Denver’s Best Culinary Events in May 2023

BY Steph Wilson


Photo: David Wood and

Denver’s culinary scene emerges from hibernation, stretching its gastronomic muscles with a tantalizing array of events almost as diverse as the city’s meteorological mood swings. The city offers a smorgasbord of experiences that will leave one both satiated and bemused, from the tacos and tequila-induced swagger of a Cinco de Mayo block party to the existential absurdity of The Great Wait in Line Event at Casa Bonita, where Sartre’s “No Exit” meets sopapillas and cliff divers. And then there’s RARE, The Denver Steak Championship—a gastronomic gladiator match that elevates marbling and medium-rare to a near-spiritual reverence. It’s shaping up to be a busy month, and we’re here for it. The question is, where will you be?

Mon., May 1: American Elm Fundraiser @ Hops & Pie

On Monday, April 24, a heartbreaking incident occurred at American Elm in Denver’s Highland neighborhood, claiming the lives of two cherished employees, Emerall Vaughn-Dahler and Ignacio “Nacho” Gutierrez Morales. To support the victims’ families, Hops & Pie will host a fundraiser on Monday, May 1, bringing together 30+ Colorado restaurants, breweries, bakeries, and more to contribute food, beer, baked goods, and other items.

Show a $50 donation to the GoFundMe at the door as your “entrance fee.” Kids can enter for free. The event will also feature a silent auction and music by Jocelyn Skorka.

The buffet-style meal includes Hops & Pie, Smash & Grab Burgers, El Camino, Legacy Pie, Bakery Four, Cholon, Il Porcellino, Atomic Cowboy, El Chingon, Glo, Fire on the Mountain, and Jovanina’s Broken Italian. Beers provided by Our Mutual Friend, Westbound & Down, Station 26, Bierstadt, Call to Arms, Public Offering, Emporium, Cerebral, FlyteCo, and Cohesion. Distributors and other contributors include Shamrock Foods, Elite Brands, Classic Wines, Ball Corporation, and Novum Construction Group. Silent auction contributors feature Novum Construction Group, Post Oak BBQ, Small Batch Liquors, Monkey Fist Tattoo, and many more.

Hops & Pie
3920 Tennyson St.

Mon., May 1: A Day in Patagonia—TRÄ•KÁL Cocktail Event @ ChoLon Modern Asian (Downtown)  

Whisk yourself away to Patagonia without leaving Denver. Join ChoLon’s TRÄKÁL Master Distiller, Sebastian Gomez, as the ChoLon Bar Team crafts cocktails that’ll have you questioning why you haven’t ventured to Patagonia sooner. Book via OpenTable Experiences, but don’t forget your imaginary passport. Book via OpenTable Experiences.

ChoLon Modern Asian
1555 Blake St.

Tues., May 2: Cherry Pop Open Stage Night @ Hamburger Mary’s

Unleash your inner entertainer (or just your inner attention-seeker) at Hamburger Mary’s “Cherry Pop” Open Stage Night. Held every first Tuesday at 7 p.m., it’s your chance to shine or simply embarrass yourself in good company. No judgments here.

Hamburger Mary’s
1336 E 17th Ave. 

Wed. May 3: Moonlight Dinner Series with Winemaker Tom Darling @ Major Tom 

Blast off to an out-of-this-world cosmic collision of fine wine, stellar cuisine, and a starman winemaker—Tom Darling. This celestial soirée features a multi-course menu that’s more delectable than Life on Mars, expertly crafted by the Beckon culinary team. Reserve your spot in the capsule today because this star-studded dining experience is sure to sell out faster than Ziggy Stardust’s last tour. Reservations are $175 per person and can be made via Beckon’s page on Tock.

Major Tom
2845 Larimer St.

Thurs., May 4: Oph’s Cantina Star Wars Dance Party @ Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

For one night only, Ophelia’s transforms into an intergalactic hotspot. Dance the night away to DJ-spun tunes and feast on themed food and drink specials. Costumes are encouraged, but remember, it’s not the clothes that make the Jedi. A $5 cover grants you passage to this cosmic dance-off.

Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
1215 20th St.

Thurs., May 4: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Tastemaker Dinner @ Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Dine like it’s 1976, and Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars just crushed their French rivals in the Judgment of Paris tasting. Enjoy a four-course pairing dinner that’ll have you waxing poetic about wine and steak. Reservations and bell-bottoms are recommended.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
707 15th St.

Fri., May 5: Cinco de Mayo Block Party @ Los Chingones (RiNo)

At Los Chingones, Cinco de Mayo isn’t just a date on the calendar; it’s an invitation to let loose and embrace the unapologetic revelry of a street party. This RiNo hotspot welcomes you to kick off your weekend with a mechanical bull that awaits your bravado, luchadors duking it out in a display of theatrical athleticism, and DJ Lowkey spinning tunes to keep your hips moving and your head nodding. As you navigate the sea of smiling faces, Los Chingones ensures you won’t be doing so on an empty stomach. Swing by the taco stands for a handheld delight before washing it down with a margarita that balances sweetness and salt with the precision of a trapeze artist. 

Los Chingones 
2463 Larimer St.

Sat., May 6: Derby Day @ Lots of Places

So many places; we dedicated an entire post to the subject. Check it out here.

Sat., May 6: Crawfish Boil @ Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (LoDo)

Dress to impress for Derby Day at Jax Fish House, where a southern-inspired Crawfish and Shrimp Boil awaits. Sip on mint juleps and oyster shooters, and remember: the bigger the hat, the closer to seafood heaven.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (LoDo)
1539 17th St.

Sat., May 6: Grand Opening @ Villa Denver

Villa Denver’s grand opening beckons you to sip exotic cocktails, savor fusion tapas, and question why you didn’t think of opening such a delightful spot yourself. This tapas bar and music lounge will make you feel spoiled, satisfied, and envious.

Villa Denver
1416 Market St.

Sun., May 7: Champagne Tiger Lazy Faire Drag Brunch @ Brasserie Brixton

Sashay your way to an unforgettable four-course drag brunch at Brasserie Brixton. With a special cocktail list and immersive drag show experience, you’ll wonder why you ever settled for ordinary brunches. Reserve your spot for $69 via Resy.

Brasserie Brixton
3701 N Williams St.

Sun., May 7: Thistle Pop-up Restaurant 

Experience the epitome of fine dining at Thistle Pop-up, where two accomplished chefs will delight your senses with a sustainable, seasonally-inspired tasting menu. But be warned, this is not the place for special requests or dietary restrictions. $125 pp via Eventbrite.

Thistle Pop-up
3090 Larimer St.


Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

More For You

May 24, 2024

Heard: A Bite of News Served on May 24

May 23, 2024

Where To Find Really Good Wine By-the-Glass at Union Station

May 23, 2024

This Spring Lean Into Lovely Lavender All Around Denver

May 21, 2024

As Restaurants Change, Cafe Brazil Remains a Neighborhood Staple, For Now