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Crave Burgers Now Open in LoDo

The local award-winning burger joint's fourth location has arrived

Crave

When Jeff and Jeryn Richard’s kids told them they wanted to go eat at a restaurant with crazy burgers, they more than got their wish. In 2010, the Richards opened the first Crave Real Burgers location in their home in Castle Rock. While the original Crave wasn’t an exclusively burger affair, that’s what sold best, and soon Jeff transitioned the menu to be burger-centric.

Now, five years later, the Richards—who also own the Old Stone Church restaurant—have four Crave locations across the Front Range, the newest of which is in downtown Denver in the space that formerly housed T|ACO and most recently Provisions Chophouse & Drinkery. Crave LoDo {1660 Blake Street, Denver; 303.538.5878} opened a couple of weeks ago and has been packed to the brim since, mostly with the weekday lunch crowd. Here’s what you need to know about the new Crave.

The real patties

Crave’s tagline is “real burgers” and that’s because it makes its patties from a special blend of 80/20 Angus beef sourced from Colorado. You can also sub out a hamburger patty for a vegetarian or Buffalo patty.

The real buns

Crave sources its buns from Blue Point Bakery in Denver. “Why should I bake buns here if someone else is doing it well?” Jeff asked.

You can also order a bunless burger on a bed of mixed greens if you please.

The real burgers

Just about any burger lover will be happy here with options running the gamut from simple, to gourmet, to eccentric, to over-the-top, to just plain genius.

In Castle, Rock, the bestsellers are the Plain Jane and Cheesy  Jane—just lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, and in the case of the latter, cheese. Jeff’s personal favorite is the Colorado with shredded lamb, poblanos, onions, pepper Jack, avocado, chipotle mayo, ketchup, and tomato. The most popular so far at the LoDo location are the Denver Burger Battle Award Winners.

Burger

The Sin City (Photo by Marc Piscotty)

Wise Guy

Wise Guy (Photo by Marc Piscotty)

In 2012, the Wise Guy scored people’s choice with crispy mozzarella, prosciutto, fresh basil, tomato, onion, and ketchup drizzled with balsamic, olive oil, and pesto. The next year, the Sin City was a runner-up with crispy tempura-fried sharp cheddar, bourbon-glazed onions, candied bacon, avocado, lettuce, and ketchup.

Love Stinks

The Love Stinks

In 2014, Crave took home the gold for the Love Stinks with garlic cream cheese, crispy onion strings, candied bacon, roasted red peppers, onion, garlic mayo, ketchup, and red pepper aïoli. Last year was the first in three that Crave didn’t win anything at the Denver Burger Battle—a loss Jeff attributes to overly complicated toppings. Next summer, he’s planning to simplify his entry.

The real challenge

If your craving for burgers is real and enormous, then you should consider the Big Bad Wolf challenge for the opportunity to get your photo on the Wall of Winners. All you need to do is eat three Wolf Burgers within 45 minutes. What, you may be wondering, does a Wolf Burger consist of? It’s loaded up with ham, pork, bacon, cheese, onion strings, barbecue sauce, and ketchup.

The real drinks

In addition to a cocktail list featuring all Colorado whiskeys and taps pouring all local beer, Crave serves up adult milkshakes that may be habit-forming. Plus, there are shakes perfect for every season so you can keep up your boozy shake habit year-round. In the fall, try the Apple-achian with apple, graham crackers, caramel and apple pie moonshine. Come winter, we’re all about the Siberian with Kahlua and vodka. In the spring, embrace the greenery with the Grasshopper. Then in the summer, try the Bananas Foster.

Hangover burger

This is the ultimate hangover cure: a breakfast burger on donuts with bacon (Photo by Marc Piscotty)

The real deal

Crave’s burgers are legit and the list of wild creations is growing all the time. Next up might be weekend brunch at Crave LoDo, and more ideas are always stirring in Jeff’s mind.

By Maya Silver | Editor