Weekend Brunch: Yardbird

BY Linnea Covington

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It’s no secret Denver loves brunch. Each Friday we’ll divulge the newest and best brunches around. Not only will 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. 

Yardbird flew into RiNo in July last year, and the massive restaurant and event space has been popping ever since. Started by the 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, the Denver opening marks the eighth location of the concept. It’s the largest too, with 14,950 square-feet of industrial chic dining spots, a stunning floor-to-ceiling bar, huge patio with games and stage (in the warmer months), a private event room, and soon, a speakeasy-style bar in the sub-basement. Despite all that going on, today we’re focused on Yardbird’s epic brunch spread. 

wood board with cinnamon roll in skillet
The cinnamon roll at Yardbird is so big, there’s a steak knife to cut it with. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Eat the Menu

The menu at Yardbird in RiNo is a hungover person’s dream (in my case), and a comfort food lover’s sweet spot (in my partner’s case). In essence, the Southern-inspired menu proves perfect for just about anyone. Start with the show-stopping cinnamon roll, an $18 monster of a dish swirled with salted bourbon caramel and topped with cream cheese frosting. It’s so huge the pastry comes with a knife sticking out the top, and easily can serve four people. 

An order of Skillet Cornbread ($16) with sharp cheddar, bacon, jalapeños and honey butter proves equally stunning and shareable. In fact, plan on splitting most dishes, it’s too hard to pick just one and the portions are American sized. 

On that list, the Smoked Brisket Huevos Rancheros ($24) with avocado hits all the right notes, and it’s one of the menu items unique to the Denver location. The team smokes the meat right in the backyard-patio area that, come this summer, is sure to be a RiNo hotspot. The Shrimp and Grits ($28) also won us over. The grits proved unbelievably creamy, but with that nutty texture to give the dish oomph. The PBR jus and Virginia ham stripes added even more umami to the plate, especially when combined with seared shrimp. 

man with liquor bottle in front of bloody mary cart
Call over the Bloody Mary cart and have the drink made table side. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Drink Up

Bloody Marys tableside? Yes please. Not only can guests tailor the drink to their liking, think spicy, salty or virgin, but it’s made right before your eyes. All you need to do is flag the cart over, or ask the server to send it, and tell the master Mary maker what you want. The garnishes alone are worth the $16 price tag, and include bacon, house-pickled okra, olives, celery and more. 

A $45 bottle of mimosa fixings can win brunch too, especially when said bottle includes Freixenet Cava and a choice of orange, grapefruit, pineapple or cranberry juice. The drink menu goes well beyond breakfast cocktails and coffee drinks, with a solid wine list and craft beer line up. The restaurant even has its own brew, Yardbird Rebel Rooster, a Mexican lager made locally by Denver Beer

Don’t Miss Out

As the name suggests, the fried chicken is the restaurant’s signature item. If you eat meat, don’t skip this bite. Order fried chicken on top of airy cheese waffles with hot-honey sauce and bourbon-maple syrup ($39). For a smaller portion, the Crispy Chicken Biscuit ($18) comes two to a plate with honey butter and house-made jam. Or, ask the server if you can get a side of fried chicken with any other entree. Bonus, the chicken can be made gluten free. 

On the vegetable-forward side, but along the same deep-fried note, the Fried Green Tomato BLT is a surprising deviation from a classic. For starters, it doesn’t have bread. Instead, the dish comes in delightful layers of goodness, including house-smoked pork belly, pimento cheese, frisée, tomato jam, and of course, the fried green tomato.

Visit Yardbird for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; 2743 Blake St., Denver, runchickenrun.com/denver

Good For:

Large groups

Celebrations

Kids

Brunch

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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