Denver Date Night Done Right

Everyone deserves a little vacation—even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway down US-36.

While Boulder and Denver share many things in common such as great food, coffee, beer and kind people, they are very distinct cities with very different histories, both equally worth exploring.

If coming from Boulder, it’s possible that Denver has what feels like an endless list of things to do if visiting for a weekend: drinks in RiNo, food off of Federal, shows on South Broadway, a stroll through the Santa Fe Arts District, or whatever might be happening in the professional sports world.

These are well worth the time, but perhaps consider the following: Friday night dinner, drinks and dessert at Uchi Denver, followed by a night at the Crawford Hotel in the famed Union Station.  

Uchi Denver, the new location from the award-winning contemporary Japanese restaurant based in Austin, can offer just about any sort of evening to customers. People can choose from daily specials and happy hour deals from 3-6 p.m., single pieces of sushi or rolls, ask a chef for a recommendation, or just sneak peeks at what others are having and go off of that.

Though it would be difficult to find something that wasn’t exceptionally delectable, menu highlights include Japanese pumpkin tempura, Norwegian mackerel, sweet chili Brussels sprouts, freshwater eel, shrimp ceviche, Salmon belly and a layered jasmine cream dessert, with cilantro granita, honey crumbles, and topped with pineapple.

Uchi also has a robust offering of house cocktails, sake, beer, wine and liquor options, including a selection of Japanese whiskey worth exploring. While it may be difficult for a first timer to know what would best pair with snow crab, servers are quick to offer valuable input if need be.  

Word of advice: If available, snag a seat at the chef’s table.

After filling up on Uchi, head to Union Station. But before turning in for the night, be sure to get a little adventurous and take a look around.

Denver’s Union Station is equal parts a snapshot of the Denver that once was and the Denver that is today. In the late 1800s, it was the central hub for all travelers heading to and from the city. After a period of deterioration and decline, in July 2014, it opened once again, revitalized and re-imagined as a central hub for Denver travel and culture.

Notice the original train ticket booth has been tastefully transformed into Terminal Bar, try to spot the Colorado state flower hiding along the walls, admire the architecture, and perhaps head upstairs to the cozy Cooper Lounge for a nightcap and a gorgeous view of the city.

When ready, check into The Crawford Hotel and let all the little details of the place sink in.

Opened in 2014, The Crawford is Denver history in the form of a luxury hotel. The hallway walls are lined with quirky old photos of cowboys, the second-floor “Pullman-style” rooms cleverly evoke train travel from a past life, and gorgeous third-floor lofts feature original wood timbers and vaulted ceilings.

A stay at The Crawford Hotel is truly unlike a stay anywhere else in the city.

After waking up with a cup of coffee from Mercantile Dining & Provisions or a mimosa and pancakes at Snooze Eatery, end the trip on a high note: Make a pitstop at The Oxford Club for a workout or spa treatment, and if it’s a Saturday morning between April and November, take a stroll through the pet-friendly Union Station Plaza farmers market, featuring local vendors and live music.