Welcome to the vibrant culinary scene of Denver! This week, from July 8th to 14th, the city is abuzz with an array of exciting food and drink events that will tantalize your taste buds and elevate your dining experience. Get ready to indulge in a fierce culinary showdown at the Chef Throwdown Series, where Jax and Brasserie Brixton will battle it out for gastronomic supremacy. On Thursday, make sure to mark your calendars for the highly anticipated Top Taco Festival, where the city’s finest chefs and taquerias come together to showcase their mouthwatering creations. Additionally, celebrate Bastille Day in style with a lavish Champagne Dinner that pays homage to the French holiday. Whether you’re a food connoisseur or simply looking for a memorable gastronomic adventure, these are the must-attend events in Denver this week.
July 8: Crosscurrents @ Confluence Park
A day of music on the South Platte—what’s not to love? This free fest runs from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the musician stylings of DRAMA and the support of artists like CVBZ, Barbara, Grace DeCine, CRL CRRL, Radio Fluke, and DJ Ruby taking over two stages all day. I didn’t know anything about any of these artists until right this very moment but that didn’t make me any less excited to check this fun fest out. Turns out, DRAMA is a multicultural collab between producer Na’el Shefade’s Chicago house-infused production style and vocalist Via Rosa, whose “soulful delivery is inspired by the improvisational nature of jazz and playful patterns of hip-hop and bosa nova,” and the duo “play to the complementary dynamics of their unlikely pairing by blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak, and bliss” and now I am even more excited. What does any of this have to do with dining in Denver? Food trucks! There are Latin American-inspired selections from Xatrucho, sandwiches from Big Apple Bodega, Asian-Medican fusion via The Captain, and Greek origins from Original by Greeks. Wash it down with Pacifico Clara Mexican Lagers, Corona Tropical Seltzers, JuneShine hard kombucha, and canned cocktails, or with some NA bevies from the Sandbars, then have some fun with the help of Confluence Kayak & Ski, who’ll be there renting gear (including lifejackets and helmets) so you can try tubing or kayaking the whitewater chutes of the South Platte. Best part? Entrance is free, but all your purchases of food, bev, and fun go to support the The Greenway Foundation.
July 9: Guilty Pleasures Cabaret: Song & Dance Variety Group from NYC @ The Clocktower Cabaret
NYC’s premier variety cabaret show brings a modern vibe to vintage cabaret and vaudeville, with variety shows that feature synchronized showgirls, drag, comedy, burlesque, magic, and live singing courtesy of female vocal group The Sirens. Produced and directed by a female team, the show is full of sultry charm and feminine energy that’s redefining the American cabaret experience. The production’s been described as an extravaganza in which “Great Gatsby meets Mad Men meets Video Vixens,” and the venue, of course, is a local legend. Tucked beneath the 16th Street Mall in the historic D&F Tower’s basement, Clocktower Cabaret is like falling down a rabbit hole into another world, where music, burlesque, comedy, drag, circus, and dance take over all your senses in a vintage setting. A full bar and kitchen keeps all your basic cravings satiated, too. Shows are at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and th $35 tix are selling fast.
July 10: Monday Night Guitar Class @ Junction Food & Drink
Every week, Rhythm & Brews hosts group lessons for adults who want to learn guitar in a communal setting. You’ll work through two lessons from the curriculum, focusing on those lessons for the entire month, should you be inspired to return. They’ll have extra guitars for drop-ins—and your first lesson is totally free. Before or after your lesson, enjoy the food & bev options at Junction Food & Drink, which packs a tasty lineup that includes Bird Boulevard, Taco Sabe, Cleaver & Co. burgers, chicken, and shakes, Ebisu Ramen & Sushi, Lazo, Pete’s-A-Pie, Route 82 Barbecue, Sonder Coffee & Tea, and Junction Bar, to name a few. The guitar class kicks off at 6:30 p.m., and Happy Hour runs until 6—coincidence, or confidence-building? Either way, the timing works in your favor so you should take advantage.
July 11: Chef Throwdown Series: Jax vs. Brasserie Brixton @ Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
Ophelia’s is teaming up with eight local chefs to raise money for charity and battle it out in a live Chef Throwdown competition. Each round, two chefs get a mystery basket of ingredients and go head-to-head in a race against the clock to create a dish that wows the judges and takes home the weekly prize. The last chef standing gets $5,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. And to keep things interesting for you, the guest, Ophelia’s is running happy hour all night long so you can sip and snack while you enjoy the semi-final showdown between Chef Jenna McNeil of Jax Fish House vs. Chef Harrison Porter of Brasserie Brixton. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. More details and reservations are available on Opentable.
July 12: Summer UnWine Wednesdays @ Marjorie Park
Work in the DTC and absolutely sick of fighting traffic on I-25 North every single day? Take a break and head to Museum of Outdoor Art’s sculpture park in Greenwood Village at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater. On select Wednesdays from May through September, MOA hosts UnWine Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring wine, food trucks, yard games, interactive art installations, and small musical or performance ensembles. This week, Josh Bierman is performing his unique style of original and cover music infused with elements of rock, pop, and alternative. While some seating is available, it’s first-come, first-serve, and you’re encouraged to bring your own chair. The cost of skipping traffic to enjoy some music al fresco? $10. Related news: when the thought of sitting in traffic on Fridays, which somehow backs up going into the city starting at like 1 p.m., you can wait it out at Marjorie Park for the Friday Afternoon Social Club, which is a lot like UnWine Wednesdays, except on Fridays instead.
July 13: TOP TACO!! @ Westminster City Park
If you didn’t heed our warning and slept on getting tickets to Top Taco, can’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s sold out (but if you keep an eye on our Instagram page, you might just be able to score some last minute tickets, should there become a reserve available…hint, hint.) Adulting with the Animals at the Zoo is an alternative. It won’t be as fun. But it will have grown-up beverages, capture the flag, giant Jenga, sack races, classic cornhole, an animal calling competition, and more.
But you should come to Top Taco instead. We’ll have all the food, fun, and drinks your body can handle, guaranteed.
July 14: Champagne Dinner Celebrating Bastille Day @ French 75
We know you’re still full from Top Taco, possibly with a slight hangover, so shake it off and toast France’s birthday by joining French 75 for a playful four-course dinner expertly paired with an array of Champagnes. The b-day menu includes portabella “Rockefeller” (brie, spinach, crispy breadcrumbs), scallop “caprese”, FFC (F75’s champagne-battered fried chicken with puff potato, hot honey creme fraiche, and caviar), and creme brulee topped with fresh berries. The price is a reasonable $95 per person ,and you can reserve your spot on Tock.