Weekend Brunch: Exploring Global Cuisine at Linger

BY Linnea Covington


t’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.

It had been years since I visited Edible Beats’ Linger in LoHi, a shame given how delightful a recent brunch was. The meal was also easy, we had a reservation for two, but there’s no reason one can’t pop in on a whim. Though larger parties definitely need to book in advance. 

Serving diners since 2011, Linger took over a former Olinger’s mortuary. The historic shop lends a multi-tiered layout to the restaurant, and offers one of the best downtown views around. Located right next to the giant milk can hosting Little Man Ice Cream, the spot sports an iconic neon sign with the original “O” blacked out so it simply reads “linger.” 

Run by Edible Beats, founder and chef Justin Cucci put a lot of thought into the menus for his restaurants, which each serve local, seasonal, and well-sourced foods. He first brought this cuisine to Root Down in 2008. Other restaurants under the group’s belt include Vital Root, Ophilia’s, and El Five, located right next to Linger. Now Cucci has passed the reins over to his employees, instating a program so in essence, workers have a share of the business.

Not that diners can tell the difference whether Cucci is in charge or someone else, it’s all solidly well done. With that in mind, make Linger a regular stop on the brunch circuit, I know I will. 

black plate with burrito and knife
The crab burrito isn’t like any breakfast burrito you’ve ever had. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Eat the Menu

I always feel a surge of excitement when a menu boasts so many delicious items it’s actually hard to choose from. Such was the case at Linger. Drooling aside, we opted to try the Vietnamese Coffee French Toast with blood orange syrup and espresso whipped cream. As someone who doesn’t gravitate toward French toast, the savory-sweet, tender but not mushy version here remains something to crave. If you do what we did and order a half plate ($9 or $16 for full), you’ll still have room for the Pandan Waffle. Another show stopper, the beautiful dish consists of a pale green, light and fluffy waffle topped with a pool of salted cream cheese whip, kaya jam and a splattering of jewel-toned pomegranate seeds ($7 for half, $13 for a full order). It’s mildly sweet, floral, and indulgent.

On thing that really stood out here was how each menu item speaks to cultures outside the United States. The Georgian Breakfast Pizza ($17) features an Eastern European khachapuri, a folded dough “boat” stuffed with cheese, tomato, herb gremolata, and egg. The Dungeness Crab Burrito ($19) speaks to Japan with an Okonomiyaki-style scallion pancake folded over with scrambled egg and crab, Kewpie mayo, and dash or bonito flakes. Also on the Japanese side, Hangover Ramen ($22) consists of duck confit, pork belly, a soft shoyu egg, and vegetables. 

Like the other restaurants in the Edible Beats repertoire, Linger’s menu sports symbols dictating if a dish is, or can be made into, a gluten-free or vegetarian item. Some naturally fall into the category. For example, the Uttapam Dosa Pancake ($19), a gluten-free and vegetarian dish with lentil korma, egg, dried cherry, almonds and tomato chutney. Diners can even make it vegan by subbing tofu for the egg. 

black plate with red food and whipped cream
Vietnamese French Toast anyone? Get a full or half order of this beauty. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Drink Up

Mimosas are special on the brunch menu, with options including blood orange or classic orange. Choose from a glass ($11-$12) or go bottomless ($23-$25). Also in the breakfast vein, Ophelia’s Espresso Martini ($17) adds a punch to brunch, as does the Wai Thai Tea ($13), with spiced-infused rum, sherry, and Thai tea. The full drink menu is also available, featuring beer, wine, cocktails, and n/a beverages, including coffees ($4-$6), tea ($4), and mocktails like the Pink Lemonella ($6). 

Don’t Miss

One of the best brunch items comes in the form of Short Rib Bibimbap Benedict ($19). It’s as fun to say as it is to eat. Structured more like a breakfast bowl, the dish features bamboo rice cake as the English muffin part of the Benedict. It’s then topped with perfectly poached eggs, marinated mushrooms, and a slightly spicy kimchi hollandaise. Add on a side of hot honey sweet potato fries ($9), and you may never go back to basic eggs and toast again.

Visit Linger for brunch Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 2030 W. 30th Ave., Denver

Good For:

Large groups

Brunch dates

Ladies brunch

Non-picky kids

People who don’t like brunch


Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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