Weekend Brunch: Breakfast on the Run

BY Gabriela Reyes


It’s no secret Denver loves brunch. Each Friday we’ll divulge the newest and best brunches around. Not only do we highlight our favorite spots for all your brunching needs, but also add lists of things you crave. So pour a mimosa, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to eat.

Grab brunch to go when you’re heading to the mountains, or have that early morning soccer game. Or, maybe you just want to take food to-go and curl up on the couch to binge reality television. No matter the reason, the ability to run in and grab a quick bite on the go can truly make or break the beginning of the weekend. It’s not all fast food either, these five spots offer different options from traditional bagels to doughnuts to, of course, breakfast burritos. 

Maria Empanada

If there was a perfect vessel for a to-go meal, it would be the empanada. Conveniently handheld, these savory delights offer a delightful departure from conventional morning fare. Founder Lorena Cantarovici knows a lot about empanadas too, she grew up in Argentina and models her own goods after the ones there. Namely, each  one gets baked rather than fried. Choose from an array of tasty flavors, both sweet to savory.

You can’t go wrong with the two breakfast-inspired empanadas, the breakfast chorizo or the breakfast egg and potato, both come with eggs stuffed inside. Consider also ordering an española, or Spanish omelet, which is made with pan-fried potatoes, sauteed onions, and eggs. With three locations to choose from, including Riverview (on Platte Street), Stanley Marketplace and South Broadway, doors swing open at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Various locations,.mariaempanada.com

Olive & Finch

line of colorful juices
Grab a cold-pressed juice to go. | Photo by Olive & Finch

Check out  Olive & Finch On the Fly, a grab-and-go program launched by chef and restaurateur Mary Nguyen. Customers can choose from an array of options including sandwiches, salads, and pastries. It’s a great way to get a quick yet satisfying bite. There’s also a line of fresh cold-pressed juices, the perfect addition to breakfast, especially when heading out for a morning hike.  Try the Deeply Rooted, a juice made with carrots, beets, apples, and lemon. The Clean Carbon also impresses with a blend of lemon, mint, lavender, and agave. Stop by Olive & Finch’s Uptown and Cherry Creek locations, which both open at 7 a.m., seven days a week. Various locations, oliveandfinch.com

The Bagel Deli

Family-run for three generations, The Bagel Deli has served Denver for over half a century. Go for the bagels and stay for towering deli sandwiches and soul-warming soups such as chicken with matzo balls and zesty chili. The iconic shop has garnered widespread acclaim and was showcased on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and placed on 51 Best Delis in the Country. In fact, while in office, former Governor John Hickenlooper declared April 1 as Bagel Deli Day. All that aside, If you’re looking to run in for a solid breakfast sandwich or a simple bagel with cream cheese, this is your spot. Best part, it’s not just weekends, The Bagel Deli opens at 8 a.m. every day for all those holy bread needs. 6439 E. Hampden Ave,, Denver, bageldeli.com

Smōk Barbecue

breakfast burrito on tray
The breakfast burrito here is a best kept secret that will keep you coming back. | Photo by Smok

If you know, you know there’s a killer breakfast burrito at this RiNo barbecue joint. And you have to know, because it’s not listed anywhere on the website. Stuffed with your choice of chopped brisket or vegetarian, this burrito is thick and sure to quash hunger. Find chef-owner Bill Espiricuet’s casual spot in The Source Hotel, and see why Smok earned recognition from the Michelin Guide last year. Grab the burrito to go from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., and start the weekend right. 3330 Brighton Blvd. #202, Denver, denversmok.com

We Knead Donut

What they knead, we need!  The VIP attendees of last year’s Chicken Fight can attest to the delights as they indulged Brad Kwon’s sweet treats in the dessert tent.  But you don’t need a ticket to step into the popular Bonnie Brae shop, it’s open starting at 6 a.m. every day. All the food here proves perfect for grab-and-go, whether aiming for the sugary side or savory. Think plenty of fresh donuts, breakfast tacos, a donut sandwich, and Texas-style kolaches stuffed with jalapeno, sausage, and cheese. 723 S. University Blvd,, Denver, linktr.ee/wekneaddonutwashpark 


Gabriela Reyes

Gaby has been part of the Denver/Boulder food scene since 2015 when she moved to Colorado. While gradually losing her ability to eat due to six years of misdiagnosed food allergies, she became fascinated with the culinary scene. Gaby, aka The Restaurant Encyclopedia, has been DiningOut’s restaurant coordinator for food festivals since 2017 and joined the editorial team in 2022.

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