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Event Alert: ¡A celebrar el Día de los Muertos!

A feast for the senses all week across Denver and Boulder

Dos Luces Brewery
(Photo by Fermentable Sugar)

Coloradans race at the chance to head out and about for Halloween each year. It’s not unheard of to have a costume picked out since last October, and there’s nothing unusual of spotting, say, someone in a giant dinosaur head or an animal onesie at a bus stop be it morning or midnight all month long.

But as you see locals painted like skeletons and adorned with flowers, an eye-candy array of “sugar skull” desserts, towers of tamales, offerings of bread by candlelight, and parades of colorful festivals, you know something extra special is happening.

El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, combines the holidays of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2) with the indigenous traditions of Aztec culture that have existed in Mexico for centuries. Nowadays, the holiday connects communities everywhere regardless of backgrounds or beliefs, debunking myths of sadness surrounding death, and instead, creates an invitation to our ancestors through a feast of festivities to celebrate the coming together of all spirits.

We invite you to our hand-picked selection of events throughout Denver and Boulder, which promises to be as culinary-worthy as festive-filled (and we happen to think, destinations to visit all year round). We brought you Maya in the mountains, Crazy Mountain Brewery near Santa Fe, and Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox last week, starting the party with taco bars, sugar skull painting, and a Latin rock-fused brunch. Our list this week kicks off on Wednesday and keeps on celebrating through Saturday, offering everything from sit-down dinners and performance-art extravaganzas to face and pottery painting, with plenty of cocktails, cocoa, tamales, and tapas to keep you full and spirited all week long.

Cheers to a memorable ¡el Día de los Muertos!

DOS LUCES BREWERY           

The in-house brews with a rich history of Dos Luces Brewery
(Photo by Sara Schiffer)

WHAT: A Special Dinner with Dos Luces Brewery, Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, and Palenque Mezcaleria; Sugar Skull Painting at Dos Luces with Live Music; and a New Beer Release

WHEN: Wednesday, October 30-Saturday, November 2; (varied times)

WHERE: Dos Luces Brewery {1236 South Broadway, Denver; 720.379.7763}, including Adelitas Cocina y Cantina and Palenque Mezcaleria (same block)

GO: Night Before Halloween Dinner and Pulque $50; Sugar Skull Painting $30; and for the seasonal New Beer Release Azteca Pulque

Dos Luces is a gem of a place that specializes brewing in-house Chicha and Pulque—traditional brews that tap into the roots of the Aztecs and Incas—using ingredients like blue corn, aguamiel (fermented sap from the cactus-like maguey plant), cinnamon, chocolate, and other traditions (resulting gluten-free).

On October 30, join Dos Luces, Adelitas, and Palenque for a special, collaborative dinner. Beginning at 6pm at Dos Luces, enjoy small bites and blue-corn brewed Chicha. Then find your seat a few doors down at Adelitas for the main course, paired with margaritas, tequilas, and Pulque. For dessert, Palenque will have sweets paired with Mezcal and a sneak peek of the Azteca Pulque beer release.

On November 2, reserve your Sugar Skull Pottery Mug to paint during an evening at Dos Luces, while enjoying food truck bites, candy, live music by Trevor Toms, and of course, the crafted beer rich with history and flavor.

Making a return for the holiday, Azteca Pulque is the special beer release. The brew was inspired by hot chocolate beverages in Mexico, and will be available until tapped (crossing fingers through December):

Azteca Pulque | maguey sap, malted blue corn, cinnamon, cacao nibs, cocoa, chocolate, topped with a touch of cayenne pepper

Paint your own sugar skull mugs at Dos Luces Brewery
(Photo by Fermentable Sugar)

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TAMAYO MODERN MEXICAN KITCHEN & TEQUILERIA

Flor de Muertos Margarita by Tamayo
(Photo by Matt Ritscher, New Hope Photography)

WHAT: Día de los Muertos at Tamayo, with dish and drink specials

WHEN: Thursday, October 31-Saturday, November 2; (restaurant hours)

WHERE: Tamayo Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria {1400 Larimer St, Denver; 720.946.1433}

GO: Flor de Muertos Margarita $13; Tamale Trio $14

Restaurants by Richard Sandoval are renowned for capturing the culture of Mexico and Latin America. Tamayo is a cherished staple in Larimer Square downtown, and is sure to impress with these dining specials that honor the traditions of the holiday—as much as they will surely remind you of the traditions of culinary art already perfected at Tamayo.

Flor de Muertos Margarita| Blanco tequila, passionfruit, agave nectar, housemade sour, marigold flower

Tamale Trio| Chipotle Chicken with salsa roja and crema, Poblano Rajas with Oaxaca cheese and poblano cream sauce, and Pork Carnitas with tomatillo salsa

Tamale Trio by Tamayo
(Photo by Matt Ritscher, New Hope Photography)

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CENTRO MEXICAN KITCHEN

Festive cocktails at Centro Mexican Kitchen in Boulder

WHAT: Día de los Muertos Weekend extravaganza at Centro

WHEN: Thursday, October 31-Saturday, November 2; (varied times)

WHERE: Centro Mexican Kitchen {950 Pearl Street, Boulder; 303.442.7771}

GO: (menu prices apply)

Conveniently located on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Centro’s menus stem from food-centric areas like Jalisco, Baja, Veracruz, Yucatán, and Oaxaca. To ring in the holiday, Centro offers a bienvenidos to guests—all weekend!

Start the weekend fun Thursday on Halloween with the Munchkin Masquerade After Party at 6pm that’s fit for the whole family, with sugar skull mask painting, piñatas on the patio, and even a fortune teller. Then on Friday, find a Family-Style Feast featuring carne asada fajitas, and a parrillada platter with carnitas, camarones, and media pollo. Soak up the whole weekend with a Resurrection Brunch on Saturday from 10am to 2pm—we recommend the Bloody Marias or Palomas along with the Torched Grapefruit or Tres Leches Toast.

Authentic recipes at Centro Mexican Kitchen in Boulder

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MOXIE LUXE

A Día de los Muertos evening with Immersive Events by MOXIE Luxe

WHAT: Día de los Muertos, An Immersive Party by MOXIE Luxe

WHEN: Friday, November 1; 8pm-Midnight

WHERE: It’s a secret! A disclosed location near Denver after ticket purchase

GO: General Admission, VIP, and Group Tickets

MOXIE Luxe is a party-planning extraordinaire that creates events to be immersive—experiences that tap into the senses, with engaging ambience and performance art—events you just need to attend, to believe. To further spark curiosity, MOXIE has put together an evening dedicated to the Day of Dead aimed to make you feel like you’ve been transported right into a world among the ancestors.

The evening takes inspiration from integrative research into connecting with our ancestors, which will have you exploring hidden “gravesites” inside a mansion, witnessing aerial and Latin dancing, visiting with a medium, all while enjoying selected bites and Crafthouse cocktails. To add to the fun, the event will be held in a secret location—to be revealed after ticket purchase!

A Día de los Muertos evening with Immersive Events by MOXIE Luxe

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BLANCHARD FAMILY WINES AT DAIRY BLOCK

Expert charcuterie plate and Sonoma wines at Blanchard Family Wines at Dairy Block

WHAT: Halloween Feast for Souls dinner with Blanchard Family Wines at Dairy Block

WHEN: Friday, November 1; 7pm

WHERE: Blanchard Family Wines at Dairy Block {1855 Blake Street, Suite 120, Denver; 720.990.9092}

GO: Grab $125 all-inclusive Halloween Feast for Souls dinner Tickets

Anything within the block of hip restaurants and retail along Dairy Block in LoDo hits it out of the park with whimsical entertainment and unbeatable cuisine. Blanchard Family Wines is one of 26 restaurants and bars that make up the collaborative spaces, bringing the taste of Sonoma County to Denver, as well as wine cocktails, stem ciders, and stellar charcuterie and dessert menus.

Blanchard Family Wines is hosting a special feast fit for “all souls,” in a sit-down, five-course dinner accompanied by wine and cocktail pairings, and a live painting performance by Jana Hope. Don your Halloween or cocktail attire:

Charcuterie Board | cured meats, cheese, and chile-infused pickles
Fall Succotash | roasted corn, sautéed seasonal greens, seared tomato
Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Bisque | with Urfa chile
Seared Pork Tenderloin | chipotle cherry compote
Black Torte | featuring onyx cocoa, ancho, and cinnamon

Blanchard Family Wines at Dairy Block

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ART DISTRICT ON SANTA FE

‘Quetzalcoatl’ of the “Surround Mural” by artist Carlos Fresquez and Metro State University of Denver Students at Su Teatro, 7th & Santa Fe
(Photo by Sarah Carpenter, Editor)

The Santa Fe Arts District has long been the destination for celebrating local art—particularly festive during October and November. Held on the ‘First Friday‘ of each month, north Santa Fe Drive transforms into sidewalks filled with buskers, musicians, droves of visitors, and dozens of individually-themed galleries showcasing local art and artsy drinks. Past years have seen handmade confessional booths, Dracula illusion paintings, and plenty of folks dressing the part for Day of the Dead.

WHAT: Día de los Muertos First Friday Art Walk

WHEN: Friday, November 1; 5-10pm

WHERE: Santa Fe Arts District {525 Santa Fe Drive, Denver; 720.773.2373} with various options of stops and events

GO: Free

Head to “First Friday” on November 1 for the traditional artwalk from 5 to 10pm. Make a stop at the CHAC Gallery and Cultural Center for pan de muerto, ofrendas for the altar, and traditional Aztec dancing; peruse through Museo de las Americas for the “Altar’d Continuum: Resistance and Empowerment” exhibition, surrounded by Latin music, a parade, and more; and visit Su Teatro for a performance of “Altares Vivos: Amor Eterno, Día de los Carnival.”

Pro-tips: Find your parking spot early, and make time for neighborhood-favorite eateries like El Noa Noa and Santiago’s.

Mural at 7th & Santa Fe, by artists @patmilbery, @pat.mckinney, and @jasontgraves
(Photo by Sarah Carpenter, Editor)

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LOLA COASTAL MEXICAN

The many cocktails (including new recipes) of Lola
(Photo by Justin Walker and Kaitlyn DuRoss)

WHAT: Día De Los Muertos at Lola

WHEN: Saturday, November 2; all day fiesta

WHERE: Lola Coastal Mexican {1575 Boulder Street, Denver; 720.570.8686}

GO: (menu prices apply)

Lola just saw a design and menu makeover this summer, led by Baja superstar, Chef and Partner Javier Plascencia, and expertly executed by the beloved local Chef Sheila Lucero. Lola now boasts beach vibes, Baja-style Mexican food, and some of the most fashionable cocktails around town.

There might not be a more fitting location to celebrate the holiday for the ancestors than Lola—the restaurant is housed in the building that used to belong to the longtime, family-owned Olinger Mortuary. Lola kicks off Saturday with cookie decorating during brunch from 10am to 2pm, and sugar skull painting from Noon to 2pm and again from 4 to 6pm. Enjoy food and El Tesoro drink specials, hot chocolate, and altar offerings all day, as well as live music by Los Bohemios of The Ricardo Peña Band from 8 to 11pm. Now that’s a fiesta!

Baja-style cuisine, and crave-worthy Tostadas by Lola
(Photo by Justin Walker and Kaitlyn DuRoss)

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COMIDA

#PSM Margarita by Comida

WHAT: Día de los Muertos face painting and altar remembrance; happy hour drinks all day at Comida

WHEN: Saturday, November 2; 11am-10pm

WHERE: Comida at Stanley Marketplace {2501 Dallas Street, Suite 140, Aurora; 303.484.1632}

GO: Happy Hour drinks start at $2; Face Painting starts at $15

The Stanley Marketplace was once thought to be beer hall for neighbors to gather, and has since become a retail and food hall meeting destination with more than 50 outlets. Ringing in three years this December, Comida makes it that much brighter—with its vibrant space (and a stellar patio), and soul food that celebrates Mexico with hints of the American South. Comida describes the days surrounding the Day of the Dead as “joyful, and a time for festivals, parades, rejoicing, and great food.” We couldn’t agree more.

Find expert face-painting by artist Emiko Martinez of Face Nectar Colorado between 12:30 and 2:30pm, and altar remembrance activities all day. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 6pm—but happy hour drinks will be available all day on Saturday—with $5 margaritas, $2 beers, and $5 wines. Crafted just for the holiday, try the #PSM (Pumpkin Spice Margarita):

#PSM | Sombra Mezcal, fresh orange, fresh lime, housemade pumpkin spice syrup

Tacos and soulful street-food by Comida

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LAS DELICIAS

Ofrenda Altar at Las Delicias at Uptown
(Photo by Sarah Carpenter, Editor)

WHAT: Noche de Calaverita, Día de los Muertos Celebration at Las Delicias Uptown

WHEN: Saturday, November 2; 7-10pm

WHERE: Las Delicias Uptown {439 East 19th Avenue, Denver; 303.839.5675}

GO: Tequila shots $4, Coronas $5

Las Delicias has been serving home-style Mexican food to the community for over 40 years, offering four locations across the Denver Metro area. The Uptown location at 19th and Pennsylvania saw a remodel a couple of years ago, and looks welcoming as ever—set to celebrate with lively décor and dining specials.

Already bedazzled inside for the holiday with ofrendas, an altar, and festive decorations, Las Delicias Uptown will offer face painting, live music, and food and drink specials during Saturday evening—including tequila shots for $4 and Coronas for $5.

Las Delicias at Uptown
(Photo by Sarah Carpenter, Editor)

By Sarah Carpenter | Editor