The Phishheads Guide To Denver: 2016
One of the fastest growing cities in America, Denver has continued to attracted hundreds of thousands of new residents in the past couple of years. For fans making the annual pilgrimage to Dicks this year, there is plenty new to check out and enjoy about this special city, exactly one mile up from sea level. But first things first…start hydrating. Now. And don’t stop. The last thing any wook wants is to get an unshakeable headache and days-long fatigue right when the dancing begins so if you are planning on making into town this year start hydrating ON YOUR FLIGHT. And go light on the booze ok? Weed is legal here, alcohol is best in small quantities. Nitrous too, wooks.
Just as we did last year, a few notes and thoughts on great places to check in Denver while you are here, from our world class level craft beer, legal cannabis, farm to table and health conscious food culture, hiking, and more.
Probably the best way to organize this list is by neighborhood, cognizant that most fans only have a few hours to visit the city and see the sights while getting ready for the shows. 5 course tasting menus are out, great lunches near plenty of retail, breweries and dispensaries are in. Oh and check out Loopr, a luxury bus/ mobile consumption lounge operating in the city. They are going to Dicks both Friday and Sunday with attractive pricing for heads. $35 scores a roundtrip ticket from a variety of pick up spots with drop offs at the most popular after show parties. Ride to Dicks in style and consume legally, forget taxis, parking fees and waiting lines. Hop on, hop off.
RiNo and Five Points
Consider it the Williamsburg of Denver, this creative enclave was traditionally an industrial neighborhood and home of the African American community in Denver. In fact, Five Points was known as Harlem of the West for its numerous jazz clubs that dotted Welton Street. Here’s how to take advantage of this transformative village with a unique energy all its own.
Stowaway Coffee, Sweet Leaf Dispensary, First Draft, Samana Float Center
Stowaway is a great place to get your morning or early afternoon started. Hayden and Amy run our favorite neighborhood cafe that exudes warmth and light. Excellent coffee and drop dead food options anchor the space with loving service and terrific music rounding out the experience. Cashew milk availability is a plus and there are plenty of gluten free and vegatarian options as well.
The Scram-Ba-Lam features Niman Ranch ham, Jojo’s sriracha mayo, scrambled eggs, arugula and tomato chutney on a brioche bun, while The Colorful Colorado will be your meal of the day: salt + vinegar hash, Niman Ranch ham, pickled radishes, avocado and spicy adobo sauce with poached eggs* — GF. The Japanese Soba Salad is also a lovely and surprisingly light option. 2528 Walnut St Denver CO 80205
Just across the street you’ll find the new Sweet Leaf dispensary alongside Osaka Ramen and Park Burger, both great food options as well. Sweet Leaf just opened this location and its one of their best yet, clean, bright with a friendly helpful staff perfect for recreational customers. $30 eighths and $50 quarters are very decent prices for quality cannabis. And Protip:When it comes to cannabis, trust your senses. Whatever smells best to you, go with that. Worry a bit less about navigating indica, sativa or hybrids. The right weed will make you feel the way you want. Trust us on that.
Walk through the alleys between Walnut and Larimer between 25th and 28th for a look at some of the best street art in the world. And find yourself at First Draft, a pour your own brewery experience with a world class selection.
Very cool technology behind it all, get a card and swipe against any of the 40 drafts on tap. Choose from favorites like Bear Republic and Ballast Point alongside local favorites like Crooked Stave and Comrade Brewing. Excellent food options here too, don’t ignore the menu.
Shopping wise you want to check out MegaFauna a sort of local artisan haven with street, skate and urban inspired clothing, art, and gifts perfect to bring home to anyone not making the trip out. MegaFauna is located at 3102 Blake Street, very close to the a new development called the Backyard on Blake where a number of new endeavors — The Preservery, where food, community and music come together alongside delicious cocktails and local beer — are housed. Judith and Joe is an adorable new boutique with some classic vinyl (michael jackson and talking heads anyone?) alongside a nice selection of apparel for both men and women. You can see the full list of businesses taking over the Backyard on Blake here.
Practice Self Love…
with a Mile High Massage, because the best dancer is a limber dancer. LoDO Massage offers terrific value and a warm and inviting staff and massage environment. They even offer cannabis topical massages — featuring Apothecanna products — so you can get some of that plant medicine onto your skin. Worth every minute. Tip well.
If massage isn’t your thing, take a float at Samana Float Center, a gorgeous new floatation tank business that recently opened. We do new age wellness here in Colorado, take a dip.
Cart and Driver has incredible artisanal pizzas with a great happy hour out of a storage container retail concept just off Larimer. Try every pizza. Seriously and don’t miss the ice cream with Underberg on top.
Saturday night head down to Knew Conscious, an art gallery showcasing some of the best visionary art out there, for their DJ Russo Afterparty. $15 bucks with Meadowlark Kitchen and the best late night burrito truck in town half a block away. The 4:30 club requires a signup.
There’s more to see in RiNo just by walking around. Curtis Park Deli makes incredible sandwiches everyday, fair warning they sell out by 2pm usually. Try their corned beef. Botanico, Denver Kush Club — where our friend Sammy Saltzman has a deal going on, just mention “Electric Sammy” for 25% off. The newly opened SoHi Gallery on Welton is worth a visit to see some exotic glass art.
Our Mutual Friend is a great place to spend an afternoon, their patio absolutely slays, plus the beer is terrific and fairly priced. The Usual Barbershop and A Tiny Print Shop are next door and worth a gander if you need to get your wook beard trimmed up, ask for Bridget or Ben.
Don’t be afraid to walk up to City Park after a little buzz and walk any of the path ways around the park. Good exercise and a warm up for a night full of dancing.
The Corner Beet is on Ogden and 14th, just a few blocks from the iconic Ogden Theatre and in the heart of Capitol Hill, one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, filled with tree-lined streets, neo-classical parks, a worthy Botanic Gardens along with a healthy dose of punks, anarchists and hippies.
The Corner Beet makes the best cold pressed juice in Denver with unique combinations that push juicing to a new frontier. The Galbi has turmeric, carrot, ginger and apple, sometimes with pineapple too, while the Bon Vivant is a more traditional green juice with kale, romaine, cucumber, spinach, ginger and lemon. Nikki Hazamy runs a rag tag group of artists, gypsies and poets that put out delicate, love-filled food that will renew and restore you and your crew. Great salads and toast options as well. The Hill ($8) sports hummus, cucumber, tomato, red onion, sprouts and balsamic glaze while The Super Seed salad offers an overflowing bowl of feta, sunflower seed, pepita, hemp seed, cucumber, carrot, dijon dressing. Go here!
And then check out Hugos on 13th, one of the best local craft beer stores in Denver, and therefore anywhere. City O City has terrific vegan sensitive fare close to the capitol, worth a look and do yourself a favor and walk up to Cheeseman Park.
Uber Bougie neighborhood East of Downtown, the Highlands is one of Denver’s most beautiful areas with several worthwhile mini enclaves each bursting with life. LoHi or the Lower Highlands is one with restaurants like Linger and Root Down capturing the gourmet crowds, while the recently opened Avanti Food and Beverage sports kiosk style food options with a perfect view of downtown.
32nd and Lowell
Sandwiches at Salt and Grinder are a must with Novo Coffee right next door. Check out Sweet Cow Ice Cream for the most creative shakes you’ve ever had. Fire on the Mountain makes immaculate wings, and there’s a Clinic location in the thick of it.
Shopping, Craft Beer, Pizza, A bookstore you can GET DRUNK IN? Yes. Go.
Yes it is plentiful, yes it is great. No you cannot legally smoke it in public so be smart. And pace yourself. Do not let the edibles win, because they will put you down and rob you of a show. Personally I keep my edibles consumptions until after the fun has occurred. If you want the full body high effects during the day, I recommend trying a THC/CBD tincture. Go light. You can always eat more, not less.
A few great dispensaries to know about: The Clinic is known around the country for its Phishy strain names like Fall 97. Great product and concentrates, terrific firm filled with like-minded people. Would give their Live Resin pre-filled pens a try for a look at where the concentrate game is going. Multiple locations including on Colfax, in the Highlands, Capitol Hill and more.
Good Chemistry on Colfax is consistently great and their rosin prices have been dropping. They also have a location in Aurora for any fans staying out by the venue, it’s a quicker cab ride. Purple Haze is a full service head shop with multiple locations in town. Sweet Cow Ice Cream makes amazing fucking ice cream. Go find it. Do a shake.
Green Man Cannabis has consistently top notch flower, Ghost Train Haze is a an incredible strain. So is Leroy. River Rock has stupendous selections of concentrates, not too far away from downtown. Denver Relief on South Broadway is very efficient. Tweet at us Blank Space or Zac Cohen while you are in town and we’ll be sure to help out with additional recommendations