really pretty spot and it does look like a chalet. And second of all, the pastry case is MASSIVE. They pretty much have everything you could ever want. I tried a cookies & cream brownie and it was perfectly moist and crisp at the same time...maybe not the best description. But I 10/10 recommend. 
One night I was headed to the airport for a late flight and I
parked at the Arvada RTD parking garage but wanted to try a new restaurant and not pay airport prices so I stopped into Lloyd's. It's a good classic sandwich shop with some actual atmosphere if you end up eating in.

Golden


Tributary Market & Drinkery

If you love an intimate food hall, this one is for you. It's right off the main street in Downtown Littleton and while it's the smallest food hall in the Denver-area, it's one of my favorites. I have only been once but I tried two restaurants and I would go back in a heart beat. Fringe Pizza makes the classic neapolitan-style pizza with their own homemade crusts. It's a very easy pizza to end up eating the whole thing...as we did. Also, Thai Kun (a favorite of mine in Austin) now has a Colorado outpost here! Their beef panang curry has so much flavor and depending on the day may make you cry.

Centennial


Crumbl

I'm a cookie lover, they are my second favorite dessert (second only to ice cream) and Crumbl does cookies well. The aesthetics are amazing and the cookies come out warm. The frosted animal cookie was buttery perfection.