Lucile’s Creole Cafe
275 Logan St.
Denver, Colorado 80209 (other locations in Boulder, Fort Collins and Longmont) 303-282-6258
The waits are agonizingly long, especially for weekend brunch, but this popular neighborhood hang continues to be one of those rare joints that actually merits the spillage onto the sidewalk. In return for your patience, you’ll be rewarded with soulful dispatches, like the piping hot beignets and buttermilk biscuits the size of fruitcakes, delivered with housemade jams. You could stop there, but the eggs Sardou, heaped with creamed spinach, sweet shrimp and yolky poached eggs draped with a lemon-kissed hollandaise, will save you from having a meltdown when you have to call for a crane to lift you out of your seat.
2700 W. Bowles Ave.
Littleton, Colorado 80120 (other location in Cherry Creek)
At this color-me-happy Littleton breakfast, brunch and lunch spot, there is toast on the menu – French toast, to be exact, thick cut and plumped with chorizo, soft scrambled eggs, green chilies and cheese or fairy-dusted with powdered sugar and lobbed with fresh whipped cream. But this is also the place to flip for pancakes, like the plate-spanning lemon blueberry flapjacks crusted with gingersnap cookies and studded with blueberries and lemon zest or bananas foster pancakes flecked with pecans. And if those don’t fly you to the moon, the eggs Benedict, tarped with prosciutto, will.
1575 Boulder St.
Denver, Colorado 80211
Lola’s brunch, served Saturday and Sunday in a festive atmosphere full of rollicking weekend warriors, is a ritualistic pastime for anyone who wants to combine potent bloody marys and the inspiring backdrop of the Denver skyline with Mexican platos that favor aggressive flavors to jumpstart your morning. The short rib hash, topped with smoked goat cheese and a flame-licked green chile, is the kind of dish that greedy people go grabby for, while the benedicto, a corn biscuit peaked with pork belly and a smoky corn hollandaise, is the winning lottery ticket you’ll guard like gold.
The Bagel Deli & Restaurant
6439 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, Colorado 80222
It’s always a weekend stampede at this beloved old-school, family-run, kosher-style deli that’s been keeping it real for more than 40 years by turning out monster-size plates and platters of rib-sticking food that makes you yearn for more. From the potato latkes requisitely topped with sour cream and applesauce and pudgy bagels with lox and housemade cream cheese, to the lox, eggs and onions with crisp-edged home fries and fried matzo with syrup, this congenial warhorse makes getting out of bed as easy as hitting the snooze button.
2262 Larimer St.
Denver, Colorado 80205 (also one in Fort Collins)
Still lubricated from last night’s bar crawl, the woozy bodies that stumble through the door at Snooze know full well that entering this weekend combat zone of chaos is likely to make that pounding hangover all the more acute – at least until they’ve
slid into a booth and starting pounding coffee. And then the pancakes arrive and suddenly, like magic, you’re craving a bloody mary. The pancakes, most notably the pineapple upside down flapjacks blotted with cinnamon butter, are life’s answer to morning, mid-morning and afternoon head throbs. But Snooze excels at more than just pancakes: The breakfast tacos, tucked with scrambled eggs, buttery hash browns, Jack cheese and a jolt of salsa, are equally delicious.
Lori Midson, restaurant critic for Colorado Avid Golfer (coloradoavidgolfer.com), lives in Denver and writes for a variety of publications.