pastries from bakery four

The Best Dinner Spots According to Bakery Four’s Chef

From bakery to bagels to dinner, as the Berkeley hot spot expands, we tap owner Shawn Bergin to share his favorite places for dinner as he discusses his new evening menu.

BY Linnea Covington


Chef’s don’t always get to eat out as much as they may want to, but when you run one of the city’s hottest bakeries, it’s a lot easier to make plans for dinner. For Shawn Bergin, co-owner of Bakery Four in Berkeley, heading to a restaurant after work with his wife and co-owner Alex Urdanick, proves a real treat. 

But before we dive into Bergin’s top five places, we need to discuss the newest dinner in town occupying the chef’s time, his own. Bakery Four welcomes Night Off, a six-course, pasta-forward tasting menu taking place inside the bakery in the evening. However, this outline may change, said Bergin, as the team works out the kinks.

“Both the concepts were always at the forefront of my mind when we started Bakery Four and opened this location,” said Bergin. “It was a no-brainer because Tennyson is such a busy street and the neighborhood is always looking for good places to eat.” 

shawn bergin of bakery four
Owner and chef Shawn Bergin shares his favorite dinner spots. | Photo by Linnea Covington

He added that a lot of places in the area tend to be too busy or aren’t open for dinner, especially earlier in the week. Night Off comes works in tandem with Bergin’s plans to grow, both in space and hours. With dinner service, diners can expect a rustic Italian hodgepodge. The concept is grain focused, using ingredients Bergin already features in his baked goods. The menu will change weekly, but includes hand-shaped pastas, extruded pasta, cheeses, and other goods all made in house. Right now reservations can be made online here, and run $160 for a two-person table, or $320 for a four-person seating.

“These all use the ingredients we already get, like, all the flours we already have access to,” said Bergin. When not creating yet another operation, Night Off is the third after Rich Spirit Bagels, which opened earlier this year, Bergin and Urdanick love hitting up these establishments. 

Suvipa Thai 

Suvipa thai food
The Crispy Holy Basil Chicken at Suvipa Thai. | Photo by Ashley Beguin

There’s a constant conversation about where to get good Thai food in Denver. According to Bergin, Suvipa Thai is it. The restaurant has been going strong for 10 years, serving an array of Southeast Asian specialties such as pla goong (shrimp salad, $15.95), pad ped pla duk (fried catfish, $18.95), and sweet rice with mango ($8.50). For Bergin, it’s the crispy holy basil chicken with noodles ($16.95) that really gets him. 1015 S. Federal Blvd., Denver,


Bergin is the first to admit one reason he loves Caroline Glover’s Aurora restaurant is because she uses his bread. It’s especially tasty, he added, in the seasonal mussels and toast dish ($28), which currently feature fennel, absinthe, and green garlic in the broth. 

“I’m a little bit biased because we do wholesale there, but obviously Caroline’s incredible in all that she does,” he added. “It’s always cool to see what other people do with your product.”

Annette opened inside the Stanley Marketplace in 2017, and Glover has garnered many accolades ever since. The concept revolves around seasonal dishes, and the chef even visits the farmers’ markets to procure certain ingredients. Menu items tend to include house made pastas, a roast chicken, and gratin, all featuring the best produce available. 2501 Dallas St., Aurora,

Hop Alley

wantons at hop alley
The crab cheese wantons at Hop Alley are so darn good. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Chef Tommy Lee opened Hop Alley in RiNo in 2015, three years after his hip ramen shop Uncle in LoHi started bringing lines to 38th Street. While Lee’s first concept focused on the noodle soup, with Hop Alley he showcases modern, upscale Chinese foods.

“I love Asian food in general, but they do such a good job of getting as much flavor as they can out of everything,” he said. “The shrimp toast they have is my favorite and I tell every single person I know to get it [when it’s on the menu].”

The menu changes from time to time, and currently other highlights include the Beijing duck roll ($27.88), eggplant with garlic sauce ($23.88), and fried wontons ($13.88), which prove perfectly craveable in that high brow, low brow sort of way. 3500 Larimer St., Denver,

Fire On the Mountain

chicken wings
Bakery Four’s owners love chicken wings. | Photo by Linnea Covington

“Because we’re from upstate New York, anywhere we can get good wings is awesome,” said Bergin, adding his picky-eater wife has a penchant for pub fare.

While living in the Highland neighborhood, the couple became a fan of Fire On the Mountain, a popular chicken wing spot. Bergin said they love it for the giant menu, amazing sauces, and for the actual wings, one of the couple’s favorite dishes. 3801 W. 32nd Ave., Denver,

Brasserie Brixton

Brasserie Brixton was always on Bergin’s list to try, especially after he got to know chef and co-owner Nicholas Dalton.

“Before we opened Bakery Four here, Nick came, took a look at our ovens, and we talked about baguettes because of that French connection,” said Bergin. “Then we finally went and tried it and the French onion soup was awesome.” 

He also fondly remembers a braised leek dish on the menu, and amazing blood sausage dogs. The menu at the six-year-old restaurant constantly changes, but the dedication to French-inspired global fare does not. Recent items have included beef tartare with duck fat tater tots and truffle mustard ($18), hamachi crudo with green curry aioli ($20), and salmon with miso shallots and Japanese yams ($32). 3701 N. Williams St., Denver,

Next time you’re making a dinner reservation consider one these favorites, as well as Bergin’s new Night Off dinner service at Bakery Four. 4150 Tennyson St., Denver,

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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.