from Quora native and lifer….a lot of our “good stuff” is long gone, but we do have things that are from the past left. Some recommendations that are truly “Denver”
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. Grandma took me there as a kid. One of our rare remaining nostalgia pieces.
Dino’s Pizza (Italian) at Kipling and Colfax. It has been there since the dawn of time…amazing pizza and homemade pasta. Great divey place that never gets old and is likely only visited by the people that grew up with it.
Downtown Littleton: Great area that I still love and is mostly untouched. Great place to spend a weekday. Historic Downtown Littleton
Old Town Arvada: Has changed a lot, but still a great place to spend a day. Historic Olde Town
Downtown Morrison: A must visit. Check the Red Rocks concert schedule and avoid going just before a show, but any other time is great, especially during a hot day. If you like margaritas, the Morrison Inn is a must…best margaritas in the metro. The Morrison Inn of Morrison Colorado
Taco House (Mexican) near downtown Littleton. You don’t get more “Denver” than Taco House. So cheap, so good and their menu hasn’t changed since the 1960s. I recommend the Burrada.
White Fence Farm (Homestyle, fried chicken) (Lakewood location). The corn fritters…place never gets old and I have gone there since I was a kid.
Garramone’s (Italian) in Lakewood. Old…another that has been around since creation and probably my favorite Italian place to eat in the entire city.
If you have a full day and are down for a gorgeous short mountain drive, I highly recommend spending a full day, even a full day and night in Estes Park. That has always been our local “day cation” spot. If you do that, the tramway is a must. Bring peanuts to feed the chipmunks…trust me Estes Park Aerial Tramway. Also, eat at the Lazy B…been around forever and it is a fun experience High Recommend: LAZY B CHUCKWAGON SUPPER AND SHOW HISTORY
High Tea at the Brown Palace is a good one too. Even us natives still love that from time to time. You get to eat delicacies and they often tell stories of the hotel’s history.
Manitou Springs/Old Colorado City At the base of Pikes Peak. Way too much to do in the area. Highly recommended for many reasons. Every year there is the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb which started in 1916.
Sloan’s lake park is still a good spot. Be sure to learn the history of how Sloan’s Lake came to be…makes it a lot more interesting to visit!
Lakeside Amusement Park. The most astounding place for kids and to view vintage art deco signs. Glorious, it is like you are time traveling.
Mataam Fez. My Favorite hidden restaurant in Denver, and has been for over 20 years. Looks uber divey from the outside, but it is deceiving. Food is amazing.
Tips for Mataam Fez: They almost always have a Groupon. ALWAYS call and make a reservation…it is small and you can rarely walk in. If you are going with a group of 4 (or more) reserve 2 tables. They serve several courses and each table gets the same amount (other than the entree) regardless of how many are seated. If you go with a group of 4, make 2 separate reservations. 3–4 is ok, more than that, certainly get another table.